<< Previous | Index | Next >>
                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"

                Our Duties As Wives And Husbands (3:1-7)


1. In this study of 1st Peter, we are seeing that God teaches the 
   Christian how to conduct himself in all relations of life
   a. BEFORE GOD, he is to be holy, even as God is holy - 1 Pe 1:14-16
   b. BEFORE THE WORLD, he is to live an honorable life, one filled 
      with good works - 1 Pe 2:11-12
   c. AS A CITIZEN, he is to submit to civil authorities - 1 Pe 2:13-17
   d. AS A SERVANT, he is to do good, even it means to suffer patiently
      the mistreatment of others - 1 Pe 2:18-25

2. As we come to chapter three, we find there are also certain 
   responsibilities in our relations as husbands and wives - 1 Pe 3:1-7

3. In a society where "dysfunctional families" seem to be the norm, it
   is even more imperative that the people of God demonstrate through 
   their families that which is the will of God, and is "honorable" 
   (good, beautiful to behold) conduct

[Our text goes a long way in describing the sort of conduct that is 
"honorable" for wives and husbands, beginning with...]


      1. The word "likewise" refers back to the discussion in the 
         previous chapter
         a. In which the principle of submission has already been 
            applied to:
            1) Our responsibility to governmental authorities
            2) The servant's relationship to his master
         b. This would suggest that the same principles discussed 
            earlier hold true to wives in their relationship with 
            1) I.e., to submit not only to the good, but also to the 
               harsh - cf. 1 Pe 2:18
            2) That if a wife suffers wrong from her husband when she 
               was doing good, it is commendable before God if she bear
               that mistreatment patiently - cf. 1 Pe 2:19
      2. The value of submission is best illustrated in the case where 
         a Christian wife is married to an unbeliever
         a. He might be converted by her "conduct"
            1) Even though he might not have previously obeyed "the" 
               word (the gospel)...
            2) Without "a" word (persistent nagging), he may be reached
               by her conduct!
         b. The type of "conduct" likely to have that effect is 
            described as:
            1) "chaste" - that is, purity in all manner of life
            2) "accompanied by fear" -  that is, reverence; which in 
               this case...
               a) Is manifested toward the husband
               b) And is an attitude consistent with the principle of 
      3. So the first duty of wives as outlined by Peter is that of 
         "submission", especially if the husband is an unbeliever

      1. It is likely that Peter's comments are in the form of a 
         a. I.e., a Hebrew idiom (form of speech) commonly found in the
         b. In this case, there is a contrast ("not this...but this") 
            for the sake of emphasis
         c. A good example of this is found in Jn 6:27
            1) Jesus is not saying that it is wrong to work so we can 
            2) But that our priority in life should be to have 
               everlasting life
      2. A similar emphasis by way of contrast is being made by Peter
         a. I.e., don't let your emphasis on "beauty" pertain to 
            outward adornment
         b. Not that is always wrong to arrange the hair, wear gold, or
            put on apparel
         c. But place your emphasis elsewhere!
      3. Let your beauty be "the hidden person of the heart"
         a. Conduct yourself so that beauty of the "inner person" 
            shines forth
         b. Where people notice more "who" you are rather than "what" 
            you wear!
      4. It is a "gentle and quite spirit" that constitutes true inner
         a. Unlike hair, gold, and apparel, it is incorruptible! - cf. 
            2 Co 4:16
         b. It is also very precious in the sight of God - cf. Isa 
      5. So Christian women, let your inner beauty be your most 
         noticeable feature!
         a. Without inner beauty, any outward beauty is like a ring of
            gold in the nose of a pig! - Pro 11:22
         b. Parents, are we teaching this truth (by word and example) 
            to our daughters?

      1. Remember, the holy women in the Old Testament who trusted in 
         a. Adorned themselves with a gentle and quiet spirit
         b. Were submissive to their husbands
      2. A case in point is that of Sarah:
         a. Who was so beautiful outwardly...
            1) That Pharaoh wanted her when she was over 65 years old
            2) That the king of the Philistines wanted her when she was
               over 90 years old, and long past the age of childbearing
         b. Yet her true beauty was demonstrated by her submissive
            spirit (calling her husband "lord")
      3. Christian women can become the "daughters of Sarah," provided
         a. "do good" (be submissive to their husbands)
         b. "are not afraid of any terror" (composed with a gentle and 
            quiet spirit)

[To be considered a "daughter of Sarah" by God would be a very special
honor!  It can be had by any woman who heeds the words of the apostle 

But a failure to heed these words will result in being more like a 
"daughter of Jezebel."  Remember, she delighted in her physical beauty 
and in manipulating her husband.  May such never be true of women 
professing godliness and wearing the name of Christ!

Peter's instructions to husbands are brief, but nonetheless extremely 


      1. The KJV says "with knowledge"
      2. Husbands are expected to know, and understand...
         a. Their responsibilities in marriage - e.g., Ep 5:25
         b. The nature of women, as "weaker vessels"
            1) Refers to physical strength
            2) Not to intellectual abilities, moral courage, or 
               spiritual strength
      3. Such understanding is to govern how the husband lives with his
         wife -- with love and thoughtfulness

      1. The word "give" means "to assign"
      2. "honor" involves the idea of that which is "precious, of high 
      3. So the husband is to assign to his wife the honor of being 
         precious and of high value in his sight
      4. A good reason to consider our wives in such light:  they are 
         truly "heirs together of the grace of life"
      5. I.e., sisters in Christ, and therefore worthy of the respect 
         we give any other child of God!

      1. Here is good reason to heed Peter's instruction!
      2. The word "hindered" literally means "cut off"
      3. Thus the way we treat our wives may result in our access to 
         God being cut off!
      4. This is what happened to the O.T. priests who divorced their 
         wives - cf. Mal 2:13-14


1. We learn from Peter, then, that how we conduct ourselves as husbands
   and wives can have a bearing on our personal relationship with God
   a. If wives are to be considered "very precious in the sight of 
   b. If husbands are to keep open the avenue of their prayers to 
   -- Then we must apply the principles in this passage (1 Pe 3:1-7)
      to our lives!

2. If we do, then we all can be "heirs together of the grace of life!"

Speaking of being heirs of the grace of life, do you know one can 
become such an heir? - cf. Ti 3:3-7
<< Previous | Index | Next >>

Home Page
Bible Study Guides | Textual Sermon Series | Topical Sermon Series
Single Textual Sermons | Single Topical Sermons
Search The Outlines

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2001