In the Same Way – Understanding I Peter 2:13 – 3:7

Here at 113Restoration.com, our guiding principle is I Corinthians 11:3. The word picture we use to represent this verse is shown below. Hierarchy is represented by the superior positioned on the left side of the arrow with his subordinate on the right side of the arrow.

God the Father (YHVH) <- God the Son (Yeshua) <- Man <- Woman

In his letter to the exiled descendants of the ten tribes who were at that time living in and around Asia Minor (see I Peter 1:1-2), Peter was both explaining some fundamentals of the faith that they needed to know and giving excellent advice for walking in their public and private lives. My purpose here is not to expound on the entire letter, but to demonstrate that in the section 2:13 – 3:7 he was teaching the exiles the importance of respecting one’s superior in the hierarchy and loving one’s subordinate, in particular one’s wife. Let’s begin by considering I Peter 2:13-17.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God, that by doing right you silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Act as free people, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond-servants of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

I Peter 2:13-17

Peter tells us to submit ourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution. From the context, it looks like he specifically means the political rulers. He is saying that kings and governors are sent by Him, the Lord, as his agents for punishing evildoers and praising the righteous. That means if these rulers are sent by Yeshua, then we as Yeshua’s subordinates fear God and honor the king. I also want to point out that while we can act as free people, we should use our freedom, not to cover evil, but by behaving as bond-servants for God (see Romans 6:22 and I Corinthians 7:22 for Paul’s thoughts on this.)

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh. 

I Peter 2:18

Peter now turns from free men honoring the king to the relationship between master and servant. He tells servants to be subject to their masters with all respect. Subordinates respect their superiors.

Moving from the general case of servants being subject to their masters, Peter now addresses the specific instance of Jesus Christ as the Master, and redeemed men as his servants.

21 For you have been called for this purpose, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in His steps, 22 He who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being abusively insulted, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself brought our sins in His body up on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

I Peter 2:21-25

What is the purpose that Peter is referencing here? The purpose is for each redeemed man to imitate Yeshua as He walked here on the Earth. Yeshua is our Example. Peter gives examples of how Yeshua humbly walked but what I really want to highlight is that Yeshua kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously (see Genesis 18:22-33). This Righteous Judge is none other than YHVH Himself. We were sinners and straying like sheep, but now we have returned to the Shepherd through his suffering, death and resurrection.

Yeshua looked to His Father and acted in love towards us. This is His example. I can represent this with another word picture.

God the Father <- entrust/respect – Yeshua the Son – love -> redeemed sheep

In the same way, you wives, be subject to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your pure and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely the external—braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or putting on apparel; but it should be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way the holy women of former times, who hoped in God, also used to adorn themselves, being subject to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; and you have proved to be her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

I Peter 3:1-6

“In the same way”, as servants respect their masters with all respect (2:18), so are wives to be subject to their husbands. Peter is saying that unredeemed men can be won over by their wives’ respectful behavior. Yes, wives must place their husbands above themselves in the patriarchal hierarchy, but that willing and respectful submission is so powerful it can win men for Christ!!!

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

I Peter 3:7

“In the same way” as Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ enables His redeemed men to die to their sin and live for righteousness, so do husbands enable their wives to die to their sin and live for righteousness. Outside of the equality they share in salvation, the husband must regard his wife as a subordinate and helpmeet.

The English phrase in an “understanding way” does not, in my opinion, adequately translate the Greek word ‘gnosis’ (G#1108). In Greek, ‘gnosis’ means the following:

  1. knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding
    1. the general knowledge of Christian religion
    2. the deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced
    3. esp. of things lawful and unlawful for Christians
    4. moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living

The redeemed husband dwells with his wife and brings her into a deeper and more perfect knowledge, and teaches her to know what is lawful and not lawful (what agrees with Torah and what doesn’t, what is holy and profane, what is clean and unclean). He understands what she lacks and supplies it so she is elevated in her understanding and walk. This isn’t about letting the wife continue in sinful behavior because she’s “weaker” and her husband needs to “understand” her.

As Yeshua trains and elevates the husband, so also does the husband train and elevate his wife.

The husband respects Yeshua and obeys Him. The wife respects her husband and obeys him.

Yeshua loves the husband. The husband loves the wife. Doing this honors his wife and he shares with her the joy and grace of salvation for in this, they are equals. Significantly, as the husband lives in an understanding way with his wife, his prayers are not hindered!!

Nevertheless, as for you individually, each husband is to love his own wife the same as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 5:33

If a husband does not teach his wife and elevate her as Yeshua has taught and elevated him from being an unredeemed wandering sheep, he is not behaving righteously and his prayers will be hindered. Perhaps that’s a tactful way of saying “ignored”? If a husband listens to his wife more than he listens to Yeshua, as Adam did Eve, would Yeshua be disrespected? Wouldn’t that husband’s prayers get hindered (ignored)?

How Should a Woman Pray for Her Man?

Recently I was asked, ‘In light of God’s authority structure, and recognizing that God will not violate His own structure, is it okay for my woman to pray for me or over me?’

In Christendom, the immediate answer is , ‘Of course!’ But, the question gave me pause to think. I considered various implications and scenarios which led to this article, Suzerain-Vassal Relationships in God’s Authority Structure, published on natsab.

Continue reading “How Should a Woman Pray for Her Man?”

Men Deal With Men…

An interesting blog post crossed my feed the other day. At least the first half of it was really interesting, more on that in a minute….

The following (half) post copied from Move From This Mountain has some valuable pieces of insight regarding headship and patriarchy. Of particular interest is the author’s assertion, which I believe correct, that men must deal with men. Or, put another way – Men innately know that women do not have authority over them.

Continue reading “Men Deal With Men…”

Every man a knight

It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.

John Paul II, as quoted in https://www.goalcast.com/2017/12/08/25-pope-john-paul-ii-quotes/

John Paul II was a highly educated man, and I’m sure he was aware of the rich feudal history of chivalry in the Middle Ages. In the picture above, a maiden is tying her favor on the arm of her chosen knight who is preparing to joust in her honor.

According to one site the “Song of Roland” contained a version of the Code of Chivalry.

  • Fear God and His Church
  • Serve the liege lord in valor and faith
  • Protect the weak and defenseless
  • Live by honor and for glory
  • Respect the honor of women

Combining the third and fifth elements in this list results in a knight upholding the dignity of a woman, as John Paul II succinctly says.

What might be the dignity of a woman? Well, in general, women do not possess the same physical attributes of strength and physical capacity to do hard labor, nor do they usually possess the aggressiveness of the male half of mankind. The sexual crime of rape combines aggressiveness and physical overpowering of the weaker victim. Certainly, a knight or any honorable man should protect a woman from sexual assault.

Another way a man can protect the dignity of a woman is for a father to not allow his daughter to become a prostitute.

None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute

Deuteronomy 23:17a

One of the consequences of widowhood, especially for the aged, is that the woman is often at the mercy of con artists or easily becomes deceived by fraudsters. Here, protecting the widow is certainly a high calling for any man, a modern-day knight. YHVH Himself has said that He is a Judge for the widow and orphan.

A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.

Psalm 68:5

Today, we have elite soldiers who operate in one of several branches of the Special Forces instead of knights. They swear to defend the United States Constitution. But that doesn’t mean that every man who serves YHVH cannot follow much the same code of chivalry. I could rewrite the Code contained in the Song of Roland to one more appropriate of a 21st century Hebrew man among the hosts of YHVH.

  • Fear YHVH and honor His Name
  • Serve your master or employer in faithfulness and truth
  • Protect the weak and defenseless
  • Live by honor and for His Glory
  • Respect the honor of women

Whose Legacy? Thoughts from OUR Garden…

We’ve had a real heat wave here in Indiana this summer. Due to retirement last fall, I’ve seen more sun and experienced the heat first hand while enjoying a lush garden and just being outdoors in general. But with the heat and lack of precipitation, watering has become a regular thing and it just takes as long as it takes. I really don’t mind that particular task, as I find it very therapeutic and it gives me an “excuse” for contemplation, prayer and praise.

It was one such morning last week that I began to think back to when I first found this little “farmette”consisting of an older farmhouse, four acres, and a beautiful hip roof barn wrapped in red metal. It had been a search of about 7 months before I found a property that met all my criteria and that I could actually afford. I was elated and thankful to the Father that everything had finally fallen into place for ME to own this little homestead. But little did I know my new adventure was pointing me towards a major spiritual paradigm shift.

I’ve had a lot of help developing this property in the last 4 years. I have two grown sons who have contributed to barn cleanout, fencing, gardening, drywall repair, etc. But the biggest contributor to the project has been my spiritual friend/brother/soulmate that I now call husband. When we first began brainstorming and envisioning projects, I must admit that I thought it was such a blessing to have someone with a similar passion willing to help me with MY goals and dreams. We had discovered that we worked very well together, and I was more than happy to defer to his experience in the areas of gardening and farming…for the most part. This is where some challenges began to crop up, bringing about that paradigm shift I mentioned earlier.

My old mind set, as an independent working woman, was to take full responsibility for “my” decisions and investment. I did give Yah thanks for answering prayers for a little place in the country that I could share with my family, but years of being single due to divorce had turned me into a “take charge” kinda gal. After all, momma had always told me, “You can do this!” But in the midst of the process, I was also learning deeper scriptural truths about headship, patriarchy, and submissiveness. In my times of introspection, study and prayer, I began to see how my attitude may have contributed to the failure of my first marriage. I also became more sensitive and knowledgeable about men in general, and began to seek change in how I related to my current husband.

I recently read an article by a blogger that, at first reading really set me back. It was titled “Does His Happiness Matter More Than Mine?” My first reaction was “of course not!” But the Spirit began to work in me, revealing the truth contained in the words of the article. If I truly believed that obedience to Messiah is manifested by my reverence and obedience to my husband, then I seriously had to re-think that response. After all, I am HIS help meet, not the other way around! Now granted, he is a wonderful man that helps me in so many ways, but that is because he takes husbandry seriously. So rather than focusing on my plans and goals, I’m asking the Father to teach me to focus on his. I am beginning to see that my legacy should not be about my personal accomplishments, but how I respected and served him in obedience to Messiah. It should be how I loved and taught my children and grandchildren, and how I served others in addition to my family. I am also beginning to understand that although my name may be on the mortgage, I need to diligently water and care for OUR garden and listen to his direction in the management of this household in general. I really believe to do so is pleasing to Yeshua and builds up the name and reputation of the Godly man that He has placed over me.