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Husbands, Likewise

Now Peter turns to address husbands.

“Husbands, likewise” (1 Peter 3:7, NKJV) 

God has designed an ordered society for the well-being and prospering of mankind. That well-being is under severe threat in our day from rejection of gender and lifelong marriage between one man and one woman. Ultimately, that rejection is rebellion against God (Matt. 19:4-6). 

Part of God’s order involves structure and authority. We see it in the State, in the church, and in the home. In each of these spheres the creature is rising up against the Creator, declaring self-rule. 

Peter has just addressed wives, calling them to respectful and pure conduct, cultivating an attractiveness not promoted on a billboard but an inner beauty found in the Bible, the glamour of godliness. In many ways, the wife is the model for the unity Peter will call all of us to in a moment (3:8-12). 

Now Peter turns to address husbands. He doesn’t urge them to lord authority over their wives but to live in deference to them, sensitive to them. The wife is not an accessory to the husband as though she were of less importance or value. Peter emphasizes that they are co-heirs of the grace of life. They are Kingdom sojourners together by the blessing of God in uniting them to Christ and to one another. 

Paul, in speaking of the authority structure of the home, says that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Husbands are to serve their wives in the model of Christ. To borrow from what Peter will later say about elders, husbands are to exercise shepherding care of their wives, not domineering over them, but being examples to them in loving humility. In that humility, their prayers will not be hindered but kindled. 

In our day this notion of roles in the home is archaic, and the church is complicit in their demise. Rather than holding up Christ and a biblical model of serving one another as fellow heirs and partners in ministry, the church has embraced and enforced cultural stereotypes. 

REFLECTION: Christ must be the center of the heart and the home. 

Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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