Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The acquiescence of a holy wife (1 Peter 3:1)

Peter begins by making what we might assume was an obvious point, that the wives should submit to their own husbands. Why would he stress this detail? I can think of two possible scenarios that may help us understand his emphasis.

One is that most wives would have known other men with authority over her in the past, when she lived with her father and her brothers. It may have been difficult for her to adjust to a situation in which they no longer had authority over her. She may have tried to retain their influence over her life. If that was the case, Peter says that she should realise that because she is married the previous ties are no longer binding.  

The other scenario would be more likely with a wife of an unconverted husband. She would not be able to ask him about spiritual things and would turn to others for such input, perhaps to leading men in the church. Eventually it would seem to her husband that she paid more attention to their authority than to his. She may not have meant to undermine him, but in yielding to the advice of other men she had. The safest path for a Christian wife with an unconverted husband is that she should ask for spiritual advice from other Christian women in the congregation. She should not give the impression that she has put herself under the authority of other men. 

These two examples are merely scenarios, but I think we can see how they would be possible. So we can move from them and ask, ‘What was the basis for Peter’s insistence that Christian wives should obey their own husbands?’ One feature comes to mind. Marriage is a creation ordinance instituted by God for all people at the beginning and cannot be defined only as a Christian ordinance. Becoming a Christian after marriage does not minimise the relationship that existed before one of the couple was converted. 

No comments:

Post a Comment