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Husbands & Wives
I Peter 3:1-9
Husbands & Wives
I Peter 3:1-9
Intro: We have come to an overly sensitive subject, marriage. Today most preachers would run from this passage. A cynic once observed: “All marriages are happy. It’s the living together afterward that causes all the trouble.” The current mindset concerning marriage is quite different from what God is presenting in this passage. What I am going to share with you today is God's plan for the marriage union. One man and one woman are what God intended for a marriage union. Marriages today are in deep trouble; divorces are quite common, and many are simply refusing to get married and chose to live together apart from the commitment the marriage vows provide.
Peter is moving systematically to cover what God has created. Those who have come to Christ are elect, that is called of God to be His children. In the process He will make those He has called into what He wants them to be. We have been given instructions for life a pattern for daily life. As the children of God, we have clear responsibilities. Peter is outlining for us how we should live as the children of the Living God. He talks about our holiness, that is our personal conduct. He moves to our attitude and response to Kings, Governors and anyone in a position of authority over us. Peter then moves to cover our responsibility to deal with those who are not nice, abusive and difficult. It is interesting to see his comments on slaves and their responsibility to submit and reverence their masters, even those who do not deserve it. Now in chapter three we move to an area that is very personal and perhaps the hardest of all these areas Peter has covered. "What we teach about the true meaning of marriage will determine a great deal about the fate of our lives and our country."
T.S. Peter now moves to the marriage relationship. Chapter three begins with the word "likewise." The Greek literally means "In like manner," as "servants". Do not get hung up on the "servants" what Peter is emphasizing is the response "submission and reverence," not the position of servants. He is not saying wives are servants, but that they should respond to their husbands in the same manner as the servants responded.
I. Responsibilities of Wives I Peter 3:1-6
1. Submission to her husband.
Before you ladies go ballistic on me, please sit back down and hear the rest of the story. In Ephesians chapter 5 we have Paul outlining our relationships in the family. The first thing he says is in verse 21, "submitting to one another in the fear of God. " Paul starts by pointing to a mutual submission between a husband and wife. Verse 22 then says wives Eph 5:22, " Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." This is a key section in understanding the marriage relationship.
When married the two shall become one, Gen 2:24, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Matt 19:5, Eph. 5:31
The reason for this submission is found in 1 Cor 11:8-10, "For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to
have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels."
1 Tim 2:11-15
11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
Gen 3:16 To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you."
This submission is to your own husband, only.
Let me try to put this in terms that not only will you understand but you will put it into practice in your marriage relationship. There are four basic conflicts that exist in every marriage. To be able to identify them and deal with them is the key to any successful marriage. Clearly men and women are different; they think differently, their needs are different, their physical makeup is different, their communication is different. Men tend to be initiators, women tend to be responders, there are always exceptions to the rule. God designed each with specific characteristics and abilities in order to accomplish what God designed, a marriage that honors Him and benefits society.
Back to the submission, it begins with mutual submission, that is the husband and the wife should defer to each other. Decision making should be done together; husband conferring with wife; wife talking to the husband. Men and women see things differently; God designed us that way in order to be able to make better decisions. Two points of view tend to see the matter more precise. When you get to a point in the decision-making process and you cannot agree the submission command comes into play. A decision must be made, if you cannot agree the burden of responsibility falls on the husband. Wives submit to him in this situation.
This does not mean he is right and you wrong, it does not mean he is smarter than you. You do it because God said to do it. This is what will happen; you struggle with the submission, but you do it to obey God. The husband makes the decision and let us say that in a matter of a few weeks you see that he made the wrong decision. This is not where you stand up and say, " I told you so." Trust me he will know that he made the wrong decision and that you were correct. Fast forward six months, once again you come to situation where you cannot agree. God says, "Wives submit to your own husbands." You argue with God, but God he was wrong last time do I have to put up with this?" Yes. Over a period if you will do what God has called you to do, ultimately you will end up being respected and reverenced by your husband. It will get to the point that he will value your option and listen very intently when you speak. Over time there will be situations where he will be right in his choices and you wrong and vice versa. The last thing a man wants is to admit to his wife he was wrong. When you voluntarily submit as God has called you to do you will benefit from it. Over time when the husband has been wrong, he is going to gain a respect for you and your option that would not be possible apart from this process.
II. Example of Holy Women (Plural)
Sarah called Abraham Lord
She is the mother of submission
Trusted God to overcome her fear
III. Responsibility of Husbands I Peter 3:7
Peter starts out addressing wives with the word "likewise," he now does the same thing with the men.
1 Peter 3:7, Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Editor James S. Hewett, Husbands who kiss their wives every morning before leaving for work usually live five years longer than those who do not. A kissing husband has fewer automobile accidents, loses up to 50 percent less time from work because of illness, and earns 20-30 percent more than a non-kissing husband. No statistics were available for benefits to kissing wives. Perhaps along with special rates for nonsmokers and nondrinkers, there will soon be a special policy for kissers.
Understand your wife
Give her honor
Your treatment of your wife impacts your prayers
IV. Responsibility of Both
Do not return evil for evil
Be a blessing
God will bless proper behavior
Conclusion: At the very core of a successful marriage is the understanding of what God intended. The role of a wife and a husband are different, while moving toward the same goals. The needs of each are different and it is necessary for each; the wife and the husband to understand their roles and the needs of their mate. An unselfish attitude must dominant the minds of each, with the emphasis being how can I serve my mate, how can I meet the needs of my husband or my wife. If each are focusing on meeting the needs of their mate, then both will have their needs meant.
Syracuse University has spent considerable time researching marriage. Of the ten most important things couples say they want in a marriage, sex is ninth. Caring, a sense of humor, and communication are tops.
Among men, the top five things they want in a wife are:
(1) Respect. "She makes me feel capable." "She is proud of me!" "She is willing to follow my lead."
(2) Domestic support. A home that is a refuge from the stress of the world. A home that's fun, pleasant, and tasteful.
(3) Companionship. As in walks and talks, entering one another's world.
(4) Sexual fulfillment. "She responds to me. She studies what is mutually pleasing, gets good at it, makes time for me, takes sex seriously." And
(5) an attractive wife. She is clean, does her hair, cares how she looks, stays in the best shape she can. Naturally, all of these values are constantly coming in and out of focus; but a good wife is always monitoring, adjusting, caring, trying. She keeps her marriage fresh.
So, if these are what a man wants of a wife in marriage, what then does a woman want of a husband:
(1) Affection. Ephesians 5 explains that wives are made to be “cherished.” This means romance, a steady stream of hugs, pats, compliments, kisses, and courtesies. At an airport, I saw a woman wearing a button that read, “This is my husband’s idea of jewelry.” Contrast that with William Jennings Bryan (a politician from the 1800’s) his hair was over his ears. When asked why he wore it so since it was unfashionable, he said, “When I was courting my wife, she thought my ears stuck out funny and asked me to grow my hair long to cover them, so I did.” To which his pal replied, “But that was years ago!” Sure, Bryan Said, “but the romance is still going on!”
(2) Women want Conversation on a "feeling" level.
(3) Honesty and Openness. Not moodiness. "A man who won't close the door on me."
(4) Financial support.
(5) Family Commitment. Not a man who passively sleeps and eats, but an active man who puts time and energy into the marriage, the children, the family.
Like as many things in life, we want to do things our way when God has a different plan. When we do thing’s God’s way it works, there is peace, blessing and satisfaction even when we may have a partner who refuses to obey God. Marriage is no different, God has a blueprint for marriage and it works. It takes a measure of faith to do what God commands, a measure of commitment, and a measure of endurance, but ultimately what God has designed is far better than anything else.
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