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Let’s begin by reading 1 Peter 3:1-2, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

The Apostle Peter taught us in chapter 2 of this book, that we are to obey governmental authorities, and for servants to obey their masters.  We are all to be in subjection to our leaders, whether they are political leaders, or workplace leaders.  Chapter three begins with the word ‘Likewise’, so we see that Peter is continuing the same thought.  Here, it is for wives to be in subjection to their own husbands.  In most marriage ceremonies, the wife vows to submit herself to her husband as based on Ephesians 5:22 which says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”  Peter is reminding the wives here of their responsibility to be in subjection to their husbands.

If the husband is not a believer, without saying a word, the wife can have a great influence on him.  This does not condone a Christian woman marrying an unsaved man, but it teaches the woman who is married to an unsaved man, how to win him to Christ.  Peter points out that it might be this very act of subjection that could win an unbelieving husband to Christ.  The ‘conversation’ or the ‘behavior’ of the wife is so crucial.  The husband could be influenced “when they see the purity and reverence of your lives” as verse 2 is translated in the NIV.  The behavior of a Godly woman is so important.  It influences her husband, her children, her friends, and her community.  May we, as men, never underestimate or underappreciate the power and beauty of a Godly woman!

Now let’s continue by reading 1 Peter 3:3-4, which says, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”  Let’s not forget the context of this portion.  Peter is instructing the Godly woman how to be an influence on her husband.  While some have used these two verses to condemn women for braiding their hair or wearing jewelry, the lesson is much bigger than that.  Certainly a Christian woman should not be known for being gaudy or wearing outlandish and expensive clothes.  However, Peter is telling the wife the proper way to influence her husband for Christ.  Beautiful hair, jewelry, and expensive clothes will not win him to Christ.  It is the meek and quiet spirit that will have the potential to have an impact on him in a Godly way.  Outward adornment only ages and fades away.  The inner beauty of a humble and quiet spirit does not fade away.  Rather, it increases in beauty and value as time passes.  Having a ‘quiet spirit’ does not mean the woman is not to talk.  The meaning is to have a peaceful or humble spirit where the woman exhibits a calming influence for her husband.

If you are a believing wife whose husband is disobedient to the word of the Gospel, I’m sure that your desire is to have your husband come to Christ.  Peter gives inspired instruction for you here.  Be in subjection to your husband.  Of course, if your husband asks you to do something that is against the Word of God, then you must humbly refuse; even as Peter and the other apostles said in Acts 5:29, “…We ought to obey God rather than men.”  Besides being in subjection, live lives of purity and reverence to the Lord.  Don’t try to influence your husband by accenting your natural beauty; show him the inner beauty of a Christian life.  This is what will win him to Christ.  (116.1)