Archive for February 11th, 2011

1 Peter 3

 1 Peter 3 gets into the family again. Peter gives direct instruction to husbands and wives much as Paul has done in Ephesians and Colossians.  Peter begins with the wives.  In a word – it comes down to submission and respect just like we learned earlier.  See what Peter says: “be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives when they see your respectful and pure conduct”.  Pretty straight direction – and very important to notice – it is not dependent on the actions of the husband.  It is all about living God’s way no matter what – so the life of the wife can draw their hubby close to God. 

Peter goes on to talk about the importance of that and the heart of the wife – which translates into a gentle and quiet spirit.  “Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart….For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord”.  It is important to realize how important your beauty of the heart is to your husband.  To truly be the wife God intends requires putting your husband in a place that may seem pretty undeserving – calling him lord?  That seems a bit over the top doesn’t it.  Not really if you understand God’s heart.  The concept of submission really means to come under the protection of another – and wives should be under the protection of their husband – who truly is the one who carries the responsibility for love and protection.  What men need is respect – they need to be lifted up and encouraged in their role.

Peter makes it clear what that looks like – again very much the way Paul did.  “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered”.  Men we are to learn to understand and honor our wives.  We need to put them in their rightful place – as joint heirs with us in the Kingdom.  They are not servants or doormats but rather need to be lifted up and protected and held in high esteem.  How we love them is key to the way we relate to God.  Failing with our wife has a huge impact on how we relate to God – scripture tells us that it will hinder our prayers.  Being a husband is a serious job.  God has high expectations for us. 

Peter goes on to give us some general guidance on how all of us should live as Christ Followers.  He tells “all of us” to:

–       “have unity of mind

–       Sympathy

–       brotherly love

–       a tender heart

–       a humble mind

–       Do not repay evil for evil

–       Bless

–       keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit

–       turn away from evil and do good

–       seek peace and pursue it

Why does it matter?  “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer”.  God is paying attention to how we live. It matters.  If we want to have a close relationship with God we have to pay attention to how we live.  And we also need to be ready to talk about that relationship with others: “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”.  Are you ready to let people know about Jesus in your life?  What is your story?  I would love to hear it!

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