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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 a wife living with an unsaved husband:

(3) Submissive Spouses – 1 Peter 3:1-7
What about Unsaved Husbands? – vs. 1

Peter has said here, “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives.” As Peter goes through his presentation here for submission within the home he at the same time answers any objection that might be raised. The first question that usually is asked by wives here would be, “What if my husband is not a Christian? I shouldn’t have to submit to him, right?” We really are always looking for a way to get out of what God has told us to do aren’t we? Peter says here, even if your husband has not obeyed the command of the gospel to repent and believe, even if he is not a follower of Christ, you be submissive to him so that you might fulfill the ultimate purpose for all submission – whether we submit to the governing authorities, or to our bosses at work, or to our family members in the home, submission is our way to give God glory and be a faithful witness, being salt and light as a follower of Christ. What better opportunity is there to be a faithful witness than having been saved by God’s grace while married to someone who remains, for the time being, lost?

Some might then automatically throw out 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” Of course then we tell people don’t marry an unbeliever. The Bible tells us to marry in the Lord. But what about those who are already married and one of the spouses gets saved? Or if a Christian walks in disobedience and goes ahead and marries an unbeliever? Or what if, as we have had testimonies even in our church, what if it turns out that you marry a person believing they are a believer but it turns out that they are proved not to be? What then? Well, you get divorced, right? No, not necessarily. Because at that point – when you are married to an unbeliever, you have your mission assignment! This is your opportunity through submission to God’s design in the family for you to be a witness, to be salt and light by the way you live. We should be living like this even in homes where both spouses know the Lord shouldn’t we? Living in a way that demonstrates the power of the gospel in our daily lives. We should live daily in such a way that the people around us want to be closer and closer to Christ!

If you are married and your spouse does not know Christ, your objective is to win them. You stay. Stay with them and work to win them with the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 Paul says this, “12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?”

If a decision is made to leave a marriage where they are unequally yoked, that decision must come from the one who is not saved, not from the one who is. The one who is, is told to stay and be a faithful spouse. The point is not to save the marriage merely for the sake of the marriage – it is to see the saving power of Christ in every facet of our lives.

It says here that she might win him without a word – actions speak louder than words most of the time don’t they? Especially when it comes to loving others – actions prove or disprove our words. If you want to know what someone really believes, look at how they behave.

Tomorrow we will see what it means to be chaste.

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