1 Peter 3:1-7
1 In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word by the way their wives live 2 when they observe your pure, reverent lives. 3 Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry, 4 but rather what is inside the heart—the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also adorned themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and do not fear any intimidation. 7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. — 1 Peter 3:1-7
Let Your Light So Shine
by Marlin Keel
“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”
As we sang this song in the Primary Department of Sunday School, I knew very early on that letting my light shine was important. I shouldn’t hide it, I shouldn’t let Satan blow it out, and I should shine it all around Scottsboro, the community where I lived. I also knew I could do a much better job of letting my light shine if I had a flashlight or a candle to hold up—instead of my index finger. I certainly did not understand much about letting my light shine.
A few years later, older and somewhat wiser, I read in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus exhorts us, “Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5: 16). My thoughts then focused on the question: what is ‘my’ light? I didn’t glow. There were no AA batteries inserted anywhere in my body. I was not an emitter of light.
Then at some point in time, the spiritual reality hit me: I was a ‘reflector’ of another source of Light. When I accepted Jesus Christ, the “true light who gives light to everyone” (John 1: 9) as my Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit dwelt in my heart. The light of Jesus Christ dwelling within me was “this little light of mine.”
In our reading today, the Apostle Peter gives instructions to wives and husbands. Although first century husband-wife relationships were much different than they are today, Peter’s words still speak clearly and directly to us.
God is not concerned with external adornment, but rather looks at our heart. This truth was evident in the selection of David as King of Israel (1 Samuel 16: 7), and it remains true in Peter’s exhortation to a wife whose beauty should consist of “what is inside the heart—the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (v. 4). If such a woman is married to a non-believing husband, then the light of Christ radiating from her life becomes a living testimony of purity and reverence that may win the husband over to Christ.
I am a blessed man. I am married to such a woman. When I first looked into Donna’s eyes as a 17 year young man, I saw a purity and gentleness within her I had never seen before. The ‘light’ within her drew me closer to her day by day. I knew she was special, set apart. I was fortunate that she later consented to be my wife. And after 49 years of marriage, that purity and gentleness remains as real today as it did when we first met.
In verse 7, Peter reminds us that a marriage relationship is a ‘reciprocal obligation’ between husband and wife. Significant responsibilities exist for the wife and for the husband. Husbands are exhorted to be “understanding of their wife’s weaker nature” by being considerate and sensitive to their feelings, and “showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life” by knowing they have equal rights to the Kingdom of God as heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. “So that your prayers will not be hindered” simply states that our relationship with Christ cannot be right if we do not love, honor, and respect our wives.
- In Ephesians 5: 25, Paul writes, “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.” In what ways do you love your wife as Christ loved the church? What should you change in your relationship with your wife so you do love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her?
- What are your thoughts on the ‘reciprocal obligations’ in the marriage relationship?
- Have you told your wife that she is a gift from God to you and a blessing to you and your family?
- Husbands, have you prayed out loud for your wife in her presence?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.