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Date: November 2

Category: Marriage and Relationships

1 Peter 3:1, 7
"In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives… In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God's unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]"

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiIn this teaching, we can see that the way we relate to our spouses will affect the way God relates to us. Here Peter is giving a command to both the wife and the husband. Paul gives a very similar command in Ephesians 5:22-23, and he uses the example of a marriage relationship between a husband and a wife to show the relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:32). So there is a connection between our marriage relationship with our spouse and our spiritual relationship with God. This passage in Peter's letter shows us that the way we treat our spouse will have an affect on our spiritual growth and development.

It says in verse 1a that a married woman is to be submissive to her own husband. It doesn't say that a wife should be submissive to other husbands, but to her own husband. If a wife works outside the home, of course she has to submit to her boss, but only in the context of work. In terms of a marriage relationship, a wife is to be submissive to her own husband. Then in verse 1b it says that a wife should subordinate herself as being secondary to and dependent on her husband. This doesn't mean that the husband is a dictator who completely disregards the thoughts, feelings, and needs of the wife. This means that the wife should honor her husband and give him the leadership role and responsibility of the relationship.

Then in verse 1c Peter refers to wives who have become Christians after they've married but their husbands are still unsaved. He says that those wives should still be submissive to their unsaved husbands so that the husbands may be won over to Christ not by discussion but by the godly examples of their wives. In verse 2b we read, "[for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him – to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]."

The real adoration that a wife should show in a relationship should not just be external (as it says in verse 3), but it should be internal as well. Verse 4 says, "But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God." In other words, the focus of a wife should not just be to adorn the physical appearance (even though this is very important) but also to adorn the inward person as well. When that happens, the husband (if he is unsaved) will be won over to Christ because of the godliness of the wife.

Then in verse 7 we read the command that Peter gives to husbands. It says in verse 7a that a husband should live considerately with his wife, with an intelligent recognition of the marriage relationship. In other words, husbands should understand the differences between a man and a woman. Women have different needs than men do. They need affection, flowers, gifts, kind words, etc. Women also experience sexual pleasure differently than men do. Women handle money differently than men. There are many differences between a man and a woman. So Peter is instructing that husbands should have an intelligent recognition of these differences and be sensitive to those needs.

Then in verse 7b it says that a husband is to honor his wife as the physically weaker, and realize that she is a joint heir of the grace of God. Both the man and the woman are created in the image of God. So women are as equally valuable to God as men are. When husbands don't treat their wives like they should, then it says in verse 7c that their prayers will become hindered, meaning they will not be able to pray effectively. So if you're a husband and your prayers are not being answered, ask yourself if you are treating your wife as the co-heir of the grace of God. Ask yourself if you are honoring your wife and living considerately with her.

The way you and your spouse relate to one another has a very important role in determining the way God relates to you. So today, let's take to heart these commands that Peter writes to us and let's treat our spouses the way God intends for us to treat them.

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Devotionals Categories

» After Repentance
» Divine Healing
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» Follow God
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