- Peter has been addressing those in submission to authority. Until now, he hasn’t addressed those in authority.
- Maybe he sees the additional attention this relationship needs. If marriages suffer, because of Christianity, their witness will suffer more than with any other relationship.
- Now, finally…we get to address the husbands!
Read 1 Peter 3:1-7
- “Happy wife, happy life”?
- Peter/Holy Spirit, exhorts the Christian husband to have an exemplary marriage.
- Main idea in 1-6: How a wife relates to her husband flows out of her dependence upon God.
- Main idea in 7: The careful pursuit of your wives impacts the quality of your spiritual walk.
- The Conduct Of An Exemplary Wife (1-2)
- The Character Of An Exemplary Wife (3-4)
- The Courage Of An Exemplary Wife (5-6)
- The Consideration Of An Exemplary Husband (7)
- Consider Your Wives (7a)
- Honor Your Wives (7b)
- Pray With Your Wives (7c)
Consider Your Wives (7a)
- Consider your wives as the weaker vessel.
- Consideration/understanding (lit. “according to knowledge”).
- Careful pursuit of your wives certainly involves a biblical understanding of marriage.
- Primarily implies recognition of the wife’s needs: physical, emotional, and spiritual.
- He is sensitive, desiring her to feel safe and cherished.
- He desires to know her opinion and takes the time to explain his plans with her best interests in mind.
- He communicates with patience and compassion.
- In what way are women weaker? Contextually, these would be things a husband might take advantage of.
- Physical: Few women would disagree with the scientific evidence that suggests males have a general physical strength advantage.
- Authority: Women are subject to their husbands (vv.1, 5-6). Husbands should use authority with understanding, honoring them.
- Emotional Sensitivity: (Strength too) Wives, in general, are prone to experiencing deeper emotional wounds from inconsiderate husbands.
- Not valued less. Fostering understanding.
- The wife’s compassion compliments her husband’s tendency to be stern.
- Since almost certainly physical component, Peter is indirectly addressing physical abuse.
- Just as the Christian husband is pursuing knowledge of God through his Word, he is carefully pursuing his wife through regular fellowship.
- How would you characterize your communication with your wives?
- Understanding > Judgmental
- Affirming > Criticism
- Warm Affection > Cold Indifference
- Love > Harsh (Colossians 3:19).
Beyond seeking to understand your wives, you must also…
Honor Your Wives (7b)
- Show them honor as fellow heirs. Complimentarianism: Equal before God, but distinct roles in marriage.
- Just as wives are called to submit to their husbands, husbands are to honor their wives.
- “Honor” similar to “respect” (but stronger), value/precious (see 2:6-7).
Calvin Nothing destroys the friendship of life more than contempt; nor can we really love any but those whom we esteem; for love must be connected with respect.
- Let’s not minimize marriage roles to “Love and Respect”. Those are not the only attributes we are called to focus on. A wife wouldn’t say, “Well, I’m not called to love you, just show you respect.” It’s almost like that would suggest you could respect someone you hate.
- At the same time, a husband cannot say, “I’m only called to love you, not respect you.” As if you can love someone you think deserves little respect.
- Why Marriages Succeed Or Fail by John Gottman. Studied 2,000 marriages over two decades. Able to predict, with 94% accuracy, those who would stay together and those who would divorce.
- Four Warning Signs (Ch.3):
- Criticism – Attacking personality/character (not behavior).
- Contempt – Intent to insult/psychologically abuse. Name calling, eye rolling.
- See next point.
- Husbands, replace your constant criticizing and contempt for your wives by learning to honor her.
Consider Your Wives > Honor Your Wives >
Pray With Your Wives (7c)
- So your prayers will not be hindered. “Hindered” = blocked, ineffective. Is that any loss?
- A husband who lacks understanding and devalues his wife will have a strained relationship with her. But Peter takes it further. Peter suggests that his fellowship with God will be hindered as well.
- Probably refers to private and joint prayers (wrapping up 1-7). 1 Peter 4:7-11 Prayers > Mutual love, hospitality, ministry in the church.
- Prayers of both the husband and the wife are hindered by marital strife.
- Spiritual maturity is unlikely to occur where there is constant friction.
- Have you ever come to church after a conflict with your spouse? You know first-hand how much your worship was hindered by your emotional distance with your spouse.
- Four Warning Signs (Ch.3):
- Defensiveness – Deny responsibility, making excuses, cross-complaining.
- Stonewalling – Silent treatment. Especially during an argument.
- Prolonged stonewalling hinders growth. It prevents progress from occurring in both the marriage and spiritual lives.
- When these negative traits become habitual in communication, you are on the fast track towards divorce.
- Husbands, develop the habit of praying with your wife! Don’t wait until you experience more maturity. Use resources to help you, especially Scripture. Praise God together. Pray for each other, your children, extended family, and church family.
Consider > Honor > Pray With Your Wives
- Notice the general lack of details provided by Peter (and Paul). They provide the design and principles that are supposed to guide us in our marriages, but rarely is there any specific example of what that looks like precisely.
- Christians will not have cookie cutter marriages.
- We encourage biblical order in marriage (complimentarianism), while allowing the freedom for each couple to work out the specifics (work, chores, budget).
- Husbands: The careful pursuit of your wives impacts the quality of your spiritual walk.
- As Jesus Christ laid down his life for you, you ought to lay down your lives for your wives.