Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Current Study: First Peter
Today’s Topic: Submission in Marriage
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:1-4 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands, so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
One of my favorite television shows when I was a kid was Lost In Space. The show was a space-age adaptation of the novel Swiss Family Robinson. It was about a family that was – you guessed it – lost in space. They had crashed on another planet that could sustain their lives, and no one knew where they were. The weekly adventures included contact with aliens and monsters of all types, as they fought for survival.
One of the characters was a robot with no name. He was the constant companion of Will, the son of the captain. One recurring line from the robot keeps playing through my mind this morning. Whenever the robot sensed something was wrong, Red lights would go off on his head and he would begin to flail his arms wildly and yell, “Danger, Danger!” As we begin the next chapter of our study in First Peter, I think the robot is yelling.
Submission is a dangerous subject. When taught in the context of beauty it becomes even scarier. So before we attempt to tackle it, I’m going to lay a necessary foundation for it, and then let you think about it until tomorrow so our hearts are prepared to hear God’s truth.
Peter uses four extremely important words to introduce this subject of submission. He says, “in the same way.” In what way? As we look back into chapter two we discover that he has been teaching submission for a while already. He has told all Christians to submit to the governmental authority under which they live. Then he told Christian employees to submit to their employers. Within both of those directives, he gives us some principles for how to be submissive. Here’s a quick review that is to become the foundation for his next teaching about submission within the context of marriage.
- Live as aliens and strangers to the world – 1 Peter 2:11
- Become famous for your good deeds and bring glory to God – 2:12
- Seek to be commended by others for doing good – 2:15
- Don’t use your freedom or rights to cover up for sin – 2:16
- Be a servant to others – 2:16
- Respect others – 2:17
- Love others – 2:17
- Honor authority – 2:17
- Be willing to suffer unjustly – 2:19
- Follow Christ’s example of suffering for a righteous cause – 2:21
- Never retaliate for insults – 2:23
- Never make threats – 2:23
- Trust God’s judgment and justice – 2:23
If we are going to understand Peter’s admonition to wives to submit to their husbands, we must understand these principles he has already taught, because he says to submit “in the same way.” So, what we all need to do today is take some time to review the list of submission principles above, and make sure we embrace them as God’s truth for our lives. Then tomorrow we will be able to make the application of those principles to our marriages.