The Book of I PETER
James J. Barker
HARMONIOUS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WIFE AND HER HUSBAND
- I have entitled
tonight's message, "Harmonious Relationship Between the Wife and Her Husband” (I
- I realize most
people are accustomed to the phrase "husband and wife," rather than "wife and
husband," but in our text tonight God places the wife first
the first six verses are addressed to the wife, and only one verse is directly
addressed to the husband (3:7).
- This could mean
the wife is six times more important than the husband; I am not sure. I am still studying
- I have preached
this text before on Mother's Day, but this is not a Mother's Day message. We are going through the book of I Peter
and this is where we are tonight.
- However, I do
believe every day ought to be Mother's Day, just as every day is the Lord's
- I realize God
has set apart one day out of the week for us to worship, and this day we call
the Lord's Day. But I think you
will agree that every day we ought to be worshipping God, praying, and reading
our Bibles, etc.
- "This is the day which the LORD hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).
- And just as we
rejoice and praise God every day, we ought to honor wives and mothers every day,
and thank God for them.
WIVES ARE TO BE IN SUBJECTION TO THEIR
- First Peter 3:1
refers specifically to wives, but the Bible teaches that all Christians are to
be submissive (cf. 2:13-15, 17, 18; 5:5).
- First Peter
2:15 says that this "is the will of God..."
- It is God's
will that we be submissive to those God has placed in authority over us. When George W. Bush was president,
liberals were very disrespectful and they said terrible things about
- Now that Barak
Obama is president, conservatives are disrespectful and are saying terrible
things about him. As Christians we
need to be careful about this.
- When the
apostle Paul said to the high priest Ananias, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall," he was reproved
for it and he apologized (Acts 23:1-5).
- By submitting
we are putting ourselves under the authority and rule of another. This means children are to submit to
their parents, citizens to government, employees to employers, and wives to
husbands (I Peter 3:1).
- All of this is
dealt with extensively in Scripture (cf. Romans 13:1-7; Eph. 5:21-24; 6:1-3, 5,
Christian wives can win their unsaved husbands to the Lord by being submissive
to them (I Peter 3:1, 2).
- Of course, if
Christian women were more careful about this they wouldn't find themselves in
this predicament. Second
Corinthians 6:14 says, "Be ye not unequally yoked
together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with
- I realize many women get saved after they are
married. The good news is that many
unsaved husbands get saved through the godly example of the wife (3:1, 2). I have seen this many
- The question is often raised: what if the unsaved
husband makes demands that are unbiblical?
- Some Christians teach that the wife must obey no matter
what. However, I think the Bible
teaches the wife should obey unless the unsaved husband wants her to do
- The Bible gives many examples where believers had to
disobey authority because that authority wanted them to violate God's Word.
Consider the story of the Hebrew midwives.
- Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill all the male
babies. This is similar to China's
one-baby policy, except in China they are killing the female babies.
- Exodus 1:17 says, "the midwives feared God, and did not
as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children
- Exodus 2 tells us Moses' mother hid him for three
months, and then put him in a little ark of bulrushes and placed him by the
- >How about the prophet Daniel.
- Daniel was a law abiding citizen and he submitted to
King Darius and to the Media-Persian government that was over him. Daniel was
not rebellious. He was not a
lawbreaker or troublemaker.
- The presidents and princes of Persia sought to find
occasion against Daniel, but could not find any fault in him. So they put
together a foolish law which made it against the law for Daniel to
- Daniel knew he had to keep praying, and he knew that it
would be disobedient for him not to pray.
- Daniel knew that God had to come before the
- So there was a conflict, and Daniel understood that in
this conflict he had to obey the Higher Authority.
- A similar problem came before Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego. Bible readers have
wondered why Daniel is not mentioned in Daniel chapter
- More than likely Daniel was out of town. In any event, Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego refused to worship the golden image, and were cast into the midst of a
burning fiery furnace.
- This is a good time of year for us to remember the wise
men who traveled from the east to see the baby Jesus. King Herod gave strict
orders to the wise men: "And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and
search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word
again, that I may come and worship him also" (Matthew 2:8).
- However, God warned them in a dream not to return
to Herod. They did the right thing by obeying God rather than
- That's exactly what Peter and the other apostles said to
the council: in Acts 5:29, "We ought to obey God rather than
- Now, let us apply this principle to I Peter 3:1 and
Ephesians 5:22 and other Scriptures, which teach wives must obey their husbands.
- Wives must obey their husbands, unless the husbands are
instructing their wives to do things that are contrary to Scripture.
- Over the years we have had quite a few unsaved husbands
order their wives to stop attending our church. One husband allowed her to come but not
to tithe. In some cases the wives
wisely stood their ground.
Regrettably, some wives obeyed their husbands and their families were
devoured by the devil.
TO HAVE A MEEK AND QUIET SPIRIT (3:4).
- First Peter 3:3
has been interpreted various ways.
Some have taught that it means Christian women should never wear
- However, I
think Peter is speaking of excessive, gaudy hairstyles and jewelry and attire
(cf. Isaiah 3:16-24).
- According to
Scripture, it is "the inner man" that is important -- "the hidden man of the
heart, in that which is not corruptible" (3:4).
- Christian women
should dress modestly. First Timothy 2:9, 10 says, "In like manner also,
that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and
sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which
becometh women professing godliness) with good works."
- Low cleavages
and short skirts are very inappropriate, especially for Christian women. Older women should set a good example
for the younger women (cf. Titus 2:3-5).
- I saw a picture
of the rock singer and actress Cher in the newspaper the other day. Though she is now 64 years old, she
still looks as trampy and sleazy as ever.
What a mess!
- First Timothy
2:9 says, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest
apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety."
- The only time
we see the word "shamefacedness" in the Bible is in I Timothy 2:9. Strong's Concordance says the
word means, "a sense of shame or honour, modesty, bashfulness, reverence, regard
for others, respect."
- Contrast that
with the women described by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 3:16 -- "Moreover the
LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with
stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they
go, and making a tinkling with their feet."
- Godly women can win their unsaved husbands to Christ by
their "chaste conversation" (I Peter 3:2).
- Not by nagging.
Nagging doesn't win souls. A
loud nagging wife does more harm than good and usually pushes her husband
further away from the Lord. I
have seen this.
- However, I did read one time how nagging apparently did
some good. A British lady named
Barbara Peers frequently nagged her boyfriend about getting married. She nagged him about buying a house, and
how many children they would have, etc.
In fact, she nagged him about everything.
- Doctors said her continual, persistent nagging paid
off. Her boyfriend, David Logan,
25, was knocked unconscious in a 100-mile-an-hour motorcycle accident while
practicing for the Isle of Man Grand Prix.
- The doctors said that without regaining consciousness
his brain would deteriorate and he would become a vegetable. But after 17 days of nonstop
nagging he regained consciousness and spoke!
- The Bible has much to say about this sort of constant
nagging (Proverbs 19:13; 21:9, 19; 27:15).
- The Bible way to win the husband is by the chaste
conversation (conduct) of the wives (I Peter 3:1-6).
- George Muller told the story of a drunken German man who
had a godly wife. One night at the
tavern he bragged to his drinking companions that though it was very late he
could bring them all to his home, get his wife out of bed and order her to cook
a meal for them.
- Which is what he did. However, after a while, his friends were
disturbed by the rude way this man treated his wife, and one by one they rebuked
him and left.
- Finally he was left alone at his dinner table and got
under great conviction. He went
into his bedroom and prayed with his wife and got saved.
ARE TO HONOR THEIR WIVES (3:7).
- Husbands are to
honor their wives " as unto the weaker vessel" (3:7).
- "Weaker" does
not mean inferior, less intelligent or less spiritual, etc. It simply means weaker physically. That is the norm.
together" refers to a marriage in which both the husband wife are saved. They are partners who work
- When husbands
fail to honor their wives, their prayers are "hindered" (3:7).
- Some men treat
their wives nicely during the courtship and honeymoon but soon start taking them
- I heard about a
young man who was crazy about a beautiful young lady and he went out and bought
365 pretty postcards. Every day he
would send her a different card with a mushy poem on
- Every day she
would go to her mailbox and get a new card.
- At the end of
the year she got married -- to the mailman.
- One of the most
wonderful verses in the Bible is Ephesians 5:25, "Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for
- That is a very
high standard that God sets for the husband.
- Matthew Henry
said, "The love which God requires from the husband in behalf of his wife will
make amends for the subjection which he demands from her to her husband; and the
prescribed subjection of the wife will be an abundant return for that love of
the husband which God has made her