The Life of the Christian Wife
1 Peter 3:1-6
July 1, 2018 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Proverbs 24:3,4)
A. The Bible is a FAMILY book
1. Builds up not only people, but families – homes (Proverbs 24:3,4)
2. IF families will follow its instructions – and there are a lot of them!
a. Ephesians 5:21-33
b. Colossians 3:17-21
c. 1Peter 3:1-7
3. Like Nehemiah, we need to build our homes wisely
4. Because the Bible warns that the very people who so want to have a family can actually destroy it if they are not careful (Proverbs 14:1)
5. There is so much rubbish and twisted thinking going through the heads of even Christians today, that no one knows HOW to build have a Christian home
B. What IS a Home?
1. Not the brick and mortar, walls and windows
2. But the people – the relationships – the family that lives there!
3. Incredibly-gifted Craftsmen put together brick and mortar houses – spend years as apprentices, and under different accomplished builders, to be trusted to build houses that last
4. Yet almost no one builds homes these days by anything other than a wing and a prayer – I find most people don’t even do the praying part!
C. This is a two part message on the home
1. I deal with it in the order as laid down in Scripture – so don’t get mad at me!
2. This morning, we will focus on the wife
3. Next week, on the husband
A. The Life of a Christian (1Peter 2:11-23)
1. A life of good works (2:11-13)
a. Being like Jesus lived
b. Being honest and real
c. And a help to people, and showing what real love and marriage is like
d. And showing how to serve each other and not fight each other
e. Good works, building people up, and not tearing them down
f. Boy, we need a lot more good works in Christianity
g. Especially in our homes
2. Submissive to God’s order of things (2:14-18) – an order, design to this world
a. Kings are not to submit to their subjects
b. Nor are parents to be subject to their children
c. Nor husbands to their wives
d. Nor masters to their servants
e. All of that would be silly
f. Funny… that THAT is how life is today, and an almost total disaster!
3. Look at Peter’s list
a. We are subject to our authorities – even kings and governors
b. We are to honour ALL men – respect people, not trash them
c. Servants are subject to their masters, their employers
1) NOT only to the good and gentle ones
2) But also to the cruel, harsh, and mean – WOW!
3) No wonder people don’t like the Bible – it crosses with our progressive culture on every page
4. The Christian’s life, experiences suffering without sinning in response (2:19-23)
a. Want to have a good conscience?
b. Endure grief
c. Suffer wrongfully as a Christian (4:15,16)
d. Glorifying God through it all, and not giving up on Him
e. THAT’s the Christian life in a nutshell
f. Hmmmm. Maybe that is why so few want to live it!
B. The Life of the Christian Wife (3:1)
1. Wouldn’t it be great if all husbands were Prince Charmings?
2. But we are unfortunately not
a. That’s a fairy tale ladies
b. Yes. It’s a shame that most Christian men are not better men
c. But love and marriage does not need Prince Charmings to make things work out
d. It needs Christ holding everything together
3. So Peter writes to wives, perfectly directed by the Holy Spirit of God.
a. He didn’t make this up. It is not a conspiracy against women everywhere.
b. It was written for your comfort and encouragement and faith and success as a wife
4. To be subject to their husbands
a. What a way to start a chapter!
b. But that is where it all begins
c. Under their husband’s headship, their leadership – following their lead, and their ways
d. There is no other way around it
e. No way to “smooth it over”
f. In the same way we Christians are to honour and obey the government we live under (2:13)…
g. In the same way that Christian servants are to submit to their masters. (2:18)…
h. In the same way that Christians are to submit even to suffering AS Christians…
i. …Wives are to honour and obey and submit to their husbands
C. God would like to save this generation of homes, and help the next not make the same mistake we have so often made
D. Let Him save your home with these truths!
A. The Life and Work of the Christian Wife (3:1-6)
Please keep this list somewhere and pray for grace to live them in your home!
That is IF you want to build it and not tear it down!
1. Is something that is SEEN – something for her husband to behold, not just hear.
a. Too many Christian women try and tell their husbands what they should do, and when that fails, they get loud and agitated, and argumentative – all for very good reasons, but it won’t work
b. As a matter of fact, a lot of Christian wives hurt their husbands by telling them how they need to BE more spiritual, and how they should have been listening at church
c. It doesn’t work – not on men who are not super spiritual! Which most men aren’t!
2. First characteristic is Submission
a. Submission out of Respect for God
b. Love is not the first thing to work on in your home
1) Respect is – towards your husband and home
2) It is first in God’s order
c. Submission lets the other person lead and make decisions, even wrong decisions
1) Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
a) You WOULD do what the Lord Jesus says do wouldn’t you?
b) The Bible says do the same towards your husband
2) Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
d. It lets the other person be right and honours them when they are, and helps make up for when they are wrong! Never destroying them in the process
e. And it takes the time to listen to each other and learn from each other!
f. But it begins with yielding to the leadership of your husband out of respect and honour. Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
g. It is a safe place
1) Not because your husband is so right and so smart
2) But because under your husband, is where GOD works (James 4:6,7)
3) Fighting your husband, allows the devil to work
4) Think about it ladies
3. Another characteristic of a Christian wife is ‘Chaste’ – unlike the world
a. Unsoiled and unaffected by the world around her – not like everyone else
b. Clean, and pure, and sweet
c. Not offensive – not in your face
4. Proper Fear (Eph 5:21; Prov 31:30)
a. Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
b. Pro 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
c. The fear of the Lord is good because it keeps us on plan – not taking liberties, doing as we please in our homes
d. Ladies, if you get this right, you will never have to fear anyone else again!
5. True Beauty
a. There are two Beauty’s in the world
1) The best fashions and makeup and hairstyles…
2) Or a right attitude
3) Spend as much time asking God for Psalm 51:10 as you spend in front of the mirror ladies and you will blow this world away with true beauty
b. Here is something priceless for God to see in a home – more valuable than the crown jewels of all kingdoms of all time!!!
1) Now, there is nothing wrong with being beautiful on the outside
2) But there is a hidden person – someone on the inside of a Christian woman, underneath the skin
3) And that person needs to show herself
c. It is the beauty of a “Meek and Quiet spirit”
1) An attitude that does not dominate, or fight, or push…
2) And yet, WINS doing the exact opposite than what is natural
4) By having an attitude that makes sure your home is led by your husband, not you
5) Let me explain
d. Meek means
1) Not focused on herself but on her husband and on others
2) Not defending herself
3) Look to Jesus for the example (2:21-23)
e. Quiet means
1) Not silent – don’t think in extremes like you can never say anything
2) But quiet, respectful of your home, and others who can hear, so you talk with your husband quietly. Full stop.
3) Prov 25:15 By long forbearing (patiently putting up with him) is a prince persuaded, and a SOFT tongue breaketh the bone.
4) A soft and soothing way of speaking will often accomplish the most difficult things.
f. Those two gems are priceless in this world!
g. Take a good look at the opposite
1) Proverbs 27:14,15 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
2) A loud voice at the wrong time even by friends is a CURSE to the hearer
3) Pro 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
4) Pro 25:24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
h. Is that a home? Is that YOUR home?
B. The Example of Sarah (3:6)
1. Remind me… Who is Sarah married to?
a. So this Scripture is not just for unbelieving husbands, or hash men, or handling evil men.
b. She was married to Abraham – a godly man, who at times did wrong and would never be won by being loud and pushy and argumentative
c. HER responses to Abraham are the right example for dealing with ANY husband who is not doing things right
2. God calls women like Sarah ‘holy women’, godly women – what a praise
a. Holy does not mean like a Nun
b. But holy like clean, godly, right, saintly, pure, virtuous
3. Sarah trusted God
a. THAT is the key
b. Most of us are just terrified that God is going to let us down
c. We find it very hard to do things God’s way because we don’t trust God
d. But Sarah did, and countless others throughout history
e. And THEY are praised and followed because of their confidence in God’s ways of doing things
4. She Adorned herself the right way
a. With meekness
b. And a quiet demeanour towards her husband
c. She was in subjection to her own husbands
d. Eph_5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
e. Col_3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
f. Tit 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
5. Sarah obeyed Abraham
a. When it didn’t make sense – followed him away from home and family in Ur to go to a place even Abraham had never been to
b. When it was risky to do so – telling everyone she was Abraham’s sister and not wife, to protect HIM
c. By the way, she didn’t obey him perfectly, but it was a way of life for her, and needs to be a way of life amongst all Christian women
d. That is, IF you want to win arguments, and win their faith in Christ, and win their hearts towards what you see as needful!
6. It was the way she saw her husband – as her lord
a. Which means, she thought of Abraham as the one in charge, as having the power in her home, as being the boss
b. I know those are forbidden concepts today
c. But the Bible has never been in step with culture
d. And a home is not built by angry men and women
e. But by godly men and women who live and think and do like the Bible says
C. Don’t be Afraid to Try (3:6)
1. A daughter is someone trying to be like their mother
2. So, Be like Sarah, ladies
a. Not so your man can get what HE wants all the time
b. But so that your home thrives, and your husband changes, and your children have hope
3. Trust that God’s way will work best
4. Do well
5. Because it does!
A. This is not for all wives
1. Many will run from these Scriptures because it terrifies them
2. Because when they tried in the past, they got hurt
3. Many a woman has been crushed and defeated by trying to do things God’s way, without a new mind, and new heart – they have never been born again!
4. So these things ae like a millstone around their necks!
B. But we have seen, over and over, it is God’s way for CHRISTIAN women to work with their husbands
1. Women who love Jesus Christ
2. Who not only have called upon Him to save them from their sins
3. But have decided that He can be trusted to tell them how to live and love
4. Even how to love their husband!
C. You will not be able to just do these things yourself alone – in your own strength
D. But only by God’s supernatural help
1. By a New Birth – born again first
2. By Obeying the still small voice of the Holy Spirit
3. By Following these better instructions than your own heart will come up with
E. What is the challenge today?
1. To give your husband something to behold, not just hear
2. To Submit your life under the leadership and headship of your husband
3. To be ‘Chaste’ – different than how the world is
4. To have Proper Fear – the fear of God alone
5. To be beautiful through and through – not just on the outside, but showing a “Meek and Quiet spirit”
6. Follow The Example of Sarah in the Bible
a. Sarah trusted God – so can you
b. She Adorned herself the right way – so can you
c. Sarah obeyed her husband, when he wasn’t doing things SHE thought was right
d. Change the way you see your husband – as the one in charge, as having the power in your home, as being the boss
e. If SARAH is not a good enough example to follow, then for sure, follow the example of Jesus Matthew 11:28,29 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Try this way of living in your home – that’s what faith is