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God's Plan For Marriage

Daily Devotional 1 Peter 3: 1-7

The National Marriage Project found several secrets to a successful marriage. Researchers discovered that husbands and wives who practice caring for and forgiving one another had higher levels of marital satisfaction (not too surprising!). In addition, these couples experienced more stability, less conflict, and even more sexual fulfillment.

The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 PETER 3:4

In today’s reading, Peter describes how Christian husbands and wives should treat one another. He begins with wives and the purpose of submission (vv. 1–6; Eph. 5:22–24). As with citizens submitting to an unjust emperor, or slaves submitting to harsh masters, Peter had in mind a difficult scenario—believing wives submitting to unbelieving husbands. We should note this is not unconditional, for example, in cases of abuse. We should also note that this does not apply to unmarried couples, since Christians should not be unequally yoked (2 Cor. 6:14). Peter was addressing couples who were already married when the wife converted to Christianity.

The purpose of submission, as we’ve already seen, is witness. The goal is to attract the unbelieving husband to faith in Christ (v. 1), a radical goal. It was unheard of in those days for a wife to follow a different religion from her husband. To hope to win him over was bold indeed! How could she do that? Through purity, reverence, and inner beauty (vv. 2–4). She should follow the example of Sarah and other “holy women of the past” whose submission to their husbands was part of their faith, as opposed to fear (vv. 5–6).

Peter does not forget husbands. They are commanded to treat their wives with consideration and respect (v. 7; Eph. 5:25–33). Husbands and their wives are both heirs of salvation and equal in God’s love (Gal. 3:28).

>> Looking for a good book on marriage? We recommend Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs to Make by Paul David Tripp and The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller.

Pray with Us

Today we pray for women with unsaved husbands, asking You to give these women supernatural love and patience. Soften their husbands’ hearts and make their wives’ godly behavior a powerful witness to them.

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