Your Lifestyle In Marriage
The way a spouse behaves is being observed by the other. Your lifestyle can win over the unbeliever. The wife's lifestyle includes the presence of God and respect. True beauty comes from what's inside the person.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ all right today? Yes, I wait for you to answer, ‘cause I know many of you do. It’s kind of a little, little routine that you and I have, isn’t it? And although I can’t see you or hear you, I know you’re there. And from my part I pray every time I approach the microphone, that God may put His truth and His love and His power into what’s said, so that there’s something there that you could get hold of. May that be true again today.
Peter is talking to the distaff side of the house, the wives, in chapter 3 of 1 Peter. And for our purposes, the keyword here is ‘won’. You’re to win people, not arguments. “If any husband obey not the Word, they may also without the Word, be won – W-O-N – by the lifestyle of the wives.” Your job is not to win the argument, but to win the person for Christ. And if your husband is a believer, the two of you are living step by step together in the will of God, your job dear lady, is to nurture, and encourage, and help him to grow.
I’m just reading a book by a famous psychiatrist who says that, “Love is not a feeling but a determination to do what helps the other person grow.” That’s not a bad definition when you come down to it. Not to win the argument, but to win the person for the Lord, and to see him or her growing in the things of God.
Now, he uses the word ‘behold’. And that reminds me, husbands and wives, that your spouse is always watching you, whether or not you know it. They’re always observing what really is important in your life. Think about that for a while and you’ll realize that it, that it’s a very serious matter indeed. We are always being watched by somebody, and in the case of husbands and wives, there never is a time when you can say, “Well it doesn’t matter now! I can be cross now, I can be selfish now, I can be greedy now, I can be resentful now, I can de-, demand my own way now because it doesn’t matter – it’s just us.” No, that isn’t true, it always matters.
And every time I’m careless, every time I speak out of turn, every time I follow my own desires rather than seeking the good and blessing and the growth of another, I’m leaving a certain amount of damage and scar tissue that will be there for the rest of our lives. Oh yes, there’s forgiveness. But like driving the nail into the fencepost which the little boy had to do every time he disobeyed or told a lie – you can pull out the nails, but the holes remain in the fencepost. So it is a, life is a serious business. Everything matters. And people do watch –that’s the, that’s the impact of that word ‘behold’ – “while they behold your holy lifestyle, coupled with respect.”
Now let me just, ladies not to, to beat this whole matter into the ground and, and bore you with, with dwelling on it too long. But just let me run down if I may, the different aspects of a wife whose life wins others for the Lord. May I do that? He says, “They look at your holy lifestyle.” ‘Chaste’ is modified in verse 5, by ‘holy’. In this matter, in this manner, in the old time the holy women also. Your holy lifestyle, a life that, that exhibits the presence and blessing and holiness of God.
You really are the, the center around which all of the activities of your home revolve, dear lady. And your life then needs to be so close to God that at any point while someone observes you – be it your husband or anyone else, to be able to sense the presence of Almighty God in your life, holy lifestyle. Then respect your holy lifestyle coupled with respect – that word ‘fear’ is that you’re not afraid because he says down later in verse 6: “Don’t be afraid.” So it’s not a matter of being afraid of the man. It’s respect.
Many a husband labors under a burden of hurt, not to say resentment, because his wife looks down on him. She’s smarter, or she’s abler, or she has better connections, or her folks were richer, or whatever it may be… Or if both of them work, she makes more money than he, and she looks down on him. And if there’s ever an argument, she says, “Well I’m worth a lot more than you are evidentially. You can’t bring home anything more than 18,000 a year, and I’m makin’ 50 – that sort of a thing.
Now watch yourself on that, friends, and that goes both ways. Husbands it seems to me, do well to respect their wives as a valuable human being. And the value of a human being is, is based not on what he or she makes, or not necessarily on the IQ level of how smart he or she may be. The value of a person is that he or she is a, is an eternal soul and a person that is absolutely unique – there isn’t anybody else in all the world just like that one person. And you value them therefore, and you respect them.
A marriage counselor friend of mine – and then this goes back a good many years. But I remember it so clearly. He said, he said a man came to him and he said, “I’ve got to have a divorce. Yeah just, I have to have a divorce. I can’t stand it any longer.” “Well,” he said, “tell me about your wife. Does she, does she run around on you? Is she unfaithful to you?” “Oh no,” he said. “I never give that a thought. She’s absolutely faithful, I never need to worry.” “Well,” he said, “is she careless about her person? Is she sloppy and, and, and all of that?” “No,” he said, “she’s pretty a good looker.”
“Well,” he said to the man, “is she a poor housekeeper? Is the house a disaster?” “Oh no, the house is neat as a pin.” “Well,” he said, “is she a, is she a poor cook? Does she serve you canned food and, and TV dinners all the time? Is she a poor cook?” “Oh no, she’s a wonderful cook.” “Well!” my friend said, “Now let’s see: you’ve told me that your wife is faithful to you, that she is good looking, that she keeps herself neat and clean, that she’s a good housekeeper, and that she’s a good cook. Oh how about that? Maybe you ought to think again about her.” And the man looked up with surprise, he says, “You know, I never though of that!” (Laughs) He changed his point of view.
Well, most of our criticism of our spouses is based on little stuff that, that, that irritates – isn’t that true, when you come right down to it? And so, respect. You don’t have to put a person on a pedestal; just, just respect him for what he is, and for what God is doing in his life, and what, and the potential that is there. Many of us never reach our potential, either because we don’t care, or somebody else doesn’t care to encourage us to do so.
I think back in my own life and I, I certainly am indebted to some of the dear friends who encouraged me to go on and to do more than I thought I could. And I’ve, I got there by a principle that I’ve used all the rest of my life” ‘You can always do more than you think you can if you get at it’. There’s a great potential in every one of us that is as yet unrealized. So, have at it. But, respect. Holy lifestyle, coupled with respect for the other person.
Then, a beauty that doesn’t depend upon what you wear, but upon what you are. You’re, you’re adorning – that means the, the attempt to make yourself beautiful. He says, “Not what you do with your hair, or what you, what you wear, or your jewelry. But,” he says, “the hidden man of the heart, in that which not corruptible, the ornament of a meek and quite spirit which God values as being of great price.”
Now is that, does that say that you shouldn’t, that you shouldn’t have a pretty dress, ladies? Or that you shouldn’t wear a, a ring? Or that, that you shouldn’t have your hair done? No, I don’t think it says that. Excuse me if I’m wrong, you can straighten me out when we get to heaven. But it seems to me that what Peter is saying, “Don’t depend on that to make you really attractive.” Don’t depend upon what you can put on yourself to make you really attractive. It’s the person that lives inside of you that determines real beauty.
I recall visiting a leper colony years ago. And some of these dear people had been hideously deformed by that terrible disease of leprosy. But I remember one person in particular who could only hold out to me a stub of what used to be a hand. And face, nose and, and cheekbones had been, had been deformed so that it was not a, not a pretty face. And the hand of course as I say, was just a stub. But the Holy Spirit of God was in that person, and the shine of heaven was on that life. And I remember thinking, “What a beautiful person that is!”
Some wag has said, “If beauty is only skin deep, some people need to be skinned!” Huh! But the fact of the matter is that nothing you could put on yourself will hide a mean spirit. Nothing that you can wear will hide a lustful heart. Nothing that you can apply by way of cosmetic change, to the outside of your body will hide a selfish mind. See, we have to have something inside that is heavenly if we’re to have any beauty outside that is genuine. Did you get that? We have to have something inside of us that is heavenly if there’s gonna be anything outside that appears really to be genuinely beautiful.
Now he talked about Sarah as an, as an example. And he said there were certain things that characterize anybody who’d like to imitate her. “Whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well and are not afraid.” Do, do the right thing, but be fearless. There is nothing in the Bible that says you have to crawl, and creep, and be the victim of a craven fear of your husband or anybody else, see?
So what did, what does he say now? Our time is gone now, and I want to wrap this up. A holy lifestyle, coupled with respect, inner beauty that comes from God’s presence. Do well, do the right thing, and don’t be afraid of anybody. That’s for you, dear lady, if you want to win others for Jesus.
Dear Father, help us to be the kind of people that are beautiful inside, so that You can shine out. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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