Submission in Marriage
Verse 1 – Likewise you wives, 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,
Verse 2 – when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.
Under Roman law, the husband and father had absolute authority over all members of his household including his wife. (These verses are not talking about a Christian woman marrying an unbeliever. It is talking about the wife being converted after marriage.)
Peter is reassuring Christian wives who were married to an unbelieving husband, that they did not need to preach to their husbands. He was simply saying that if they were kind, loving, and submissive to them, then they might win them over.
Verse 3 – Do not let your beauty be that outward adorning of arranging the hair of wearing gold, or of putting on fine apparel;
Peter is not saying that the wife should neglect her appearance by looking like, “Plain Jane.” It’s all about the heart and attitude when the wife dresses. Don’t be “Show offy!”
Verse 4 – but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
Verse 5 – For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,
Verse 6 – as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
By these verses, we see it is not about the jewelry, it’s about a humble heart. And verse 6, is talking about : Don’t come out of the Christian character, even if the husband is mean and causes terror. Handle in a way that is becoming to a Christian wife. However, don’t ever stay in an abusive relationship.
Verse 7 – Likewise you husbands, 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.
Husbands, did you catch that ? Be good to your wife, or your prayers will go no further than the ceiling!
Verse 8 – Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender-hearted, be courteous;
Verse 9 – not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
Verse 10 – For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile;
Verse 11 – Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”
When Peter says, “All of you,” he is still talking to the married couple, but we all can take this to heart.
Verse 12 – For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
God protects the righteous. He does it by saving them from those vices by which the lives of so many are shortened. He hears every prayer of His children.
When verse 12 says, “But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, it’s talking about the lost, the unbeliever. The first prayer God will hear from them, is the prayer of repentance and belief in His Son Jesus.
Verse 13 – And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
The idea is, that God would in general protect them, through the next verse shows some will suffer for righteousness sake.
Verse 14 – But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
Verse 15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
Verse 16 – having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
As Christians, we are to live in such a way that when accusations from the enemy come, that our conscience is clear of any wrong doing.
Verse 17 – For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
You will be comforted by the Lord when doing the Father’s will and you are persecuted!
Verse 18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by Spirit,
Verse 19 – by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,
Verse 20 – who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
Peter is showing us of the patience of God through longsuffering for souls to come to Him. It took Noah 120 years to build that ark, and all the while preaching to whom would listen. However, only eight were saved when God shut the door to the ark. How long did God wait on you before you turned to Him?
Verse 21 – There is also an anti-type which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Verse 22 – who has gone to heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
Peter says that Noah’s salvation through water symbolized baptism. Baptism is the symbol of the transformation that happens in the heart of death (to the old life), burial (death to sin), and resurrection (raised to a new life), in Christ Jesus.