to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
December 31, 2019 – Tuesday
1 Peter 3:1-7 NIV
1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own 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,
2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.
4 Rather, 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.
5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands,
6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Read through the seven verses above and ask yourself how you would summarize them in much fewer words. Think about how you would do so seriously for a minute, then compare your summary with the following: Wives are to submit in obedience to their husbands who are to respond with compassion and care as directed by God because they are joint [and equal] heirs of the Grace of Life. (Peter Pett)
In the verses above, the Apostle Peter was careful to point out wives are called to submit only to their own husbands, not to men in some broad wide-ranging sense.. The idea of male headship was and is God’s plan for both the home and the church as He commanded. There was no direction or command for society in general.
Peter brings the focus once again on the inner spirit or heart that God sees as having great value and beauty when it is of a gentle and quiet spirit. Guzik puts it this way: A woman can trust her own ability to influence and control her husband, or she can trust God and be submissive. A woman can trust her outward beauty and adornment, or she can trust God and cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit. It all comes back to trust in God; so she should be like the holy women who trusted in God. Who will she trust, where will she put her trust?
Addressing the fear, terror in some versions, in verse six Peter says it do not give way to fear. What fear or intimidation might that be? It is likely from the way of life before becoming a Christian which could include pagan temples for first century Gentiles where they once worshiped and engaged in activities they no longer even considered. Today there are no longer such pagan temples, but instead a constant cultural beat to follow pagan desires contrary to God’s word. Of course this is as true for the husbands as well as the wives.
Peter makes it clear husbands, Christian husbands, are to behave towards their wives in the same way by being obedient to God, behaving in a Godly manner, not responding to the cultural pull to follow pagan desires contrary to God’s word. And if they don’t do so? Then such choices will hinder their prayers. Pett adds These words demonstrate the premium that God puts on a good marriage. Not to be in harmony in every aspect of their married lives will hinder their prayers. It is a reminder that when we do anything displeasing to God it affects our ability to pray acceptably. We may not notice the difference, but God does.
We end the year with Peter’s instructions on how to live in a marriage in harmony. It would do us well to carry such instructions into the new year in our lives as we seek to honor God with our lives.
(to obey is better than sacrifice /obedience is better than sacrifice)
* To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)