1 Peter 3 (New Living Translation)
“Those graceful acts, those thousand decencies, that daily flow from all her words and actions, mixed with love and sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned union of mind, or in us both one soul.”
1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
Proper submission in the home follows the same principles of submission as towards government or our employers. It is submission not only of the actions, but also of the heart, as demonstrated by the surrendering heart of Jesus (1 Peter 2:21-25).
The call for submission is not merely a call for love and considerate action. It is a call to take the place of submission to authority. The ancient Greek word translated submission was used outside the New Testament to describe the submission and obedience of soldiers in an army to those of superior rank. It literally means, “to order under.”
Yet submission to authority can be totally consistent with equality in importance, dignity, and honor. Jesus was subject to both His parents and to God the Father but was not lower than either of them. “Thus the command to wives to be subject to their husbands should never be taken to imply inferior personhood or spirituality, or lesser importance.” (Grudem)
Of course, submission in marriage follows the same principles as submission in other spheres. We submit to God’s appointed authority as our obligation before God, unless that authority directs us to sin. In that case it is right to obey God rather than men (Acts 4:19-20).
3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. 6 For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.
Proverbs 12:4 (NLT)
A worthy wife is a crown for her husband,
but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.
7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
If you want your prayers to be helped and not hindered you have to live with your wife in a certain way. There has to be an effort to understand her so as to know her needs. There has to be a special solicitousness of her weaknesses and what she especially needs from you. There has to be a recognition that she is a fellow heir of the grace of life and an accompanying bestowal of honor rather than any belittling or demeaning. When we husbands live like this (with understanding, tender care, and honor), our prayers will not be hindered. If we do not live like this, our prayers will be hindered.
Here’s the way one good commentary put it:
So concerned is God that Christian husbands live in an understanding and loving way with their wives, that he “interrupts” his relationship with them when they are not doing so. No Christian husband should presume to think that any spiritual good will be accomplished by his life without an effective ministry of prayer. And no husband may expect an effective prayer life unless he lives with his wife “in an understanding way, bestowing honor” on her. To take the time to develop and maintain a good marriage is God’s will; it is serving God; it is a spiritual activity pleasing in his sight. (Wayne Grudem, 1 Peter, p. 146.)
Proverbs 18:22 (NLT)
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
and he receives favor from the Lord.
“You can never be happily married to another until you get a divorce from yourself. Successful marriage demands a certain death to self.” –Jerry McCant
“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” –Andre Maurois
“My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.” –Winston Churchill
There is one phase of life that I have
Never heard discussed in any seminar,
And that is — all women think that men
Are funny and all men think that weminar.
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”
Suffering for Doing Good
13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?
Proverbs 16:7 (ESV)
When a man’s ways please the LORD,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.
No longer will any sacrifice or atonement please God other than what Jesus provided at the cross. Even our own suffering won’t pay for our sins. The price has already been paid.
19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. 21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.
from the Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in Jesus Christ . . .
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father . . .
HERE is Charles Wesley’s majestic hymn, “Rejoice, the Lord Is King!” Note verse 3: “The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus given.” And verse 4: “He sits at God’s right hand.”