Hope in the Home
Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
This weekend we continued our “Hope in Hard Times” series with a controversial passage about husbands and wives.
Reading from 1 Peter 3 can be a bit difficult when we hear it with our 21st Century ears, but when Peter wrote it he was addressing a very different audience in a very different culture. In the Roman culture, women had no rights at all – they were treated as possessions or objects. According to Cato,
“If you were to catch your wife in an act of infidelity, you can kill her with impunity without a trial, but, if she were to catch you, she would not venture to touch you with her finger, and indeed, she has no right.”
If a man were to convert to Christianity, his wife as well as his whole household would be expected to convert as well. But if a wife were to convert to Christianity apart from her husband, he would have no obligation to follow suit. This is why Peter wrote to the Christian wives of unbelievers – he wanted to explain how they could positively impact their husbands in the midst of this culture.
Peter explains that these wives should win over their husbands by their Christlike behavior rather than through words or seduction. Then to husbands, Peter explains that they should be considerate of their wives since they are equally heirs of the gift of life. Peter even adds that if husbands aren’t considerate of their wives, God won’t hear their prayers! A man’s goal in this case should be striving to be worthy of being submitted to by his wife.
The key to this passage is mutual submission, both by the wife to the husband and the husband to the wife. In marriage, rather than carry an attitude of entitlement, we should be “voluntarily selfless” because nothing more positively influences your home than Godly character!
Verses and quotes from the sermon:
1 Peter 3:1-8; 1 Peter 2:13; Galatians 3:28; Proverbs 25:24; Proverbs 27:15; Ephesians 5:21
“Preach the gospel, and, if necessary, use words” St. Francis of Assisi
You Move – Central Music
Great I Am – Jared Anderson
Resurrecting – Elevation Worship