In the joyful reciprocity within Christian marriage, the beauty and power of the gospel is made manifest to the world.
Scripture: 1 Peter 3:1-7
- As God’s holy people, we are to find our joy in giving and receiving generously and in mutual reciprocity.
- Submission requires that we honour the authorities God has established. But it is God who establishes good and evil, so we are not required to submit to ungodly commands.
- God’s salvation frees men and women from slavery to sin to become servants of God.
- Service and submission to God is an expression of true freedom. If we see service to God as slavery, then we are slaves to sin.
- We have a crisis in masculinity and femininity today: men are increasingly irresponsible as women seek independence.
- Christian marriage is a liberating force in history, delivering women from arbitrary servitude and inferior treatment.
- In the Godhead, all three persons of the Trinity are equal in divine being, and yet there is an economy of function: the Son submits to the Father, the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
- The being of God is a pattern for His created order, and it is reflected in the order of marriage.
- Scripturally, men and women are equal in their beings, and yet God has ordained a functional hierarchy.
- The good conduct of a godly wife can be a powerful converting influence upon an unbelieving husband.
- Wives are to be submissive to their own husbands, as to the Lord, but, since the Fall, wives have tried to control their husbands and husbands have been harsh.
- Our relationship within marriage should reflect non-threatening ministering service.
- We need to get our eyes off ourselves and onto Christ, so that concern for our own needs and importance may be replaced by service to others.
- True beauty is the beauty of holiness, manifest in a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3.4; cf. Col. 3:18-25). Like Sarah, women are to be strong but submissive to God’s functional order.
- Peter does not forbid feminine beauty or outward adornment per se, but teaches that 1) the inner condition of the heart should be the source of a woman’s attractiveness (cf. Pr. 31:30) and 2) women should avoid ostentatious and immodest displays.
- Marriage is a privilege, not a burden. Men ought to commit to marriage and avoid undue delay.
- Men are to provide for and protect their wives (Eph. 5:22-30). Serving his wife is central to a husband’s calling.
- In the reciprocity of our marriages, the beauty and power of the gospel is made manifest to the world.
- Describe the mutual reciprocity within the Trinity.
- What are God’s purposes for the functional order He has ordained within marriage and the family?
- What are practical ways men can sacrifice their lives for their wives as Christ did for the church (Eph. 5:25)?
- How can women demonstrate a gentle and submissive spirit that adorns the gospel?
- Where in our lives do we need to shift from self-service to serving others?
- What should be the primary source of feminine attractiveness?
- What is the impact of Christian marriage upon the world?