Bonus Content from October 13th (1 Peter 3:1-7)

1)  I mentioned in the sermon that early in our marriage, I was in the habit of asking Sarah intentional questions to understand her better. I found an index card with those questions last week while cleaning out boxes, and was convicted regarding the importance of resuming my old practice. You asked for the questions. Here is the full list:

What could I do to make you feel more loved and cherished?

How can I best demonstrate my appreciation for you?

To what degree do you feel like I understand your heart?

To what degree do you feel secure with me?

To what degree are you confident in our future direction?

What attribute/practice would you like me to develop/improve?

What attribute/practice would you like me to help you develop in yourself?

What mutual goal would you like to see us accomplish?


2)  I addressed it in the sermon and no questions were subsequently asked about it, but the issue of this passage’s applicability in 2019 is a massive one. I argued in the sermon that while we decline to greet each other with kisses (though such a greeting is commanded in four different New Testament letters), we do continue to teach differentiation in roles within a marriage. Why one and not the other? Below is a brief outline of a response.


– While the holy kiss may be appropriate in some cultures, in other cultures it may communicate something very different from the  intent of the biblical command. A “hearty handshake” may cause less confusion and thereby communicate affection more effectively in our context. However, the commands regarding role differentiation in marriage are rooted in the creation order itself. In Genesis 1-2, before sin ever entered the world, Adam was given a task and then given a helper to come alongside him in that task.

– When Peter gives the reason for his teaching on marriage, he appeals not to cultural conventions and apologetic sensitivity but rather to Sarah and the holy women of God in the past. His argument is that the women of his day should return to the way the women in the past adorned themselves and submitted to their husbands. As a particular culture moves further in the anti-submission, outward-adornment direction Peter saw it moving in his own day, it seems that his instructions (rather than being negated) only become more important.

– Some say that to have role distinctions inherently involves inequality. In other words, “equal in essence but distinct in roles” is a logical impossibility, like “separate but equal” was in the 1950s (“separate but equal is inherently unequal”). Some even suggest that Paul eventually realized this, and they point to Galatians 3:28 as a late development in Paul’s thought – that as he progressed, he realized that role distinctions between male and female were dissolved in Christ. “No male or female in Christ,” then, becomes an overarching truth that trumps specific commands given to believers in particular locales. Here in 1 Peter 3:1-7, however, we see that Peter clearly saw no contradiction between being equal in essence/value/worth and being distinct in roles/authority. In the same passage in which he affirms equal essence/value/worth (3:7), he reiterates distinction in role (3:1).