On to 1 Peter 3:1-6
A covenant (a binding agreement that contains promises) is precious to G-d. There are numerous kinds of covenants in the Bible – one of which is the marriage covenant. Each covenant carries terms and conditions or expectations.
v1: Wives [γυναῖκες (gynaikes)]: This is a generic word for ‘woman’. In the Biblical language there is no separate word for ‘wife’, so context tells us whether we are speaking about a woman in a general sense or a wife – in this case it is obvious that this should be understood as a wife here.
- Submissive: Submission is related to faith in G-d. We do not submit because someone deserves it, but because G-d commands us to.
- Some: Written in the masculine, therefore meaning their husbands.
- Some do not obey the Word: In this situation, the wife is a believer but the husband is spiritually disobedient.
- Conduct of their wives: Our behaviour is important. It matters. Wives can have a great, spiritual influence on their husbands through their behaviour.
v2: Observe: This is what the husbands are doing. They are watching the behaviour of their wives.
- Chaste: Pure. G-d, based upon His holiness and character, cannot bless anything that is defiled. Purity brings about G-d’s blessing. G-d brings about the change in other people, but the source (starting point) of this change, in this context, is her behaviour.
- Fear: The husband sees his wife demonstrating her fear of G-d. This means that she makes G-d the priority of her life. She is walking in obedience and recognizing G-d in everything that she does. Her husband notices this.
v3: Outward: Her influence is not from the external. The enemy wants us to think that we can effect change through the external. The external does not interest G-d. He is interested in what is going on internally – what is going on spiritually in her life.
- Arranging (Braiding) the hair: This does not mean that if we braid our hair we are in disobedience. The context is simply revealing to us that outward adornment can never be the source that brings about spiritual change. What we do to ourselves externally cannot solve an internal problem. If we want an internal change in our husbands, it is not going to be seen in our exterior but is going to be based upon a conduct that is pleasing to G-d – a conduct that is based upon submitting to G-d’s instructions.
v4: Heart: Whenever we see that concept of heart in the Bible, we should know that it involves proper and right thinking (Prov 23:7, Roms 1:23). Thinking properly is an outcome of knowing the truth of G-d.
- Incorruptible: This is another word that has a Kingdom connection. The woman who lives in this way is walking in Kingdom truth – she is not focused on this world but on what is going to be the spiritual condition of her family, her marital relationship, for eternity. Although we are not going to be married in the Kingdom our marriage on earth will still have an influence on our Kingdom experience. Wanting to be great in G-d’s Kingdom is not pride, it is humility. We want to be someone that G-d is well pleased with.
- Very precious: It satisfies greatly. When we walk in obedience, following the instruction of G-d, we are going to know satisfaction.
v5: Holy women: Could also be translated ‘holy wives’.
- Holy: The word ‘holy’ is related to purpose. These women followed the purposes of G-d, and He moved in their lives in a mighty way.
v6: Sarah: Peter gives us an example of a holy woman who submitted to her husband.
- Lord: Sarahrecognized G-d’s authority in her marital relationship. Abraham’s family was not perfect, it had its problems, yet it is considered a Kingdom family. When G-d speaks about the ‘Seed of Abraham’ He is speaking about a Kingdom heritage – which began with Abraham and Sarah.
- Not afraid (fearful): The word ‘fear’ in the Old Testament often relates to priority – putting G-d above all things, and having all things subjected to Him. But here in the Greek it is speaking about not being moved from (or allowing anyone to influence you to move away from) the instructions of G-d.
- With any terror: Not having any feelings of doubt or confusion i.e. Completely believing in G-d – when G-d instructs us to do something we need to be fully convinced and nothing must turn us away or sway us from His instruction. Why? Because G-dly people have discerned that G-d is trustworthy (He will never say something that is not the very best for us) – we are called to walk in trust.