1 Peter 3:1-7
Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word…
1. The first duty which he enjoins is subjection (ver. 1).
2. The second duty enjoined on Christian wives is "chaste conversation"; in other words, a deportment governed by principles of modest decorum and unblemished purity.
3. The apostle's third direction respects fear, "A chaste conversion, coupled with fear," by which I understand, with Dr. Doddridge, the fear of God, a holy principle of reverence for the Supreme Being, consistent with love and springing greatly from it.
4. The fourth direction to Christian females respects indifference to external ornaments of dress (ver. 3).
5. The fifth advice is on the cultivation of the mind (ver. 4). "Whose adorning," etc.
6. A sixth precept, and the last which he urges on his female friends, is the union of decision and cheerfulness (ver. 6). Doing well is practical decision. The absence of fear with amazement, or of a perturbed dissatisfaction of mind, implies cheerfulness.The apostle suggests three motives to enforce these directions,
1. The first is the probable influence of the deport-meet of the pious female in affecting the conversion of an unbelieving husband (vers. 1, 2).
2. The second motive urged by the apostle is the approbation of God (ver. 4).
3. The third motive arises from example (vers. 5, 6). But let me request attention to the exhortation which is given to Christian husbands (ver. 7).The duty of Christian men united in marriage is here represented to consist chiefly in three articles.
1. The first is domestic attachment — "Dwell with them."
2. The second duty enjoined on Christian husbands is conduct governed by "knowledge." "Dwell with them according to knowledge."
3. The third duty which is here inculcated on believing husbands, in reference to their wives, is that of respectful as well as affectionate attention, which the apostle calls giving them honour. Dr. Doddridge supposes this to intend a suitable and, as far as may be, a liberal maintenance. Certainly this is included; but the precept appears to go much further. It is a guard against the abuse of that domestic authority which Providence has lodged in the hands of the husband. For how can despotic power reign in his breast, who honours the wife of his bosom? Various considerations to enforce these duties arise out of the apostle's statement of the wife as "the weaker vessel."
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;