7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as withsomeone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
11 “He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
12 “For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
The words “in the same way” caused me to go back to see what “way” Peter is talking about here. The Way is the Way of Christ that he mentioned at the end of chapter 2. How exactly does the Gospel of Christ relate to what Peter is saying here? Let’s look back at John 3:17, “17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” God could have just wiped out the whole world and started over. However, He first wants to give us a chance to follow Him and accept His perfection that He offered us. He is treating us as someone weaker. There was a book I read or heard about that discusses the difference between men and women (emotionally and physically). The comparison was that men are like bulls and women are like butterflies. How do we handle or treat butterflies in comparison to bulls? Let us keep in mind that this passage is not saying that women are weaker, but rather that we should treat them as weaker. Let’s not forget all the amazing things they do that us men generally do not: exercise patience, care for children, give birth, etc. If anything, we should remember the last half of the verse: show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life. In a kingdom sense, they are equal to men. They are loved just as much by God and are equal recipients of His love and grace. Women are not lesser beings; they are equal. Women just have a different job than men do.
The rest of today’s passage talks about purpose. Verse 8 and 9 can very much look like a list of rules or a type of “code” to live by. Very well, these are things we should pay attention to, however it is important to know why. Deitrich Bonhoeffer says, “The call to follow Christ is an invitation to come and die.” Accepting Christ as your savior and being His follower is not about saying, “yes” and then continuing on your normal way. If we truly understand the importance of His sacrifice and resurrection, then we are drawn to follow Him because of what He has done. I think it is too easy for us to undergo the final Passover celebrations as we did this past week and then forget all about it until we see chocolate eggs and peeps again in Walmart. Yet it is because of what Christ has done that we get to change our lives and answer as Peter says here, “the call for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.”
God tells us what we should and shouldn’t do because there are always results of our actions. Being “all knowing,” God knows how the system works. He knows how we were created, why we were created, and how we operate best. So then don’t you think it would be beneficial for us to listen to what He says we should and shouldn’t do in our relationships? The great thing about this is that because of His death, we have been given a Helper to guide us and give us strength in this change. The Holy Spirit enables us to change to behave within God’s will.