1st Peter 3:1-6


"Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation [conduct, lifestyle] of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation [lifestyle] coupled with fear; whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:  even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord:  whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement."


The Two Different Languages Found Within Marriage


Putting It In Context With Chapter Two


"Marriage, I keep in my mind saying mawage, ah sacred.  Culture at war against that truth.  The only thing that's come to us, from the other side of "the fall", the only thing that's survived Eden is marriage.  It was there where God gave instruction "for this cause shall a man leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife, the two shall be one flesh," they were naked, they were not ashamed, that was before the fall.  And as God surveyed his Creation every day, beheld what he made, it was very good, until he says, Genesis chapter 2, verse 18, 'It's not good that man should be alone,' that's the first time in the Scripture he says something's not good.  And it says 'Male and female created he them.'  And it describes for us that first marriage between Adam and Eve.  Then of course there's never been a perfect marriage since.  Sin enters the picture, there's the fall, and the only thing we have that has survived God's original intention, the only thing we have from the other side of the fall is marriage.  It's sacred.  There was something in it that which reflected something of God's nature, something that man could never have reflected by himself.  So sacred that in the Old Testament adultery was a capital crime.  Ah, you didn't need divorce lawyers, because if there was adultery, the guilty partner was put to death, that's how sacred marriage was to the Lord, because life itself sprang forth from marriage.  In the beginning of this nation [the United States of America], there was only fault-divorce.  There was no such thing as no-fault divorce.  Our founding fathers, and for the first 200 years of this nation, if you were going to get divorced, it was either for adultery, abuse, or desertion.  Those were the three reasons, adultery, cruelty, or desertion.  Because there was such a dependence on the standard of God that they knew that was the only reason really that the Scripture condoned divorce.  So, marriage, so important.  We have a generation of troubadours, Rappers, Rhymers, Hard Rockers, ah, Gil just putting articles in front of me on the way home from the West Coast, this generation of people, the Pied Pipers of this generation, so many of them from broken homes, so many of them filled with bitterness, so many of them singing of hatred and these things, setting the standard towards an older generation, destructive in so many ways.  Now, look, as we go through this, divorce is not the unpardonable sin, anybody whose been through that, and certainly there are enough, this is not to condemn.  But this is to look at the standard that God has set, and say, you know, 'Why? Why does he want these things?'  And throughout this he's appealing to a higher nature, he begins by saying in verse 1, "Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands;"  we know right away he's appealing to a higher nature, because if he would have saved "subjection" for the last sentence so he could get through his point, but he's not afraid to stick it right in there.  "Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation [lifestyle, conduct] of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation [lifestyle, conduct] coupled with fear.  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:  even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord:  whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." (verses 1-6)  So, "likewise" sets the stage for him to move into this, and it's "likewise" looking back into chapter 2, verse 13, where he says "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme, or unto governors," and he goes through all of that.  In verse 18, it says, "Servants," or employees "be subject to your masters" or employers, and goes through that.  And in verse 23 it says, "who" Christ, himself, "when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but he committed himself to him that judgeth righteously" he committed himself to his Father.  And so it comes now to where we have chapter 3.  There was no chapter break when Peter wrote this, and he says "Likewise,"  And what he's saying is that there is order.  There is order in civil government, there is order in governmental affairs, there is order in service and employment, there has to be order with an employer and employee.  There is spiritual order, and there is to be marital order.  There's order in the marriage.  [This is talking of course to the Church, the Body of Christ, and not the world in general.]  And it's interesting, that gets more Press than all of the other things, this picture of what should be happening in the home, it gets more print.  And I think that's because the Scripture is keenly aware that, you know, it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes a family to raise a village, and the family is the building block of government, of all of these other institutions.  So when he's going through this, talking about God's order in civil government, in employment, even Christ himself was submitted to the order of God, even in the way he yielded himself and gave himself on the cross, it was part of God's order.  And then he comes and he says 'Likewise you wives,' now in verse 7 he's going to say 'Likewise you husbands.'  So don't be afraid, no one will escape here.  Ah, this is what he says, ladies, if you have a husband whose not living according to, definite article in the Greek, "the Word, then you without" no article, it should be translated "a word" or just "word" it's small "w", speaking of your mouth.  So, 'if you have a husband, that if any of you have a husband whose no living according to the Scripture, the Word, then you wives, without a word' small "w" 'without your mouth may win your husbands by your chaste conversation.'  Now "conversation" is an old King James word, it's not saying 'ladies if your husband is either an unbeliever or carnal, he's obstinate, that's the idea, he's not obeying the Word, he's not yielded to it, 'then you without your mouth can win your husband by having conversations with him,' that's not what it's saying, that would be contradictory.  "Conversation" is the old word for your "lifestyle," the way you live.  What it's saying is, 'If your husband is not living according to the Word, or you don't agree with what he's doing, then without a word, by the way you live, by your example, win' and the idea is win someone over, to bring them over, 'by your godly example,' and it says, verse 2, "while they behold," while they watch, while they look at "your chaste conversation," your pure lifestyle, or your godly lifestyle, "coupled with fear." i.e. with reverence.  So it puts some things in front of us here, telling us what should happen.  Ah, is your husband a non-believer?  We have lots of ladies that come, and they struggle with that.  And some of them have gotten saved, and said, "It's remarkable, their husbands treat them worse since they've been saved."  We've had men come, and they don't go to Atlantic City with their wife anymore, they're not out drinking anymore, and it drives their wives crazy, and they divorce them, because they [the husbands] want to live their life the right way.  I mean, to me all of that's crazy.  But if you have a husband whose not walking with the Lord, he's not a believer, or you have a husband who you don't agree with, who you think is carnal, who you think is not living according to the Scripture, what do you do?  I'll tell you what you don't do.  It doesn't say...let me say this first, 'It doesn't say women are subject to men.'  Ok?  Women are equal spiritually.  It doesn't say 'Women are subject to men.'  This is in the context of marriage and of wives and husbands.  Ladies, it doesn't say if you have a fiance, you're engaged to somebody, that you're supposed to submit to him, don't let anybody you're engaged to tell you that.  That's stupid, and it just causes trouble.  You're not supposed to be yielded in that way until you're married.  And I'll let you know when that is, if you do it here.  It doesn't say 'Ladies, if your husband is not doing what you think he should do, preach to him.  Argue theology with him, go to church seven days a week, because if he don't listen to you, that's the only place you can have any strength.  It doesn't say 'write messages inside his glasses, so when he gets up in the morning, he puts them on, it says Repent or go to hell, inside of his glasses.'  It doesn't say play your praise music as loud as you possibly can to drive him out of his mind.  It doesn't say put plaques in the closet where he goes to get his shirt, you know, 'Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church,' ah, it doesn't say nag.  Because all of those things can be a form of nagging.  It doesn't say do that. 


If You Have A Husband You Can't Approach Through His Ears, Then God Can Help You Approach Him Through His Eyes


It says, 'If you have a husband that you can't approach through his ears, then God can help you approach him through his eyes.'  If you're raping his ears, he doesn't want to hear, you're giving him "the business," he's walking around, 'and if you don't turn to Christ, and this is the way, and if you don't go to church, you're going to go to hell,' he may be thinking "That would be a relief at this point, just to get away from you."  It says not to do that, because if you live in front of him a certain way, he makes the decision to let you in the eye-gate.  You're violating the ear-gate, but he willingly, if you live the right way, and you act the right way, he's going to turn around and even when you walk away, he's going to think 'Why she being so nice? it really bugs me,' and he's going to let that in, it says.  So the approach can be then through the eyes.  Now look, it says "while they behold," ok? in verse 2, "while they behold", that's to think about, to look at, very interesting, it was used in classical Greek sometimes of a spectator at the Olympics, the Games.  Now you know how your husband is.  Ladies can we talk?  Just pretend it's just us here.  You know how your husbands are maybe when they're watching, it's Sunday, 3 o'clock when the Eagles are on, you see how they are.  They're a spectator at a sports spectacle.  And in that circumstance you can say 'Honey, can you do this?  Honey, do you know that...' and they're going 'Uh-huh, un-huh, uh-huh, un-huh.'  They've learned to let something in the eye-gate at the same time they respond to sound, and don't even know what they're responding to.  So that later that day, they'll say 'Do you know...' and you'll say "I told you that in the first quarter, and you said Uh-hum and acted like you were listening to me.'  So he's going to choose to let something in.  Now, if he's going to "behold," he's going to watch you, he's going to think about something, it says certain things here.  First of all there should be a chaste lifestyle.  There should be the kind of lifestyle that should be in keeping with what you profess to believe.  Instead of just preaching at him, he's going to read your life way more than he's going to read the Bible.   So it says first of all, the way you live in front of him.  It says 'your chaste lifestyle coupled with reverence.'  And we're going to talk about what that means.  'Coupled with reverence," that should be there.  If you're reverent towards God, then there should be a reverence in the home. 


'Beauty Is Only Skin Deep, But Ugly Goes Clean To The Bone'


And number three, it says 'you're adorning,' look at verse 3, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart,"   So it's saying this.  Well, what's it not saying again?  It's not prohibiting, this verse, because there are some who take this the wrong way.  It's not saying 'Ladies, you can't take care of yourself.'  Because there are some legalistic parts of the Church [Body of Christ] and then some Holiness parts of the Church that say 'Ladies, you can't wear makeup,' that say, 'Ladies, you can't wear jeans, ladies, you're not allowed to wear jewelry, you can't fix up your hair.'  Now, ugly doesn't make sense to me.  OK?  If you're asking your husband to behold you, there's no sense looking as bad as you can.  That's what it's saying, "while he beholds you,"  Hygiene, neatness, is just respectful.  I don't want my wife to look frumpy.  It's not saying that.  What it's saying, the hair here, the plaiting of the hair, Clement of Alexandria, some of the church fathers talk about Roman women, the way they would stack up their hair in layers and layers and layers, sometimes it would be stacked up a foot above their head, and it would take them hours to do it, and would put all kinds of gold [dust] in it, and they would sleep sitting up, because they'd be scared to death if they laid down and rolled over at night it would mess it all up.  And they were obsessed with it, it would be sticking up on top of their head, this high.  And the way they would dress, it would be carnal, it would be seductive.  What he's saying here, 'The outward should not be your priority, the inward should be your priority.'  Kenneth Wiest in his Greek translation of the New Testament translates this, he says, "Let it not only be the outward adorning," "not only the outward adorning."  There's two reasons women should wear makeup.  One is because they want to, or they need to.  There's no excuse in our culture today, everybody can look good.  Outward is not to be the priority, that's what he's saying here.  Worldly women dress to kill.  Worldly women dress to be seductive.  They dress to kill because, Solomon says, they take a young man, and they lure him to themselves, and he's like an ox going to the slaughter.  And I appreciate the fact that there are those out there that are dressed to kill.  But ladies, it doesn't say you need to look bad.  That's ridiculous.  If your husband's out there all day, facing ladies who are dressed to kill, and then he comes home, and you've got curlers in your hair, wearing a bathrobe, and you look like a sack of potatoes and smell like bacon and coffee, that's a tough situation to come home to.  It doesn't say that.  I want my wife to look nice.  I enjoy my wife.  I enjoy being with her.  I'm attracted to her.  It's saying 'not only to dress that way, not to make that a priority,'  "Adorning" here, it's very interesting, the word is used 189 times in the New Testament, it's the word cosmos, and it means "the ordered universe."  This is the only time it's used this way.  188 other times it's translated "world" and it speaks of the universe.  The cosmos, the opposite of that in the Greek is chaos, chaos.  Cosmos was God arranging or bringing order out of chaos.  He brought order out of things.  So your adorning, there is to be order, cosmetics comes from the word cosmos...but you have that word cosmetics there, related to that.  He's saying here, "Whose adorning" now your "chaste conversation," your "reverence," your "adorning" shouldn't only be the outward adorning, like worldly women, because he's going to see through that.  If you look real nice on the outside, but your attitude is real bad, that is not going to go very far.  I remember growing up as a kid, we had a saying "That beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone."  What it's saying is, 'What sense is there, the impression of you should not come from the drug store, it should come from the heart.  What's the sense of putting on the outward, and the New Testament forbids hypocrisy throughout, putting on the outward, when the inward can have such a bad and corrupt attitude?'  [Comment:  Jesus condemned the Pharisees and scribes for the same type of thing, his condemnation of their hypocrisy and outward show taking up the entire 23rd chapter of Matthew.]  He says their adorning should not be just in that sense, he says, "but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." (verse 4)  It doesn't mean wives you should walk around in total silence.  That's not what it's talking about.  Meek means "not quarrelsome, not contentious," if you're going to adorn yourself with something, it shouldn't just be the outward, there's nothing wrong with that.  But it should be with something that's inward that's not corruptible, and he says first of all that's a spirit that's not quarrelsome, contentious.  Quiet is not the idea of never talking or never making a sound, quiet means "tranquil."  You know, there's someone who can talk to you, and they're of a tranquil spirit, and you can listen to them, and you can listen to them for a long time.  There's somebody else whose got a troubled spirit, and they talk to you for ten minutes, and you want to jump out a window.  It says 'a meek and tranquil spirit, tranquil or not causing disturbance to others.  And it says in God's sight, that's of great price.'  God puts a great estimation on it.  Because Jesus, the only autobiographical characteristic he ascribes to himself in all four Gospels, the only place you find Jesus ascribe something to his own character is he says "I am meek and lowly at heart.  Take my yoke upon you, learn of me."  He says, "You'll find rest for your souls."  So, nothing wrong with meekness.  It says in God's sight that is of great value, "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands." (verse 5)  Now, holy women is believing women.  Ladies, sisters, all of you that are believers are holy women.  Holy women were not floating off the ground, not leaving footprints in the sand, classical music playing in the background when they came into the room, glowing in the dark, that's not holy women.  My wife's a holy woman and she doesn't do any of that stuff.  It's believing women, believing women in the sense that they trusted in God, it says.  "after this manner...holy women also, who trusted in God," they "adorned themselves," with this meek and quiet spirit, inward beauty, "being in subjection to their own husbands:  even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord:" now obviously, we're not asking you ladies to go home and call your husband lord.  Ok?  There is something cultural here.  We're not asking you to call your husband lord.  Of course, your attitude can still say that, though.  OK?  Your attitude can still say that.  That's very important, your attitude can still say that.  It's the idea of "sir", it was a term of respect in the culture.  "Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord:  whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." (verse 6)  Swindol says we don't have any need of hearing [as believers] we've heard it all.  We have enough knowledge.  What we lack is doing.  We know what Ephesians says, chapter 5.  We know what 1st Peter 3 says, we know what it says in Proverbs (Proverbs 31).  And the challenge is, what we need is doing, not knowing, not hearing only, but doing it as James says (cf. James 1:22-25).  He says, "whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well," and look, "and are not afraid with any amazement."  Now what that means, 'Lord, you're not married to this man.  If I am respectful and I am reverent towards him and have that kind of an attitude, he's going to turn me into a doormat!'  And what you're saying is, 'I'm not like those women of old who trusted in the Lord, because Lord, I don't trust you.'  Verse 25 in chapter 2 says, For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."  This passage appeals to the higher nature in us, that you and I as men and women, we're going to get to husbands, are willing to look first of all vertically, and say "Lord, I trust you, I'm not just his wife, Lord I am your wife in this marriage.  And you have a role for me to fulfill, and you can write out the script."  "Lord, I am not just her husband, I am your husband in this marriage, and I can see in your Word what you require of me."  And it asks then of these wives, who are being challenged, the overall challenge is look, 'You have a husband whose not doing what you think that husband needs to do.'  You can nag him to death, or you can trust God, whose asking you without a word, rather by modeling Christ, by living the right way, you can reach that man, not through his ears, but through his eyes.  And your adorning, don't waste all of your time just trying to fix up the outside, because it's something internal that needs to fall in line with God's will in the marriage that will produce success, ultimately.  The holy women you read about in the Scripture understood this.  Sara obeyed, that word means "to be attentive to."  She was "attentive to the needs of her husband."  Ladies, can your husbands sit and tell you 'Honey, this is how I feel' ?  Can they do that?  You know, isn't it funny, husbands have feelings.  Now they don't talk about them very much.  But they're there.  We have feelings just like everybody else, and get hurt like everybody else.  She was attentive to him, to her husband, Sarah was, to his needs.  Do these things. 


Love & Reverence, Love & Respect:  Two Major Keys To A Successful Relationship


Now look.  It comes down to something very interesting here.  In verse 2, it says, "your chaste conversation [lifestyle] coupled with fear," that being "reverence."  Fear there, that's the word "reverence."  In fact, it's the same word that's used in Ephesians chapter 5 by Paul, when he sums up marriage, he says "Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself, and the wife see that she reverence" that's our same word, "her husband."  "see that she reverence her husband."  What both Paul and Peter say through the Holy Spirit is that 'love and reverence, love and respect are the keys to a successful relationship.'  That love and respect are the things that are necessary.  And that if a husband doesn't love the wife, sacrificially [i.e. agape-love her], and if a wife doesn't respect her husband, particularly with her mouth, then it's a destructive force in the marriage.  Solomon, who was the wisest man that ever lived said these things, and he was talking about the capacity that a woman with her mouth can drive away her husband, or a woman with her mouth can draw her husband in, that both things can take place.


Solomon Showed A Woman Can Do One Of Two Things With Her Mouth


This is what Solomon said, I'll just read some of these, and he agrees with Paul and Peter, he says, "Better is a dry morsel and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife."  That it's better to have a quiet house with just a morsel of food, than great sacrifices, you know, grilled lamb, with strife.  Again, he would say this, "A foolish son is a calamity to his father, but the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping."  That to a man, a contentious wife is like a leak in a roof.  Now ladies, you may not understand that, but I'll tell you this, a leak in the roof will drive me out of my mind.  We had a leak in our living room the other year, and it was coming out of the light fixture in the bay window, it was lightning, it was pouring in, and it just drove me out of my mind.  I went and got the aluminum ladder [oh no, an aluminum ladder, water, coupled to an electric light fixture, not a good combination Pastor Joe!] outside with a flashlight, holding it in my teeth, and a rain coat, and I got masking tape, and the kids are crying out, 'You're going to get struck by lightning!' and I said 'I don't care.  I don't care if I get struck by lightning, the leak is driving me out of my mind, water's not coming in my house.  I work hard for this, water's not running in here.'   There's just something about that, and it says a contentious wife is like a continual dripping.  Then Solomon says this, and he had 700 wives, he knew what he was talking about.  [laughter.]  [That's why I don't think Solomon remained the wisest man on earth, not with 700 wives and 300 concubines.  The Law said that a king was not to multiply wives to himself, and he went against that law.]  This is not a man whose inexperienced.  He said this, "It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop than with a contentious woman in a great big house."  They had flat roves on the houses, and he said 'It is better to move outside, up on a roof, than to be down there, if she doesn't let up and give you any peace, she's just arguing all the time.'    Then down in verse 19 he says 'It's better to dwell in the wilderness, than in a house with a contentious wife, you drive a man out of his mind.'  So first it was like a dripping, then he moved out onto the roof, and then finally he got on the bus and he headed out into the wilderness, there's a progression here.  Look, he also says this, the wisest man that ever lived, that we as men should yield to wisdom and knowledge, it says "to deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words."  Again, Solomon says, this puts a man in danger, "The lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil."  And ladies, there's some honey-dripping women out there, and you need to understand that, your husbands face them.  It says this, Solomon, that "Wisdom and knowledge and reproof are the way of life, to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of the strange woman."  Again, Solomon says this, and I could go on and on, I'll read a few more there, he says, "Say to wisdom, Thou art my sister, call understanding they kinswoman, that they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words."  Again, he says this, "With her much fair speech she causes him to yield."  Talking about a foolish man, and a woman "with her much fair speech she causes him to yield, with her flattering lips she forces him, he goes after her straightway as an ox goes to the slaughter."  Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said 'Look, ladies, in a contentious house, it's better to move out, it's better to live on the roof, it's better to take the bus Gus, and head for the wilderness.'  And on the other side, he says the enemy, Satan, knows this, and he goes through all of these places that a woman who understands the power of her tongue to compliment, instead of nag, and say the right thing, can force a man with her flattery, by saying the right thing.  It says, "Male and female created he them."  Very specifically, that men and women are different.  [To see some of those differences, and differing needs a man and a woman have, complimentary, but not the same, see http://www.HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.COM.]  Ladies, if your husband is here with you, ask him, "Is that true, honey, do your really feel that way?  Do I drive you away by nagging, and it is easier to be around me when I order my behavior the right way and say the right things?"  [Husbands, be careful how you answer that one.]  Extremely important. 


Husbands & Wives, Women & Men Speak Two Different Languages


Husbands are under a divine command, we're going to go there next week in Scripture, to agape' their wives, to love their wives sacrificially.  Over and over, the Scripture commands the husband to agape' his wife.  There is nowhere in the New Testament, anywhere, not a single verse, where the wife is commanded to agape' her husband.  There's one verse in Titus, where is says the aged women should teach the younger women to love their husbands, and it's phileo there, to be friends with their husbands, to be fond of their husbands.  There's not a single place in the New Testament, ladies, where you're commanded to agape' your husbands.  And do you know why?  Because God doesn't need to command you to do what he has designed you to do.  That is your standard, wives will love their husbands without being commanded.  They need to be commanded to respect their husbands.  Husbands will respect their wives, that doesn't mean a whole lot to them, they need to be commanded to love their wives.  Because those are two different ways of communicating, they are two different value systems, and they are two different languages.  One author I read said marriage is a great way to keep us from arguing with strangers.  General Montgomery in World War II, British general, talking to his troops said, "Men, don't even think about marriage until you have mastered the art of war."  [laughter]  Now these are worldly, Ann Landers at one point had to interview this person who said, "Every woman should marry an archeologist, that way the older she gets, the more interested he'll become."  And there's all of these quips and there is all of this stuff, but the truth is, the truth is, we speak a different language, we relate to these things in a different way.  Do you know, ladies, that women age and get wrinkles more than men?  Now there's been a lot of money spent on research on that, I hope you appreciate this information.  And research has shown that's because a woman's way more emotional, she laughs, she frowns, she cries, she smiles, you know, your face does so many different things relative to your emotions that it gets wrinkled.  And what are husbands?  They're just, you know, pokerfaced.  You get in an argument with your wife, and I have one, I'm speaking from experience, it's taken me 26 years to learn how to do this with her, where all of the emotion with her will just pull on the face, whereas when she argues with me I just, just shutdown [the words Stonewall Jackson mean anything to you?].  You're married to one of those, aren't you, the pokerface there.  And the problem is, that's because there's a different value system, in an argument the wife says "We need to talk, we really need to talk.  I need to talk to somebody, and if you don't talk to me, I'm going to go talk to somebody, because I'll go to the pastor, because we really need to talk,"  [It's not just in an argument, log onto http://www.HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.COM and click on that study titled "He Said, She Said" and read about the differences in the way men and women communicate, and why women communicate the way they do, needing to voice what they're thinking out loud to the special person she's married to.  There is a basic fundamental reason for that which was designed to bind the two of you together.] 


Those Two Languages Defined:  Love Is The Air Women Breathe, Respect Is The Air Men Breathe


Because, to her, ladies, what's, the key to marriage is what?  You all said that, communication.  The key to marriage is communication.  Every woman knows that.  And to them, love and talking go together, 'If he loves me, he'll talk to me, and I love him, so when we get in an argument I want to talk to him, I need to talk,' and he's already pokerfaced, he's gone already...And it's interesting, the research shows, 85 percent of women, when they get in an argument, they move closer to their husband, and they talk more.  So it's only 85 percent, it's not a rule across the board.  85 percent of husbands move away from their wives, and stonewall.  Why is that?  There's a researcher in Washington State University, Dr. John Godham, and he's written a book that's called "Why Marriages Succeed Or Fail", he is not a Christian.  He is one of the leading researchers in the United States, and he can, within five minutes of talking to a couple, 91 percent of his predictions are accurate, within a five minute conversation, he can predict whether that marriage will succeed or fail, and there's statistics to prove it.  And in his book, "Why Marriages Succeed Or Fail" he has boiled down the success of marriage to two things, Love & Respect.  This is not something outdated that we get from Solomon or from what God gives to us through Paul or through Peter, this is empirical data, this is quantitative, you can look up this man's books, you can read these things on your own, and see what he's talking about.  He said, one man he talked to, he said "Every time I get in an argument with my wife, she gets historical," he said, "You mean hysterical."  He said, "No, I mean historical, she drags up everything from the past that's ever gone wrong before."  And she wants to talk.  And on video they show a husband and a wife in an argument, and 80 percent of the wives said 'I know why she's crying, look at the way he treated her, no wonder she's crying.'  80 percent of the men said, 'No wonder he walked away, I know exactly why he walked away, I saw what she did there.'  Because there's a different language.  Look, most men and women get married because they love each other.  I mean, men and women don't think 'I really despise this person, we should get married.'  That's not how it happened in the beginning.  How it happened in the beginning was there was mutual respect, ladies, most of them respect their husbands, they married them.  And the husband loved the wife.  And look, ladies, a 19-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man are two different things.  If you have a 14-year-old daughter, she can baby-sit someone's kids, that 14-year-old daughter can usually change a diaper, feed a kid, assess what's going on in a situation.  You do not want to leave a 14-year-old boy with your kids, if you want to come home and find them alive.  And what happens in the maturity process is, he's learning what to do, the male is operating in a different arena, and it's so important, and that is in the arena of respect.  We have a different language.  There are certain things as a young man, you learn not to say to another man.  I have two boys and two girls, I watched them grow up.  My daughters would say things to each other my boys would never say to each other.  [I once heard my two sisters in a verbal fight, and what they said to each other would make a sailor blush, and we in the Navy knew how to swear and cuss.]  The girls would call each other stupid, and banter back and forth, even fight, and then they would make up, and hug and kiss and talk, just you know.  Whereas my boys would get to a point where it stops, they put on a pokerface, because we've come to the edge of respect now, and if you go past this, it may be a fist-fight, that's what might happen here.  Because boys learn, you do not say some things, and when you get married, what happens is, you get in an argument with your wife, the husband starts to shut down and put on his pokerface.  She thinks 'We need to talk this out,' she moves closer, he starts to walk away, she's thinking 'If you love me, how could you do this?'  He's thinking 'If she respects me, how can she say that to me?  I'm going to save this situation, I'm just going to shut up and I'm going to move away from her until things cool down.'  He has a completely different assessment of the situation.  We learn as young boys, if you say that you get punched in the nose.  And you get married and your wife says stuff to you, and you think 'I can't believe she's saying that to me.  If she were a guy I'd punch her right in the nose, I can't believe she's saying that to me.'  Because there's a completely different value system, and you have to understand the code, so that your wife doesn't leave you in complete disbelief.  Without love, it's hard I know ladies, for you to respond with respect.  But without respect, it's hard for the husbands to respond in love.  If you don't understand that about husbands, this is what Peter's saying, look, 'Do you have a husband whose not living the way you want?  He's not doing what you think is spiritually correct?  Then without your mouth, without nagging, with your life, and with your reverence, chaste conversation, your godly lifestyle, pure lifestyle, and your reverence,' same word that Paul uses, 'not just adorning yourself with the outward stuff, he can see through that, but with the right attitude of heart, approach that man, and live with that man, according to God's instruction, do what's well.'  Don't be afraid, 'If I do this God's way, I'm in trouble, he'll step all over me.'  There's a test that this John Godham said you can do, ladies.  Someday when your husband comes home from work, and you're sitting around the house, and he's watching the news, and you're thinking 'I'd like to communicate with a human being,' just walking by, say, 'You know, I was just thinking today about how much I respect you, and just thinking all day about how much I admire you for the way you live,' and just walk away. [my wife, now my ex. never, ever said that to me, she went in the opposite direction]  He will follow you around the house [laughter].  [ladies, you laugh, but it's true]  He'll say 'What!?  What do you mean, why did you say that?'  You know, because it's like, if you go somewhere, to Europe or live in another country, and you haven't heard English for five years, and all of a sudden you hear somebody walking down the street talking English, you'll jump over a fence to get to that person, that's your native tongue.  'Hey! Where you from?  You speak English,'  well you just spoke his native tongue.  He's going to jump over a fence, 'You know honey, I respect you.  I'm just thinking how much I admire you, you've worked so hard all these years, you're provided,' and just walk away from him.  He will follow you around the house.  Ask your husband, 'Honey, is that how you feel?'  [I can tell you, that is how I felt.]  And women are different, look, Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, carest thou not...?'  She accused Jesus of not caring.  So husbands, don't feel bad.  'you just let her sit there and listen to the Bible study while I'm working?  Don't you care, Lord?'  Because, it would have meant something different to her, if Jesus would have said to Mary 'Help your sister.'  And Martha would have thought, 'Well, he loves me, he loves me.'  You know, my wife speaks that language.  She'll say to me in the afternoon, 'Do you love me?'  'Yes.'  When I come home from work, 'Do you love me?'  'Yes.'  We go to bed at night in the dark, 'Honey, do you love me?'  'Yes.'  And I'm thinking 'I told you when we got married I loved you, I don't understand why you need the constant reassurance here, what's the problem?  I'm not getting this across?'  You know, if you take a man, and you say to your husband, 'Honey,' ask a hundred men, 'when you go to work, would you rather have your associates at work love you or respect you?'  Your husband's going to laugh at you.  It's a different language.  He thinks about it in a completely different way.  You know, it's interesting, coaching, there's this honor thing.  And I watched Mike come back with our football team, and he's got this remarkable ability to say to the guys, 'I would go to battle with you, I'd go to war with you guys.'  And all these young guys, 'Yeah, go to war, go to battle.'  You know, I forget, it was like 85 percent of the people that ran into the Trade Towers when they were burning were men.  It's just because there's something, there's this code, there's something, honor is as important as life itself, and without a lot of thought, running into a situation like that.  So a good coach is able to take a team, and make the team believe that he respects them, even though they don't respect themselves.  A general or a drill instructor will get a group of men and say, 'You guys are the most pitiful group of, but I know what's in you, I'm going to make soldiers out of you, there's something, you don't even know what's there, I see what's there, I know the potential, I'm going to do this,' you know, enabling them in that coaching.  And the same thing's being said here, 'Likewise you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, that if any obey not the written Word, they're not doing what you think they should do, they also may, without a word, without you wearing them down with your opinion, be won by the lifestyle of their wives, while they behold, they watch your godly lifestyle, coupled with reverence,' that's our same word in Ephesians 5:33.  You know, isn't it interesting, again, that all wives know the Greek word for what they want from their husbands, 'Honey, you're supposed to love me.'  'Well what kind of love, physical love?  You mean, want to be buddies?'  'No, no, agape!'  Wives [in the church] know that word.  'You're supposed to agape' me.'  Well do wives know the word for "reverence" in the Greek?  'I don't need to know that word!'  Isn't it interesting, now look, Kathy and I years ago went for counseling, we were going through a difficult situation over 20 years ago, wasn't last week, don't worry, and it was something we were going through, it was very difficult, it was in our family, it wasn't in our marriage, but it effected our marriage directly and we went and talked to a counselor. And it was interesting even then, that counselor said to us, 'Look, you have to learn what love means to your wife, and you have to learn what love means to your husband.' You have to learn what love means to your wife, and you [wives] have to learn what love means to your husband.  And there's so many books on love and loving one another, and there's a constant emphasis on that.  And he said, correctly, and he was trying to say this, love means something different to your husband than it does to you.  To you, Joe, love is a book, and to Kathy, love is a piece of paper.  And you're saying to Kathy, 'Honey, I've booked you,' and she saying, 'So what, I want to be papered.'  And she's saying 'I papered you, and you're saying 'so what, I want to be booked.'  Because it's a different nomenclature, a different value-system [between men and women and husbands and wives].  And the truth is, the New Testament and the Scripture doesn't instruct wives to agape' their husbands, it instructs wives to reverence their husbands.  Not because, look, love is the air that a woman breathes.  God understands that, that's her value system.  And so there's a commandment to for husband to agape' their wives, to love their wives sacrificially.  And sometimes I know a wife feels like 'My husband's standing on my hair,  I can't breathe, the big klutz just came in and stepped all over me, he's not loving me.  Love is the environment, the air that I breathe.'  Well, on the other side of that, respect is the air that a man breathes.  [and without it, he only feels half a man.]  There's a different value system altogether.  And the wife wants unconditional love from her husband, that's agape-love, we know the word, it's unconditional.  'You're supposed to love me, the way Christ loved the Church, laid down his life, that's what you're supposed to do, it's unconditional, it's sacrificial, that's what I need, unconditional love.'  Why?  Because the wife's not perfect.  She needs unconditional love.  Well the husband needs unconditional respect.  You know, we want to draw, we want to use different weights and balances to where, 'Oh yeah, the wife gets unconditional love, but the husband,' you'll hear a wife say, 'Well, I love him, but I don't respect him.'  Now how do you think the wife would feel if she heard the husband say 'Well, I respect her, but I don't love her.'  That would be devastating, it would be devastating.  I am not naive, I'm not saying that every husband deserves respect.  I'm not saying there isn't abuse.  There are times when a marriage is not going to succeed.  A husband who lays his hand on his wife, who is abusive, who is unfaithful to his wife, I understand there are some circumstances [for divorce].  We are looking here at Christian marriages, where the husband and wife are still together, where they both say Christ is the Lord of my life, and they want that marriage to succeed.  [I have to disagree with you here a bit Pastor Joe, the context of 1st Peter 3:1-6 here is about a Christian wife who is potentially married to a non-believer, as well as this applying to a total Christian marriage, where both are believers.  But Peter's focus is on the first scenario, that of a believing wife with a non-believing husband.]  


Why God Wants Stable, Loving Marriages


And Malachi says one of the reasons that a marriage is supposed to succeed is God is looking in that marriage for a godly seed.  That successful marriages produce something in the generation that comes out of them, that is a reward to the Lord.  That children need to grow up, if they can, with the covering of a mom and a dad.  And ladies, I'll tell you something else, if you're raising boys, no one is going to have to coach your boy when he starts to become 17 and 18, and say to your son, 'Now, when mom treats you disrespectful, I want you to get a pokerface, just stonewall her, learn this carefully, you're only four years old now, I just want you to know when you're 17-years-old, if your mother nags you, or she's disrespectful, then you just get a pokerface, just stonewall her.  Ok?'  'ok dad'  You don't have to tell them that.  They're going to do that!  I've watched my sons grow to manhood, and I've watched them go through the changes where mom takes care of them and gives them care, and all of a sudden this testosterone, this man-thing starts to kick in, and they start to become young men.  And they do the same thing, without being trained!  You give them 'nag, nag, nag, nag!'  Stonewall, Stonewall Jackson.  I mean, it's just there.  It's part of, God made them male and female, there's something to respect about that.  There's something in design there in the genius of God that makes a man different from a woman, with a different value system.  You know, it's funny, I can go through three services on Sunday, I can have 8,000 people tell me 'That was a great sermon!'  And if I go home and my wife says 'Why did you say that?  That was really dumb.'  It's all gone, it's just all gone, it's all dissipated, it's all gone.  'Don't shake your hand with your keys in your pocket, that's all you heard? 8,000 people said they enjoyed it, and now you tell me...'  We are that vulnerable to one another, and we are that open to one another, that in my life her respect means everything, her respect means everything.  She says to me 'I love you honey.'  great... I know I'm supposed to respond a certain way, we'll get there next week.  I mean, I look at her and think, 'I want to do this right, because if I don't it'll cost me two days of my life here.'  But you know, it means something different if she says 'You know Honey, I really respect you, I have a question, God raised you up, you're the pastor of this church, and I need some advice,' man, I'm there!  Pumps me up, I'm there!  I'm ready to talk!  That's amazing, isn't it?  I'm ready to talk.  And it's the same thing with her.  You know, you raise daughters, it's the same thing, they become young women.  You can't lecture them, on the ground of respect, fathers, you have to step close to them, and you talk.  You do that with your wife when she's mad.  Part of the empirical evidence, it's very interesting, because John Godham tells you they hooked up electrodes, they studied blood pressure, and in an argument between a husband and a wife, if in the argument, the husband walked away from the wife, her blood pressure went up, if he stonewalled her.  If he took a step close to her, and said 'Honey, I love you, let's talk this out.'  Her blood pressure dropped right down.  Because to her it's not arguing, it's talking it out.  On the husband's side, if the wife kept getting closer and closer and just kept talking when he decided 'The honorable thing to do is shut up so I don't hurt anybody, I'm a man, that's the honorable thing to do, just shut down,' and she kept after him, his blood pressure went up.  If the wife said 'Honey, we'll talk later,' and went away and gave him his space, his blood pressure dropped down.  Isn't it interesting?  I'm sorry, that's interesting to me.  [laughter]  But the point is, and it's hard for me sometimes, pray for me.  Pray for my wife.  Because there are times I don't want to step closer and say 'Let's talk,' I want to cool off, I want to go for a walk.  Manslaughter's not an option.  [laughter]  'Have to get out of here, I'll be in the paper if I don't.'  You know the way it cooks in me, it's no different. But I know if I step up and say 'Honey, I'm sorry, let's talk.'  Everything seems to go along.  A soft answer turns away wrath [Proverbs], the wisest man in the world would say.  Remarkable, sometimes on Sunday night I'll come home, you know by Sunday night, four services I've been through on Sunday, I've talked to thousands of people, and I'll come home, and I'm finally quiet, and I'll sit down. [laughter]  And my wife will start to talk to me about something, I'll look at her, and she'll say, 'I understand, we'll talk tomorrow.'  And she'll go away, and I'll go 'ahhh.'  Ladies, if you have an unbeliever for a husband, what the Scripture teaches is you're not going to make headway by nagging him.  That's God's design.  You can respect that, you can never have reverence to your husband without reverence for God.  You know, I see ladies with their husbands unsaved, he's a good man, he works hard, he keeps the home, he does his best, and there's really a chance to win that individual to Christ.  Peter, Paul and Solomon said the way you do that, is if you're wise with your attitude, you adorn yourself, don't wear him down, he's not a lady, he doesn't want to have a conversation like a lady.  I'll tell you this, I spoke once at the Women's Retreat with my wife, and you know those big round tables where the ladies eat lunch, when guys eat it's different in the Men's Retreat, but there's 8 or 10 ladies sitting at a table, and they're all talking.  There's 8 conversations going on at one time, and they all know what's happening in all of the conversations.  You go to the Men's Retreat, and there's 8 guys at one table, and one guy says 'Did you see the Eagles last week?' and the other seven guys go 'Ya,'  it's just one thing at a time, I mean it has to be that way, just communicative skill is on the side of the brain where 'ok, we got the facts, somebody else want to add to that?'  'Oh, I really liked Owens,'  'oh,'  'What do you think?' you know, it just kind of goes around the table like a snail, kind of, but everybody's tuned in, it's just vastly different.  You have a husband whose not a believer?  Don't badger him.  You have a husband who is a believer, and you're not happy with his performance or what he's doing?  Don't nag him, Peter says.  There's order.  Christ himself was submitted to order.  There's government order, there's order in employment, likewise, there is to be order in the home.  And if you're serious about Jesus Christ, then you understand that your marriage is not just an arena that has been built for your personal happiness.  Your marriage is another arena that God's going to use to conform you into the image and the likeness of his Son.  And he says likewise, like Jesus, he didn't open his mouth, he didn't revile, he didn't lash back with his tongue to those who falsely accused him.  Likewise wives, if you have a husband who you feel like you can't deal with?  Jesus can deal with him.  And he's got a road-map on how to do that.  And it isn't by violating his ears, it's by letting him let something into his eyes of his own will.  Live the right way, act the right way, have the right attitude, be reverent [respectful], not because you're reverent of him, because you're reverent of God, and you will make miles of progress that you wouldn't make in your own scheme.  Next week we're going to get the husbands.  Ladies, please bring your husbands.  We're just going to beat them up next week.  But look, I am very serious about this.  I think that we do enough marriage counseling around here.  Every year in my Bible class I have kids from broken homes.  And look, because of Jesus Christ, they can succeed and do remarkable things for God.  Because of Jesus Christ, they can be good husbands and good wives.  Because of Jesus Christ, as he works redemption, many of us come with broken homes, many of us come from broken homes. There are enough in the church that struggle and decide to get divorced, and it's always a tragedy.  There are many that come to us and get saved because they're in the pain of divorce.  God is able to work redemption in all of those circumstances, and receive us into glory, cleansed, pure, not failing, but successful because of what Jesus has done on our behalf.  But that same one who laid down his life and bled his life into the ground on the cross, says to us through Peter, 'ladies, this is the way to reach that man, because I've ascended into heaven, and when I did I took my mouth with me, and I can reach that man by speaking to his heart through my Holy Spirit.  And if you will let me use your life, I can make you a visual demonstration of my love for this lost world and for him.  If you're willing to do well, and not be troubled with ungodly fear,' 'Well what if I trust God, and what if it doesn't work?'  No, no, no, this is a foolproof system, as far as the Lord is concerned, and these are the things he asks.  Next week, the husbands.  Make them come out, tell them Terrel Owens is going to be here next Wednesday night, tell them Elvis is going to be here, whatever you want, just bring them out and we'll work through the next part of this.  Extremely important because he says "Likewise ye husbands," and he's going to require certain things on that side of this.  And to me the husband is to be the leader in the home.  The husband is the one that's to be the servant and the example and the initiator.  It's easy to say.  It's easy to say, and honey if you hear the tape I'm really trying.  But the ownice is on us for certain things.  So, let's pray...[connective expository sermon on 1st Peter 3:1-6, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]


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