Time after time Peter calls Christians to live a counter-cultural lifestyle. The most countercultural example we have ever seen is Jesus Christ.
Peter shows us how Jesus—in the most excruciating situation possible—lived. Heading into the torture of crucifixion…
- He was submissive to His Father’s will
- He remained focused on the future glory, not just the immediate pain
- He continued to be a servant-hearted leader
- He spoke to those around Him respectfully
- He extended mercy to His tormentors
- He prayed for (and purchased with His blood) His tormentors’ forgiveness
Peter then tells Christian wives and husbands they are to behave in the same way as Jesus. Wow!
More specifically Peter challenges Christlike wives to be:
- Submissive to their husbands—I like how the Amplified Bible says this in verse 1: “subordinate, not as inferior, but out of respect for the responsibilities entrusted to husbands and their accountability to God, and so partnering with them.”
- Christlike in their behavior.
- Distinctive by their purity.
- Reverent to God, by honoring the image of God in their husbands.
- Beautiful from the inside out.
- Consistently doing what is right
- Not swayed by fear—“do what is right without being frightened by any fear [that is, being respectful toward your husband but not giving in to intimidation, nor allowing yourself to be led into sin, nor to be harmed]” (v. 6 AMP).
Likewise Peter challenges Christlike husbands to be:
- Submissive to their wives—remember the in the same way phrase? That applies to the men too. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. … Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:21, 24).
- Considerate of her—the King James Version says, “dwell with them according to knowledge.” That word for knowledge means to study your wife and know what she likes and doesn’t like.
- Respectful in the way he treats his wife.
- Treating her as a partner and heir in your spiritual heritage.
- Understanding the part she plays in your spiritual development—“The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run a ground” (v. 7 MSG).
Here are two questions I think Christian wives and husbands need to seriously consider: Are you thinking about your role as a husband or wife in biblical terms or cultural terms? If you are thinking in cultural terms, are you willing to try it God’s way?
Our Christian marriages should be “alien” to the way the world operates; they should be counter-cultural. That kind of marriage is what points people to a relationship with Jesus!