1 Peter 3:1-7
[From part 1]
In verse 3, Peter is not giving fashion tips. He is not telling Christian woman to wear a sugar-bag and sandals.
What he is doing is pointing out the obvious.
Real beauty is found in one’s attitude — the hidden person of the heart — not in physical appearance. If you want to enhance your attractiveness, don’t spend all your time working on a facade.
Just think about some Hollywood marriages — all the outward beauty you could ask for, but ‘partners’ stay together only until the next pretty man or woman comes along.
So when Peter commends an incorruptible life that is characterised by ‘a gentle and quite spirit’, which is pleasing to God, he is commending the imitation of Christ, who
did no sin, or was there deceit in his words, who when reviled did not revile in return, did not threaten but committed himself to God who judges justly…
We men need to recognise true beauty when we see it. And we are to see this beauty in the lives and persons of our wives who trust and follow Jesus Christ.
So, husbands, when a super-model or some starlet or whatever appears suddenly on the TV, our attitude of mind ought to be something like — ‘none of my business’.
Now Peter, I think, uses a very pointed example to press this whole matter of submission home. That of Abraham and Sarah.
‘For thus once (i.e., in the past) did the holy woman who hoped in God keep on submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him, Lord.’
This is a very interesting example for Peter to have chosen. Notice that Sarah respected and submitted to Abraham who was not a perfect husband.
- He almost gave her away twice to save his own skin
- He fathered a child by a woman not his wife
And these three incidents occurred after God declared Abraham to be justified by faith.
In other words, as a Christian man, Abraham messed up big time.
The mess ups occurred, not because they failed to have Christian marriage counselling, but be because Abraham particularly failed to keep in mind who God is and what the good news is.
He was not obedient to the word.
The message that Abraham was given was that he and Sarah would have a child. This child would bring a blessing to the whole world. The reference was ultimately to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The almighty one who made heaven and earth had told him so.
Yet, before he had a child, he became afraid that he might be killed by an Egyptian King and then by a Canaanite king and, so he tried to bribe each of them with his wife.
God rescued Sarah, twice, from Abraham’s foolish behaviour.
Again, after waiting years for a baby that didn’t come, Sarah suggested that Abraham could father a child for them by her maid. Abraham ought to have said ‘NO WAY’.
Abraham ought to have taken the lead in light of the Good News, but He didn’t, and trouble came of it. Nevertheless, Sarah, that holy woman, respected and submitted to her own husband despite his many serious failings.
She is an example of a sinner/saint following the pattern that Jesus has left us. Peter says that Christian wives are to follow Sarah’s example like daughters. They are to do good and trust themselves to God, not fearing any terror.
Why? Because Jesus Christ has lived and died and risen for your eternal safety.
Another, less certain, reason is that her husband ought to be obedience to the word.
(Continued in Part 3)