In preaching through 1 Peter, I find myself staring at chapter 3 and wondering how I can possibly make it relevant to 21st Century American women. I know that most women under the age of 40 will hear these verses and inwardly think, “no way…, you don’t know the man I’m married to” or “if I do that I will be taken so taken advantage of.” These verses run so counter to what schools and media portray to girls and young women that I thought it would be best to re-write the Scriptures to reflect how most American women are taught to think. If you think I am wrong, let me know, but I think this is very accurate. The bullet point is the verse restated in 21st Century societal practice.
1 Peter 3:1-6
(1) Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,
(2) when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
for they must earn your respect and will be treated as they treat you.
(3) Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—
Keep up with all the latest fashions, for you must present a visually successful and attractive image to influence others and keep your husband’s attention.
Let your adorning demonstrate your beauty and power lest others disregard you and treat you as a doormat, for God helps those who help themselves.
(5) For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,
And remember this is the 21st century, and women have been empowered to lead and succeed, and no longer have to follow behind men. Your power to succeed is within you.
You no longer have to follow antiquated stereotypes, for you have the power to be your own woman. In marriage as in life, view yourself equal to men
So, you think I am being ridiculous? No, the idea of a 21st Century American woman being a “Sarah” and calling her husband “Lord” is ridiculous to 98% of Christian woman. This notion is laughed out of Evangelical churches. Perhaps “Godly Women” give it lip service, but in reality this is a foreign idea in modern America. Woman who follow this are looked down upon with scorn and even derision. So how does a Pastor teach this with authority and application that makes sense in modern America? He can’t without sounding either crazy or chauvinistic. However, I believe there is a way to teach 1 Peter 3 so it makes sense to a modern woman. In order to do so, we must view these verses in light of the “template” that Peter wants us to place over these verses. It is a template that came to frame his whole way of living. Stay tuned…