Monday, February 8, 2010

1 Peter 3:1-7– Wives with a Mission

Lesson 11 -- Written by Marcia McCance
1. What it says:
1 ¶  Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,
2  when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.
3  Do not let your adornment be merely outward––arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel––
4  rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
5  For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,
6  as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
7  Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
2a.What these verses mean to me before doing the lesson:

2b. What it means:
1 ¶  Wives, likewise,
Peter begins to address the women who are “wives”… He is not speaking of a woman’s role as parent, or sister, or friend, he is speaking to the specific role of “wife.”  Notice that his second word is “likewise”.
What does “likewise” mean?
Who had Peter, previously, been addressing?
What had been said in the verse immediately before this one? (1 Peter 2:25)

So the message is that they were “ALL” (both the men and the women) going astray but had been brought back to the Shepherd and needed instruction in godly family relationships. Peter was attempting a “turn-around” in behavior for those who needed it.
be submissive
What does “submissive” mean?

to your own husbands,
Whose husband are they to submit to?
So, wives do not “submit” to just any man, but specifically to the one man who is their own husband.
that even if some do not obey the word,
If someone does not obey the word of Christ, is that person, then, called a Christian?
they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,
What do you think “without a word” means?
What is meant by “may be won?”
The primary “mission field” of the Christian wife is to her non-believing husband. She is to teach him about Christ, simply by her good conduct – without even having to speak a single word!  And, to her own believing husband, she is to be the constant unspoken reminder of the command that God has given us all: “be holy in all your conduct, even as I am holy.”
Jamieson, Fausset & Brown: "Unspoken acting is more powerful than unperformed speaking"
2  when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.
Without a word, and by her chaste conduct, accompanied by her fear of the Lord -- the husband, living closely with his wife, cannot help but to observe for himself, the changed life of his own wife – who is his example!!  The wife is a light to her husband.
Jamieson, Fausset & Brown: "The discreet wife would choose first of all to persuade her husband to share with her in the things which lead to blessedness; but if this be impossible, let her then alone diligently press after virtue, in all things obeying him so as to do nothing at any time against his will, except in such things as are essential to virtue and salvation" [CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA].
Then Peter goes on speaking to the believing wives  -- explaining specifically  what he means and describing how the unbelieving husband may be won over to the Lord:
3  Do not let your adornment be merely outward––arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel––
What are “adornments”
What do the words “merely outward” mean?
Peter is not saying that the ladies should never arrange their hair, nor wear gold jewelry,  nor put on nice clothing if they have it. He said do not let your beauty be merely on the outside. Do not let those physical things be your only adornment!
4  rather let it be the hidden person of the heart,
What does “rather” mean?
So instead of our adornment being outward, let our true adornment (the one we are most careful to put on) be the “hidden person of the heart” which is GODLY CHARACTER.  It is our behavior and our attitude that is a demonstration of our faith in Jesus.
with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
What is “incorruptible beauty?”
A “gentle and quiet spirit” is a work of the Holy Spirit. This behavior can only be accomplished by a Spirit-Filled woman who truly and faithfully believes in Jesus Christ as her own Savior. A woman who loves God with all her heart, soul, mind and strength and her neighbor as herself.  And what “neighbor” is closer than a husband?  Even an unbelieving one.
What does “gentle” mean?
What does “quiet” mean?”
What are the antonyms to “gentle” and “quiet”
Jamieson, Fausset & Brown: meek (gentle), not creating disturbances: quiet, bearing with tranquility the disturbances caused by others. Meek (gentle) in affections and feelings; quiet in words, countenance, and actions [BENGEL].
which is very precious in the sight of God.
What does “precious”  mean?
What other things did Peter say were precious to God  in the following verses:
1Pe 1:7
1Pe 1:19 
1Pe 2:4 
1Pe 2:6 
1Pe 2:7 
1Pe 3:4

5  For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,
What kind of women?
Who trusted in what?
What did they adorn themselves with?
Their submission to their own husbands and their gentle and quiet spirits were brought about by their trust in God.  Knowing that God loved them, they were able to respect and honor the husbands God gave them.
6  as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord,
Who did Sarah obey?                                                What did she call him?
What does the term “lord” with a lowercase “L” mean?
whose daughters you are if you do good
What makes us a daughter of Sarah?

and are not afraid with any terror.
Matthew Henry Commentary: The apostle directs Christian females to put on something not corruptible, that beautifies the soul, even the graces of God’s Holy Spirit. A true Christian’s chief care lies in right ordering his own spirit. This will do more to fix the affections, and excite the esteem of a husband, than studied ornaments or fashionable apparel, attended by a froward and quarrelsome temper. Christians ought to do their duty to one another, from a willing mind, and in obedience to the command of God. Wives should be subject to their husbands, not from dread and amazement, but from desire to do well, and please God.
7  Husbands, likewise,
Now Peter addresses the “husband” role of the men. What does “likewise” mean?
Peter gives them a similar admonition to serve God by being godly husbands. He wants them to use their gifts to serve God.
dwell with them with understanding,
What does it mean to be understanding of someone else?
One of the synonyms for “understanding” is “discernment” – which is a gift of the Spirit.  A husband who is understanding of his wife, can only do so by a work of the Holy Spirit.  Just like a wife’s submission, a husband’s understanding comes from their individual relationships with God. This is another example of why it is so important to put God FIRST. All of our other relationships depend directly on our relationship with Jesus.
giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel,
What is “honor”?
Strong’s concordance note: "Vessel" was a common Greek metaphor for "body" since Greeks thought of souls living temporarily in bodies.
Men have stronger bodies than women, but God does not want a man to use his gift of physical strength against women or to overpower anyone who is weaker than he – especially not his wife. It is a gift to be used in service – a godly purpose. A godly man will be understanding and honorable towards all women – but most especially to his wife. Because he has the stronger body he will do what he can to assist his wife in physical things which are troublesome for her to accomplish on her own. He uses his gift of physical strength for his family and others because he trusts and loves the Lord and desires to honor Jesus.
Albert Barnes Commentary: Giving honour unto the wife. It was an important advance made in society when the Christian religion gave such a direction as this, for everywhere among the heathen, and under all false systems of religion, woman has been regarded as worthy of little honor or respect. She has been considered as a slave, or as a mere instrument to gratify the passions of man. It is one of the elementary doctrines of Christianity, however, that woman is to be treated with respect; and one of the first and most marked effects of (Christian) religion on society is to elevate the wife to a condition in which she will be worthy of esteem.
Peter was talking to new believers. He was talking about their freedom in Christ. Before Christ, women did not carry a position of esteem in the culture. He is directing both the husband and the wife in the new teachings of Jesus – that gentle man who died on the cross for their freedom.  This was a new way of life for both the wives and the husbands.
 and as being heirs together of the grace of life,
Peter was teaching the husbands that their wives were their partners in Christ (which is where we get “the grace of life.”) The husbands were taught that, to God who created and loved them both, their wives were of equal value to themselves.
that your prayers may not be hindered.
What does “hindered’ mean?
This is astounding to me. If the Christian husband did not honor his wife, or did not seek the Lord for understanding of his wife, or used his greater physical strength to overpower, instead of uphold her, the answers to his prayers would be very slow in coming!
Matthew Henry Commentary: The husband’s duty to the wife implies giving due respect unto her, and maintaining her authority, protecting her, and placing trust in her. They are heirs together of all the blessings of this life and that which is to come, and should live peaceably one with another.
3. What it means to me:
(Believe, Trust, Conform)   Use this space for your personal thoughts.

­Read again: 1 Peter 3:1-7, at the top of this study – and in another translation.
Definitions and Synonyms:
1.      Adornment – decoration, embellishment, ornamentation, beautification, prettification, gilding, trimming, frill, enhancement
2.      Assertive – self-confident, self-assured, confident, firm, forceful, forward, pushy, aggressive: Antonym: timid
3.      Beauty – loveliness, attractiveness, exquisiteness, advantage, benefit, asset (Antonym: drawback, disadvantage)
4.      Discreet – tactful, circumspect, cautious, careful, diplomatic, judicious, prudent, subtle, tasteful, unobtrusive, understated, restrained (Antonym: tactless, obvious)
5.      Froward -- perversity, perverse thing, wicked, bad, mean, vicious, stubborn, obstinate, headstrong, willful, contrary, disobedient, rebellious, unreasonable, difficult (Antonym: obliging)
6.      Gentle – mild, meek, calm, kind, tender, moderate, soft, light, soothing, mellow, restful, peaceful (Antonym: harsh)
7.      Hindered – delayed, stalled, slowed down, held up, mired, stuck,
8.      Honor – respect, admiration, credit, reputation, tribute, privilege, distinction, revere, venerate, keep (Antonym: dishonor, insult, baseness)
 9.      Incorruptible – morally upright, principled, not to be bought, not open to bribery, honorable, honest  (Antonym: corrupt)
10.  Likewise -- equally, in the same way
11.  Lord – 2962 kuriov kurios koo’-ree-os -- 1) he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord  -- 1a) the possessor and disposer of a thing  -- 1a1) the owner; one who has control of the person, the master  -- 1b) is a title of honor expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master  -- 1c) this title is given to: God, the Messiah
12.  Merely – just, only, simply, purely
13.  Outward – external, superficial, outer, apparent, obvious, noticeable
14.  Precious – cherished, valuable, beloved, worthwhile, important, treasured, costly, prized, expensive, dear,
15.  Quiet – calm, settled, hushed, soft, gentle, silent, tranquil, soothing, peaceful, uninterrupted, undisturbed, serene, subtle, subdued, muted, understated, restrained, unobtrusive (Antonym: loud)
16.  Rather – instead, more exactly, more accurately, to be more precise, more willingly, sooner, more readily, preferably
17.  Submissive – obedient, passive, compliant, acquiescent, subservient, docile, meek, dutiful; Antonym: assertive
18.  Understanding – sympathetic, considerate, thoughtful, kind, accepting, indulgent, perceptive, appreciative, supportive, tolerant, comprehension, insight, awareness, grasp, discernment, perception, consideration, kindness, compassion,
19.  Won -- to gain any one, i.e.: to win him over to the kingdom of God, to gain one to faith in Christ

No comments:

Post a Comment