We are continuing in our series on 1 Peter, this week focusing on 3:1-12. From this passage, Peter gives his readers 3 ways the people around them will know they are Christians: 1) by how they treat their significant others; 2) by how they treat brothers and sisters in Christ; and 3) by how they treat those who are not believers.
First let's look at how Peter encourages husbands and wives. Our first inclination when reading this passage is to think that it is about marriage. But actually Peter is talking more about evangelism and witness more than about the marriage relationship itself.
Most commentators believe that Peter gives these specific instructions to wives because a large proportion of women in the congregation had become Christian but their husbands had not. In the Roman world, wives usually took the religion of their husbands and Christianity was unusual in that women were encouraged to commit to Jesus whether or not their husbands approved. But in order to help show their non-believing husbands the nature of the gospel, Peter exhorts them to not only use words but also to use the witness of their lives. And Peter doesn't leave out husbands. In the same way, husbands are to be considerate and treat their wives with respect as fellow heirs with them (v.7).
Secondly Peter briefly addresses how Christians are to treat one another in v.8. In John 13, after Jesus washed the disciples feet, he told them in v.35 "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Thirdly, Peter shows them how to treat people who are not believers, even those who hate and persecute them (v.9-12). Peter encourages them to repay evil with blessing, keep their tongue from evil and do good, to seek peace and pursue it. Just as their Savior Jesus Christ did not retaliate but entrusted Himself to God under suffering, they are to model His way.
God wants us to share the good news with those closest to us, but not just with words but with our loving actions and respect.
God wants Christians to show the good news by their loving relationships with one another.
God wants us to shine the good news by how we love those who are not believers.
How will you share, show and shine the good news this week?