1 Peter 3:1-7
Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word…
I. LET US ATTEND TO THEIR JOINT PRIVILEGE. They are "heirs together of the grace of life." The happiness of the marriage relation is generally dependent on the resemblance of the persons entering into it. The significant expression used by the sacred writer implies —
1. That both are partakers of "grace"; in other words, that they are real Christians. It is not always so.
2. That they are not in present possession of all the happiness designed for them — "the grace of life." This inheritance, in its largest extent, they do not possess; they are "the heirs." They have many toilsome steps to take in the journey of their present existence before they reach their heavenly inheritance. Uncertainty hangs over every event.
3. They have glorious prospects in futurity. The heirs of God are joint heirs with Christ.
II. THE INFLUENCE OF THIS PRIVILEGE ON THE GENERAL DEPORTMENT OF CHRISTIANS UNITED IN MARRIAGE.
1. In the promotion of personal religion. Marriage should be improved to form and refine the individual character, but the duties of the individual character can never be annihilated by the social bond. Being heirs together of the grace of life, each of you is bound to be uniformly, decidedly, eminently devoted to God and the Redeemer. The same consideration should operate.
2. On the mutual advancement of piety in each other's hearts. The converted wife or the converted husband is never to be regarded by the other party as one standing in need of no helps to the advancement of the highest interests of the soul.
3. In the engagements of domestic worship and discipline. Wherever Christians pitch their tents, they should without delay erect an altar.
4. On resolutions made before God with regard to relations not yet in existence. Such relations, young people entering into the bonds of marriage ought to anticipate. "We may hereafter be parents" is consideration which forces itself on their minds.
5. On the general conduct. Married people, feeling reciprocally the influence of religion, will practically recommend it to the approbation of all who behold them.
III. THE CONNECTION OF THE PERFORMANCE OR THE NEGLECT OF THE DUTIES OF THE MARRIAGE RELATION, WITH THE ACCEPTANCE AND USEFULNESS, OR WITH THE HINDRANCE, OF PRAYER, "That your prayers be not hindered."
1. To a deep sense of the necessity of prayer, which will be encouraged in the one case, and wretchedly hindered in the other.
2. To the constant exercise of the external duty of prayer.
3. To the cultivation or the neglect of the spirit of prayer.
4. To the experience, and to the diminution of the advantages of prayer. Prayer, if an acceptable, is an operative service.
Parallel VersesKJV: Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;