1 Peter 3:5-6

1 Peter 3:5‑6  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Thus the apostle cites examples; and this from the earliest days of dealing with the called out pilgrims, which would have great weight with the Christian remnant of Jews.
Exhortation had been already given against all vanity and worldly show, but with due care that the outward apparel should express “the hidden man of the heart.” No doubt the open man of his house, the predominant partner, might enjoin and be entitled to her wearing jewels or other costly array in his sphere. But here women do not usually need a husband's command. Here the word is for their own conscience. For it is not only that God, in contrast with man, looks on the heart: His wondrous light into which He called us gives the Christian woman the highest standard, and thereby enables her by grace to judge all inconsistencies in the incorruptibility of a meek and quiet spirit. This, however foreign to human nature, would not be lost even on a hard and exacting husband, Jew or Greek; for such might be the lot of those addressed, and of course the former most frequently, either of them on the watch too often to spy the faults of a Christian. But under any circumstances such a lowly spirit, seen in all its perfection in Christ, is of much price in the sight of God; and this is of all things most consolatory to the tried if faithful.
Changes many and great have passed over the world. But this fidelity led in olden days when Israel's great progenitors dwelt in tents. Yet Sarah knew to her husband's shame that her beauty commended her to a court and a King's palace for a while, and royal gifts were lavished on him whose selfish fear exposed her to dishonor but for their Almighty protector. But thus aforetime also the holy women adorned themselves as became those whose hope was in God, instead of following the fashion of the world that fleets away. Sarah is singled out as obedient to Abraham, and paying him marked honor, notwithstanding the familiarity of wedded life, which too often has a contrary effect. This example is here set impressively before Christian wives.
But the terms employed are notable: “Whose children ye became, doing good and not being afraid of any dismay.” They were far from this in their unrenewed state. The Lord Jesus does not find, but makes, us what pleases God. Selfwill reigns in those afar from Him, with ready resentment of all wrongs that may be inflicted, and submission induced through fear, self-interest, or amiability at best. What a change is wrought by the faith of God's grace in Christ! Sanctification of the Spirit, setting apart to God in a new life now given, effects obedience, not legal but after the pattern of Jesus, and faith in the sprinkling of His blood. Thus did those Jewish matrons become Sarah's children in obeying and honoring, each her own husband. It was a divine duty imprinted on the heart by their Savior. Becoming Christians, they became Sarah's children in deed and in truth. They were not merely lineal descendants, like the unbelieving Jews whom the Lord in John 8 reproached as being Abraham's seed, not his children; else they would do the works of Abraham. They became Sarah's children, “doing good and not afraid of any dismay.” On this side is woman apt to be weak.
Is there a gentle hint here of the occasion when Sarah laughed incredulously, as she covertly heard Jehovah promise she should have a son (Gen. 18:10-1510And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? 13And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 14Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. 15Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh. (Genesis 18:10‑15))? How graciously the Spirit speaks openly of her comely bearing at that same time toward her husband! Yet did He not spare her then, when she even denied her derision. Here He only records her good conduct, and calls her children to remember it: “doing good and being not afraid with any alarm,” as frequent a cause as any other of untruth. For sudden perturbation of any kind is unfaithfulness in women professing godliness. Failing in dependence on God and communion, they fear to own the truth under such pressure. Is not the caution here given therefore seasonable and salutary?