God is holding the family structure up and I believe He will keep it intact, oh there will be more attacks, but, the grace of God is still operating and His hand will continue to hold back evil in accordance with God's timetable. Pray as God's tender mercy stands against barbarism.
One important thing that this chapter points to is that woman are to be adorned with the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. That is a godly woman but, in order to go in that direction she has to be freed from the cultural demands of sin. Sin wants to use a woman's beauty in sinful ways not ways which honor God. Thank God that Christ does just that, He breaks sin's hold on our heart and we can move in godly directions in spite of what the culture does.
Another important point is that husbands are to honor their wives as the weaker (physical strength, not moral, spiritual, or mental ability) vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life. This all ties in with the first point may in this chapter, that of submission of the wife to the husband. This universe belongs to God and He is the One who has laid out the rules that regulate what He wants to accomplish. Any problems with submission must be viewed under our obedience to God. Jesus Christ was in submission to the Father in that He came to earth to do the Father's will, the Holy Spirit is in submission to Christ in that the Holy Spirit (as much God as Christ or the Father) does not proclaim Himself but Christ. So it is with the roles and relationships of the husband and wife in the family structure as well as the roles in the church. God has set His order. We are not asked by Him to vote on it and the majority wins. God and God alone has the only vote that counts. We must remember when Job was stricken by Satan and Job demanded an audience with God to find out why - when God shows up Job said I place my hand over my mouth - God displayed Who He was - He did not give Job an answer why- because He is God and Job was not, just as He is God and the husband and the wife are not. God has revealed Himself in His Word and He commands that we all run to it. But He is under no obligation to answer our whys? When we encounter Him in prayer and in His Word we find Him to be a loving and long suffering God, we find Him also to be fearful in His wrath, and we pray for grace to react accordingly.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 - I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put withing you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh and I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
Another vital point Peter makes here is that husbands especially must treat their wives good because it will hinder your prayers, but that principle holds true in all our relationships. Jesus said if you are bringing your gift to the altar and remember that you are at odds with someone, turn another and correct that conflict before coming to present yourself or anything to God. Our relationships with other people affect our relationship with God, and especially husband and wives, for that is the background of civilization and the background of how God intends to lead and guide, if you read in Deuteronomy you see God telling Israel over and over that they must lay up God's Word in their hearts and their souls, they are to speak of them to their children, they are to write them on their doors, walls, gates. Not just every now and than but when they get up, when they are walking around, when they lay down. We can see why the family has always been under attack. Why Satan wants to shred it to pieces. It is representative of the communion and filial love of the Trinity. Satan hates it
Peter says that all of us should have brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. He says that the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. God's ear is open to your prayers Husbands, are you praying for your wife, your children? God's ears are open to your prayers wives, are you praying for your husband and children? As we have said before, our prayers have mystery, God is in absolute control and He ordains everything that comes to pass, yet He has mysteriously (we cant see how, or understand how) linked our prayers to His decreed will, so that they are in line with what he has decreed, as we pray according to His Word.
So pray for your family. husbands lead your families in prayer to God, take them into the Holy of Holies, God expects us to meet Him there, often.
We must remember that the the New Testament epistles are addressing people, Christians who are suffering for being Christians for the most part. Peter tells them: in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect. One of the ways we honor Christ as holy, is to always be ready to confess Christ. We here in America do not suffer like other Christians around the world are suffering, actually losing their lives for being Christians. We look at the biblical record of the death of those who stood for Christ, all of the Apostles were killed. They did not die natural deaths. They all shared the cup that Christ drank from as well as many others throughout Church history. Our suffering here has been for the most part comes when we must decide whether or not to attend an ungodly function one of our unsaved friends invites us too. We suffer when we feel the peer pressure of the crowd in their ungodly behavior and they want us to join in. We suffer when our co-workers are joking about some Christian on YouTube. There has been death here in America as well for Christ. But for the most part it is the kind I have described and it pales in comparison to men and women being fed to loins being sawn in two, being burned. The point is that we must be ready to confess Christ and not back down from confessing Him.
Peter brings to our focus and to all those who he was writing too who were experiencing suffering, that Christ also suffered,and He suffered for our sins - that He might bring us to God - He has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to Him. Our glorious Lord came and suffered, He experienced temptation, yet without sin, He is able to save us to the utmost. He is Head of the Body of Christ, the Church, and all power is in His hand, all power. Christ is certainly utilizing His position of power and authority for the benefit of His Church, we can trust in Christ as He subjects everything to the benefit of His Church, we can sleep well, trusting that all does indeed work for good for those who love the Lord.
1 Peter 4 next time