3:1-7 The wife must discharge her duty to her own husband, though he obey not the word. We daily see how narrowly evil men watch the ways and lives of professors of religion. Putting on of apparel is not forbidden, but vanity and costliness in ornament. Religious people should take care that all their behaviour answers to their profession. But how few know the right measure and bounds of those two necessaries of life, food and raiment! Unless poverty is our carver, and cuts us short, there is scarcely any one who does not desire something beyond what is good for us. Far more are beholden to the lowliness of their state, than the lowliness of their mind; and many will not be so bounded, but lavish their time and money upon trifles. The apostle directs Christian females to put on something not corruptible, that beautifies the soul, even the graces of God's Holy Spirit. A true Christian's chief care lies in right ordering his own spirit. This will do more to fix the affections, and excite the esteem of a husband, than studied ornaments or fashionable apparel, attended by a froward and quarrelsome temper. Christians ought to do their duty to one another, from a willing mind, and in obedience to the command of God. Wives should be subject to their husbands, not from dread and amazement, but from desire to do well, and please God. The husband's duty to the wife implies giving due respect unto her, and maintaining her authority, protecting her, and placing trust in her. They are heirs together of all the blessings of this life and that which is to come, and should live peaceably one with another. Prayer sweetens their converse. And it is not enough that they pray with the family, but husband and wife together by themselves, and with their children. Those who are acquainted with prayer, find such unspeakable sweetness in it, that they will not be hindered therein. That you may pray much, live holily; and that you may live holily, be much in prayer.
1Pe 3:1-22. Relative Duties of Husbands and Wives: Exhortations to Love and Forbearance: Right Conduct under Persecutions for Righteousness' Sake, after Christ's Example, Whose Death Resulted in Quickening to Us through His Being Quickened Again, of Which Baptism Is the Sacramental Seal.
1. Likewise—Greek, "In like manner," as "servants" in their sphere; compare the reason of the woman's subjection, 1Co 11:8-10; 1Ti 2:11-14.
your own—enforcing the obligation: it is not strangers ye are required to be subject to. Every time that obedience is enjoined upon women to their husbands, the Greek, "idios," "one's own peculiarly," is used, while the wives of men are designated only by heauton, "of themselves." Feeling the need of leaning on one stronger than herself, the wife (especially if joined to an unbeliever) might be tempted, though only spiritually, to enter into that relation with another in which she ought to stand to "her own spouse (1Co 14:34, 35, "Let them ask their own [idious] husbands at home"); an attachment to the person of the teacher might thus spring up, which, without being in the common sense spiritual adultery, would still weaken in its spiritual basis the married relation [Steiger].
that, if—Greek, "that even if." Even if you have a husband that obeys not the word (that is, is an unbeliever).
without the word—independently of hearing the word preached, the usual way of faith coming. But Bengel, "without word," that is, without direct Gospel discourse of the wives, "they may (literally, in oldest manuscripts, 'shall,' which marks the almost objective certainty of the result) be won" indirectly. "Unspoken acting is more powerful than unperformed speaking" [�CUMENIUS]. "A soul converted is gained to itself, to the pastor, wife, or husband, who sought it, and to Jesus Christ; added to His treasury who thought not His own precious blood too dear to lay out for this gain" [Leighton]. "The discreet wife would choose first of all to persuade her husband to share with her in the things which lead to blessedness; but if this be impossible, let her then alone diligently press after virtue, in all things obeying him so as to do nothing at any time against his will, except in such things as are essential to virtue and salvation" [Clement of Alexandria].