Within a healthy Christian marriage, as we explain elsewhere in this book, there will be large elements of mutual consultation and seeking of wisdom, and most decisions will come by consensus between husband and wife.
Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women
For a wife to be submissive to her husband will probably not often involve obeying actual commands or directives 12 though it will sometimes include this , for a husband may rather give requests and seek advice and discussion about the course of action to be followed cf. Luke , 37; ; 1 Corinthians ; James Here the word might mean a similar to the example of Christ , or b similar to the way in which servants are to be submissive Danker, p.
The second option is best here. The form of expression is exactly the same in the Greek text, with the unusual use of a participle to express a command in both cases. The point of comparison with Christ would be imitation of His patient endurance of suffering, but that is not what Peter commands in this sentence. Peter illustrates what he means by submission by referring to the lives of holy women who hoped in God. Galatians , even though there had been many times in which following Abraham had meant trusting God in uncertain, unpleasant, and even dangerous situations Genesis , 5, ; ; [cf.
Genesis , 6; ; perhaps ; it is her submission to her husband and her trust in God that Peter commends. A woman with a gentle and quiet spirit who continues hoping in God will not be terrified by circumstances or by an unbelieving or disobedient husband cf.
Genesis Peter holds out one reward that wives are ordinarily to expect from this submission to their husbands: the unbelieving husband may be won to Christ.
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Note the use of this same word apeitheo in Acts ; ; Romans ; ; , 31; ; Hebrews ; 1 Peter ; These unbelieving husbands can be won without a word—that is, not by continually preaching or talking about the gospel, but rather simply by the behavior of their 20 wives, their Christian pattern of life. He uses it to refer to the evil pattern of life of unbelievers 1 Peter ; 2 Peter and the good pattern of life of believers that is intended to lead to the salvation of others who observe it. Another reward is to be daughters of Sarah verse 6. As explained above, this certainly means being a member of the people of God, an heir of all the blessings of salvation.
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Finally, the greatest reward will be the combined joy of honoring God and receiving His favor. God will look on this behavior, which springs from a heart of faith, and will delight in this daughter of Sarah and show her His favor. A similar objection would be made by those who say that this command was only a missionary strategy for that culture, to make the gospel inoffensive to non-Christians, but that it is not universally binding today.
However, this position is unpersuasive because Peter would not encourage a morally objectionable behavior pattern whether in the culture or in the husband himself to continue in order to bring someone to faith. And this pure behavior verse 2 , Peter says, especially involves wives being subject to their own husbands.
The unbelieving husband sees this behavior and deep within perceives the beauty of it. Within his heart there is a witness that this is right, this is how God intended men and women to relate as husband and wife. He concludes, therefore, that the gospel that his wife believes must be true as well. The point is that Sarah gave respectful obedience to Abraham even in the words she used to refer to him, and so should Christian wives today be respectful whatever words may be used from culture to culture to signify that respect.
Another way that people sometimes have tried to avoid the permanence of these commands is to look at the commands about hair and jewelry and say that those are no longer binding today. This view reasons: a these commands are for that culture only, and cannot apply today; b therefore the other command in this paragraph, that a wife should be subject to her husband, does not apply today either. But this view is certainly incorrect, because it misunderstands Peter. The point is that Christian wives should depend for their own attractiveness not on outward things like braiding their hair, decorations of gold, and wearing fine clothing, but on inward qualities of life, especially a gentle and quiet spirit verse 4.
In fact, we should rather note that Peter in this very text is opposing dominant ideas in that culture. When he rejects the use of hairstyle, jewelry, or clothing as a means of winning the unbelieving husband, Peter writes counterculturally. Peter is functioning from the center of the Christian faith here; he is not merely adapting to culture. This beauty also ought to be seen and felt by the Christian wife herself , for it is not accompanied by fear verse 6 , but by reverence, purity verse 2 , moral uprightness verse 6 , quietness of spirit verse 4 , and hope in God verse 5.
This would certainly include physical strength most men, if they tried, could overpower their wives physically. But the context also shows that women are weaker in terms of authority in the marriage verses 1, 5, 6 , and Peter therefore tells husbands that, instead of misusing their authority for selfish ends, they should use it to treat their wives with respect.
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While this is something that is also a great strength, it nonetheless means that wives are often more likely to be hurt deeply by conflict within a marriage or by inconsiderate behavior. Although Peter tells husbands to act in a thoughtful and understanding way toward their wives, he never tells husbands to submit to their wives or suggests that roles in marriage are interchangeable.
Considerate leadership is how the husband exercises leadership in the family; it does not contradict his headship. Here as elsewhere the New Testament authors couple their treatment of differences in roles of husband and wife with an implicit or explicit affirmation of their equality in status and importance cf.
To do so would be to abdicate the leadership God has given the husband and would be the opposite of the righteous leadership God requires him to exercise. In actual practice, it will often take much prayer and knowledge of Scripture for a husband to be able to tell the difference between a morally wrong choice being urged on him by his wife and a morally right choice that just differs from his personal preference or judgment of how things should be done. Husbands cannot rightly opt out of family leadership and become passive non-participants in decisions and activities.
Neither can they rightly make the opposite mistake and exercise harsh, selfish, domineering authority in their families. They are rather to live considerately and bestow honor. Yet in doing this they cannot escape the responsibility to lead that is implicit in the command for their wives to submit to them. God is often pleased to honor those who are weaker or less honored in the eyes of the world cf.
Matthew ; 1 Corinthians ; ; James ; ; 1 Peter So concerned is God that Christian husbands live in an understanding and loving way with their wives that He interrupts His relationship with them when they do not do so! No Christian husband should presume to think that any spiritual good will be accomplished by his life without an effective ministry of prayer.
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Only if we understand Galatians to be talking about spiritual benefits and blessings of salvation, not about all created sexual differences and God-ordained differences in roles. This entire article provides an exegetically-based perspective on submission as seen through the eyes of a wife who delights in her calling. In fact, Christ's first recorded, explicit disclosure of His own identity as the true Messiah was made to a Samaritan woman John He always treated women with the utmost dignity—even women who might otherwise be regarded as outcasts Matthew ; Luke ; John He blessed their children Luke , raised their dead Luke , forgave their sin Luke , and restored their virtue and honor John Thus He exalted the position of womanhood itself.
It is no surprise therefore that women became prominent in the ministry of the early church Acts ; 1 Corinthians On the day of Pentecost, when the New Testament church was born, women were there with the chief disciples, praying Acts Some were renowned for their good deeds Acts ; others for their hospitality Acts ; ; still others for their understanding of sound doctrine and their spiritual giftedness Acts ; John's second epistle was addressed to a prominent woman in one of the churches under his oversight.
Even the apostle Paul, sometimes falsely caricatured by critics of Scripture as a male chauvinist, regularly ministered alongside women Philippians He recognized and applauded their faithfulness and their giftedness Romans ; 2 Timothy Naturally, as Christianity began to influence Western society, the status of women was dramatically improved. One of the early church fathers, Tertullian, wrote a work titled On the Apparel of Women , sometime near the end of the second century.
He said pagan women who wore elaborate hair ornaments, immodest clothing, and body decorations had actually been forced by society and fashion to abandon the superior splendor of true femininity. He noted by way of contrast that as the church had grown and the gospel had borne fruit, one of the visible results was the rise of a trend toward modesty in women's dress and a corresponding elevation of the status of women. He acknowledged that pagan men commonly complained, "Ever since she became a Christian, she walks in poorer garb! Clothed "with the silk of uprightness, the fine linen of holiness, the purple of modesty," they elevated feminine virtue to an unprecedented height.
Even the pagans recognized that. Chrysostom, perhaps the most eloquent preacher of the fourth century, recorded that one of his teachers, a pagan philosopher named Libanius, once said: "Heavens! What women you Christians have! As the influence of Christianity was felt more and more, women were less and less vilified or mistreated as objects for the amusement of men. Instead, women began to be honored for their virtue and faith. In fact, Christian women converted out of pagan society were automatically freed from a host of demeaning practices.
Emancipated from the public debauchery of temples and theaters where women were systematically dishonored and devalued , they rose to prominence in home and church, where they were honored and admired for feminine virtues like hospitality, ministry to the sick, the care and nurture of their own families, and the loving labor of their hands Acts That's always been the trend. Wherever the gospel has spread, the social, legal, and spiritual status of women has, as a rule, been elevated. When the gospel has been eclipsed whether by repression, false religion, secularism, humanistic philosophy, or spiritual decay within the church , the status of women has declined accordingly.
Even when secular movements have arisen claiming to be concerned with women's rights, their efforts have generally been detrimental to the status of women. The feminist movement of our generation, for example, is a case in point. Feminism has devalued and defamed femininity. Natural gender distinctions are usually downplayed, dismissed, despised, or denied.
As a result, women are now being sent into combat situations, subjected to grueling physical labor once reserved for men, exposed to all kinds of indignities in the workplace, and otherwise encouraged to act and talk like men. Meanwhile, modern feminists heap scorn on women who want family and household to be their first priorities; in so doing they disparage the role of motherhood, the one calling that is most uniquely and exclusively feminine.
The whole message of feminist egalitarianism is that there is really nothing extraordinary about women. That is certainly not the message of Scripture.
“Our History is Our Strength!”
Scripture honors women as women, and it encourages them to seek honor in a uniquely feminine way Proverbs Scripture never discounts the female intellect, downplays the talents and abilities of women, or discourages the right use of women's spiritual gifts. But whenever the Bible expressly talks about the marks of an excellent woman, the stress is always on feminine virtue. The most significant women in Scripture were influential not because of their careers, but because of their character. The message these women collectively give is not about "gender equality"; it's about true feminine excellence.
And that is always exemplified in moral and spiritual qualities rather than by social standing, wealth, or physical appearance.
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And that's setting the record straight. Far from denigrating women, the Bible promotes feminine freedom, dignity, and honor.
Scripture paints for every culture the portrait of a truly beautiful woman. True feminine beauty is not about external adornment, "arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel"; real beauty is manifest instead in "the hidden person of the heart Adapted from Twelve Extraordinary Women. Help Grace to You bring important resources like this to people in your community and beyond, free of charge. He is awestruck when he encounters Dierdre, the strongest girl he has ever meet.
The time she has a chance to make a stand against Pandesia, and as she bravely faces off, she who wonders if her father and his men will have her back this time. He is awestruck when he encounters Dierdre, the strongest girl he has ever met. This time she has a chance to make a stand against Pandesia, and as she bravely faces off, she wonders if her father and his men will have her back this time. Vesuvius leads his Troll nation across a vulnerable Escalon, devastating the land, while Theos, enraged at what becomes of his son, is on a rampage himself, and will not stop until all of Escalon is aflame.
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