Our Pathway

1 Peter 3  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
1 Peter 3
One cannot help being struck in reading the Epistles of Peter with this thought, that he is always contemplating difficulties in the road of the saint, and suggesting how to get along, so as to glorify God in the very midst of them.
This remark applies very specially to this chapter. He begins with the wives, and supposes that many may have unconverted husbands. (The case supposes women saved after marriage, with husbands still unsaved, but it does not contemplate Christian women marrying unsaved men in disobedience to the Word of God.—Ed.) Subjection was that which the Lord had laid on the wife; but this thought might arise in her heart, Am I to obey a husband who is unconverted? Never mind, the Lord says, you be in subjection. Then the difficulty might come, What if he asked me to do anything that would lead to the dishonor of God? The answer is simple. It never can be the path of a Christian to dishonor Christ.
(Verses 1, 2.) “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” There might come in even the very point that the wife sees, the privilege of the Table of the Lord, and the husband forbids her going. What is she to do? I believe her path is clear; it is not a command of the Lord, but a privilege, and therefore if the husband forbids, it is the duty of the wife to be subject, till God clears the way, which, in His own time, He will do. The principle is subjection, and that God owns, and we can never traverse the Word of the Lord without distinct retributive judgment following, sooner or later, from the Lord. How much better is it quietly to wait on the Lord for Him to remove the difficulty, than for her to take the bit in her teeth and say, “It is a privilege, and I mean to have it at all costs.”
What is the thought the Lord holds out to the wife? That the husband may be won by her life, her “chaste conversation coupled with fear.” It is a wonderful thing to get a soul converted to God by a life. I can conceive no testimony higher to any saint, than that the quiet walk of subjection to God has been the means of showing Christ to a soul. Many a careless husband has, thank God, been converted through the silent godly testimony of a woman, who always did the right thing, because always think of pleasing God. The fear is the danger of overstepping one word of the Lord’s—the fear of misrepresenting Him.
(Verses 3, 4.) “Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” There is a beautiful allusion to the fashions, because there is nothing so changeable as fashion, but, the Apostle says, you are to have an ornament that is ever the same. Oh to be the possessor of that, which in the sight of God is of great price, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit! It is not shown in what the world around notices; it can only be seen and understood by those who are thrown in contact with the wearer.
It is a beautiful thing to be able even to dress to please the Lord, because the body belongs to Him. Spirit, soul, and body are all His, and we are always to be living to God, having the eye on God, walking before Him.
(Verse 7.) “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” The wife was to give to the husband subjection, and the husband was to give to the wife honor; he was to be the one who should cherish and care for her, as the one given him of God. “That your prayers be not hindered.” There must be some special reason for the Apostle speaking of this. Take care, he says, that you so dwell, that your prayers be not hindered. You are heirs together of the grace of life; that is, you possess the life that springs from Christ, and you are heirs together of the grace that flows from Christ—now be watchful lest anything come in to hinder your prayers.
Depend upon it, the secret of power does not depend on the public prayer meeting, but on cultivating the spirit of prayer, and this applies when there are but two together. It is a beautiful broad principle in Scripture, and nothing so tends to real fellowship as bowing the knee together.