"in the same way, wives, be submissive to you husbands so that" 1 Peter 3:1
So that - In the Greek, this phrase is hina kai ei. It literally means "that even if". Yesterday we saw that this very controversial verse is built on the idea that every Christian is called to participate in life the way Jesus lived - open to underserved suffering as a reflection of God's suffering for us. Now we see that this verse has another connection. Wives who "submit" have a goal in mind. They want to accomplish something of great importance to them. They are not submitting without purpose.
Go ahead; read the next few words in this verse. You will discover that this "submission" is about getting something they want. They are submitting so that they will be a living witness to their husbands. Then Peter says that if these husbands are unbelievers or disobedient to God's word, the wives' demonstration of godly living will exemplify what God can do for these husbands. In this way, submission becomes a means of rescuing someone they love.
Just think about it. Jesus submitted in order that we might find salvation. He took on that role for a purpose. He volunteered to leave heaven and divine glory in order to rescue us. Jesus submitted out of love. Peter tells us that when a wife submits to her unbelieving husband, she models the behavior of her Savior. It is a privilege, not a burden. It is something that she cares about intensely. This is a man she loves. She wants what God wants for him. And she is willing to submit in order to bring about his rescue. Her action is exactly like the action of her Lord who submitted himself to disobedient men in order to rescue them. This is love in action.
Does this change your view of Peter's words? Do you see that it is a purposeful strategy, aimed at restoring fellowship with God? Do you see that it is about someone you love so much you are willing to do whatever it takes to bring them into God's kingdom? It was the same for Jesus. He submitted in order to achieve a goal for each of us. And, by the way, God says that it will work. Suffering pays off. Submission wins. It is God's way to happiness.
Do you love someone who is refusing God's call? Submit to them. Demonstrate your humility and patience. Live your life in front of them as an example of your Lord. There is power when you put yourself under.
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inspirational devotions by Skip Moen.
"Today's Word" devotional, from Skip Moen . © 2003 is used by permission. All rights reserved.
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