Notes On Peter’s First Epistle (22)

“Pondering Peter”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

The Power of a Holy Woman: (Chapter 3 Verses 1-7)

These relationships, rooted in God, extend into every area of our lives. Into the community of the world. Affecting our relationship to authorities within the nation, including our work-place. And now says Peter, not surprisingly, into the marriage relationship too (vv1-7). He begins with the wife, and this particular one he is thinking of, her husband is not saved. Well, it is not preaching to them that is going to save them (v1). In fact that is more likely to harden them, drive them away. No their husbands must see that quality of life in their wives that will silence any opposition to the gospel (2.12), and will eventually convert them to Jesus. There are extremes here to be avoided. One is the woman who is always at Christian meetings and her husband never sees her, or she is always about some Christian business that he never gets a look in, or maybe he is even neglected. The other extreme is that the woman behaves like a doormat, this has been taught by some people, she must do everything he says, she does not go out if he says so and so on. Well she is entitled to her life as much as he is to his. There must be some give and take, there must be mutual respect as in any marriage. He must learn his wife is now a Christian and that means certain things, it means she will go to Church sometimes, she will need time to pray and read her Bible. A mutual respect has to be built up. But this woman’s main focus is, in the Lord, living before her husband in a way that is attractive, lovely, respectful, in a way that will win him.

Paul urges people in this position, that if the unbelieving partner is pleased to live with the converted one, then they should remain together (1Corinthians 7.10-16). But what does live mean, it certainly does not mean mere existence. Nor does it mean living with mental or physical cruelty. There surely must be a certain quality to that life that they spend together. And I think even more importantly if there are children involved. Are they suffering? In danger mentally, physically, or morally? There must be a degree of quality within the relationship, for two people to live together. But this husband can be won, and that without words, the Holy Spirit here says so. To us that may seem impossible but remember with God nothing is impossible (Matthew 19.26). We too often under-estimate the power of a joyful, happy disposition. The conviction that can be brought to a person by pure and holy living (v2). The life-style is positive, not negative, we need so much to be reminded of this fact.

(© James R Hamilton, written May, 1998)

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