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1 Peter 3:1-7 - Anchored at Home

Unshakeable (1 Peter)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
I love movies that have a happy ending. The guy gets the girl and the girl gets the guy. It’s happy we love a happy ending. But notice they don’t show anything beyond that?
Because no one wants to see that. We love the wedding, no one wants to see the marriage. Weddings are clean and white. Marriages are messy. And we spend so much time getting ready for the wedding, that few adequately prepare for the marriage.
It is always a privilege to officiate weddings. Not just because you get to be a part of their special day but because you get to walk with them towards marriage.
On that day everything is great. Everyone is happy. And the bride and groom have never been more in love.
But what I love more than anything, is premarital counseling. Because that’s where you tell them the truth.
Marriage is hard. It’s not always going to be like your wedding day.
You are going to wake up some days and wonder if you can keep going on. Days when it’s going to be easier to quit than to go on.
But the secret to a long marriage is that when things get tough, you choose to keep going. Because love is not a feeling, but a choice.
Transition to the Text: Turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Peter 3:1-7. After dealing with the outside world, Peter’s instructions now turn to the family: specifically the relationship between the wife and her husband. Many times we think of the problems in the world starting with evil people who do evil things. We even think of elected officials as enemies of God. The truth is very simple. Many of the problems of the world begin in the home.
The relationship between a husband and wife is the most important relationship in the world. Because through that relationship the next generation comes about but also because it is rooted in creation.
Introduce:

Big Idea: Unshakeable faith is grown in an unshakeable home.

Read:
1 Peter 3:1–7 ESV
1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. 7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Big Idea: Unshakeable faith is grown in an unshakeable home.

1. Wives must remember that true beauty and purpose comes from within. (1 Peter 3:1-6)

Explanation: Passages related to women and wives are some of the hardest passages to preach, not because we fear getting them wrong, but because we fear getting them right in the wrong way.
We should not dismiss the fact that passages like the one we are looking at today have been used to subjugate and oppress women throughout the centuries. But context is everything. We don’t just need to understand what is being said, but the cultural context in which it is being said.
In order to understand what Peter is saying in this instruction, we need to go to the end of the passage, specifically to how a husband is supposed to relate to his wife.
In verse 7, Peter reminds the husband that his wife is a “co-heir” of the grace of life. In a sense she is equal. And her value as a contributor to the home and society is rooted in her identity in Christ.
It may not seem like it today, but that statement was extremely countercultural. Making a woman equal to a man, something we take for granted today, would have been met with disgust. What’s important for us to understand is that it was always like that. The Bible has always had a high view of women.
All the way back in Genesis 2:18-20
Genesis 2:18–20 ESV
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
Now, that word helper is incredibly important and misunderstood. The word is not servant. It’s helper. And the Greek word for helper, shows up in Hebrews 13:6
Hebrews 13:6 ESV
6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
So there is no hierarchy in the word. But the idea was that in the marriage is meant to be a partnership between two people helping to do what God has called them to do.
But sin and the fall brought strife in the marriage that was never supposed to be there.
Genesis 3:16 ESV
16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”
And throughout history, this promise has seen it’s fulfillment. But it’s not supposed to be that way. Husbands and wives were created equal in value while serving different functions.
Still, Peter says, wives be subject to your husbands. In verse 5, Peter says that submitting to the husbands was an act of holy woman. Now submission is not a dirty word. The only time it becomes a bad word is when a woman feels like she has to submit to a man who isn’t worthy of it, and when a man violates his own part of the relationship (which we’ll get to in a minute).
Now again, this doesn’t mean to be his servant, doormat, and especially not his punching bag. That’s not what biblical submission is. Biblical submission is all about the relationship. And it’s a relationship that is modeled on the Trinity.
John 6:38 ESV
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
Jesus, even though He is equal as God, submitted Himself to the Father. And together they were united in purpose.
So submission means to seek unity.
Maybe it’s better to know what lack of submission is.
Obviously a big one is infidelity both physically and emotionally.
Hiding things and being dishonest.
Giving in to a request from the kids when your spouse has already said no.
Putting your kids before your spouse. (Your spouse must always come first.)
Asking advice from your spouse on a certain issue when you know you aren’t going to listen.
Now I know what your thinking, doesn’t this apply to the husband as well? Yep. But in the time of Peter’s writing, it was more likely to be an issue for the wives. Why? Because the cross changed everything. And it might be easy for a wife to think she was now free from her husband, especially if he was an unbeliever who didn’t understand the expected biblical relationship between men and women.
Which brings us back to the reason for Peter’s instructions here. Many wives may find themselves married to men who aren’t believers, don’t fear God, and don’t obey the word. In other words they aren’t worhty of submission. Does that mean you don’t have to follow this command. Well, like we talked about last week, your actions as a believing wife could lead your husband to faith in Jesus as well....when they see your respectful and pure conduct. And we see many husbands come to faith through the love and prayer of their wife.
Finally, Peter suggests that women need to remember where their true value comes from Jesus and what the world says.
Society has always told women that their value is in her outward beauty so she could attract a wealthy husband.
But Peter reminds her that her value is in her character. Now when Peter says, do not let your adorning be external with braided hair, gold jewelry and clothing, he’s not saying don’t do any of that. What he’s saying is what makes you beautiful is what’s on the inside: a gentle and quiet spirit and a godly relationship with her husband. You can be outwardly beautiful but inwardly a terrible person.
Now Peter gives Sarah as an example of a godly woman because she is the matriarch of the Hebrew people, but there are examples of godly women all over the bible not the least of which appears in Proverbs 31:10-31
Proverbs 31:10–31 ESV
10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. 15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
All this to say, we need to let the Bible determine what a godly woman looks like.
Application: Ok, so what does this mean today. Things are obviously different today and a woman’s value is much more celebrated and rightly so.
But there is something important here that many miss.
Wives are submit to their husbands, not all men. So pick that husband carefully. And don’t don’t submit to your boyfriend or even fiance until you’re married.
Also, notice this command from God is given directly to the wife. Peter doesn’t tell the husband to keep his wife submissive or in line. So this instruction is between her and God. The husband is going to have his own part of the deal to deal with very shortly.
You have the freedom to marry or not marry whoever you want. So make sure the man you marry is worthy of your submission. Stop ignoring red flags. Find a guy who loves the Lord with His whole heart. Find a man who is more interested in impressing God than in impressing you.
Find a man who has integrity and character. And find a man who leads you into a more deeper relationship with God.
And…find a man who will uphold his part of the deal.
And what is his part of the deal?

2. Husbands must be humble with respect to the their wives. (1 Peter 3:7)

Explanation: Now Peter gave the women 7 verses of instruction and the husband only 1. But again, let’s not miss the significance of this one verse.
First Peter say live with your wife in an understanding way.
As a husband reading this verse, I struggled with what this meant. What does it mean to live with her in an understanding way. And then it clicked and I got convicted.
I’m pretty sure this means actually get to know your wife. Talk to her, better yet listen to her so that you can understand her.
What does she think about? What does she worry about? What does she love? What does she hate? What are her needs? Give her the time that she needs. Because, again it’s a relationship that’s meant to be worked on through time and effort.
Illustration: Whenever I do weddings, I have the couples go through 4 premarital counseling sessions. And I always require a book called the Five Love Languages a book that shows this upcoming married couple that the way that the show and experience love may be different from your spouse.
The second thing that a husband must do is show her honor and then we get this statement, “as the weaker vessel.”
What does that mean?
Personally, I think it is referring to the general physical strength difference between men and women.
I say generally, because we all know that there are women that our much stronger than most men.
However, in a typical agrarian society where families are dependent on the crops that they grow to survive, there were tasks on the farm more suited for men. And others more suited for women. But they were both working hard.
A second thing I think this means related to women as a whole. In times of great struggle; whether war or the persecution that these Christians were facing, women have always taken the brunt of it.
And worse, women would also be sacrificed in order to save the man’s life. IT sounds awful, but that’s just the way it was back then. But to honor her means she is to be protected.
This completely lines up with what Paul said in Ephesians 5:25
Ephesians 5:25 ESV
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
You don’t sacrifice her, you give yourself up for her.
And it’s not always life and death, sometimes it’s simple every day things.
Imagine you’re late to an event because your after getting the kids ready, picking out your clothes, and making sure that dog has water, she’s late getting herself ready. When you get to the party and apologize for being late, don’t say, “Sorry we’re late, you know who takes along time to get ready.” That’s not honoring your wife.
Application: Husbands, God is calling you to be a man worthy of your wife’s submission. And the absolute only way you will ever get there is if you are 100% in full submission to God.
The world seems to think that the Bible gives women the harder task. But you and I know that’s not true. God has called us to a higher standard. God has called you and me to an impossible standard. And if you’re not daily falling on your knees begging God to change you into a husband worthy of the wife God has given you, you are doing it wrong.
And it should scare you to death that when you read that the way you treat your wife affects your prayer life.
“....so that your prayers won’t be hindered.”
Notice the same is not said of the wife.

Response: What kind of home are you building?

Closing:
Now if you’re single, and have been listening to this and wondered what this has to do with you.
You should spend your single years preparing for marriage (even if in God’s will it never comes).
How? By devoting yourself to God. Stop looking for a spouse. Stop looking for someone who completes you. Be complete in God and in his time he’ll bring that person who hopefully has been doing the same.
Remember that God is enough.
Our society is facing a marriage crisis. Over 50 % of people who get married will end up in divorce.
Now there are biblical grounds for divorce, but most marriages don’t end because of those biblical grounds.
Most marriages that end, end because the couple gave up.
Recently a study showed that couples who didn’t live together before they got married had an almost zero percent chance of getting divorced. That makes zero sense to the world.
But it makes sense to us because the secret to a successful marriage has never been about following the world. It’s been about following God’s way and plan for marriage.
If wives and husbands did things God’s way, studies show that you’ll be happier.
Now I have no idea what you will do with this message today. Will it dramatically impact your marriage in a way that you are forever changed?
Will it drive you to the point of saying this is just more evidence that the Bible is chauvinistic.
For some this message might be what saves your marriage as you commit to doing things God’s way.
Wives, don’t think of biblical submission as slavery. But trust that Jesus submitted Himself to God.
Husbands, this message should be harder for you. Because if you are not a husband worthy of submission, you may need to change your whole life.
As with every message, how you apply this is a choice. Will you trust God’s word or not? Will you obey God? Or not?
The choice is yours. Now, not only is the world watching, so are your kids.
Week 4 of 2022 Summer Sermon Series: Unshakeable: Anchored at Home (1 Peter 3:1-7)
Big Idea: Unshakeable FAITH is grown in an unshakeable HOME.
1. WIVES must remember that true beauty and purpose comes from within. (1 Peter 3:1-6)
2. HUSBANDS must be humble with respect to the their WIVES. (1 Peter 3:7)
Response: What kind of HOME are you building?
Opening Discussion:
Why do you think that the family is such an important part of God’s plan for the church and the world?
Sermon:
What instructions does Peter give to wives?
What role can a believing wife have in leading an unbelieving husband to Jesus? How does her conduct play into this?
What does Peter say about the origin of true beauty?
What does it mean for a wife to submit to her husband?
What role does Peter assign the husband?
What does it mean that the woman is “weaker vessel?”
What will happen if the husband mistreats his wife?
Application:
How do Peter’s instructions compare to our modern society?
Why do you think the idea of submission is so controversial in our society? What does biblical submission look like?
How can our actions regarding marital relationships reflect positively or negatively on Jesus?
How can the single person honor Peter’s instructions?
How must a husband treat his wife? Why is this so important?
What does an unshakeable home tell the world?
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