To the Wife with the Unbelieving Husband
“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” 1 Peter 3:1-6
Maybe when you first met, he appeared as a solid believer who loved the Lord with all his heart. Maybe you used to study the Bible together. Maybe he could recite Bible verses to you. You used to go to church together hand-in-hand. But now, that never happens. Instead, he lives in sin, and his heart seems hard to the Truth.
Or perhaps you never had any of that. He never claimed to be a believer, and he still doesn’t. You feel alone sitting in the pew and reading your Bible in your bedroom. You’ve tried preaching the Gospel to him, but he’s like a rock to its message.
Despite which woman you are, God sees you, and He has words for women like you in 1 Peter 3:1-6. This passage begins with the word “likewise” because Peter just finished writing to servants who are under the authority of harsh and unfair masters. He wrote when they suffer for doing good under their masters, it is “a gracious thing in the sight of God” (1 Peter 2:20). He calls them to be like Christ, who “did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (v. 23).
Peter then goes on to address you wives who live under a disobedient husband. You have a similar call. You will not win your husband over with many words, with nagging or yelling. You will win him over by your conduct. Your gentle conduct that models Christ when he was treated wrongly. He will see Christ in you as you continue on in obedience with courage, entrusting yourself to God as judge rather than seeking judgment yourself. The Holy Spirit will use that to soften his heart and open his eyes.
Take hope, dear friend. God sees your suffering, and He calls you to courageous obedience.
Dear God, I love my husband. Like you, I desire that he believe in You and obeys Your Word. Please open his eyes to Your Gospel and soften his hardened heart. Help me to live a life that reflects Your character and Your glory. Help me to set an example for him in my conduct and to show him Christ through what I do. Help me to have hope and to trust You as I love and submit to this man as my husband.
Study this passage from 1 Peter 3, and make a list of ways you haven’t obeyed this passage (actions to put off) and a list of ways that you can practically live out this passage in your home (actions to put on).