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|Posted on September 26, 2016 at 1:10 PM||comments (0)|
Session 5 – 1 Peter 3:7 – Living in a Relationship – Day 3 - HUSBANDS
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
By each submitting to God and trusting Him, the husband and wife submit to each other and can work as a harmonious, cohesive unit. So the husband is obedient to God in the same way that the wife is.
In what way does the wife have a weaker nature than the husband? She is weaker only in her physical strength. She is in no way inferior to the man spiritually. Paul addressed the equality among all who are in God’s family.
Galatians 3:28 (HCSB) There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Paul takes us back to the idea of the husband and wife functioning as a unit. As the church, we are all supposed to work together for the common goals of our Heavenly Father. The husband is to protect and provide for his wife as the “weaker vessel” but is to respect her as a co-heir in Christ. When a husband and wife respect each other and each is in submission to God, their harmonious home is a testimony of God’s grace.
Marriage is supposed to be a reflection of the relationship of Jesus with His bride, the church. How did Jesus demonstrate His love and provision for His bride? Jesus gave His life by dying on the cross to redeem His bride from the grip of sin and death. So, the husband should be self-sacrificing when it comes to providing for his wife. (See Ephesians 5:23-26)
Why would the husband’s prayers be hindered if he does not follow God’s instructions as leader of the home and provider/protector of his wife? As a Christian man, he has made a covenant with God and a covenant with his wife in the name of God. The covenant relationship is God’s blueprint for successful living. Is it only a problem in the husband and wife relationship that can cause prayers to be hindered or does this apply to other relationships as well? No, rifts in any of our relationships can cause a feeling of distance between us and the Lord. The restoration of relationships takes priority even above giving a gift to God:
Matthew 5:23-24 (HCSB) So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Our relationships with other Christians matter to God and can only be what they should as each believer submits to God’s authority. When we are not living in harmony with other Christians, we are not in complete harmony with the Lord.
Challenge to Married Men: Take time to let your wife know that you love and appreciate her. Set aside time to just be present, completely present, with her – i.e. no texting others, no computer games, no TV – just you, the love of your life, and no distractions. Hire a babysitter – it’s worth it.
Suggestion: Begin your date night with a prayer asking the Lord to help you both submit to Him and each other. Ask Him to give you both understanding of each other and help you each grow closer to Him. I (Susie) love the illustration of the ladder. Imagine a ladder that opens up so a person can climb up each side. If both people are climbing, they get closer to each other. If one starts going down or even just stops while the other continues to climb, they are getting farther apart. God is at the top of the ladder. As you each become closer to Him, you will become closer to each other. Of course, God sees in us the righteousness of Christ right now, but we are also maturing, being sanctified daily. Work on growing together!
|Posted on September 24, 2016 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
Session 5 – 1 Peter 3:5-6 – Living in a Relationship – Day 2
1 Peter 3:5 For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming.
For a Christian woman, what is most important “beauty secret?” She must beautify herself by submitting to God first and foremost. If she is married, she must submit to her husband as well as long as following him does not lead her away from obedience to God. So would you say that her inward character is more important than her complexion, hair-do, and clothing? Without a doubt! Christ-like character is her primary adornment. Everything else is periphery to her inward beauty. As our grandmothers tried to teach us, “Pretty is as pretty does.”
Do those women who are married really need to address their husband as “lord” as Sarah did? In their culture, that was a respectful way to address her husband. She was preferring her husband and honoring him as the treasure that God had given to protect and build her up, enabling her to achieve God’s purpose for her life. Abraham was not always stellar at guarding Sarah as he should such as when he told her to say she was his sister and she almost ended up as part of Pharaoh’s harem! (Genesis 12:10-20), but God protected her as she obeyed him. So, I take away from this that wives should not speak harshly or put their husbands down, but should treat them the way they would want to be treated – with respect. (Golden Rule – Matthew 7:12) This in no way means that the wife is the husband’s doormat. Marriage is based on mutual respect and submitting to each other.
Ephesians 5:21 (ESV) submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Also, if obeying her husband would cause a woman to disobey God, she must choose God over her husband just as the apostles chose God over the rulers of their time.
Acts 5:29 (ESV) But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
Could the wife face intimidation or mistreatment if she chose to obey God rather than her husband? She certain could, especially if her husband is not a believer. It would be extremely hard to follow through with a Christian example of submission and respect with a non-believing spouse because you might want to cut and run. But for the potential salvation of his soul by Jesus, a woman would persevere. In the case of potential physical harm to the wife or the children, she would need to leave and seek safety. This must be why Peter (by the Holy Spirit) tells the woman to do good and not be alarmed. These situations are exactly why we must be careful in choosing a mate not to marry a non-believer. The women in Peter’s day generally had no choice as marriages were arranged. Or sometimes one marries before becoming a Christian and finds themselves in a difficult situation. But as Peter has stated, the wife’s changed life is a testimony to the husband (or vice versa). Husbands – Peter will deal with you tomorrow!
Challenge to Married Women: This week try really hard not to talk back, roll your eyes, or in any other way show disrespect to you husband EVEN IF he does not return the positive attitude. Instead pray for him and encourage him in his walk with the Lord. You might need to pray every morning for the Lord to help you hold your temper and your tongue.
|Posted on September 24, 2016 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
Session 5 – 1 Peter 3:1-4 – Living in a Relationship – Day 1
1 Peter 3:1 (HCSB) In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live 2 when they observe your pure, reverent lives.
By starting this section with “in the same way,” is Peter saying that wives are slaves to their husbands? No, as we read on and as we look at cross references, we will see that wives are a treasured gift from God to their husbands. They are to be respected and loved even as Christ loved the church. Hint: Christ died for the church! So husbands are to love their wives sacrificially. Also, Paul taught in Ephesians that Christian spouses are to submit to one another:
Ephesians 5:21 (HCSB) submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.
Are women somehow inferior to men? No, we are not inferior or some kind of sub-class of humanity. According to the Lord through the Apostle Paul, we are equal:
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Why, then, should a woman submit to her husband? In submitting, women honor the Lord; and, therefore, fall under His protection as we respect His pattern for the family. Organizations must have a leader. In an army the enlisted man obeys the officers even though the enlisted man may be more experienced. As the husband and wife submit first to the Lord, and then to each other, there may still be times when an agreement about a decision cannot be reached. At that point, the wife is to defer to the husband; and the husband is accountable to God for his choices. The wife has obeyed the Lord by submitting to her husband, so the accountability rests on the husband. HOWEVER, this does not give her the right to say, “I told you so,” if things go awry!
What does the wife do if her husband is NOT a Christian and is not living according to God’s commands? She lives as if she is in front of the audience of One to bring God pleasure, and the overflow of this obedience will be an irresistible light of the Gospel to the husband. Rather than arguing about Christianity or using all kinds of persuasion with him, the wife should quietly live like a believer in front of him. And of course, she should constantly be praying for his salvation!
1 Peter 3:3 Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes.
Does this mean I cannot wear jewelry or dress up for a fancy occasion? No, it means don’t let yourself think that your clothes can elevate you higher than your character can. Your clothes will not take you where your character cannot keep you. I think the message here is to avoid excess, to avoid focusing so much on the outward appearance that your inward person is neglected. Clothing, jewelry, makeup, and hairstyles can reflect positively or negatively about a woman’s moral character. We must dress in a way that is honoring to our Father, glorifying to God rather than ourselves.
1 Peter 3:4 Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.
The motivation, the heartbeat of the woman, the intricacies of her spirit are of immeasurable worth to God. I get that the focus should be on my inward qualities, but does quiet mean I have to be silent? I’m a bit loud at times. No, not silent, but it does mean that you need to be still before God before you speak. When you speak be aware of your tone and where you speak. Do not speak to your husband about a disputed issue in front of friends or extended family or even your children. Address these things privately and gently, in love rather than judgement and condemnation. I think this is true in any of our close relationships whether it be a spouse, a close friend, or a roommate.
Challenge: Wives – this week try to be submissive to your husbands. Focus on living out your salvation in front of him and ministering to him. Husbands – remember that in submission to the Lord, you are to love your wife sacrificially. Try this week to live that out in your home. Couples – maybe even journal or jot down how this experiment in doing things God’s way works this week.