Gospel Marriage: Study of 1 Peter #8
This is an exposition of 1 Peter 3:1-7. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, June 11, 2017.
You know what they say, “Marriage is a great institution…but who wants to be institutionalized?” The Arabs have an interesting proverb describing marriage. They say, “Marriage begins with a prince kissing an angel and ends with a bald-headed man looking across the table at a fat lady.” While that may not be a flattering image – there is a great deal of truth to it. The proverb is simply saying, “A wedding is one thing, a marriage is something altogether different.” Chuck Swindoll says that, “Courtship and the wedding are a romantic, moonlight sleigh ride, smoothly gliding over the glistening snow. Living together after the honeymoon turns out to be a rough backpacking across the rocks and burning sand!” Even the casual observer has to acknowledge that the institution of marriage is in trouble today. Divorce rates are staggering. Divorce rates have more than quadrupled since 1970. Today 50% of marriages end in divorce. Four out of ten do not make it 10 years. Second marriages are failing at a rate of 60%. Here in the great state of Oklahoma, the buckle of the “Bible Belt” – where 1 out 5 citizens claim to be Baptist – we are a national leader in divorce. Add to these said statistics the fact that marriage is no longer the exclusive union of a man and woman but 2 men or 2 women and some would argue any combination of people in a “loving, committed relationship” – and there is only one conclusion – we are in trouble!
That fact is harmony within a marriage, over the long haul, is work. It demands give and take. Along with joy, happiness and fulfillment come heartache, pain and sorrow. It must be acknowledged that marital stress is not a new phenomenon. It is not the result of our fast-paced society. It is the natural result of two people learning to relate to one another on an intimate basis.
What do we do about this sad state of affairs? What is the answer? If our marriages and our homes are to be what God intends, then we must be willing to follow biblical models. We must be willing to conform our lives to biblical standards. Peter, in writing to those scattered, persecuted believers in the first century addressed the issue of harmony within the home. When you look at it – it’s pretty good advice. Our text this evening is found in 1 Peter 1 Peter 3.
Text: 1 Peter 3:1-7
Thesis: Genuine harmony within a marriage requires that both husbands and wives adhere to biblical principles.
In other words you understand that marriage is a laboratory in which we live out the Gospel. For too long Christian people have compartmentalized their lives. This area over here is my work life. Over there is my family. Here is my spiritual life (that’s very important to me). These cannot be separated! Your faith is to inform every area of your life. Every relationship. Every decision. Your whole life is to be lived for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.
Marriage was God’s idea. As the creator He knows how it best functions. When we yield to His will we find great delight and a fulfilling relationship. If we neglect His commands marriage becomes a drudgery!
- Some sound advice for women. (3:1-6)
I’m convinced that Peter lays down three powerful principles.
- Wives are to model biblical faith – 3:1-2
- Wives are to exhibit genuine beauty – 3:3-4
- Wives are to honor their husbands – 3:5-6
- Strong commands for Husbands – 3:7
Three things are demanded of men in this verse.
- Husbands are to live with their wives
- Husbands are to know their wives
- Husbands are to honor their wives
You may be in the prince and angel stage or you may already be in the bald-headed man and fat lady stage – love, harmony and success comes to your marriage when you adhere to biblical principles. Happiness comes from living the truth of the Gospel.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.