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 the difference between roles and ranks:

(3) Submissive Spouses – 1 Peter 3:1-7
Roles and Ranks

Something else that is important to understand in any discussion about being submissive within family relationships is that we all, male and female, were created in the image of God. So whether we were created a man, or a woman, we were created in His image. As such we have been created with inherent value and are able to relate to God through Christ as an intelligent, rational being, designed by God for fellowship with Him and with each other. We reflect His glory and manifest His creativity. Male AND female. One is not above the other, or greater than the other. We both have been created in His image are stand equally before Him as His creatures.

We see then that the discussion of rank and roles makes it plain for us that the husband does not outrank the wife and she is not a lesser part of the marital relationship in the home. We cannot take the military aspect of the root of the word for submission and say then that the husband is a sergeant and the wife a private. If we look at our marriage as Christ looks at it, what does Jesus see when He looks at a husband and wife? He tells us in Matthew 19:5-6, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” In Christ’s eyes, we as married couples are “one flesh.” We are equal before God as his children. One part of one body cannot outrank another part of that same body, not in the home or in the church.

What we learn  is that submission within marriage is about finding and fulfilling God’s designed roles for us as we relate to one another under His Lordship and leadership. Other roles as we have studied them include the role of the citizen under governmental authority, and the role of an employee under management’s authority, or even the role of a church member under the authority of the elders that lead the church through serving the body of Christ.

Tomorrow we will see the first role in marriage Peter addresses – the role of the wife.