“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” (I Peter 3:1-2).

What are wives responsible to do in the marriage relationship? They are to be submissive (ὑποτάσσω; hypotasso). As one commentator explains, (Hypotasso) is “a Greek military term meaning to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader. In non-military use, it was a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.” This second meaning is what Peter is referring to when he calls wives to be submissive.

Wives are not to be forced or physically compelled to submit to their husbands. They are not to be abused, either verbally or physically. Rather, they are to submit willingly. God calls wives to be voluntarily responsible to their husbands and for their husbands. This is a lifelong commitment in the marriage, which continues until death.

What is the purpose for wives to be submissive to their husbands? The phrase “so that” introduces a purpose clause to the preceding statement in vs. 1. The purpose of a wife’s submission to her husband is that if a husband is not a Christian and the wife is, she may lead her husband to the Lord because of her godly behavior.

Many a wife has found herself married to an unbelieving spouse. Rather than verbally hound her husband to come to Christ or to church, a wife should mostly remain silent and display godly behavior each day before her husband. Peter mentions behavior which is respectful and pure.

Titus 2:3-5 says, 3 “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”

Marriage is not always easy. It should be entered into with great care and seriousness because marriage requires great seriousness and care.

Have a blessed day.

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