It’s so good to see you all. Thank you for your prayers for my wife, Karen. The surgery on Friday went well, and she is recovering really well. We’re praying that she’ll be able to come home this afternoon. We just want to thank all of you. We are really feeling carried along by your prayer to him. And it is miraculous, the peace and joy God has given Karen through very invasive surgeries. And we just want to give all the glory to God.
This passage, 1 Peter 3:1-7, is a very controversial passage in our day. It’s also a hugely life-changing passage for me. This was the passage the Lord used to grip my heart and change my heart and ultimately change our marriage 32 years ago. And so, it’s the kind of thing, it’s like when you have something that’s really precious, and then you watch people take that and use it in ways that it was not intended. It can be a bit disheartening and infuriating.
And so, if you’re new to expository preaching, what we’re going to try to do today — and it’s like working out. It’s not easy. You’re working through the text, you’re repeating methodologies to try to test your assumptions and cultural biases against the Word of God and then hear what God actually says, not what you want him to say or what you think he says, but what he actually says. And then God has a message for us today that we all need to hear. And although it’s specifically addressed to husbands and wives, I want to encourage you singles, young people, there’s a word here for you today. There’s a calling that he’s describing. And yes, today we’re going to focus in on husbands and wives. But as you’ve seen in the broader context, even next week, he’s going to say, “Finally, all of you.” He’s going to apply it to everyone. He’s already applied it to politics, to work. It’s called Christian mindfulness. It’s how we as Christian exiles think and respond in a foreign or even antagonistic culture. And it is so important.
This passage made me, for the first time, begin to see marriage as a calling. I know we can just throw out that term, “Yeah, I’ve been called to get married or called to be single.” But it’s different when you begin to truly be embraced and embrace that calling. It made me wonder — Maybe God wasn’t asleep on my wedding day. Maybe God is using the very things that most frustrate us about each other to change us. Maybe the tensions we are experiencing are part of God’s call in our lives. As he transforms us into the image of Christ. Do you see the shift there? It’s not like, “Yeah, we would have a really happy marriage if my husband would …. Or if my wife would ….” But what if the very things that we think — and I’m not saying there aren’t things that need to change — I’m just saying what if those things that frustrate are a part of God’s means of transforming us? And what if we would, for a moment, do what Jesus said and begin with our own beam, our own eye, and start there, and then watch what God does. And so, I want to challenge you from the beginning — singles, married, married for a week, married for 50 years — will you say yes to his call? This calling?
Now where do we get the idea of call? If you look at 1 Peter 2:21, we looked at last week, “For to this” (1 Peter 2:21)
“For to this you have been called.”
There it is. “For to this you have been called …” And he’s going to walk through the illustration and activation of the sacrifice of Christ. He illustrated what we’re called to do. But he didn’t just leave us to try to figure it out on our own. He activates it through his sacrificial healing, transforming, empowering death, burial and resurrection. He last week applied it to politics and to work, and now he is applying it to the home, to marriage.
Let’s get a general definition of what we mean by Christian mindfulness. That is when God’s presence is shaping our response more than personal or cultural pressures. Think God’s presence over pressures. Which is shaping? We’re all being shaped; we’re being conformed to something or someone. And what Peter’s admonishing us, and he began back in chapter 1 when he says, “Prepare your minds for action,” gird up the loins of your mind. And then here in chapter 2, he’s applying that specifically to very mundane areas of our lives. You say, where do you get this idea of Christian mindfulness? Well, the key is, noticing how Peter qualifies all his commands. What are some of the commands? The dominant commands in 2:13 and following, all the way into chapter 3 are commands like submit, love, honor, do good, suffer. But notice all these commands have what I would call mindful of God qualifying statements. A few examples. Back in 2:13,
“for the Lord said;”
“for this is the will of God;”
“living as servants of God;”
“when mindful of God;”
“in the sight of God;”
“to this you have been called by God.”
So, let’s notice how these qualifying statements continue right through the passage we’re looking at this week and through the passage we’re looking at next week.
Before we walk through this passage, though, I need to address the fact that this passage, as I’ve heard many people describe over the years, is both embarrassing for many and triggering for many. It is a passage that is often extremely controversial. And so, I want to touch on that really quickly. Three reasons why this is so controversial.
Number one, the word “submit,” which is the primary command that is given back in chapter 2:13, 2:18, 3:1, 3:5. For many today, the word “submit” implies humiliation, subordination, devaluation. And it’s tragic because that word, although I’m not minimizing the fact that for many people their experience is that someone who demands submission in the name of wielding authority and power, not for the good of that person, and humiliating or devaluing that individual. But the word itself is not communicating that at all. In 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus submits himself to the Father willingly. And you can’t get any higher than Jesus. It’s not a negative term. It has become a negative term in our culture; therefore, it is controversial.
The second reason, going along with that, many Christians have used passages like this for harmful purposes. Several studies indicate that the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians who attend church sporadically. Isn’t that horrific? Most likely. More than atheists. More than agnostics. More than Buddhists in our country, most likely. So, that tells us that there are individuals who could come to church on a week like this where the preacher tells you to submit, and that’s what they hear. And then they take that — which, by the way, that command is not even addressed to them. It’s actually addressed to their wives. But they’re going to take that and use that as a tool to leverage their authority, maybe even in their minds, for good purposes, but completely misused.
Another interesting stat. Guess who is least likely to abuse their wives? Atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, liberal Protestants, Catholics? No. Evangelical Christians, Christian men, evangelical Christian men who attend church regularly and believe the Bible. There’s a big difference between social Christians who name Jesus as their religion and know enough Bible to be dangerous but not enough to be transformed. That is not Christian mindfulness. And the reason many of us are allergic to this passage is we have seen it abused by people who try to use it for their own purposes.
Third. Christianity … I was going to say Christianity invented abuse. But you talk about a trigger. Christianity practically invented the concept of abuse. Now, under this point, I went a little crazy. And I have just pages of stuff I love — history, quotes, facts supporting this point I’m making. And I just need to tell you, we can’t do it. We’ll be here all day. So, I will talk about it at some point. But let me just make the point and not really defend it. I’m just going to go to preach it. It’s terrible. Here’s the point, and I’ll just illustrate it. But I’m not going to really be able to take time to defend it. But I think it’s a very important point in our culture that is rarely understood.
Prior to Jesus, the Greco-Roman culture — that’s the culture in which the Bible, the New Testament was written — did not have a concept of spousal abuse or child abuse. It was so normal as to not be an issue. It was accepted as the norm. A Roman father had absolute authority over his wife, his children. “Patria postestas,” the power of a father, absolute authority, ownership in order to kill or let live a child. Once the child was born, the father could say, Get rid of it, and that child was executed. And nobody blinked an eye. That’s like you taking out the trash. Abortion was common. Infanticide was common. Children, women were viewed as possessions. Listen to what Kyle Harper, professor of classics at the University of Oklahoma, writes. “A complete violent exploitation of women without any claim to civic protection was simply, as a problem in its own right, invisible.”
There were no forums. There were no marches. It wasn’t debated. The only place it might be debated is the very, very wealthy powerful women. But for the average woman, the average child was not considered to have any kind of human rights, any kind of equality. The reason I’m dying to go into this point is because today you see so many who say, “Well, I just love justice, and I long for equality. And Christianity, well, they subordinate people, and they fight it. They brought about the Dark Ages, and they’re against equality and the value of women and children. And so, therefore, I’ve got to deconstruct my faith and find a faith where I can …” And let me tell you, if you’re doing that, you’re running from the source of what you say you crave.
The equality and value of human beings did not come with the Enlightenment, didn’t come from the Greco-Roman culture. It came from Christianity. It didn’t come from our Declaration of Independence as if it was “self-evident.” Apparently, it wasn’t self-evident to anybody. It didn’t just appear. Jesus stepped on the scene. He said every woman, every child, every person is of infinite value. And the problem is Christianity has so often been part of ignoring abuse, hiding, responding improperly, or maybe even being part of it, that we equate that as being with the problem or creating the problem. So, we run from that. And if that’s your experience, I plead with you to run to Jesus. Because that’s where you see the heart, the longing that has absolutely transformed cultures. I need to stop there.
And let’s hear what Peter writes, that in his day would have been unthinkable. And absolutely revolutionary. To us, it’s very controversial because we have been so changed by this. To them, it was revolutionary. Verse one,
“Likewise [1 Peter 3:1] wives be subject to your own husbands.”
Christian wives, generally seek to line up under, not every man, but your own husbands. Align yourself under. Why did I say generally? Well, look what he says in verse 1,
“even if some do not obey the word.”
Now that right there is scandalous, and we wouldn’t think anything of it. But in Rome, the idea of a woman having a different religion or believing different from her husband. Scandalous. Plutarch, another writer, said wives are to be submissive, even to the point of conscience, believing whatever their husband [does] and stay away from superstitions like Christianity. And Peter’s saying. No, no, no. God has called you to himself. You. Even if your husband isn’t responding to that call. You have a conscience before God, mindful of God, in the sight of God. That’s Christian mindfulness. Now, in light of that, even if your husband isn’t a believer, seek to align yourself up under, as Peter said earlier, at work, earlier, in politics. Because the posture of a Christian isn’t just, “Let’s be revolutionary for revolution’s sake.” God is bringing about a kind of transformation that begins on the inside and flows out into every part of society.
So, he addresses the wives here. Now, in case some of you are wondering, why do the women get three times the amount verses here, more than men? I’ve heard a lot of things about that. I know you’re thinking of a bunch. Men only get one verse here. Why is he going after women? Oh, Peter’s misogynistic. No, no. Because if you go over to Ephesians 5, the men get hammered three times more than the wives. The husbands get hammered. So, what is going on here? The reason is Peter is writing to women who are in a very difficult situation. In the Roman culture, if you’re a follower of Jesus and your husband isn’t, you’re going to be tempted to fall off the cliff in one of two directions. One is this defiance, or “I’ll show you; you jerk. I’m a follower of Jesus now.” And the other is a doormat. And Peter is pushing against both. Follow your conscience before God but seek to align yourself under your husband. As much as you can with a clean conscience. Now again, that is difficult. It’s far easier to go one extreme the other, isn’t it? To raise your fist in defiance or to just cower, curl up in a ball and so-called submit. He’s not talking about either of those. He’s talking about something very different.
And therefore, he gives three warnings here about responding in a way that puts confidence in a solution to the tension that is not actually helpful. Three sources of false confidence. Number one, do not rely on your words. Verse 1,
“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 respect[ful] and pure conduct.”
So, you are displaying the gospel through kindness, not lecture is what he is saying. Now lest you think he’s picking on women, it’s the exact same counsel he just gave all of us. Look up to chapter 2:12,
“Keep your conduct [same word as in 3:2] among the Gentiles to honorable, so that they when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see [same idea] your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
Remember, Christian wives, you are exiles in Jesus. So, this is Christian mindfulness applied to the home. Of course, you will have opportunities to speak the gospel. All Christians are going to speak the gospel. But do not nag, badger, pester, preach at your husband, thinking if I could somehow find the words or have enough time convincing this man, I could argue him into the kingdom. And Peter’s saying, no, no. Live in a way that the gospel flows from your life. That is your primary. Do not rely on words, first and foremost.
Number two. Oh, by the way, one quick thing about that. Notice how he is walking that road — not doormat, not defiance — because he is telling them to stay true to their conscience before God. But also, to seek to align themselves without words. And so, as Dr. Karen Jobs writes,
“In a masterful move, Peter both upholds and subverts the social order.”
So number one, don’t rely on your words.
Number two, don’t rely on your looks. Verse 3.
“Do not let your adorning be external.”
Adorning is the word cosmos. We get a word “world” or the word “universe.” Or here it should be translated “adornment” in the sense, “Do not let the way you arrange yourself be primarily external.” There is tremendous pressure in our culture on everyone, but especially young women, that your worth as a woman is dependent on you turning heads with a particular look. And that is a dangerous thing to rely on. God is calling you to something much more secure and stable. When you wake up in the morning. If my primary concern is the external. Then I’m going to live an insecure life.
It’s interesting that Peter would have heard Jesus confront the Pharisees about this in a different kind of way. Matthew 23:25,
“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you, clean the outside [same word that Peter uses, external] of the cup and the plate. But inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”
He gives three examples of this: braiding of hair, displaying gold jewelry, wearing nice clothing. Now we know this is not literally condemning hair braiding or jewelry or nice clothing. You say, how do we know that? Well, the last phrase in the Greek literally says, “the putting on of clothing.” So, if you want to interpret that in a wooden way, Christian women would have to be back in the Garden of Eden. But that’s not his point.
His point is not, he’s forbidding these things. He’s saying, “these things are not what defines you.” But neither is he promoting this idea that frumpiness is next to godliness, like the frumpier, the godlier you are. That’s not his point. Christian mindfulness does not look to or depend on fashion, beauty, extravagance, trends to find security and acceptance.
But in contrast, verse 4,
“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.”
You see this massive rearrangement that Christian mindfulness brings about? A shift. Let me show you three shifts from verse 4: the shift from external to internal, with the word “hidden.” But the primary message here with “hidden” is not invisible, but intrinsic. It’s who you really are. It’s the person. It’s not just the invisible person, but the intrinsic person. Think back chapter 2:9-12, where he defined who we are as Christian exiles or Colossians 3:3, that
“your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
This is who you really are. And if you need to look in the mirror to try to define who you are, you don’t know who you are. And you, whoever you think you are, will always be changing. You will also be majorly shaken by bad hair days. And aging. Shifts from external to internal.
From perishable to imperishable. That word, “the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.” This word appears three times in 1 Peter. We saw it way back at the beginning in 1:4. Our inheritance is what? Imperishable, indestructible. And in 1:23
“the living, an abiding word of God,”
imperishable. And now, the beauty of a Christian woman’s spirit. Imperishable, indestructible. That’s good company right there.
And then the third shift, this one, the first word is implied. Manipulative to gentle. Manipulative to gentle. Or you could say opportunistic or coercive to gentle. What Peter’s getting at in verse 4 is “a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” Now, by “gentle and quiet,” I know again, every one of these words are hugely controversial because people think, Oh, you want all women to be librarians, right? Like we’re just supposed to walk around whispering. If we happen to have a big personality or maybe even an opinion, we’re violating this verse. Please, that’s not what he’s getting it. How do we know? This word, gentle, for example, shows up, this form of the word shows up four times in the New Testament.
Let me show you these four, and you’ll see how beautiful it is. First one is
“Blessed are the [gentle] meek [Matthew 5:5] for they shall inherit [what?] the earth.”
Everything. Why? Well, the context there is, because they refuse to take the ring of power. They refuse to take a shortcut to get what they want. They go the way of the cross. Remember Jesus in the wilderness when he was tempted by Satan to find a shortcut to what God always will give him, the kingdoms of the world, protection, all these things. God is going to give them to him, but He’s going to give them to Jesus through the way of the cross. Not straight on. This word “gentle” is communicating that. It pictures a person who is not frantic, coercive, manipulative. I know what I want, and I’ve got to get it, and I don’t care how many people I hurt in the process. No, it’s okay. We’re mindful of God. God is up to something here. Jesus described himself with this word
“for I am gentle,” Matthew 11:29.
Matthew 21:5, “Your king is coming to you.”
How is he coming? Humble, gentle. And then women are called to the same gentleness.
So, a Christian exile is not coercive, manipulative, preachy, but gentle. Christian mindfulness shifts a woman’s focus from what is superficial to what is substantial. Which, verse 4, in God’s sight is very precious. Remember “in God’s sight, in God’s sight.” That’s Christian mindfulness. I care way more about God’s sight than anyone else’s sight.
Third, do not rely on your fears. Verse 5,
“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.”
Now, here Peter invites Christian women to emulate the matriarchs like Sarah, who hoped in God and expressed her faith in the way she responded to her husband.
Verse 6 can be disturbing, “calling him lord.” Now, I’ve suggested to my wife she might think about that. Voted down. A good translation of that in our day is “sir.” But notice how it’s not a command there. He’s not saying Christian women need to say called their husbands, “sir.” He’s giving us an example. Well, what is the example from? Very interesting story, God appeared to Abraham, reiterated his promise. He said, your wife, Sarah, is going to have a baby. Sarah’s around the corner. She’s not in the room. She hears that. She laughs, and she says to herself, why is she laughing? Well, she knows physiologically, can’t have kids anymore. And so, she laughs, and she says, “I’m [great wording] worn out, and my lord is old.” Now, most of us, when we hear that, it sounds almost a little sneerish, you know, like “My lord is old.”
Peter focuses on the on the “my lord” part. My sir. My sir. And he focuses in on it in a very interesting way. Here Sarah was behind Abraham’s back. She wasn’t saying this to try to impress anyone. She still spoke in a respectful manner about her very fallible husband. Now, let’s flip that for a second to help us understand what Peter is saying. If a guy goes to the bar with friends and trashes on his wife, making fun of her, speaking disparagingly about [his] wife, how many of you would respect that guy? No, he’s a jerk. That’s what Peter’s saying. Is here behind Abraham’s back, which would have been a great time for Sarah to trash on her husband, she still speaks respectfully. Amazingly, considering what Abraham did to her several times. Any stories come to your mind? She’s my sister. Left her extremely vulnerable. God miraculously protected her, which, again, that’s part of Peter’s point.
What if we hope in God? What if our confidence is so much in God that we aren’t living our lives frantically trying to get something, protect … we’re actually able to give ourselves to God and in this case, speak in a respectful manner about our husband who is not a perfect man. But he’s your husband. Christian mindfulness then is telling us what our response will look like in the mundane moments of family life. My hope is in God. Therefore, rather than trusting in my verbal skills, my looks, my fears. I’m mindful of God in my marriage.
Okay, husbands, verse 7.
Now again, this “likewise” that appeared at the beginning of his address to wives, and now to husbands is taking us back. And this is the part that just wracked me. It’s like, Jesus, what if you’re calling me as a husband primarily to the way of Christ. You go back to chapter 2:21,
“For to this you have been called.”
What did Jesus exemplify for us? Well, he was ridiculed. He was reviled. And he was sinless. I was not sinless, and he did not retaliate. But what did he do? He committed himself to him who judges justly. Do you see that? That’s Christian mindfulness. “Committed himself to him who judges justly.” And therefore, he could love freely. In light of that, that’s what the “likewise” means, verse 7, husbands in light of who Jesus is and what he’s done through his self-sacrificial love, he’s got two commands for us.
Number one, and then two reasons. Number one, live in an understanding way.
“Live with your wives in an understanding way.”
Literally, it says, live together according to knowledge. Now, this is fascinating culture because as men… Well, let me just speak for myself. I really wanted to understand my wife, and then I got married. And then all of a sudden you realize, wow, women are more complex than I thought. And so, it’s easy to throw up your hands and figure, I’m going to be a relational agnostic. And Peter is saying, “No.” Whether I give you ten or fifty years, you set it out as a lifelong goal to grow in understanding and then to live in an understanding way.
Well, what does that mean? What kind of knowledge is he calling us as Christian husbands to grow in and then to live out? Let me suggest three kinds of knowledge in the form of three questions. Number one, what are you doing in our lives, Lord? That’s Christian mindfulness. You were not asleep at our wedding. I hear so many times, “Well, I didn’t pray enough about who I was to marry.” No. Was God on vacation? He knows what you need. He wasn’t asleep. So, he’s doing something in us as a couple.
Second, in what ways are you using my wife in my life? This summer I, during sabbatical, was meeting with a counselor and life coach that the elders graciously provided. Most of the time I met with just him, and then several times Karen joined us. And after one of those, he said to me, this counselor said to me, “She will make you a more mature leader.” And then he followed that up with this. And I’ve just been chewing on it for months. “Her presence is doing something in you that nothing else will do.” Her presence is doing something in you that nothing else will do. What’s so interesting about that statement is you can see when I act in the flesh, what does that mean? Her presence will push buttons in you that no one else will push. But if I’m in the Spirit, what does that mean? She’s going to help see things in you that no one else would be able to help you see. She is going to help you grow spiritually in a way that no one else can help you. Even by the things that may frustrate you. You will see things and grow in areas that no one else will be able to help you grow.
But familiarity — we’ve been married 34 years — familiarity can blind us to God’s means of refining. We begin to think, “Well, you know, I know her. She always …. He always ….” And we’re blind to the way God is so kindly and patiently and graciously exposing things in each of us and growing us and actually transforming us into the image of Jesus, growing us as individuals, if we will humble our hearts. That’s what Christian mindfulness is. Stop the defensiveness. Embrace what God has. Stop being so prickly. Because God is going to do a huge work through her.
And then number three. What are her dreams, fears, disappointments, goals, strengths, weaknesses, etc.? That’s a lifelong pursuit. Because they are — like with all of us, through different seasons of life — they change, they grow, they morph, they multiply. And so as best friends, I want to know what those are. Whether we can achieve all those or not. I want to dwell in an understanding way. And let me tell you, one of the ways you will know — husbands, are you still with me — one of the ways you will know whether you’re doing this is whether or not you’re bored in your marriage. If you’re bored in your marriage, husbands, you’re probably not obeying God’s Word here. You’re probably coasting, floating, throwing up your hands, whatever it is. But if you’re dwelling with your wife in an understanding way, that is a lifelong task. It is a high calling. That is a beautiful calling. And this is the amazing thing about women. It never gets boring. I’m leaving that. Just giving that to you. Do with it as you see fit.
Second command, show honor.
“Showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel.”
Oh, Peter. Controversy everywhere. What does he mean by “weaker”? And many feminist theologians just massacre Peter here as demeaning women. One describes this as the most harmful text of all texts for women. And this is tragic, because it perverts the very point Peter is making. He’s actually calling for the value of women. What does he mean by “weaker”? He doesn’t mean intellectually weaker. Not true. He doesn’t mean spiritually weaker. Definitely not true. Doesn’t mean relationally weaker. Usually not true. And he doesn’t mean, I don’t think, emotionally weak. Because it goes both ways. Yes, women tend to be a little more emotional, but they also have much more courage to share their emotions. We men tend to stuff.
So, what is he talking about? He’s talking simply about physical strength. And I know you’re not allowed to talk about that today. And I know men have their green hulk, and now women have the green hulk. It’s got to be the same. But generally speaking, men are stronger than women is that, are we are allowed to say that? I’ll check with my wife. Men have 75% more — just in the upper body — men of 75% more muscle mass, 90% more strength. And here’s the scary part, 162% more punching power. It’s like men were made to fight. And play football. Men have denser bones — they’re not denser, well, maybe they are — denser bones, stronger tendons, stronger ligaments. And you can look at all this, and today it is immediately taken with offence.
But what if we shift the paradigm slightly? When God gives you a gift, He gives it for you to use for the common good, not for harm. And the problem is, we’re training our young boys to be ashamed of their masculinity, so they fail to see that God is giving you a gift. He’s entrusting you. As you get older, you will become stronger than your sister will be. And generally speaking, stronger than your wife. Will you use that strength, physical strength for harm or for good? So, the point has nothing to do with superiority. It’s all to do with stewardship. It’s how you steward what you didn’t invent, God entrusted to you. Use it well. And society needs good men who will use the strength they’ve been given for good purposes. Otherwise, society will be overcome by evil.
Quick comment on that, though, and it’s been a long time since I’ve said this. So, real quick. If you as a wife are in a home where you feel unsafe, we want to know. We have men who work out every day just so they can come and beat up your husband. It’s called church discipline. I dream of doing that, sending the squad. I jest. But we do have people like that. They’re called the police. And I’m serious. If you are in a dangerous situation, no matter how much you’re being told, don’t go. You’ll ruin everything. It’s a lie. If you’re unsafe, we want to know. And we want to help. We want to get you to a safe place. Because anyone who will use words like “submit” for their own malevolent purposes are twisting the Scriptures in a way that was never intended.
Finally, two commands are given two reasons you are coheirs.
“Since they are heirs with you of the grace of life,”
you are co inheritors. You are no way superior or inferior, men. You equally inherit eternal life with your wives. And then second reason you are to constantly learn new ways to show the value of your wife is your prayers will be hindered if you do not.
“So that your prayers may not be hindered.” [verse 7]
Again. Christian mindfulness. Peter cannot divorce the way you treat your wife from your relationship with God. He’s looking at you saying, How are you treating my daughter?
And to test this, I challenge you. If you’re confused about this, when this service is over in a little bit and you’re out in the lobby, go find a dad and his daughter, and shove the daughter. Or humiliate the daughter. Make fun of the daughter. And then say to the dad, you want to play golf sometime? Like, pretend like nothing happened and watch what that dad does. And God is saying, how can you dishonor my daughter and then pray to me and then worship and come to church and pretend like everything’s fine? It’s not fine. That’s my daughter. I gave my life, my son’s life for her. Value. Value her, or your prayers will be hindered. Many of us, as we prepare to worship now, need to repent, receive the grace of Christ, and grow in these areas God is speaking to us about.
Let’s pray. Father, we hear your call. You are calling singles, you are calling married, you are calling young people to see the beauty of your design, to be quick to repent. We pray that you would take back this passage from people who would seek to twist it, contaminate it, that you would give us a freshness of loving and listening to your Word, and that we would learn what it means to be mindful of you. Thank you that you are quick to forgive as we’ve failed in these areas. Lord, we want to grow. Your grace rushes in. We thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.