Intro: Following along with the series of messages I am preaching through 1 Peter, as Peter writes to the dispersed and persecuted church in exile throughout Asia Minor, he encourages them by writing, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:11-12). In chapter 2 verse 13 through chapter 3 verse 8 he gives us three specific ways that we are able to have “honorable conduct”, even while living in an environment that is hostile to God and the gospel. Those three ways all involve submission to authority in different realms of our daily interactions. We are to be (1) submissive citizens, (2) submissive servants, and (3) submissive spouses.
As we look at these three focal points for submission, I’ve titled this devotional series “Our Mission is Submission – 1 Peter 2:13-3:8.”
Today we will look at how a husband can learn to understand and trust his wife:
(3) Submissive Spouses – 1 Peter 3:1-7
Understanding and Trusting Our Wives – vs. 7
John MacArthur said we need to seek to understand our wives needs, their fears, and their emotions. Needs we get. Fears we can understand even if we think they are irrational. But emotions? Understand our wives emotions? I thought that was biologically impossible. Keep in mind, the first step toward understanding is to be understanding while you are trying to figure it out! We need to subordinate our needs so that her needs can be identified and met. We are going to work hard to provide for her and secure her when she has fears.
In providing for her, never forget that she can help in the provision for the family also through her work and her management of the household. Proverbs 31:11 reminds us, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.” She needs to be our trusted counselor and usually the first person we go to when we need guidance. Men, trust your wives and her godly counsel.
Peter goes on, “giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” Ah ha! There it is – the Bible says wives are weaker than husbands. I knew it! NO! Giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, the phrase means she has vulnerabilities and our duty is to protect her. There are so many ways that we know our wives are stronger than us, men. Admit it. We don’t treat her as weaker, but we serve her in her weaknesses. Having weakness does not equal inferiority. It simply means there are ways that we can be string for her when she needs it.
The other thing that we cannot forget in all of this. God gave us our wives as helpmates, and a help mate is not the same thing as a servant. A helpmate is an equal partner in accomplishing the mutual tasks laid out before you. Without each other neither of you would accomplish what you have been called to do. Together you can complete things that alone you cannot. Well what is our task in marriage? Marriage is all about presenting the gospel. Paul said it in Ephesians 5:32, “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” We in our marriages preach the gospel in the way that we relate to one another. Together as one flesh, under one Lord, husbands and wives serve God and act as salt and light to the church and the world.
Tomorrow we will learn what it means to be joint heirs of the grace of life.