1 Peter 3:1

Verse of the Day Devotion.  1 Peter 3:1

“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,” – 1 Peter 3:1

This particular verse has often been seen as derogatory toward women, but those who believe this have taken this verse out of context. Let us look at our focus verse more closely. First, Peter says, ‘In the same way, you wives’. This tells us what follows is directed not to all women, but to Christian wives specifically. It then goes on to say ‘be submissive to your own husbands’. This is the part that many take out of context. In the culture of the ancient world it was almost unthinkable for a wife to adopt a different religion than her husband. Christian women who came to Jesus before their husbands needed instruction. Often they would ask, ‘Should I leave my husband?’ or ‘Should I change my behavior toward my husband because I am now a follower of Christ?’ The answer to both of these is an emphatic no. And the reason given was so that ‘they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” 1 Peter 3:1b-2.

The above verse shows that the purpose of this ‘submission’ was not so that they would be the slaves of their husband, but that they, by their actions, could convert unbelieving husbands to the Christian faith. And this was Peter’s reason for telling them this. The idea is that what the wife is to do, through their Godly behavior, is to show him the reality of her faith in Christ. And by doing this she will show him her  desire for him to become a Christian as well. And her ways and attitude should be such that he sees an inward reality, and not just outward behavior. Theologian Wayne Grudem put it this way, “The attractiveness of a wife’s submissive behavior even to an unbelieving husband suggests that God has inscribed the rightness and beauty of role distinctions to include male leadership or headship in the family and female acceptance of and responsiveness to that leadership… The unbelieving husband sees this behaviour and deep within perceives the beauty of it. Within his heart there is a witness that this is right, this is how God intended men and women to relate as husband as wife. He concludes, therefore, that the gospel which his wife believes must be true as well.” And I wish to add that this may not happen quickly, but he is more likely to accept this life if He sees her living it consistently from her heart.

Now, Peter was speaking to wives here, but I truly believe husbands have the same responsibility. If a man is saved before his wife does, he must also live according to God’s word, according to what is right and holy such that his wife sees his behavior and chooses to get saved as well. Either side who is a Christians should love their spouse such that they desire them to become one as well. God is no respecter of persons; He desires all to be saved. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

One other thing, submission in verse one does not mean they are to be submissive to their husbands regarding sinful actions or wrongdoing. If she were to submit to him regarding sin, he would be less likely to accept her beliefs for his own. For instance, if He were to tell her to steal something from their neighbor, she does not have to follow his order, but is obligated to refuse. The purpose for submission is to shine the light of Christ in order for him to see it and accept Christ as Lord himself. The whole reason Peter said this was so that her holy behavior will turn his heart toward God. And sinful behavior will not make this happen.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

1 Peter 1:15

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Peter 1:15

“But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.” – 1 Peter 1:15

Peter, in our focus verse, is calling all God’s people to be Holy.  This is a calling that God has placed on everyone who is to follow Him.  In Leviticus we read, “For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45.  Also, “Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine” Leviticus 20:26.  And in Deuteronomy.  “Since the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to defeat your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy; and He must not see anything indecent among you or He will turn away from you.” Deuteronomy 23:14.  In all three of these, God is calling the Jewish nation to be Holy as He is. 

And now, we as Christians are called to be holy as well.  The writer of Hebrews put it this way.  “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14.  We are called by God to live a holy and sanctified life.  Paul, in his second letter to the Church at  Corinth, wrote the following.  “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. ” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18.  Paul is saying that God has called us out of the world, out of our previous life apart from God.  And when we do this, He shall be our father and we shall be His sons and daughters.  These are promises God has given us.  And next comes the “Therefore”.  “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1. 

As Christians, we are to strive with all we are to live a life of holiness.  We are to dedicate our life completely and totally to God, honoring Him in everything we do.  Holiness means to separate.  We need to separate from our old life and ways, our thoughts and desires.  How can we do this?  First, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2.  We need to become less like the world and focus on God and His ways.  Second, “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22.  We must not give in to evil desires but pursue righteousness in all ways.  And third, as our focus verse states with the requirements of the above two, “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.” 1 Peter 1:15.  In all our ways, we should pursue the first and second items with all we are.

Paul in his letter to the Church in Ephesus wrote, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;”  Ephesians 5:1.  God is holy, and He wants us to be holy as well, and this should be the focus of our life.  Let us strive in all we do to live a sanctified life to the glory of God.  For, it is what He desires of us.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.