In this week’s Bible Study we are discussing submission and developing inner beauty in our children.
Read 1 Peter 2:13 – 3:22
Reflect on this passage (1 Peter 3:1-7)
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. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
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.
After reading this passage in context, jot down some of your initial thoughts.
Take a moment to consider the “likewise” in each section. What is Peter trying to correlate between submitting to authority with slaves, wives, and husbands?
Submission is not a word we like to hear in the U.S. In our culture; we want to be free from authority. I have free speech, religion, and government. I am a free person, to make the choices I want, to live the way I want, and to be my own person. Those things are all good to have, and the Bible speaks favorably of having freedom. But and it’s a strong “but,” even though we are free, we are called to use that freedom to submit.
What is even harder to understand, the submission to husbands from wives is not about the wives submitting no matter if their partner is a believer or not. Peter asks them to live in such a way, that their non-believing partner “may be” won by their conduct. And one of the ways is to make sure their beauty is more so inward than outward.
Then Peter goes even deeper and calls husbands to be submissive to their wives and slaves. Often in this passage people get stuck on the “weaker vessel” and many people use that as a verse to degrade women. Those who get upset with that word or use that word to degrade someone is missing the point of this section. Women were considered second thought in Peter’s culture and Peter isn’t degrading them; he is upgrading them. Peter is telling men, who thought themselves high and mighty to be equal to their wives. In the culture, women were considered weak. And Peter is going against the culture saying “if women are weak than men submit, so they are equal. So it’s not about the weaker vessel, but about men submitting, so both men and women are equal.
Question: How does this passage depart from the views of society today?
Question: In what areas of your life do you need to submit to your spouse? How does your relationship reflect that of Peter’s message?
Although this passage is about wives and husbands being submissive to each other, there is one thing that we can teach our children from these passages and in verses 3 and 4. I like the Message paraphrase
Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.
There are many outside things our children and students are pressured into having to be relevant. Maybe it’s new technology. Maybe it’s clothing. Maybe it’s other luxury items.
As a Christian parent, we are called to work developing our children’s inner beauty rather than worrying about being trendy in our culture.
Question: What are some way’s you can work on your child’s inner beauty?