Peter continues to encourage his readers to live righteously. Yes, that includes living in good moral character. There is an underlying theme in the reason why he says this. He hints at it in chapter 2, verse 9; and says it outright a bit later in verses 12 & 13. It’s for the glorification of God and to make Him known to others
We do it because there are so many who have come before us, laying the foundations for us to live that way. They served us.
The liberty of Christian living is not asserting our own needs but meekly seeking to fulfill the needs of others. Peter continues to develop this pattern of encouragement to those who are married.
Likewise you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, so that if any do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, as they see the purity and reverence of your lives.1 Peter 3:1–2 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
It is easy to see how most will use this to admonish the wife to be submissive to her own husband. It’s there and that is the proper order.
Shame on the man who is disobedient to the Word of God!
In such a marriage, a wife is called to serve him any way that his heart may be turned.
I am so thankful to God that I have a wife who did this very thing. When we married she wasn’t a believer, and I didn’t live out my faith. She did convert and became a believer. It was at that time that I watched her. Her own reverence for God was the encouragement for me, time and again, to return to God. (She still does that. I marvel at her gift for building relationships.)
Do not let your adorning be the outward adorning of braiding the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine clothing.1 Peter 3:3 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Peter isn’t forbidding jewelry, a fine hair treatment, or fine clothing. He is attempting to show how not to use these as ways to win your man’s heart.
Again, Peter’s attention is toward the wives, this is also for us husbands. God is going to show you what is most important in the marriage relationship.
Nurture the Inner Beauty
But let it be the hidden nature of the heart, that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.1 Peter 3:4 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
The hidden incorruptible nature of the heart is where the Spirit is. These are the inner treasure from the Holy Spirit. From which flushes out with the fruit that Pail details.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law.Galatians 5:22–23 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Peter’s underlying theme is this idea of self-control. That is, not asserting self and your needs, but seeking to honor and fulfill the needs of others even if yours aren’t met.
For in this manner, in the old times, the holy women, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You are her children as long as you do right and are not afraid with any terror.1 Peter 3:5–6 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Peter is pointing to the Sarah who put up with the folly of Abraham. She did as he asked, even if it were wrong. In so doing, she was freed from the accountability of the wrong-doing as Abraham has the responsibility. He is the “lord” of the house.
A woman ought not to have to live with a man that she is afraid of. That isn’t submission, that’s terror. (If you are a woman and find yourself in such a situation, get out to safety, please!)
Sobering Words for Husbands
Likewise, you husbands, live considerately with your wives, giving honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they too are also heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.1 Peter 3:7 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Personally, I see this entire portion of Peter’s epistle as more of instruction to husbands and prospective husbands. Peter says to live considerately with your wife. Knowing that she isn’t as strong as you. You don’t get to bully, control, and/or degrade her into submission like Artaxerxes did with his wife Vashti. Your wife is a child of the Most High if she is saved. Even if not, she is someone else’s daughter and an image-bearer if God. Treat her with that honor. There’s a reason why.
Your Prayers Won’t be Hindered!
Good night nurse Nickel!
If you’re a married man, here is the secret to maintaining an effectual prayer life. Honor your wife!
She isn’t your trophy. She isn’t your possession. She isn’t your servant to be commanded. She isn’t someone to bully. She isn’t someone to degrade in front of others.
She is graciously loaned to you by your Heavenly Father as a helper. Us husbands need help because more often than not, we’re really boys. Serve her! Bless her!