Husbands, In the Same Way – 1 Peter 3:7

After lengthy instructions to slaves and wives, Peter simply tells husbands to “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_7Unlike the slaves and the wives, the husband is told to live with their wives in an “understanding way.” The way this is stated makes is sound as though the husband is to have a kind and tender heart toward his wife, and that is certainly part of the point. But Peter is saying that the husband must live with his wife fully aware of who she is and with full awareness of his responsibility toward her.

If the context throughout this passage has been living in a way that attracts an unbelieving spouse or master to Christ, then perhaps that is the case here as well. If a Christian husband is married to a wife who is not a believer, the culture would dictate that she ought to convert as well. But this might not be a willing submission to her husband’s new religion, the Christian husband has to be aware that his wife might not be fully in agreement with his religious choice!

The instructions are given to believing husbands, and it is at least possible “women” refers to all the women living within a household. If a man converted to Christianity, the whole household would be effected. Women typically “converted” with their husbands and slaves would now be working in a Christian household. But it is unlikely all members of a household were actually now Christians. A Christian husband must live his new life in a way which draws his wife and all others in his household to Christ.

Calling women the “weaker vessel” is troublesome to many modern readers, and sometimes Peter is dismissed as a pre-modern he-man woman hater. But Peter’s words here are in keeping with the Greco-Roman belief that woman are weaker than men, both physically and sometimes emotionally. Tacitus called women “a sex naturally weak” and if left to themselves will be “at the mercy of its own voluptuousness and the passions of others” and a marriage is preserved only by a “husband’s personal vigilance” (Annals, 3.34).

Wife Working Lazy HusbandPeter’s words cannot be taken as an endorsement of misogyny, however. In fact, Peter tells the husbands to honor (τιμή) their wives, the same word he used for “honor the emperor” (τιμάω) in 2:17. Imagine that a husband gave his wife the same honor demanded of the Roman emperors!

As Karen Jobes concludes on this section, Peter’s purpose in the whole household code is evangelistic and apologetic (1 Peter, 210). Peter recognizes the common problem of one member of a household becoming a Christian. If they are slaves or wives, then submission to a non-Christian master or husband is required in order to draw them to Christ. But if the head of the household has become a Christian, then he must live even more carefully in order to bring those who were part of a Christian household unwillingly to Christ.

Jobes also points out this is a different strategy than Paul, who rooted his similar teaching in the order of creation (see Eph 5:21-33, and my comments on 1 Timothy 2:11-15 here). Peter is thinking of the practical ramifications of the conversion of members of a household, Paul’s teaching is rooted Jewish wisdom thinking that bases behavior in the orderliness of creation. This is why Paul is far more difficult than for modern readers than Peter!

The problem is how this teaching is applied in a modern context. Modern Christians look to these kinds of passages for guidance for modern marriages between spiritual equals in the Body of Christ. Our marriages are made because of love not arranged for social or economic reasons. Peter is not thinking of a couples retreat in a modern mega-church! Imagine how a Muslin woman who converted to Christianity might read 1 Peter, or a Buddhist husband, or a child in a Hindu family?

1 Peter is far more applicable in those situations, but how can 1 Peter 2:18-3:7 be used in a Western Christian context?

28 thoughts on “Husbands, In the Same Way – 1 Peter 3:7

  1. Frankly, I don’t think “Peter’s” (I think you know my position on likely authorship) words here make much of a difference on modern people’s thinking or actions. (Nor do those in Eph. and I Tim., except in terms of women in church leadership… altho conservative Pentecostals have seen viable ways “around” seeming prohibitions for over a century now, as have an increasing number of denominations.)

    I was a marriage and family counselor for a decade, taking a lot of interest in the Bible on gender roles in marriage, etc. (e.g., wrote on it in Masters’ work, studied it a lot after and wrote a book on Christian parenting). Basic conclusion: Women are really in charge anyway! (There’s good reason there are so many jokes to that effect :).

    In a more serious vein, outside of the pathological controlling spouse (usually the man, but not always), most couples in current American society operate pretty “egalitarian”, even if conceptually they say they don’t (if sophisticated on it, they may say they are “complementarians”). I think it’s one of the positive developments of modern culture, both Christian and secular. And you have to give both Jesus and Paul (more than the Jerusalem “church” and the historical James, Peter and John – in that “pecking order”) credit for some vision and leadership in that direction.

    • Oops, lacking an edit function, I’ll point out “… way they don’t…” in last paragraph should be “… say they don’t…”.

    • Setting authorship aside (since someone wrote the book, let’s call him/her Peter for the sake of convenience), I think you might be right that Peter’s admonition is not often ignored, but if I am right about the “point” he is making (converts to Christianity within larger pagan households), I think there is a clear application to the majority of the world where a conversion to Christianity is a dangerous anomaly.

      I am fairly confident the west tends to do what they want with respect to marriage and family and then (if they are on the evangelical side of things) look for verses to support it. There are some bad applications drawn from Ruth, for example.

      I fixed your typo and deleted the other message, FWIW.

      • Good points… I know we have real trouble putting ourselves “into” the real world of the 1st century (or early 2nd, etc.). Both by lack of trying and by ignorance of it… even we who study it I think have trouble grasping what things may have been like in various areas (and they did vary by region, one’s class, etc.) One reason the NT is so tough to interpret well is that different locales and times, decade-to-decade, made a lot of difference in one’s social, economic, religious, etc. conditions. And, of course, the standpoint of the authors. We see it even within the 3 Synoptic gospels and that of John, before even coming to the Epistles, Revelation.

  2. All scripture is equally inspired but not all scripture is equally applicable in our lives, as John Lynch would say. I think this is a verse, however, that is just as applicable in our lives today as it was back then and I think it points back to the responsibility that a man has. When Adam and Eve first sinned, the repercussions of sin were the opposite of their actions in the garden. Adam’s sin was a failure to take responsibility and Eve’s was to take control. God now gives men the command to be responsible and a women to be submissive, not because of inequality. I think God calls men to be the leaders of a household and there is a certain responsibility that comes with that, including a responsibility to live an influential Christian life. Men should live in a way that inspires their wives and families. They shouldn’t just “not sin.” Rather, they should completely alter their lives and let it flow out of them in a more powerful way. Obviously, forcing your wife to convert would not mean a change of heart, which is the important part. It is the responsibility to do all he can to help that change. It means being proactive instead of passive. Jobes makes a good point that the role is evangelistic. It is a different role than forcing someone into what you think. A person has to actively live the Christian life.

    • John Lynch the Football commentator?

      I would like to hear more of how “mutual submission” can be evangelistic. What did Jobes mean by that?

  3. No, he’s the author of one of my favorite books, “The cure.” I think that mutual submission can be a means of evangelizing because it is a way of living by example. Evangelization is effective if it is backed up by actions rather than just words. In this way, living out mutual submission is evangelizing the true way to live out God’s love in a marriage relationship. I’m seeing the sections on household laws but can’t find where she talks about evangelism? I used my own interpretation of how submission can be evangelism.

  4. In a modern western society this is just as applicable as it was when it was written by Peter. This can be applied in our modern western society by allowing husbands to lead us and “submitting” to them as both Peter and Paul say here and in Ephesians. Men are meant to be the Christian leaders of a household and as wives we need to allow that to happen as well as coming along next to them while allowing them to lead us. Men and husbands are supposed to set the Christian example and be the spiritual leader of a home and that can still be applied today as it is within many families and relationships. It is important to allow a husband to spiritually lead a family and that is what is spoken of through Peter ad Paul. This can also be applied today in not becoming “unequally yoked” as Jesus would say and making sure to be with someone who is a Christian so that this passage of Peter can be applied in life today as can be seen in healthy Christian homes as well seen today in healthy Christian marriages and relationships.

  5. With 1 Peter placing a great deal of emphasis on Christian living, the household codes given in chapters 2 and 3 are another teaching that we can apply to our lives today. Karen Jobes explains the actual function of this teaching to be instruction for Christians in fulfilling their sociopolitical duty within society. Under Roman rule, this meant that Christians must comply with the elements of social order and silence any Greco-Roman criticism against the gospel (Letters to the Church, p. 290). Today, we remain Christians set apart as God’s possession, and our allegiance must still be to Him. Any argument with applying 1 Peter 2:18-3:7 comes from our own selfishness. These words can be just as much of a reminder and an encouragement to us today as they were to the people of the early church.
    Slaves are called to submit to their masters; in the same way, we can show Christlikeness in our submission to authority, in respect for elders, and in teaching these much-needed skills to today’s younger generation. Wives are to submit to their husbands. Our society accepts women in many leading roles today, but we must not forget the importance of our role as helpmeet. A woman’s success lies in helping her husband succeed. Men are instructed to be considerate and treat their wives with respect. In seeing a woman as weaker, a man does not need to place himself as superior to her; he is simply being reminded to care for her needs.
    Today’s Christians would do well to keep the teachings of 1 Peter 2:18-3:7 as a guide in our relationships and our interactions with others. We, too, would be able to silence any criticism against the gospel in this aspect of our lives.

  6. I personally believe the application to this verse in western modern times leads to the fact that marriages need to have commitment to each other. Women must love their husbands through the hardships of jobs, military etc. husbands must honor their wives in ways of showing them mutual support. If they choose careers, support them. If they choose to stay with the children, support them. When one side lacks this honor and support the marriage turns faulty and is not what God has intended. We now know that women aren’t weaker in all the ways they once were believed to be, but it shows that through changing times scripture is still relevant. I hope this makes as much sense as it did in my head!

  7. I think the big thing here to recognize the principles that can be taken out of this passage. regardless of the religious situation or how the couple came to be together, a few principles remain the same. The husband is to be a spiritual leader to his wife and family, the husband is to honor his wife like he would an emperor and he has a huge responsibility towards her, an even bigger responsibility than that the wife has toward the husband. These things can all be applied to the western christian marriage. Husbands are the head of the house hold not to be a domineering spouse and to trump his wife in everything, but to lead, provide spiritually and physically, care and support his wife and family. Christ is the ultimate model for this and husbands have a job that must be taken seriously.

    • I find almost everything related to marriage to be hard to swallow. It all seems sexist to me, though I’m aware it isn’t. As a girl who has a “take charge mentality” when the purpose arises, especially when I see someone struggling spiritually, makes me wonder how I’m supposed to just let the husband “take the reins” in this area. I haven’t taken my spiritual walk with Christ seriously all these years to just sit by. I hope this doesn’t come off wrong; I just do not see what a woman’s purpose is besides being a “helpmeet” in a marriage is about.

  8. I think that throughout all of I Peter, particularly his passages on what Jobe’s calls the “household codes” it is highly prudent to be aware of what the culture at the time dictates. At the time, women were seen as weaker vessels. However, although this is what the passage calls them, Peter still insists on husbands treating them as if that is not how culture at the time viewed them- yet another example of Peter calling Christians to be countercultural. I struggle looking past the phrasing of “weaker vessel”, as it it hard to explain away as not being sexist to me. However, although this is how society viewed women at the time, their husbands were still praying for them as shown in seven. Peter commands them to treat them well so as not to hinder their prayers. Based on the idea that this passage is written to husbands whose wives were not also believers, these men still loved their wives and wanted them to follow in their conversion footsteps.

  9. Marriage is a beautiful thing to be in once you find that right person that not only accepts your values but respect them. This application of the verse speaks to what we are taught throughout our lives in the western culture. In the bible, the women are suppose to love there husband, even though rough periods of time. As husbands, we must support and provide for our family. But one of the most important value that husbands have to honor in there marriage is to honor their wives. That could mean multiple different things, but I think of being faithful to your wife throughout the marriage is one of the important keys. Biblically and just living life, husbands are the head of the household, this mean that husbands are the leaders and suppose to keep the family intact. If the husband stray away from the marriage then the wife will do the same. Vice versa, a marriage is a partnership that everyone has to respect and do there part to make the marriage work and last. In the book, Jobes states fact about the different social norm from our time to Peters. She points out that in our society, both husbands and wives are allowed to have friendships outside the marriage. Both parties are allowed to be in different religions without causing any friction between the two. Back in Peters time, the wife was supposed to worship the same God as her husband (Jobes, 292). If a wife decided to rebelled against Christianity, then her husband status in the public’s eye would change.

  10. First and foremost, 1 Peter 3:7 is an excellent passage for Christian men to turn to. This passage from Paul does an excellent job of exemplifying how a Christian man should act towards his wife. Having grown up in a Christian home, this is a verse that I have heard a few times, and it is something that many wise, Christian men have taught me and tried to guide me towards. Therefore, this verse carries substantial importance to me. One day, I hope to be a husband that honors this command from the Apostle Paul in a tremendous way. From a summary standpoint, this verse highlights the concept that Christian husbands are to be considerate of their wives; this means that they should consider their wives and their feelings in almost all circumstances. Moreover, the Christian husbands are expected to respect their wives throughout the course of the marriage. My grandfather just recently had a discussion with me on this very topic. He was talking about marriage and how I am supposed to treat my future wife. He claimed that it has become a common notion in American Christian society to strive to “outserve” their spouse. He proceeded to explain that Christian spouses should strive to serve each other to the highest degree possible in order to display the love of Christ and ensure that the love of Christ flows in and through their marital relationship. These marital instructions from my grandfather occurred this morning, and it was interesting to me how it related to this blog post.

    Additionally, the blog post mentions that the context of this passage in 1 Peter may lead to a marital relationship between a Christian man and an unbelieving wife. This happens in today’s world and today’s context as well. That being said, it seems to against the idea of Christian tradition in today’s world. For example, many Christian parents and grandparents stress the importance of their sons and daughters marrying a fellow, strong-believing Christian spouse. I wonder what Paul truly thinks about this topic? Obviously, the textual context suggests that Paul is okay with the idea of an unbelieving partner with a believing partner, but as this relationship progresses, the actions and faith of the believing partner should be able to draw the unbelieving partner to Christianity. I completely agree with this sentiment. To me, if a person is able to bring another to Christianity or help them grow stronger in their faith, then that person did an excellent job of ministry.

    Though it can be difficult to bring someone to Christianity, I typically believe that a relationship is critical to ministry. Though these relationships do not need to be marital, I think building a relationship is key to the success of ministry. This may be a mentoring relationship, a friend relationship, or in this case, a marital relationship.

    According to Gross (1989), the idea of these wives being non-Christian provides the opportunity for men to be affected from a social and emotional standpoint (p. 93). This should not be ignored or go unnoticed. I believe this is one of the reasons that it is important that the life and actions of the Christian partner are able to influence the non-Christian partner towards Christianity. Gross (1989) definitely acknowledges the idea that the non-Christian partner may not immediately or eventually convert to Christianity. This is something to understand and acknowledge. Personally, I believe that Paul is teaching Christian men to act as a husband that this verse, 1 Peter 3:7 states, and this can be a factor to highlight one’s faith.

    Gross, C. D. (1989). Are the wives of 1 Peter 3:7 Christians. Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 11(35), 89–96.

  11. I agree that this passage is far more applicable in situations like a Buddhist husband or a child with Hindu parents. If I were to put my self in the shoes of one of those people, I would definitely understand, if reading this passage (for some reason), it would be interpreted as though the female was meant to be the weaker sex in all aspects of a marriage. These beliefs in our society today are unacceptable (for most people). In today’s society, it is now acceptable for the man and woman to share financial responsibility and sometime emotionally and as a parent. I believe that the verses 1 peter 2:18 and 3:7 should be viewed in a spiritual and leadership sense. I remember Growing up my parents shared parenting responsibility, financial burden, and much else. I also remember though that my dad was more of the leader in the sense of the dynamic of the family. So in these verses I could see that in a modern sense, the man should be the leader of the house when it comes to spirituality and leadership in regards to family dynamic.

  12. This passage of scripture does seem to make more sense when referring to a split family when it comes to religious beliefs. However, the way that I understand it is that husbands should be the leader of their households. Guiding their families in the reading of the word and in the worship of God. Just because God gives men and women different roles do not mean that one role is better than the other. Not all of us can be leaders some of us have to be the followers. I do not believe that women are the weaker sex but I do believe that God gives men and women different roles and callings. In the society that we live in today, men and women do many of the same jobs but I still think that it is very clear in scripture that men are supposed to be the leaders of their households especially when it comes to leading them in their walk with Christ. I must clarify now that I think that men and women can share leadership together. I believe they can both work and provide for the family and share some of the leadership of the family.

  13. A husband must live with his wife with full awareness of who she is and with full awareness of his responsibility to care for her. Women, much like slaves, did not have their own voice or independence. Thus, in ancient context, women were considered “weaker vessels.” The culture of a household reflected the master’s will. This was true for both a Christian and non-Christian household. This is not the same context of a previously seen verse, “wives must submit to their husbands” (Eph 5:22-23), yet more of an instruction to the master of the household (male) to be a strong role model of Jesus to those who around him, creating a desire to become a follower of Jesus within those around him. Peter states a husband must treat his wife with respect (1 Pet. 3:7), all based in a tender heart. Modern Christians look to the Bible for guidance in modern marriages. However, Peter is not addressing a couple that has fallen in love and chosen to get married, but more addressing arranged marriages.
    Today, there are many evangelical groups that are made up entirely of women. Even within churches, there seems to be more women-only small groups than men-only. However, I have noticed that some of these groups and churches have started to change their ways, resorting back to Biblical foundations, such as a male being present in leadership roles and decisions within the household or church. A great example of this would be the group, Promise Keepers, who strive to help parents be strong leaders to their spouse and children even if they are no longer married.

  14. This is an interesting concept. In the context it is written, this interpretation is unorthodox. I do not believe that many men of this time would understand how to take this information at first. Jobes explains that when Peter educated women and men how to follow God if their husband or wife not Christian, this was an unheard-of concept. In the time this was written woman were expected to follow or believe whatever the husband believed or followed. A husband following Christ and allowing his wife to continue to follow whatever religion they were following would have been uncomfortable, considering the social norm. As far as how this can be applied today. I understand that women (myself included) do not want to be considered a “weaker vessel”, but I believe it to be important for men to understand that we are not built the same way. We have limitations and our husbands are expected to recognize these differences and treat us accordingly. They should not become discouraged that we feel things more emotionally than they do and they should not get angry that we can not do some of the activities that they are capable of. This means it is their responsibility to hold up that part of the family dynamic. As far as religion is concerned, I don’t believe it is as strange for men to accept that their wife has a different religion, opinion, or group of friends as him, so it would be easier to accept. It is then his duty to evangelize through his actions and bring her to Christ through his loving, understanding nature.

  15. As with any passage of scripture, looking at the context in which something was written is critically important. This is most certainly the case for the end of 1 Peter regarding the roles of husband and wife. In the historical context all Greco-Roman households were run by the man. According to Jobes, the wife was not even supposed to have her own friends, but instead find company with the friends of her husband (2011, p. 292). Compare that with today’s society where most couples not only have their own different friends, but oftentimes have completely different beliefs. 1 Peter is addressing a significantly different culture than the modern church, and especially the modern western church. There are still many concepts that apply to the modern couple, but before one goes off on Peter for being a woman-hating man pig, it is important to understand the background. Today the concept of living in a way that is understanding can be difficult. Everyone has their own opinions, and while this can be a definite strength in many modern day couples, the idea of humbling oneself to truly look at someone else’s perspective is missed. Ultimately Peter is simply applying that husbands should be humanly taking into account their wife’s opinions, ideas, and thoughts. This involves active listening and getting over oneself, a lesson that everyone needs to learn on a regular basis. Due to the more, for lack of a better term, ‘equal’, roles that men and women share in a household in the modern sense both Peter’s instructions for wives and husbands can be applied to either party. As believers, our ultimate goal should be to love others better and follow Jesus closer.


    Jobes, K. H. (2011). Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles. Zondervan.

  16. I personally have always grown up with the mindset and teaching that a husband and wife are partners in life for their family and for the Kingdom, and together they make decisions for their family, but ultimately, that the husband is the head of the household, the leader. I think this quote from Jobes is how this passage of scripture can be used in our Western Christian culture – “The basis for Peter’s reworking of social expectations is the example of Jesus Christ as the suffering servant of God, in whose footsteps all Christians, including slaves, wives, and husbands are to follow,” (2011, p. 292). Regardless of past religion and conversion, regardless of gender or social status, we are all instructed to follow Jesus’ footsteps and to become like suffering servants, suffering for the sake of Christ.

  17. Even though I have always understood that all Scripture is God breathed and therefore authoritative. There was a time a few years ago where I would have looked away from this passage because it was too “patriarchal”, but looking at it now having learned more and (hopefully) having grown spiritually I understand that this passage is a protection for women. In a Godly relationship we should be valued but also have someone to look up to and who takes charge. Jobes describes this as one of the household codes that would have been well known in the world that this was written to in which family roles were well known. Jobes talks about how many of the philosophical views of the time believed that order in the household was divinely ordained and therefore was the basis for a strong and prosperous society. I think that in telling wives to submit to their husbands God through Peter was reminding his people of the relationship that he crafted for them and that in a perfect relationship women would not be abused by the power given to men.

  18. I think it is important, especially in today society, to remind both men and woman of the true meaning of this topic. If men are stronger than woman or need to be protected, it is not because of the value of women being less. This is a huge responsibility for men to take care of those around him, especially women. This is not saying that women are of less value, equality or less capable of anything. These verses, I believe, simply point out that men and women are different. When you have different people, they are going to have different roles. Men and women do not do the same thing. Women cannot do what men do and men cannot do the things that women can do, and we were created like this because we are meant to compliment one another not compete with one another. When we are always trying to compete with each other, we cannot work together as brother and sisters in Christ. When we tear each other down or start having thoughts or conversations of “who is better” or “who is in command” we are not praising God. Our only thoughts should be that God is in command, God is greatest, and we are only here to love one another, serve each other, and glorify God. That should be our ultimate goal and it will keep us from trying to think highly of ourselves. We should not be focused on ourselves but focused on what we can do for others.

  19. Peter gives very good advice not only to husbands but also to people in general. His instruction is addressed to the husband to “live with their wives in an understanding way” however, as the blog explains, what Peter is trying to communicate is that the husband must be fully aware of who his wife is and his responsibility toward her. I think this is good advice for all relationships, whether between male and female or just among friends. In our relationships with others, if we strive to be fully aware of who the other person is, and what our responsibility toward them is, our relationships will be transformed in a godly way. Peter addresses this instruction directly to husbands as part of the household codes. Household codes were common in the Greco-Roman world to state how a household should run and keep it functioning. “The similarity in form indicates that the New Testament writers are deliberately engaging this aspect of Greco-Roman culture, but the differences between the New Testament and the Greek philosophers on this topic demonstrate that the apostles’ views have been formed by the religious convictions of the Old Testament and not by the Greek thought they were engaging” (Jobes 290). I think this is super important to keep in mind when interpreting this section for the modern reader. Knowing that though they address a worldly topic, they do it through their religious convictions. As a female, I do not find this verse offensive when it calls the female the weaker partner. I tend to feel like I need to prove that I can be just as tough as boys and do everything they can do. This can sometimes get me into trouble because my body is built differently than a man’s body. To instruct the husband to understand his wife and his responsibility to her just makes sense to me. I need to be understood in the sense that they acknowledge who I am and what I am capable of, but I also need them to understand their responsibility to me in order to keep me from pushing myself where I shouldn’t. The instruction isn’t to demean women, it is to protect them. And knowing I can trust that and trust that I am being understood and protected is the best form of love in my opinion. This instruction really is designed to help build a godly relationship and help husbands and wives fulfill the roles God has designed for them.

  20. This is such an interesting verse for us to consider and discuss. The flaw of
    english translation is apparent here- not that the scripture verse in question here is
    flawed- or course not. But when it comes to translating the Bible from the original
    language, it’s always possible that some of the original text could be over
    simplified or a certain word could be used with a meaning that changes the
    original intention of the verse in question. However, I do not think that is the
    case entirely with this verse. I truly believe that scripture makes it clear to us that a husband has a role as the spiritual leader of his wife. That doesn’t mean he’s better, or dominant, he is simply the leader over her.The Bible makes it clear that wives submit to their husbands, and husbands submit to their wives. Men and women are equal. Galatians tells us that there is no male or female, slave or free, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. Women are to be servants to their husbands, as husbands are to be servants to their wives. Their service and submission to each other is a beautiful example of the promise of marriage that scripture holds.

  21. In 1 Peter 3:7, I think the call for husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way by showing them respect and honor was a difficult call, especially if the man’s wife was an unbeliever. In all marriages, there are conflicts and issues, and the original readers of Peter’s letter were given instruction based upon their cultural context on how to treat their wives. Because the household codes in the Greco-Roman culture were familiar and popular, as Jobes states, Peter uses this as a framework of what a Christian household and marriage should look like but bases it off a godly perspective. Although the household codes given in chapter three reflect the literature of the day, it was also counterculture in some ways as well. As Long mentions in this article, it would be extremely difficult to be able to show your wife the honor due to a great ruler when women were esteemed lower than men. Yet God made all mankind equal, and yet, at the same time knew that a godly marriage was based on the man giving up his rights and desires to best honor his wife like Christ did for his church.

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