A Missional Marriage

1 Peter 3:1-7

Our study today is a continuation of instructions Peter is giving to believers living under the threat and the reality of persecution for their faith. The main command is found back in 1 Peter 2:11-12. In 1 Peter 2:13, Peter begins to give clarity as to what honorable Christian conduct looks like in a hostile world. The picture he’s painting is one of submission in every sphere of life: 

  • Trace Peter’s line of thought from chapter 2:13 through 3:22. What specific spheres of life is he commanding that Christians exercise a submissive spirit? 
  • According to 2:9, 12, and 15, what are the purposes for the believer’s life of submission? 

In the context 1 Peter 3:1-7, Peter is specifically addressing situations where one spouse is a believer and the other isn’t. How does the believing spouse live honorably with an unbelieving spouse?

Theme Statement

The beautiful, exemplary life of a believing spouse will communicate the worthiness and beauty of Jesus on the mission field of the home.

How does the exemplary life of a believing spouse communicate the worthiness and beauty of Jesus on the mission field of the home?

I. A believing wife displays the worthiness of Christ through her _______________ to her husband (1-6).  

•       The wife’s submissive heart creates opportunities for her to display the excellencies of Christ through her good deeds to her unbelieving husband. 

a. Submission is an opportunity to display impeccable conduct (1-2). 

•       With what kind of conduct can a godly wife expect to possibly win her unbelieving husband to Jesus without a spoken word?  

•       Respect – demonstrate reverence owed to one placed in a position of authority. 

•       Pure conduct – means “that which awakens religious awe.” 

“A lovely, gracious, and submissive attitude is the most effective evangelistic tool believing wives have (cf. Prov. 31:26Matt. 5:16Phil. 2:15Titus 2:3–5).” J. MacArthur

b. Submission is an opportunity to display the ornament of imperishable beauty (3-6). 
  • The believing wife shouldn’t expect to win her husband’s heart to Christ by material beauty. It would take the imperishable beauty displayed in her heart and character to win his heart to Christ. 

•       What makes up this ornament of imperishable beauty? 

•       A gentle demeanor. It means meek, humble, self-controlled.

•       A quiet demeanor. To be calm and still and well-ordered. 

•       Peter says that this ornament is precious in the sight of God. Precious means of extreme value. This is the kind of demeanor that God can use to evangelize the lost husband! 

II. A believing husband displays the worthiness of Christ through his ________________ to his wife (7). 

•       3 places in Scripture where the husband is commanded to live submissively: Ephesians 5:21Ephesians 5:25-26, 1 Peter 3:7 

•       The husband’s submissive heart creates opportunities for him to display the excellencies of Christ through his good deeds to his unbelieving wife: 

a. Submission is an opportunity to live in intimacy. 

•       Understanding way – knowledgeable way…includes every aspect of intimately relating. 

b. Submission is an opportunity to esteem your wife. 

•       showing honor – paying esteem, assigning great value and worth, be satisfied with her. 

c. Submission is an opportunity to enjoy companionship.

•       grace of life = they share together in the gift of life, as in this temporal life. This is common grace. 

Our homes are our primary mission fields where we have opportunity to live Christ in front of those closest to us. If we don’t live Christ in our homes, then how true is our witness when we try to live Christ any other place? Who we are at home is who we are, no matter how hard we try to be someone different outside the home. 

Application Questions to consider:  

General question: “In Peter’s day throughout Greco-Roman culture, men regarded women as confused, ignorant, and uneducated. Peter urged that Christians break the mold.

What stereotypes affect your relationships? Despite “political correctness,” what prejudices color your regard for a race or gender?

The Bible urges that we see everyone as God does, abandoning stereotypes and showing the world a different way of treating each other. Marriages, friendships, and neighborly relations all take a new turn in light of God’s Good News.”

Questions for husbands and wives: 

  1. Wives, is there any way in which you might be seeking to control your husband? How can you encourage and affirm his leadership?
  2. Husbands, is there any way in which you might be failing to understand or to honor your wife, or hindering her prayers instead of encouraging them? How can you make it easier for her to gladly submit to your leadership? 
  3. Do we relate as partners or competitors? In what areas do we need help? Who can help us?
  4. How are we helping each other become more spiritual in our relationship with the Lord? 
  5. In what ways might we be depending on the externals and not the eternals? 
  6. How are we growing in our understanding of each other? How is our relational intimacy?
  7. How are we sensitive to each other’s feelings and ideas? Are we careful not to take each other for granted?
  8. What are we praying for together? How are we seeing God answer our prayers? 
  9. In what ways are we enriched because of our marriage?