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1 Peter: Won Over Without a Word

1 Peter 3:1-7 CSB | Trey VanCamp | November 6, 2022

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Words like “submission” and “authority” aren’t very popular in our western world. To follow a way of life that instructs people to submit to one another seems archaic at best and abusive at worst. But properly understood, the practice of submission is life-giving and freeing.

In 1 Peter 3, Peter pastors women in the church to lovingly submit to and respect their husbands. He also instructs husbands to lovingly serve and care for their wives. This idea of service and submission is echoed throughout scripture.

Jesus himself teaches that true leadership and power actually comes through service and submission. The practice of submission then isn’t just for women, couples, or children. It’s a practice for all Christians that actually leads to the good life.


You can take interactive notes here. At the end of the message, you can email the notes to yourself.


Yeah, at this time I’m going to read our scripture for tonight. And so it is going to be out of one Peter chapter three verses one through four, and it says In the same way, wives submit yourselves to your own husbands, so that even if some disobey the word, they may be one over without a word by the way their wives live when they observe your pure irreverent.

Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry, but rather what is inside the heart, the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. Amen. Thank you, Jordan. Aren’t you so pumped for this one, ? I am not nervous at all.

Welcome guys. We’re gonna be in one Peter three, so open up your Bible there. When I was in junior high I’ll be honest, junior high was not kind to me. I actually grew up here just down the road. So I went to Queen Creek Middle School and I had all sorts of issues that really came to being, as we all know, in junior high.

Major skin issues that never seemed to get away. My basketball friends were now growing way taller than me. And so my shot at the NBA was finally like, shattered. When I was 13. I realized, oh wow, I am not made for this. Let’s see what else the Lord has for me. But one of the biggest things, and I really hesitate to give you this vulnerable information cuz you were absolutely gonna use this against me and I should not do this, but if you haven’t noticed already, I have a rather large head and that has always been an.

For me and my own self-confidence and self-esteem but especially would result like in baseball and junior high. Had to order a custom baseball helmet because the school helmets would not fit this. No. And my mom says it’s cuz I’m smart and I’m sticking to it. And football, I act actually had to get the lineman helmet and then put a new mask on it for wide receiver.

So I was that wide receiver that looked like a lineman because of how big my head was. And so in junior high, I quickly realized I would never be a hack. It’s really hard to see me with a hat because they don’t really make hats that big. And so the few, the proud of us who just can’t even fit anything.

And so this really bothered my grandfather. My grandfather was one of my greatest heroes. He was a pastor, started preaching at 16. I learned so much from him. I just passed away about seven or eight years ago now, but I’ll never forget this moment. My papa was so bothered. I was telling him this story about how I can never wear a hat, and me and him would always go to son’s games together and he would try to buy me hats at the game.

And I said, Papa, I’m not even gonna try to put it on. It’s gonna be embarrassing. This will not fit. My head. And so he is stubborn. That was a beautiful thing about my papa, but he also loves to give really good gifts. So it turns out one day he came to my house and surprised me with a custom bucket sized hat for the Phoenix Suns.

And he was like, Here you go, son. And I was terrified. Still, it looks huge, but I thought, what if even this hat doesn’t fit? I have no hope. He went like he custom ordered it online, all this stuff. So he assured me it would fit. So I grabbed the hat. I held it for a little while. I really do remember this moment, and I put it on and I looked right at my papa’s eyes and says, and I said, This hat is tight.

And I was pumped. So the rest of the time we were hanging out. I had this hat, I had it on the whole. But to my shock, as I was saying that phrase, my papa was a bit disappointed, but we went on our way. In fact, we were going to a son’s game. So a couple weeks later, he surprised me again with an even larger hat.

He had to go black market for this thing. Like he almost died in the back alleyway to find a hat this large. And I was so confused. I was like, Popa, why did you buy me another hat? It looks the same, but it’s just so much bigger. And he said the first thing you told me, Was your hat was tight, so I had to get you another one.

This isn’t funny to you guys. Come on . And I was like, Oh no. Like he was like, I pulled strings. This cost like 150 bucks. And I was like, we were both using the word tight, but in totally different circumstances, especially in junior high. Tight just meant that was cool. Like this hat is tight. Not the greatest language to use when referencing someone who has a rather large head.

And so first Peter three. Where is this going first? Peter three can carry a lot of misunderstanding. Words like submit may mean something to you that it doesn’t mean in the text. There can be a misunderstanding here. Even the phrase to win them without a word can trigger you In today’s context, what is Peter saying?

Women can’t speak at all and the biggest one that I’m gonna be honest triggered me and I asked my, we my wife all week to do this and she refused to, was in verse six. It says, Sarah, obey Abraham calling him Lord. So I said, Hey babe. Call me Lord as she. No not gonna happen. I said you need to submit.

And it, this was all a joke. And she never called me Lord, thankfully. She said, I have one Lord, and it’s Jesus Christ. I said, What about a lowercase l Lord? Cuz this is what the text says. But anyways, a lot of this here. We’re gonna be using terms that without us really leaning into the scriptures, we have totally different definitions.

So even today, we’re like operating with the same, the source, but different dictionaries. So I want us to lean in and go, Okay, what does this word mean? In biblical terms and how can we submit to it? And the reality is context really helps us understand what these words mean. It, we have to study.

This actually takes a lot of extra study on my part, and this is one job I have as I know the Greek. I understand the imperatives. And so it really does help unleash this passage a little bit more. But here’s another thing I wanna point out before we dive in, is there’s a real chance today we’re gonna get to the bottom of this definit.

And you still won’t be pleased. It’ll still make you upset. And at that point I say, that’s great because it shows that you are following a God that’s higher than your ways. The Bible should not always agree with you. If it always agrees with you, then you’re probably reading your Bible incorrectly.

So I actually love when I get to passages where I’ve done the hard work of study and I realize, Oh, okay, this is just. Because if you think about this passage especially, it’s not that difficult to understand. It’s just difficult for us because especially as Americans, we don’t like the word submit at all.

And there is a lot of baggage because there’s been a lot of men who have used this passage and abused it to be oppressive and abusive to women. And I would say the way of Jesus is so far. From that’s, it’s not even funny. So let’s, we’re gonna dive into this, that the title of message is to one over Without a Word.

How can we win over somebody without a word? Let’s pray. Father God, I ask you that you would give us your wisdom. God, thank you. That we are a church who preaches through the Bible. And so sometimes we find ourselves some passages that are difficult, that are really, we’d just naturally just rather skip over.

But God help us see that this. This is such a good passage. God, as I look at the landscape of our society and the landscape of even our own church, God, we need healthy marriages and God, we need the beautiful. Definition of what a great healthy marriage can be. And so I even pray God for those who are not married, maybe even there, some in the room have no interest in ever marrying God.

I pray that they would lean in. There’s still so much to learn here in this passage, if anything, just so that we can serve our sisters and Christ who are married. So God, give us wisdom, give us discernment, and may we find beauty. In submission. In Jesus name I pray, everybody says Amen. Francis Chan, have you ever heard of him before?

Really helpful pastor. I think he’s pretty engaging to listen to. He has this quote. I think it’s so good. He spoke this at a passion conference, so he was talking to younger people, but I think this applies to all of us. He says, one of the most destructive practices of your generation is that you value your own thoughts way too much, and it’s killing.

He goes on to reference Isaiah and Isaiah says, Okay Lord, your ways are higher than my ways. Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. And it’s really helpful for us when we go to the text. It’s not normal today for us to remember though, like this is the Bible and we are not. And so we are gonna submit ourselves to this, and it’s why we’re preaching it.

We have confidence in God’s word, and we have confidence that if we are hesitating, it’s our fault, not the Bible. Pray for me. We’re gonna unpack what Peter is saying. Verse one and two says in the same way. So the last thing we ended on was one Peter 2 21 through 25, talking about Jesus submitting himself, surrendering so that you and I could have life.

So he’s actually tying in to how Christ lived a sacrificial life, and also before that, Slaves submit to your masters, citizens, submit to the government. So it’s this whole idea of submission. So he is continuing this thought. Sometimes chapter breaks are not helpful. So in our minds chapter three, it’s a whole new thought.

No, it’s very much tied into the paragraphs. Just before. In the same way, wives, now he’s looking to the wives, Submit yourself to your own husbands. I think it’s really helpful. Your own husband. So I am not saying all women should submit to all men. That’s not the case. In fact, this is one way we really misinterpret this passage.

If a man walks into a room and thinks he’s in charge just because he’s a man and the other people around there are a woman that is not, that is a misunderstanding of the text. So your own husband sow that. Why? Why Peter? We do know Peter was married, by the way. So he does have some wisdom here.

Like Paul was not, which he still has wisdom cuz he’s inspired by the word of God. How do we know Peter was? because Jesus healed his mother-in-law. You can’t have a mother-in-law without getting married. Brilliant. All right. So even if some, I love that joke. I tell my wife all the time, I love your mother-in-law.

So even if some, and I love my mother-in-law too, all right? So even if I really do, even if some, why do I do that? Even if some disobey the word, they may be one over without a word by the way their wives live. So he’s saying, Wive, submit your husbands. And he’s especially saying to those who aren’t believers, this is why we find it really helpful when we’re talking to people, counseling people, and getting married.

Man, your life hear me, will be a lot easier if you marry somebody who also follows the way of Jesus. You’re going to have a struggle. Hopefully you’re here. Jesus is the central part of your. It should not make sense to marry somebody who also doesn’t have Jesus as the central way of life. Amen. If not, your marriage is built.

To have destructive practices and it will be filled with division. But he’s saying if you’re in that situation, cuz sometimes you’re in that or you weren’t both believers, but now all of a sudden Christ came into your life after you got married, what do you do? Okay. Live in a life of submission so he could be one over.

This is talking about adding this husband into the kingdom of God without a word, but look at the context here without a word. It’s not really emphasizing. Just so that. Talk ever. It’s okay for women to talk. You see it all throughout the scriptures by the way their wives live. It’s that whole idea of preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.

Sometimes the greatest way we can share the gospel is primarily by the way we live our life. So by the way they lives, their lives when they observe your pure rever. Lives. This idea here, though, this word submit, a lot of us like to run around it, try to redefine it, but submit literally means to rank yourself under a person.

It’s a military term, so now it is possible when you hear, submit yourself to your husband’s, you have a distorted and abusive view of what that looks like. Let me be clear. There are pastors. That tell women to submit to their husband even if they’re getting beaten verbally, physically, emotionally, all that.

Our advice is if it’s necessary, we actually call in the authorities to protect you and we believe in separation. And we’re praying for reconciliation. But a lot of that to figure out if there, if it’s time for reconciliation is a little bit above my pay grade. So we bring in counselors, we bring in other people of wisdom.

So we are not a church that says just deal with whatever your husband’s doing to you because the Bible says to submit. I think that’s a misinterpretation of this text, that it’s not the case. Jesus would not have you be in threat for your life. Not at all. But I do want us to see the beauty of. And I do want us to see that this passage is saying, wife submit to your husband.

I find it interesting, more people push back on this passage than the one we preached last week, and I don’t get it. Last week we said, Hey, submit to the government, Hey, honor the emperor no matter who it is to me. And I gotta be careful here cuz I’m not a wife. But to me it seems a whole lot more difficult to submit to somebody in charge that you didn’t.

Versus submitting to the love of your life. I think maybe we have a harder time with this one because we actually are more inclined to maybe do it. Some of us, we hear the passage about honoring the government, submitting to authorities, and we think that’s fine. I just won’t do that one. But we wanna be doers of the word.

Amen. We want to practice what what Jesus is preaching to us. But let me say this too, Submiss. Is actually, we want to help realign your thoughts because submission is a beautiful word. In fact it’s important to remember that nobody submitted more than Jesus. Frank Laak. He notes that the Apostle John, just in the gospel of John indicates that Jesus submits to God’s orders 47 times.

47 times is essentially the phrase, not my will, but yours be done. And you can’t tell me that Jesus isn’t. So for too long we thought submission equals no power or submission means you’re not a leader. It’s saying that there are roles in life and within the family. This is so hard for us to believe, but also our families are really broken today.

So maybe we should let go of some of our dispo presuppositions cuz maybe the Bible’s right, and we’re. And it says all throughout, like in Ephesians five other places, the husband is the head. Now head does not mean dictator head means that the husband will be accountable for how he exercise his authority.

Let me put it this way. I think it’s really helpful to frame this submission authority language. As I’ve read myself in the Bible, I believe submission is more connected to blessing and authority is more connected to. As I read it over and over, one thing, like pastors have authority over a local church.

I gotta be honest, I don’t love that because that means double judgment. God says, Look, as the pastor, I’m gonna do judge you doubly because I’ve given you authority. So authority is a gift, but it must be exercised with stewardship, right? And so constantly, God is warning those in authority. Watch out.

Use your authority for good or judgment will. But constantly in the Scriptures submission is this idea of liberation. It’s this idea of, look, you’re not in charge of who’s in charge. It’s okay if you submit to me. No matter what happens. There is blessing and freedom and joy, and you will be made whole, like it’s a constant.

Let me show you Philippians too. He says, If then, if there’s any encouragement in Christ, Paul is talking here to the Church of Philippi. If any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the spirit, if any, affection and mercy, make my joy complete. By thinking the same way, having the same love united in spirit intent on one purpose, do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit.

This is an idea of humility here of submission, but in humility, consider others as more important than yourselves. How many of us did that this week? , but there is life and abundance when we do that. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. This is living in life of submission five through 11.

The rest of this passage talks about how Jesus submitted himself in order to give all of us life. Okay, so authority has the burden of responsibility. Now, what does this look like in the day to day? . I’m gonna be honest, my wife and I, we make a ton of decisions together. It’s not Hey, I’m the man, so this is what we’re gonna do.

But ultimately I do bear the responsibility of the final decision, right? On big decisions in life, like how we’re disciplining our kids. I think I’ll be judged more for it than my wife. I’ll be judged by how passive I am in my discipline too, by the way, which men lean towards what church we attend. Which I hope they’ve go to mind.

Where we move, right? What the school, everything. Those bigger decisions, we consult each other and do that together. But the bug stops with me. I cannot blame my wife if it doesn’t go well. Does that make sense? Like a holy husband shares the credit to the wife for their family’s success and takes all the blame for their family’s failures.

That’s right. That’s what men are called. But again, part of this text is primarily to the wife. So husbands, hold on. I’m gonna go back to talking to the wives. Again, this whole phrase may be one over without a word by the way they live their lives. Just to remind you, this is, especially for those in the room.

who have unbelieving husbands, we wanna let you know we are here for you. We love you. We know this is hard. I know so many of you that are in that situation, but the point Peter’s making here, we don’t attack. Don’t attack your husband. Don’t become just like your husband. What we talked about last week, transform yourself and you’ll be amazed at how God begins to transform your husband.

And if there’s anything we’re pumped about here at Passion Creek Church, we believe you can transform this side of. We believe that like you should look like Jesus towards the end of your life, way more than you look like him now, and we want to help you on that journey. Okay, let’s look at verse. Verse three says, Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes.

Now, this is what we call fundamentalists, where the fundamental, they take out all the fun out of fundamentalists, but what they do is they take this passage and go, Okay, now women shouldn’t have any good hairstyles. They shouldn’t wear any jewelry at all, and their clothes should not be fine. That’s not what this is saying.

Praise the Lord. No. So what this Is the beauty. Your priority is not in outward things, but it’s actually within the heart. Does that make sense? So it’s not to say we at church should, if there are ladies in the room that love to dress up and love to, do things with outward beauty, that’s fine, but that should not be your existence.

That should not be your hope. I’m really proud of my wife. She has done a great job with our women’s. And Cultivate was great. And they have another event in December, which we didn’t we didn’t announce because we want you to remember Viking Feast. But one, one Temptation Women’s Ministry kind of falls into, and I’m really proud of my wife that us as a church, we haven’t done that, but a lot of times we get together and the women’s ministry says, Hey, you are beautiful on the outside.

You’re so beautiful and that’s your it. Don’t let men hurt you. Now, some of that is so true, so don’t get me wrong, I think every. I’m about to step in some hot water here. Here’s what I wanna say. , back it up. Here’s what I wanna say. That’s great if you’re beautiful, and I hope that you are grateful for how you look, but I think a more important message to women is, Hey, beauty is great, but let’s look at the N word heart.

Are we beautiful on the inside? Because there’s this thing called gravity, and there’s this thing called death, right? Eventually it takes over. So if your whole hope is on outward appearance, we’re actually setting women up to really be discouraged and depressed. But if your hope is truly as Paul says, Oh, our outward flesh is wasting away day by day, our.

Inward spirit is being renewed day by day. It’s okay. And we love that. We’re not saying women are ugly at this church, but we are saying, let’s not put all of our hope and excitement in. Yes, I’m beautiful. It’s beauty in the heart. Am I in trouble too much yet? Are you with me? Okay. Verse four. Oh man. I knew I’d get in trouble on this one.

But rather what is inside the heart, this is real transformation. The imperishable, he’s pointing to the body. Perishing, the perishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. I don’t know about you, but I wanna do whatever is in great worth, in God’s sight, and in this passage is to be gentle and quiet.

And I know, again, this is loaded because, oh wow. You want them to be quiet, like you don’t, again, don’t want the woman to talk in church. I want you to see gentle and quiet are actually phrases that the Bible uses to reference. So we’re saying this is actually a beautiful quality. Matthew 1128 says, Come to me, all of you who are weary and burden, and I will give you rest.

This is Jesus speaking. Take up my yolk and learn from me because I am lowly and humble in heart. Other phrases say, I am gentle in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yo is easy and my burden is light. Gentle doesn’t mean powerless, and it doesn’t even mean a weak person. Gentle is a disposition of love towards the world.

Quiet doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to talk. Quiet means you’re like peaceful in the midst of chaos. Think about Jesus when he was being crucified or when they were beating him. Jesus didn’t respond a word. Jesus spoke more with his silence than he could with his words in that. And the beauty is in the Christian life, and you as a wife have opportunities where your actions speak louder than words, and your non-reaction to anxious environments actually declares the beauty and glory of God.

So this is the point of the passage. The gospel can change you, and as you allow the gospel to change you, your husband will change. Back to that quote from last week. The best gift you can give to the people you lead is your own transforming self. Quickly. How do we do. Like how do we become these people who are gentle and quiet and transformed from within?

I’m gonna be quick here, but we have what we love at Passion Creek Church is Dallas Willard. Dallas Willard has this process of transformation, he calls it, and it’s three different points. Number one is vision. So actually we get a vision from the scriptures of what a godly person can look like, but also within the congregation.

I think it’s another reason to have church in real life. You guys like some of you, Live the Christian life, you are, some of us who are younger, a vision of what you can become, right? So it’s a dream. It’s a picture of what could happen if we really get serious about following Christ. And then the next part, Willard mentions is intention.

Intention means you decide to commit to the vision. So for me, I get so inspired when I see people run half marathons, but I have never gotten to the point where I have the intention to run one myself. Does that make sense? So I think the vision’s be. Good for you. I ain’t doing it right, so my intention doesn’t get there.

So to change, you must see the beautiful vision. But then say, You know what, I’m gonna do this too. And then it leads to means, and this is one of my jobs as a pastor okay, how can we develop a plan for you and help you actually do it? Okay, tomorrow just run one mile, right? Let’s figure out where you’re at and where we, and what we can do to help you get to become, to, to run the half marathon or whatever.

And so Peter here is painting a vision. Of a wife that is so consumed with the goodness of God that their lost husband can’t help but churn to have faith in Jesus. And if you don’t have an unbelieving husband, it’s still a beautiful picture of actually in some ways you leading the way and following Jesus and your husband.

It’s inspired and continues to do the same. The scripture. Paint beautiful visions of incredible women of God all over the place. Let me re proverb 31 for you. Here’s one example who can find a wife of noble character. She’s far more precious than Jules. The heart of her husband trusts in her and he will not lack anything good.

She rewards him with good, not evil all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with willing hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from far away. She rises while at a still night and provides food for her household and portions for her female servants. She evaluates a field and buys it.

She’s a real estate agent, right? She plans a vineyard with her earnings. She’s an entrepreneur. She draws on her. She’s a CrossFitter, and reveals that her arms are strong. She sees that her profits are good and her lamp never goes out at night. She’s a good administrator, right? She extends her hands to the spinning staff, and her hands hold the spindle.

Her hands reach out to the poor, and she extends her hands to the needy. . She’s not afraid for her household when it snows for all in her household are doubly clothed. She makes her own bed coverings. Her clothing is fine, linen and purple. Her husband is known at the city gates where he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes and sells linen garments. She delivers belts to the merchants who buy her stuff through Venmo. Strength and honor are her clothing and she can laugh at the. To come. Her mouth speaks wisdom on her Instagram post and loving instruction is on her tongue. And this is a tray version she watches over the activities of her household and is never idol.

My goodness. Is there anything else? Her children rise up and call her Blessed. Her husband also praises her. Look at that husband. That’s what we’re called to do, to praise our wives. Look, many women have done noble deeds, but you surpassed them all. The man says Use that line, it’ll work. Charm is de. And beauty is fleeting.

This is what Peter’s saying. Don’t put your hope on outside. But a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. Give her the reward of her labor and let her works. Praise her at the city Gates. Friends, the scriptures are not anti-women. They’re very much empowering of women. In fact, the church exploded so much in the early church because the women were like, This is liberating.

This is the good news. This empowers me to live the life that I’ve called to. The vision is there. The scriptures, Too many people act like it’s not there. But look, vision, be a woman of God intention. I’m hoping today maybe you’re not, maybe the invitation is to take a step forward. And I think the means, Peter says, The first thing you should do in becoming a woman of God is to submit.

A lot of us think, Man, I want to be a woman of God, but I’m not gonna do that thing. And the scriptures are like, then you’re done before you even. submission is a part of it. Again, I’m speaking to wives here, not just all women. So excuse me if I made that error two minutes ago. This is to the wife.

So as a my, as a pastor, my job is to help paint the vision too and to help show you some means. But the intention is always your participation. I can’t do anything about it. So will you have the intention even today, to take this journey of what it looks like to begin to cement? Let’s keep going.

Verse five, you guys with. Great. Okay. For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also adorned themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands. So now he’s pointing back to Old Testament stories, specifically just as Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him Lord. I just was like, Why is this in here?

This is so hard to preach. And my wife won’t call me it. What do I do? You have become her children when you do what is good and do not fear any intimidation. By the way, this intimidation, it could either be from the unbelieving husband who some maybe is threatening not physical violence, but wow, like I can’t believe, just kinda making fun of them for following the way of the Lord or of society being intimidated because submission is not a thing that.

Really hold dearly, especially in our culture today. But let me just clear this up, what Lord means calling him Lord. Notice lowercase l, not capital. We don’t use this term for anybody today, and I don’t think it’s wise to use it. This does sound pretty offensive and archaic, but hear me out in this time, especially in the ancient Near East, when Sarah was talking to Abraham, it was simply a phrase someone used to defer to somebody’s leadership.

It’s like my wife saying, You know what? You’re in. Will you say that? I’m just kidding. Like you’re in charge. Okay. So sometimes we have discussions. Even last night we’re trying to figure out when to leave a party. She’s You’re in charge, bud. No, she didn’t say, Bud, you would never call me that.

So you’re in charge. Just tell me and I’ll do it. So that’s what this, that, that phrase. So again, I don’t really, I think you’re actually pretty a bad husband if you leave here and go, Hey, call me Lord. Like you’ve missed the whole point. Even though I tried doing that all week, pray for me. I repent. I don’t see a scenario where I expect my wife to say that to me.

Okay, But here’s the heart of these two verses that I want us to lean in on. He is pointing to Sarah because Sarah had joy in her role. The beauty of staying in her. Write this down. You rob your soul when you despise your role.

This can go in many different ways. We all have different roles in the kingdom. We all have different roles within this church family, and I’m so grateful for. But you do have different roles in the family life and as husband and wife and I have found in my counseling, those who despise their role, the.

Can simply never get to the point of joy and freedom in their marriage. Just almost a hundred percent. If we just sit here and that person is mad about the roles that we see in scripture, those typically, in my experience, just lead to more and more heartache because they don’t see the invitation of the beauty of living in the lane God has given you.

Now I have to be, I am trying to untangle my cultural assumptions of what it means for a wife to submit and for the man to be the head. So I am not, I don’t find it helpful. I will not lay out a formula for you on all the different ways a wife should submit and all the different ways the husband should lead, cuz I don’t know what they are and I actually think it’s abusive and not helpful if I come up with these 10 lists because we actually don’t see those lists in scripture either.

So it, it requires us to have a spirit of wisdom and love and patience, but it is enough to have a f. It is enough to know, Okay, submission is here. Let’s wrestle with this together and figure out what this means, because roles do matter and I believe you can’t succeed without them. Agent Rogers one of a great preacher of yester year.

He says, No head means that you’re dead. Two heads means that you are a freak. Okay. So you, somebody’s gotta be in charge, but not both. But it’s so hard and I get it. Like I groceries babe, you’re in charge. I ain’t gonna pick, I don’t know what’s healthy. I watch all all the ladies, their Instagram post freaks me out.

Everything I eat has the worst thing in the world. So I’m like, Babe, it’s up to you. I don’t know. So don’t take this like totally to the point where the woman does nothing. Read Proverb 31. The woman does so much and they’re so empowered. But the best illustration that I have found quickly is CS Lewis says marriage is like a slow dance.

Where the man is gentle and very aware of her, of his wife, but he is the one who initiates where we’re going, but it’s slow, and the wife is always intent to see where it’s next. And I don’t know how you dance. I’m a Baptist, but I’m assuming it’s something like this. It’s a slow dance. I’m not gonna run her over.

I’m not gonna drag her. I’m gonna be gentle with her and care for her. But somebody has to take the next step to see where you’re going next. Does that make. This is the role of a husband, and this is hard, ladies. I know this is hard because a lot of us men are so passive and we don’t like this responsibility, and your job will be easier to submit when men actually become the leaders God’s called them to be.

That’s a whole nother sermon, but let’s look. Let’s look. Let’s talk about husbands. Okay, Wives, breathe. Okay. All right. Hu, I don’t actually feel as bad talking to Hu husbands. Listen up. Okay. In the same. Live with your wives in an understanding way. This phrase just means get to know your wife, right? Know her passions, investigate your wife.

Learn to love what she loves, right? Be gentle with her as a, as with a weaker partner. This is not talking about intellect, it’s not talking about dignity. It’s literally talking about, I’m sorry, but biologically, typically, a man is stronger than a. And as a man, we have to be gentle because in this contest, especially Mike makes right, They believed if you’re stronger, you win.

You have what you can. Just bulldoze whoever you are. Stronger than Peter’s saying, Be gentle. Don’t use your power and abuse your wife. Know that she’s weaker. It’s somebody had said it’s a Christian rap song. It’s more fine China. It doesn’t mean she’s any lesser. You just have to be more gentle with it because she’s frail.

Okay. As weaker partner, showing them honor as co-heirs of the grace of life, so the gift of salvation and heaven co-heirs. It’s not like the man’s in front and the woman’s behind and whatever the man doesn’t need anymore, the woman will get the scraps. It’s not at all it’s side by. Equally co-heirs, recipients of the grace of God.

But I love how God is like a really protective dad here cuz he says, if you don’t do that, look so that your prayers will not be hindered. If you’re not gentle and understanding and honoring and loving to your wife, God’s not even hearing your prayers again. Authority is typically tied more to burden.

Submission is tied more to blessing. Be careful. Here. Here’s what he’s saying. Husbands, use your strength to cultivate, not to denigrate. Cultivate means to recognize her gifts and skills and to pour fire, pour gas on that so that she can become all that God created her to be. Too often we think, Oh man, we’re the one blazing the trail, and it’s all because there’s a wife behind us.

No, my wife is right next to me. She’s by my side and my job. Is to love her and cherish her, and again, pour gas on what God has called her to be. She’s a leader and I want her to be a leader, and I empower that. Real husbands, real leaders empower other leaders. So the, again, this passage to close, I think what it’s saying is, wives, don’t look at your man’s strength as a threat.

Don’t look at your man’s strength as toxic, right? Find ways to celebrate him. Find ways to honor your husband. Respect him, give him dignity and worth. But men find ways not to bulldoze over your wife, but to honor and to be gentle and to elevate them and to respect them. This is the beauty of the gospel.

See, both are risking themselves and both are serving each other. And it’s really scary because if one person takes advantage, it can lead to a lot of hurt. But if both are submissive and loving to each other, you have this beautiful thing called a wonderful. And the scriptures say there’s nothing an on earth like it.

Like the marriage is a beautiful picture of the gospel. That’s right. And the reality is Jesus, like the good husband that he is to his bride, the church, he served you to the point of death. He’s been gentle with you. Jesus is not coercive. He’s not a coercive. Have you noticed, Jesus, maybe in your own life, he has just been gently inviting you into the next step of whatever God has for you.

And his joy is to cultivate this church, to cultivate your life and to grow you into all that God wants you to be.

And so as we close, I want us I’ve been thinking through how do we all apply this passage and you’re together group this week it’s gonna be a lot about how do we honor, how do we submit? I think Caleb did a great job this week. The 10 different ways we all can submit so it’s not just together group.

This week it’s Hey wives, what are you doing? No, it’s all of us. But here’s what I wanna lean into, especially with this topic. This is one of my favorite prayers. Lord, I don’t understand you, but I trust. And maybe after everything I’ve explained in this passage, we’ve spent a lot of time in the Bible just now.

Maybe after all of this, you’re still thinking, I don’t know. And we acknowledge that in the room we acknowledge you can’t help but get your abusive husband out of your mind or your father who was abusive to I. And I’d love to invite you into the life of our church so you can see what a healthy marriage does look like.

But here and now, I just want to invite you to pray this prayer week. And maybe it’s not about submission. Some of you’re like, I get it, it’s fine. But is there something in your life. Where you’re struggling to submit to the Lord because all the Lord says it’s good. You still think it’s, I don’t think it’s good.

God, I, that thing you want me to do, I actually think it’ll hurt me more than it’ll help me. But man, the scriptures are pretty clear, but I just hate that it’s clear and I just want to go around it. But friends, some of us, we are missing out on blessings and purpose because we have this one thing in life that we’re not trusting.

And how God seems to work is why will he give you more to trust? Trust you more with if you don’t trust him with this. So what is it? Pray this prayer even in your mind right now. Lord, I don’t understand you, but I trust you.

Group Guide

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Meal & Conversation

Open the night with a quick prayer over your time together. As your Group shares a meal, feel free to use the following question to check in with everyone:

What’s the last prayer God answered in your life?


Overview of Teaching

Words like “submission” and “authority” aren’t very popular in our western world. To follow a way of life that instructs people to submit to one another seems archaic at best and abusive at worst. But properly understood, the practice of submission is life-giving and freeing.

In 1 Peter 3, Peter pastors women in the church to lovingly submit to and respect their husbands. He also instructs husbands to lovingly serve and care for their wives. This idea of service and submission is echoed throughout scripture.

Jesus himself teaches that true leadership and power actually comes through service and submission. The practice of submission then isn’t just for women, couples, or children. It’s a practice for all Christians that actually leads to the good life.



  • Read 1 Peter 3:1-7.
    • What resonates with you in this passage, and where do you feel resistance to this passage?
    • If you’re a married woman, what does submission to your husband look like to you?
    • If you’re a married man, what does it look like to “honor your wife as a coheir of the grace of life”?
  • Now read Ephesians 5:25-33.
    • How does this passage change or affect your understanding of 1 Peter 3?
    • What often blocks submission from working and being exhibited in your own life?
  • Read Philippians 2:1-8 and Matthew 16:24-26.
    • What stands out to you about the description of Jesus in Philippians 2?
    • What are some different ways that the cross serves as the ultimate expression of submission, and what should it teach us about following Jesus today?
  • The way of Jesus teaches us that true power and leadership is often found in humble service and submission to others. This way of living and serving others contradicts the culture around us that encourages us to seek our own well-being, power, and influence at the expense of others. Where in your own life do you see a tendency to adopt the way of the world rather than the way of Jesus in this area?


Practice for the Week Ahead

The practice of submission is not just for wives, couples, or children. It’s a practice for all Jesus followers, in all ages, in all stages. In his book Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster highlights 7 ways that Christians are called to submit. Read through the following practices of submission and choose several that you can commit to implementing this week:

  1. Submission to God — Consider starting each morning with this prayer by Thomas à Kempis: “As you will, what you will, when you will.” Make it a habit this week to look for ways to obey God throughout your day, both in big things and little things.
  2. Submission to Scripture — As you read scripture, end each reading with a short prayer intentionally asking God to reveal ways for you to submit to and apply the Bible to your life.
  3. Submission to your Family — Pay extra attention to your family. Look for specific ways you can humbly serve them and seek their well-being above your own. It could be as simple as setting aside special family time, listening rather than retaliating in an argument, or giving up your preferences for someone else’s.
  4. Submission to your Neighbors — Look for ways to serve your neighbors and those you interact with regularly. Think of random acts of kindness or hospitality that you can do this week: offer babysitting, sharing meals, yard work, etc.
  5. Submission to Believers — Who in our own church community can you submit to by serving this week? If you know someone with a need, consider ways to help meet that need. Additionally, consider ways you can serve in church on Sundays.
  6. Submission to the Broken — Consider ways to reach the poor and marginalized in our community this week. Pay attention to the homeless you see while driving to work, make plans to do a service project with your Together Group, or meet the tangible of someone you know who’s suffering.
  7. Submission to the World — The world is a gift from God, and the responsibility to steward and care for creation extends to all of us. How can you help steward and care for creation this week?


Now discuss the following questions before ending the night.

  • Which practice(s) are you going to implement?
  • What would success look like for you as you engage in the practice this week?

Before you close out your time, make plans to attend Viking Feast on November 19th! Sign up to bring food to share, and think of friends that you can invite.

Close your time together in prayer.