1 Peter Part 12
1 Peter 2:13-3:7
3:7 – Likewise, husbands
Before we even begin today, by way of keeping a proper perspective, let me remind you that what Peter has written here has nothing to do with HOW one BECOMES a Christian.
Nor is this instruction given so that we be good little obedient Christians – in the abstract – because God likes nice people.
One becomes a Christian only by comprehending their sinfulness, and need of Jesus Christ and His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice to reconcile them to God the Father. To be born again by the Spirit of God. To repent of their former sins and rebellion against His Lordship over us, and to look to Jesus as our sin-bearer, that we might be forgiven and restored and recover living according to the purpose for which we were originally made.
And then, The Triune God invites us into the unfolding and accomplishing of His plans and purposes in the world through Christians revealing Christ in their testimony and lives.
That’s why passages like these are so important. They bring us back to a life of mission – living for Christ’s own sake. Such lives don’t save us from God’s wrath, they are lived in light of having BEEN saved from His wrath – through faith in Jesus Christ.
As we saw last week, the word “LIKEWISE” clues us in to a series of connected thoughts.
1st – 2:13-17: “Be subject FOR THE LORD’S sake to every human institution” – in this case, governments. Even HOSTILE governments.
2nd – 2:18-25: “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect” – Employers, owners, those in another position of authority.
3rd – 3:1-6: “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands” – Just like in the previous 2, not responding sinfully to THEIR sin.
“For the Lord’s sake” 2:13 – Because you are set where you are for the accomplishing of God’s purposes and plans.
Now 4th – “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way” – taking into account God’s purposes, plans and providences.
- Likewise – Interesting how it applies here. It appears, mostly in terms of “understanding.”
A big shift has occurred.
Up until now, each of the exhortations has applied to those who are UNDER authorities and how to relate to them.
But addressing the husband here, Peter shifts to one who is IN a position of authority, at least in the household.
The point being that even though you are the one in authority here, you still LIKEWISE need to understand how to interact, and especially with one who is “weaker” – Others without your power of position.
Likewise may also include the idea that the wife mentioned here is not a Christian, just as in the portion above addressing a Christian woman with an unbelieving husband.
The reference to the wife as coheir of the gracious gift of life may at first glance seem to prohibit an understanding that she is not a Christian. However, the hōs kai (3:7) may be read “as even a coheir.” This would then indicate that the husband is to treat his wife as if she were a sister in Christ.
In either case – whether the wife is believing or not, the basic instruction remains the same.
The question we must ask is: What does it mean to live with our wives in an “understanding” way? How does that apply to the home?
The text itself, beginning back in 3:12 indicates at least 5 things.
A Godly man in Christ, needs to keep in mind – in discharging his role of authority in the home:
1. God’s arrangement – Understanding how God’s arrangement works in the home, as well as in each of the examples so far beginning in 1:1 – Elect Exiles.
We best serve others as we serve the God who is behind it all. What are His purposes, plans and providences?
2. Weakness – Understanding that the woman is not as physically strong as the man. The word here is most used in terms of physical weakness.
So what? 1. She can be more easily intimidated
Can be bullied
The husband must exercise his leadership in such a way that he never bullies or ESPECIALLY – physically intimidates his wife.
No wife should EVER be in fear of the physical strength of her husband. EVER!
- She would have a much harder time if alone – So he must be given to her protection / provision
3. Wife’s sinfulness DUALITY – Understanding that she is possessed of the same contradictions as ourselves. Simul justice et peccator / Simultaneously saint and sinner.
Remember how we saw last week this reality in Abraham? A prophet. God’s man. The “father of all who believe” (Rom. 4:11) and yet at times cowardly and weak in character.
She is neither more sinful than you, nor less. But needs patience and consideration for her sinfulness. So that a husband can never demand more righteousness from her than he demands from himself.
Think of how patient you are with your own lack of spiritual growth and sanctification – and cut her at least that much slack, if not more!
We’ll discuss possibly why, more in a minute.
4. Wife’s status as co-heir – Understanding that she is not a spiritual inferior before God, but in every way an equal. As much a co-heir with Christ as you yourself are.
If Christ can accuse Paul on the road to Damascus of persecuting HIM, while Paul persecutes the Church – then husbands, keep in mind that you cannot mistreat your wife without also mistreating Christ Himself. And He does not stand idly by at such things.
5. Interruption of prayers – Understanding that our own relationship with Christ is greatly impacted by how we treat others – and ESPECIALLY our wives.
As the Psalmist notes in Ps. 66: 6 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. 17 I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me! 
It is a wise thing here men, to consider whether or not your own prayer life has become ineffectual, due to the fact that you are not dwelling with your wife in an understanding way – chafing against God’s providences in your relationship, that she pushes your sin buttons right where they need to be addressed;
that you have bullied or intimidated or even physically threatened her so that she does not feel safe around you;
that you are impatient with her sinful failings;
and that you have not honored her rightly as a true spiritual equal and co-heir with Christ.
And then you wonder why God does not seem to hear when you pray about other matters.
This might be the very crucial area which needs to be directly and immediately addressed!
But we have not done our work in this text until we see how all of this paints a wonderful picture of how it is Christ relates to us as His Bride.
How Christ dwells with His Bride The Church in an UNDERSTANDING way.
How He is ever mindful of The Father’s plans and purposes for us. And He ALWAYS acted and acts in accordance with that.
He gives all to redeem us from our sin, and to gently, lovingly and ceaselessly help us put on the character of the Holy Spirit in growing in His own likeness.
He knows well our weaknesses, and He never yells, never bullies, never castigates, never humiliates. He remembers our frame that we are but dust. (Ps. 103:14)
He is aware we can be bullied by the World and by Satan and He comes along side to strengthen, comfort and encourage.
He knows how defenseless we are apart from His watchful care.
He sees us as His own co-heirs. Destined to have all that is His as our own. And He delights in it.
He remains an intercessor for us, and is heard by the Father on our behalf at all times. Romans 8:34 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Because He is for us, and with us, and loving us, His prayers are informed by that love and commitment and are never hindered because of some failure on His part.
And what an extraordinary ministry then, such a husband has in the home.
That a wife is to never feel threatened by her husband any more than the Church is threatened by Christ.
That a Wife is never rejected by her husband due to her remaining sin, any more than the Bride of Christ is rejected because of her remaining sin – but is accepted and cherished fully.
That the husband always has his wife’s best interest before the Lord – even as Christ had the Church’s best interest before the Father always at the fore.
That the husband sees himself as a leader in the home – with someone who is his spiritual equal!
How Christ elevates His Bride to be a co-heir with Him and to be in position and power and possession of all that is His.
And the wife can be assured that irrespective of anything else, her husband will be pleading God’s goodness and grace and blessing on her as a primary labor of love in their relationship – even as Christ has risen and ever intercedes for His Bride.
He will never just pray ABOUT her, but FOR her!
In fact, Christ fulfills ALL of what we have seen so far.
In the incarnation, He instigates NO rebellion against the pagan, idolatrous, corrupt and oppressive Roman government – “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are His.” (Matt. 22:21)
Even when persecuted, falsely accused, unjustly condemned and brutally and illegally crucified – He does nothing to foment revolution or rebellion.
And when He comes, He does not rebel or try to overthrow the Synagogues, the Temple or the Priesthood – though riddled with corruption, heresy and false religion.
His habit (as per Luke 4:16 ) is to attend Synagogue, and not to create separate house churches to follow Him.
At the great feasts, He honors the high holy days and does His teaching IN the Temple as much as outside of it. And He tells His disciples (Matt. 23:1-3) “whatever the priests tell you to do, do it, for they sit in Moses seat.” He establishes their authority and position, and never tries to depose one of them nor incentivize His followers to do so.
In the home, He never disturbs the order, but is subject to His parents though they are fallen and sinful, and He the very righteousness of God, and the Creator of His own parents. (Luke 2:51) “He went down with them and was subject to them” the Gospel record attests.
Do you imagine Mary and Joseph were perfect parents? Forget it! But He remained under their authority and interacted righteously with them, even in their unrighteousness.
And then at last – as we have already seen – as Husband to His Bride the Church.
Husbands, Christ calls you to be the husband in your home, that He is to His Church – that His purposes, plans and providences may be utterly and completely fulfilled.
That your wife, above all others, can taste of the goodness, patience, grace, forgiveness, gentleness and care of God in Christ – THOUGH YOU.
Oh, how we need to be filled with the Spirit of Christ!
 Jobes, Karen H. 2005. 1 Peter. (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
 2001. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.