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Build An Intimate Marriage: God’s Divine Design

1 Peter 3:1-7


This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, The Divine Design.


The differences between men and women are incredible. Beyond physiological, there are psychological and spiritual differences that are created by God. What is God’s plan for the woman? What is God’s plan for the man? What did God design marriage to be? What is the divine design?

What Is God’s Design for the Woman in Marriage?

God’s Design Is for the Wife to Submit to Her Own Husband

“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear” (1 Peter 3:1-2).

Submission is not inferiority. But God has set an order in the home, and to have order, there must be headship.

Ruth Graham, wife to Pastor Billy Graham, said, “It is your job to love your husband. It is God’s job to make him good.”

God’s Design Is for the Wife to Have a Gentle and Quiet Spirit

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Some misinterpret these verses and say that women are not to fix their hair, or wear jewelry or make-up. That is a faulty and dangerous interpretation. Read the verse plainly: if you must not fix your hair or wear gold, should you not wear clothes either? Peter is simply saying, “Those things are not your adornment.”

Those things change. But your spirit can get more beautiful every day. This does not mean you ought to just take care of the inside and go around looking like an unmade bed. But the adornment of serenity is what makes a woman increasingly attractive to her husband. Real beauty is serenity.

The KJV words it, “a meek and quiet spirit.” The word meek simply means “under control.” A woman who has her life under control is a beautiful thing. And quiet does not mean timid; it means “serene.” She has inward strength.

By the way…you cannot have that adornment of serenity if you have a rebellious attitude.

God’s Design Is for the Wife to Affirm Her Husband

“For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror” (1 Peter 3:5-6).

The way they used the word “lord” in that day is akin to our word “sir”—a term of respect. Sarah looked up to Abraham. She spoke to him with respect. Men want praise and admiration. Encourage and stand by your man.

What Is God’s Design for the Man in Marriage?

God’s Design Is for the Husband to Be the Head of His Wife

God says, “The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3b).

Under the guise of making men and women equal, the devil is trying to make them the same. Resist this with all of your heart! Men and women are equal, but they are not the same.

Mister, do not get the idea that because you are the head, you’re supposed to make your wife do something. Christ is the head of the Church. Has Jesus Christ ever made you do anything? Has He ever made you pray, sing, give, or witness? No.

Headship means responsibility. The husband can assign authority to his wife, but he cannot let her assume responsibility. It is not the husband’s job to force his wife into submission. It is his job to lead her and love her in such a way as to assume responsibility.

God’s Design Is for the Husband to Provide for His Wife

When God created man, “the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15).

First, Man is to tend the garden. The husband’s job is to be the provider in the home. God gave the woman her body as it is because she is made to bear and nurture children. But God gave Adam a different body, with biceps and broad shoulders. God told Adam, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:19a).

This is not putting down a woman who must work to provide for her home. But many women make an extremely poor choice when they choose to work only to have more things, and sacrifice the time they could have at home with their children. The husband is to be the primary provider, if at all possible.

But husbands are in error if they think that if they provide a house, car, clothes, etc. they have done their job. You must also provide for your wife’s spiritual and emotional needs.

Every woman has these seven needs:

  1. She needs her husband to be the spiritual leader in the home. That will give her stability like nothing else.
  2. She needs to know that she is number one in her husband’s life. She must know that her husband prefers her to any other human being. That must be beyond the shadow of a doubt.
  3. She needs to know that her husband delights in her and cherishes her as a person, that all the little things about her character and her personality are treasured by her husband.
  4. She needs to know that her husband has taken on the assignment to protect her and watch over her in her areas of limitation. She needs him to stand up for her, to show his concern for her, and to do his best to keep her from every kind of danger.
  5. She needs her husband to set aside intimate quality time with her. This shows her that he is more concerned about her than his work, his hobbies, or anything else in his life other than his relationship with the Lord.
  6. She needs to know that her husband is aware of her presence, even when he is doing other things.
  7. She needs to see her husband investing in her life, doing his best to fulfill the things of her world. This will require him to listen and observe so that he knows what is most important to her.

God’s Design Is for the Husband to Protect His Wife

Adam was told in Genesis 2:15 not only to tend but also to keep the garden. The word keep means “to protect against intruders.”

Your chief assignment from God is to make your wife a more radiantly beautiful Christian, to present her as a beautiful creature, “not having any spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” (Read Ephesians 5:25-28.)

A “spot,” in this case, is a defilement. Do not let anything defile her. A “wrinkle” is an inward scar. Do not let anything happen to her spirit that would scar her character.

God’s Design Is for the Husband to Pastor His Wife

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).

Do you wonder why your prayers are not being answered? It might be because of your relationship with your wife. You are to love her as Christ loves the Church.

You ask, “Should I love her more than I love the Lord?” Of course not! But if you love the Lord as you ought, you will love your wife more than you could any other way. You are to say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15b).

How to Have A Home That Follows God’s Plan

How will you have an intimate marriage like this?

Husband, how are you going to be the provider, protector, and pastor in your home?

Wife, how are you going to have that spirit of submission, the adornment of serenity, and encouraging speech?

The only way possible is to have Jesus in your heart and in your home. You cannot have a Christian home without Christians.

List of Scriptures Referenced in this Article

1 Peter 3:1-7; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Genesis 2:15; Genesis 3:19; Ephesians 5:25-28; Joshua 24:15

Other Bible Verses About Building an Intimate Marriage

1 Corinthians 7:3
Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
Ephesians 5:22-26
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word...
Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.