March 9, 2023

1 Peter 3:1-7  (HCSB)
1 Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the [Christian] message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live, 2 when they observe your pure, reverent lives. 3 Your beauty should not consist of outward things [like] elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes; 4 instead, [it should consist of] the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God's eyes. 5 For in the past, the holy women who hoped in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do good and aren't frightened by anything alarming. 7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as co-heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Makenzie Tomes
Examining this section of scripture in its historical context can help to shed light on its meaning. Under Roman law, the husband and father had absolute authority over the members of his household. Peter encouraged these early Christian women to persuade their husbands toward faith in Christ not by their words but their actions. His explanation of the Christian wife reminds me of the Proverbs 31 woman. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) Peter then turns to the Christian husband and explains how he should treat his wife. My study Bible notes that when he says the wife is weaker in nature, he is speaking of the literal physical limitation of women compared to men. During this time, women were especially vulnerable if not protected by their father or husband. It still holds true today that the husband should respect, encourage, and protect his wife. There may be physical differences between man and woman, but we have all been given the gift of new life in Christ.

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