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Seven Words for Every Marriage

February 20, 2022 Save Article

1 Peter 3:1-7

The miracle is not love at first sight—it is love after a long, long look. How do you keep the honey in the honeymoon?

“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. 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. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. 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 3:1-7).

This passage uses Sarah and Abraham as an example. That should be an encouragement because Sarah and Abraham were not a perfect couple. They lived in a tent, looking for “the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10b), but in their married life they never found it. Once, Abraham failed to protect Sarah and told a half-truth in order to save his own hide. There was an ugly part when a third person, a woman named Hagar, came into their marriage, and Abraham had a child by her. (See Genesis 12 and 16.)

But they made it, and so can you. How are we going to have the kind of home that God wants us to have?

1. Faith

“For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves….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 3:5a, 7).

In spite of their faults, Abraham and Sarah are listed in Hebrews 11 as champions of faith. “A threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b). What is the threefold cord that binds our homes together? The man, the woman, and God. You will never have a successful home apart from God, and you will never know God without faith.

2. Acceptance

“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” (1 Peter 3:1).

Men and women are equal before God. (See Galatians 3:28). But equality of worth is not sameness of function. God made the husband to be the head of the home. That does not mean the husband has greater privileges or superiority; it means he has greater responsibility.

Husband, if you do not accept the headship that God has given you in the home, you are a slacker and a failure as a husband. Wife, if you do not accept God’s plan for the home, you have a rebellious spirit. You are never more like the devil than when you are un-submissive, and never more like Christ than when you are submissive.

3. Contentment

“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).

Abraham was very wealthy, but he did not flaunt or abuse his wealth. You can get along without almost anything except God and one another. “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:8).

If you are counting on outward beauty, you’re fighting a losing battle. Have the adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is incorruptible.

4. Forgiveness

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8-9).

Tornados are terrible, earthquakes are horrible, but termites destroy more homes than anything else—that little spirit of bitterness, that unwillingness to forgive, that grudge.

There are three levels of life:

  1. The Hellish level—where you give evil for good.
  2. The Human level—where you give good for good, and evil for evil.
  3. The Heavenly level—where you give good for evil.

“’Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26).

5. Communication

“He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Peter 3:10). “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).

Our English word intimacy comes from the Latin word intima, which means “inmost.” Make time for communication. Every man and woman ought to plan four dates:

  1. A date, a quiet time, with God—every day.
  2. A date with your kids (and grandkids).
  3. A date with yourself, when you get alone to think and pray.
  4. A date with your spouse. Get out of the house, avoid emotional and sensitive subjects, and just love one another.

6. Romance

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife…” (1 Peter 3:7a).

That word dwell literally means “to live with,” and has the implication here of sharing the same bed. Never let the physical part of your marriage grow cold. The word honor comes from a root word which means “precious.” Of all human relationships, you should be number one in your spouse’s life, and they should be number one in your life.

A husband wants to be admired. A wife wants to be admired. Give honor not only privately, but publicly—and never make cheap jokes about your spouse.

7. Prayer

“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).

Learn to pray things through together. “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

Some of you might say, “I am hearing this too late. My home is in shambles.” Or maybe, “I’m not married. I wish I could have a home like this, but this is not the picture of my life.” You are not a second-class citizen. God has a plan for the single life as well as for the married life. And if you have blown it and messed up, our God is a God of grace and forgiveness.

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