Ask the Bible Guys

This month’s question comes via e-mail. "Please explain to me I Peter 3:3. I need to express my feeling regarding this verse however, I am not sure I understand it. Thank you kindly. Lindy."

Dear Lindy,

First, it is necessary to read this statement with the rest of the sentence and in the setting in which Peter said it, that is, 1 Pet. 3:1-6. "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement."

The subject actually starts in Chapter 2, verse 17,or earlier as the word "Likewise," in verse one indicates. "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the King. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully." This passage of Holy Scriptures contains instructions to both men and women, particularly "servants," "employees," or "wives," concerning their conduct toward their superiors. Sometimes it is not an easy way, but Jesus did it, and He is an example to us.

It is very unpopular in America today, but Peter told us here how a woman must act toward her husband, whether or not he is a believer. I heard a very popular radio minister say on the air last week that a woman must be obedient to her husband only if he is a believer. The truth is, a woman must be subject to her husband, because he is her husband. Of course, if he will not dwell with her because she is a believer, then Paul said that a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.

Peter explained that it may not be possible for a woman to convert the unbelieving husband by "preaching" to him. On the other hand, by being a wife to him as Sarah was to Abraham, her very conduct might win him over. In verses 3 & 4, Peter explained that the kind of clothes she wears, how she fixes her hair or how tastefully she adorns herself will not help. Rather it is something that can only be done with "a meek and quiet spirit," which, he said, is how holy women of olden times, "who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands..." "Whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well." God bless you as you devote your life to Him.

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