We return to Peter's household code and his instructions about marriage. The sermon last week focused on wives and this week we will pick it up with husbands.
In the U.S. and many western cultures people marry because of love, that is, they find something very attractive about the other person. It may be physical beauty, athletic ability, outdoor prowess, sense of humor, friendliness, intelligence, hardworking ethic, emotional maturity or any number of reasons. And often times after marrying these qualities fade or are overruled by ones less desirable, and a marriage can suffer. But in many countries of the world, marriages are arranged and so the relationship is not centered on mutual attractions, but parents' decision. In these cultures and marriages then, the important question is not "Whom shall I marry?" of "Did I marry the right person?" but given that this other person is the one chosen for me, "What kind of marriage shall we build together?" In our marry-whom-you-love culture, we seem to have lost the idea of building a marriage, especially building it according to the Scriptures.
Peter's household code (along with a goldmine of wisdom in the Bible) provides some much needed direction on what kind of marriage to build. So in preparation for this week's sermon on husbands, you might review last week's devotional, especially the questions related to husbands, questions 7-10. We will also encourage you to read another important text on husbands and wives found in Ephesians 5 and allow that passage to bear further light on what it means to be a sojourning husband or wife.
Read I Peter 3:1-7 and Ephesians 5:21-33.
- What does Ephesians 5:22-24 add to your understanding of what Peter said to wives in I Peter 3:1-6?
- What do Paul's instructions to husbands in Ephesians 5:25-30 suggest about how a wife should submit to or recognize the role of her husband as the head?
- Paul says that husbands are "the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church" (v. 22). How would you describe the 'headship' of Christ in relationship to the Church (Eph. 5:23-24)? In other words, how is Jesus our head?
- How is a husband supposed to be the head of his wife? What does that look like? What role and responsibility does the husband have toward his wife?
- What does Paul imply is the husband's goal in marriage (vv. 26-27)? How might a husband pursue that goal?
- How does a man love his own body and what does that mean for him in relationship to his wife?
- How does Ephesians 5:25-33 shed light on what Peter said about a husband living with his wife "in an understanding way" (I Pet. 3:7)?
- Why do you think Paul exhorts wives to respect their husbands and husbands to love their wives? Why doesn't he apply love and respect to both? Does it make any difference?
- Do Paul's words help further understand Peter's words about husbands and wives in any other way for you?
- What do you think the Lord wants you to know about what it means to be a sojourning husband or wife?
God be with you, and hope to see you on Sunday!