“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external-- the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”
(1 Peter 3:1-6 ESV)
In our last devotion, as we continued our walk through 1 Peter, we looked at a pretty unpopular subject: submission. This theme continues into the third chapter of this epistle. But this passage is unpopular not only because it again addresses submission. It also addresses it to wives.
Many women today, even Christian women, think of this as an old-fashioned attitude. They think of it as demeaning to women. And, for this reason, they try to dismiss this teaching and explain it away.
Yet, we see clearly in Scripture that God has set up an order for the home. And it in no way implies that women are inferior to men. It’s an order that reflects our position in Christ (see Ephesians 5:22-33).
However, in this passage, there’s another reason for the submission that’s commanded. Wives are to submit that their husbands might be encouraged in faith. Even if they don’t obey the Word, even if they aren’t believers, wives are called to submit that they might be won for the Lord, that they might be drawn to faith in Christ.
The simple truth is this: When a woman lives out her faith before her husband, it can make a great impression on him. It can make a greater impression on him than anyone else. It can do so because he sees her life like no one else.
When she is respectful toward him, and when he observes her pure conduct, it reveals the genuine nature of her faith. And not only is this true. When she is respectful to her husband, although he clearly doesn’t deserve it, she is manifesting the grace of God. She is expressing the grace of God which is lavished upon undeserving sinners.
Women put a great deal of effort into their appearance, desiring to appear beautiful. They adorn themselves with beautiful clothes and jewelry. They adorn themselves with lovely hairstyles and make-up. But Peter calls on them to adorn themselves in a different way. He calls on them to adorn themselves with internal qualities. He calls on them to adorn themselves with a quiet and gentle spirit.
We’ll address the men in our next devotion. However, may all of you ladies reflect Christ in your marriage. May your faith, and may the expression of your faith, draw your husband to the Lord rather than hinder him.