Kings, Queens, and Old Nags
In a newspaper cartoon, a woman with folded arms and a superior expression says to her husband, “A good husband is caring, strong, and sensitive. You have all but three of those qualities.”
Husbands and wives are like porcupines during a frigid Alaskan winter. The challenge is to move close to each other for warmth without jabbing one another! Marriage is God’s primary character-builder.
Peter instructs wives to submit to their husbands even if they aren’t Christians. Submitting doesn’t mean wives are inferior beings. Jesus submitted to the Roman government and to the men who crucified Him. He wasn’t inferior to either. He submitted to accomplish His Father’s will. Wives are to submit for the same reason.
Chaos reigns unless someone oversees an organization. God tasked specific people to divide up the promised land among the Israelite tribes (Numbers 34). He assigns husbands to oversee their families. Corporations need a CEO. Athletic teams need a coach. It’s not all glory, however. Fans blame the coach when their team loses. CEOs shoulder responsibility when the corporation doesn’t meet expectations.
Husbands must give account to God for their leadership. Wives must give account for their submissiveness. Verse 1 suggests some husbands may be difficult to please. Some may be hostile to the gospel. How can a wife win such a hard-boiled individual for Christ? Her life, not her lip, gets his attention. He remembers how she treats him. Witnessing includes the words and music of the gospel. Its music is loving him in practical ways toward God’s kingdom. It’s the most effective way to reach him.
Women’s magazines bristle with advertisements for beauty aids. Beauty is expensive! In the USA, women spend more on cosmetics than on charity each year. Peter said Christian women should be more concerned about the beauty of their character than their outward appearance. God values “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4, NIV). Gentleness is strength under control. Quietness is the absence of rebellion, resentment, and fuss. Wives should treat their husband like a king. The key question for wives is, “Who am I trying to impress?”
The key question for husbands is, “How can I serve my wife?” Husbands honor their wives by protecting, respecting, helping, and staying with them. They lighten her load whenever they can. When they die, it should take more than a hot water bottle to replace them! A wife needs a man she can look up to who doesn’t look down on her. In short, her husband should treat her like a queen. If he treats her like a thoroughbred, she won’t turn into an old nag!
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