Focal Passage: 1 Peter 3:1-12
Peter’s words to husbands and wives about the honorable home are just as timely today as they were when he first penned them. There has been an onslaught of political and cultural conversation over marriage recently. It’s easy for us as Christians to fight for marriage in the public square, but how many of us are just as invested in our own marriages? In this passage Peter calls women to cultivate an inner spiritual beauty and calls men to be understanding and honor their wives as gifts from God.
Let’s be honest, there are times in marriage, even a Christian marriage, when upholding the biblical picture of marriage is not so easy. The relationship is often difficult and painful. While marriage may be hard, the calling is also rewarding and wondrous. In his book The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller writes that the purpose of marriage “… is for helping each other to become our future glory-selves, the new creations that God will eventually make us.” Not only does this mission benefit our own marriages, but also displays the power of the gospel to a confused world. The respectful and pure conduct that Peter calls for demonstrates God’s intention for marriage.
A Christian understanding of the home is often unintelligible to those who are not of the faith.
Why would we expect them to understand? But the confident yet humble power of the gospel on display between a husband and a wife is arresting to those looking on. Imagine how beautiful it would be if in our marriages we strived to have unity, sympathy, love, tenderness and humility. There is no six-step program to achieve this type of marriage. Simple behavior modification will not produce lasting change.
Only the gospel will allow us to have the loss of pride and self-will that enables us to humbly serve the other.