The big context of this 1 Peter that has been discussed in the past several weeks is the letter that Peter wrote to those people who have been called from the darkness into the wonderful lightness. When these people get called, that they have been sent into the darkness as comers and nomads. Today we are going to discuss on this context on how Peter speaks to wives of whom their husbands did not believe in God. Verse 1 stated that “Wives, in the same way submit yourself to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.”
The first matter that we are going to look at, what is the meaning of the word “wives to submit themselves to their own husbands.” This word has been challenged so many times in this world, many people disliked it, even getting accused with the reason that wives must submit to their own husbands. But there has been a misunderstanding about submission and this has been the root cause of domestic abuse / violence. Should the abuse occurred towards wives, this is the fundamental misappropriation from God’s calling towards husbands to love their wives, just as Christ loves His followers. There have been lots of misunderstandings that wives must submit to their own husbands. There are six matters that have not been considered as submission or the misunderstandings in submission. The bible also instructed us to submit to another, as depicted from the last verse of Ephesians 4.
- Submission does not mean that wives always agree with their husbands in every matter
- Submission does not mean that wives did not have their own establishment
- Submission does not mean that wives did not attempt anything to change their husbands
- Submission does not mean that wives to place husbands’ will more important than God’s will
- Submission does not mean that wives to rely entirely with their husbands to gain spiritual strength, emotion, and others
- Submission does not mean that wives to submit to their husbands because of their fear towards their husbands
The positive point on wives to submit themselves to their own husbands, that is their heart attitude that to respect their husbands’ authority, and their inclination to follow their leads. Interestingly, Peter provided examples from Sarah. Verse 5b told us that “They submitted themselves to their own husbands.”, which is the same as Sarah submitted to Abraham and called him her lord (Genesis 18: 12) – which is interesting. When Sarah did this, but how it did not get mentioned in the bible? The most important aspect which is relevant to all of us directly, is the foundation that Peter provided to the command “wives to submit to their husbands.” There are three foundations that we need to think about the foundation that Peter provided so that wives to submit to their husbands:
- God is the source of their power. Ladies who placed their hopes to God. This is the basic of the foundation. The power of a wife did not come from their own, not based on their cleverness, not based on their dominant character, not based on their beauty, not based from her wealthy family, not because of their honored status on the society, but the power of a wife has been sourced from God. This is the secret when we encounter difficult relationship, but the secret is not to rely your life and to obtain the power from the relationship.
- The peace relationship that we rely on God. We received strength and comfort from last week’s Christmas event at our church as we surrender all of our hopes to God, therefore wives became gentle, calm, and brave. These are the spiritual strength for those people who placed all of their hopes to God.
- The inner beauty will appear in the attitude that is pure, sincere, to serve, and respectful.
May we lean on God for the peaceful life, gentle and quiet spirit, which appears from our lives to other people, to love them, to serve them, and to respect them and may God’s name be glorified.