Marriage Takes Courage

Title: Marriage Takes Courage

Bible Book: 1 Peter

Author: Garry Barber

Subject: Marriage, Husband, Wife


Dear Tech Support:
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a slowdown In the performance of the flower and jewelry applications that had operated flawlessly under the Boyfriend 5.0 system.
In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.9, and installed undesirable programs such as NFL 7.4, NBA 3.2 and NHL 4.1.
Conversation 8.0 also no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.
I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do?
Signed, Desperate

A few years ago the above mock letter was passed around on the internet. The author is unknown, but both the humor and the reality of it are clearly applicable in our day of confusion and frustration in the area of marriage and family relationships. When we read between the lines in Peter’s first epistle we discover these are not new issues for the Christian family.

When Peter wrote to the early church, he wrote in a time of great confusion. (Perhaps every era of history has been a time of great confusion in one way or another.) More than three decades has passed since Jesus’ resurrection when Peter wrote this letter to Christians who were scattered all across Asia Minor. Rome had not yet banned the Christian faith but the tension was building against these Christians who lived lifestyles so different from the pagans and spoke of a Heavenly kingdom.  It was a time when courageous faith was needed for survival in a hostile world.  It was a time when, for many, it seemed easier just to give in; to cave to the pressure and try to fit in with the rest of the world. Peter calls on his Christian readers to be people of courage, and such courage, according to Peter, is demonstrated through submission, not to societal pressure but to the needs of others.

If marriage is going to survive in our society, if families are going to survive, then it must begin with Christian men and women who understand that the key to healthy relationships is to model the attitude of Christ Himself. That is, the courageous giving up of the self-consumed, self-centeredness of our day and learning the fulfillment of submission, holiness, faith, service and consistency. We must learn to live by a biblical model of marriage in which husbands and wives courageously serve one another.

I. Wives Must be Courageously Submissive, Holy and Confident

A. Submissive – not afraid of giving up power 3:1

Wives are called on to be submissive.  Not powerless. Not abused.  Not useless, meaningless, or worthless.  But like Jesus; strong enough to willingly submit to the needs of others.

B. Holy – not afraid to be the person God has made you to be 3:2

It is in submission that we are most like Jesus.  Not that a person should stay in an abusive relationship (the Bible never says that).  The point is that Jesus came to earth and related to us for our sakes, not for His.  His glory is complete without us but He submitted Himself for our sakes.  This is where Jesus is most seen in us – humility not power.

C. Confident – not afraid to rely on your inner beauty 3:3-6

Some Christian traditions prohibit makeup, jewelry and colorful clothing because of this passage of scripture. Such positions border on legalism, yet there remains an important principle for Christian living.

Why is the beauty/fashion industry so huge?  Why are young girls addicted to diet drugs? Why are so many of our nation’s women clinically depressed?  Because they have fallen for the lie that genuine beauty can be faked or that it is merely exterior.

The most fulfilling marital love is based upon becoming more and more in love with one’s spouse each year in response to inner beauty that comes from being totally given to Christ.

II. Husbands must be courageously considerate, chivalrous, Christian and consistent

A. Considerate – not ashamed to be sensitive

There is a direct connection here with “submissive”.  The KJV says, “dwell with them according to knowledge”. In other words, “THINK about her needs!!”

B. Chivalrous – not embarrassed to serve your wife

Not patronizing, demeaning words or action but genuine respect, and honor. Open the door for her sometimes, be patient, be kind. Make some time to help with the groceries and the house work.

C. Christian – not afraid to be the spiritual leader in your home

In my years of ministry I have found that he most detrimental thing to a marriage is when the wife no longer has a reason to respect her husband as the spiritual leader of the home.Treat her as your partner in the Lord, a joint heir in Christ, a precious gift given to you that you are to demonstrate Christ-likeness before on a daily basis.

D. Consistent – not afraid to suffer for doing good at all times

Finally, do these things consistently. A husband who is respected in his role as husband and leader is one who is the same leader at home as at church; the same consistent Christian with his family as he is before his Sunday School class or with his pastor.

I believe that when a Christian wife sees that in her husband it is her desire to follow that man. It becomes her will to join with him in submissive partnership.

Peter lived, preached, wrote and was married during a time when life was confusing for Christian believers. It was not sociably acceptable to live a holy, pure life. Decent Roman society pressured believers to accept a variety of moral positions that were against God’s word and encouraged the gratification of self.  The devil was on the offensive and the place he aimed his strongest arrows was at husbands and wives and families.


We live in a day of unprecedented spiritual confusion. We are all being pressured to accept homosexuality as a viable lifestyle (even for Christians) and are persecuted by society for the choice to live by Godly standards.

What is the answer? Courage. We must not be a generation of spiritual wimps. It takes courage on a deep, personal level of commitment.  Being fulfilled in our relationships requires courage to trust God, courage to put aside our personal needs to meet the needs of another and courage to be faithful the covenant that was made before God to serve, honor and obey in sickness and in health, in wealth and in prosperity.

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