Today’s reading: 1 Peter 3:1-7
There are many opinions and philosophies in our culture today regarding the institution of marriage. Before we rush to put stock in what others have to say on this subject, we should first heed what God has already said in His Word. After all, He invented marriage.
Consider the following verses of today’s reading concerning the roles of husbands and wives:
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. -1 Peter 3:1-2
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. -1 Peter 3:7
Only one thing can make the commands of theses two verses a reality in any marriage: humility. I’m no expert but I know that pridefulness can kill many things, including a marriage.
Scripture teaches that marriage is meant to be a visible picture of the gospel (Eph 5:22-33). As the Church is to humbly submit to the headship of Christ, wives are to humbly submit to the headship of their husbands. Likewise, as Christ humbly and sacrificially loves the Church, husbands are to humbly and sacrificially love their wives. There is no room for selfish pride in your marriage when you are busy imitating the selfless example of Jesus.
Wives (and future wives), consider this question: Am I demonstrating respectful and pure conduct by humbly subjecting myself to my husband? If this is a struggle for you, pray that God will help you to lay down your pride in exchange for the selflessness of Christ in your marriage.
Husbands (and future husbands), consider this question: Am I showing honor to my wife by humbly and gently leading her? If your idea of submission is to have your wife do whatever you say just because you say it, you are missing the point. Scripture says that Jesus Himself is “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29). As a husband called to imitate Christ, you are called to model this same heart attitude toward your wife.
Father God, I bow before You today to pray for my marriage. I thank You for giving me an amazing, godly wife who loves You more than she loves me, in order that she may love me as she should. What a true gift she is, not only to me but also to our children. She is my lover, encourager, helpmate and friend. Numerous times You have used her Christlike conduct as an example for me to imitate as I grow in my walk with You. Indeed, she has taught me much about being Your disciple. I’m so undeserving of her, and I often take her for granted. I pray today that You will continue to help her grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. May she press further into the gospel and draw nearer to You as she strives to be the wife and mother You have called her to be. And please help me to love her as You love Your Church, Jesus. Please help me to live with her in an understanding way, always showing her gentleness and respect. May I also show her the honor she deserves as Your daughter and my fellow heir of the grace of life. Please, Lord, continue to protect our marriage from the attacks of Satan. May we hold fast and strong to You, doing nothing to give the enemy a foothold in our relationship. Please make our marriage a true witness to the world of Your gospel of grace. In the strong name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.
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