Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. (1 Peter 3:1-2)
Saved Without A Word
Teaching a person the plan of salvation can be a challenging endeavor filled with questions and uncertainty on how to address the eternal consequences of the decision to be made. Those who have spent many hours studying scriptures with others know the difficulties that can be faced. What is often overlooked is the power of influence and the Holy Spirit directs the attention to one specific scenario that has one of the most rewarding outcomes for the family. Consider a woman who is a child of God married to a man who is not in covenant with Christ. This can be a difficult place for a woman to find herself either because she married a man who was not a Christian or she has obeyed the gospel and the husband has not. Regardless, the stark reality of the marriage is that she enjoys the hope of eternal life and her husband faces the reality of perishing. This can be a dangerous liaison in the marriage bond as spiritual goals struggle to mesh with carnal lives driven by the concerns of the world. The wife serves the Lord but the husband does not. She has desires to live a spiritual life facing the hardship of a man she loves deeply who does not share that passion. There will always exist a wall of separation between the two because the view of life is fundamentally opposite. This can result in many hours of heartache, despair, worry, and sometimes anger. Oftentimes it creates in the woman a dispirited attitude of complacency with little concern her husband has no hope of eternal life believing that he is a good man and God will show mercy. The Bible does not teach salvation by goodness. He can be a great father, loving husband and respectable man in the community but the eternal reality is that he is doomed to perdition.
Peter addresses the challenge of a Christian woman married to a non-Christian husband offering a kernel of hope that may bring about joy in the home. The apostle will not negate the need of teaching the word of truth to the husband but Peter does suggest one of the strongest motivations a man will find to be saved is the conduct of their wives. Many husbands will not listen to the words of the preacher or elder or friend. Some will not obey the gospel of Christ through direct teaching. What will change the heart of the husband is the chase conduct of his wife. Her life of purity and reverence for God can change the heart of her husband. He sees how much she loves the Lord and is willing to serve the Lord. She is faithful in how she daily reads the scriptures to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Her words are graced with the words of the Bible. By her actions the wife shows the husband the character of godliness coupled with godly fear. Peter will explain more in the text one evidence of her submission to God is her manner of dress. What is precious in the heart of a godly wife is how she dresses. Her adornment is not as the world dresses but as modesty would dictate under the guidance of God. The husband sees in his wife the radiance of the hidden person of the heart, the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Impressed by her Christian life, the husband can be won to Christ without a word. One of the strongest examples of faith for the woman married to a non-believing husband is how she submits to her husband. This can only be found in the character of a godly wife who subjects her will to the word of God. Women of the world will not submit themselves to their husbands. Those who follow Christ know the value of submission first as a command and secondly as a means to show their husbands how much they love God. Unbelieving husbands can be saved without a word by the conduct of their wives.
It must be noted in contrast that many husbands will never obey the gospel because of the conduct of their wives. What makes this formula so powerful is that a man can save his soul without a word but rather by the conduct of his wife. Her life will help lead him to Christ and to eternal life. If a wife refuses to submit to her husband she may very well be putting his soul in jeopardy. When a woman does not live godly before her husband she is blocking out the only possible hope he may have to eternal life. If she never spends time in the word of God, she is telling her husband that he need not bother. When she continually forsakes the assembling of the saints she declares to her husband his allegiance to service of the most high God is of no use. The wife who dresses like the world and enjoys the pleasures of the world more than adorning herself with chaste conduct testifies to her husband that his eternal life is not important to her. It is hard to imagine how a woman can show love to her husband in every way in this world but show no love for his life in the world to come. The chaste conduct of the wife can save her husband without a word. It is also true the neglected example of godliness in a woman who does not live for Christ each day can possibly damn her husband to eternal fire. This is the reality Peter writes about that must be concerning on the hearts of women who are married to non-believers. Women who trust in God can lead their husbands to heaven if they will show that love and dedication in their own lives. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by your behavior, when they see the purity and reverence of your life.