Calvary Road Baptist Church

“HUSBANDING” Part 1 (“Likewise”)

First Peter 3.7

This begins a series of messages in which I will seek to expand your grasp of the important role of husbanding in the Christian community, in the church congregation, and in our culture at large. As a Bible believer, I make no apology for the functional hierarchy that God established for that first of all institutions that serves man, the family, the home. So strongly does the Bible assert the place of the husband as the head of his home and as the spiritual leader of his family that to deny this truth is to admit to denying the truthfulness and authority of the Bible. However, since it is no accident that the rise of feminism in this country’s women’s rights movement ran parallel to the introduction of decisionism into our nation’s churches, neither should it be a surprise that Christian homes and churches would lose their place as cultural leaders in setting the examples for the rest to follow concerning the relationships that exist between husbands and wives in marriage, and between parents and children in families.

There used to be a time in the affairs of men that Christian men showed other men by their example how to treat their wives. There used to be a time in the affairs of men that Christian parents showed other parents by their example how to raise children. However, so many professing Christians are so disreputable these days that we are no longer the leaders, but in many tragic cases the followers of modern trends. Decisionism has so weakened Christianity, with so very many professing Christians not truly born again, and thereby incapable of living truly Christian lives, that professing Christian women have not the grace of God in their lives to properly reflect the effect of Christ on their lives, with professing Christian men having not the grace in their lives to properly reflect the effect of Christ on their lives.[1] I suspect, but cannot prove, that when intelligent and articulate women found themselves suffocating under the harsh oppression of unreasonable and mindless men, and there was no real relief to be found in the counterfeit religion they saw all around them, they began to turn to the anarchy of feminism. That is so very sad. I place blame for such developments on the pulpits of our country, and upon the men of our nation. After all, it does rise and fall on leadership, does it not? If pastors preached the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ instead of that perversion that is found to be so prevalent in evangelical Christianity these days, and if men conducted themselves with wisdom, and love, and the tenderness real wisdom and love produce, I am convinced that all but the most stupid and senseless of women would have responded.

Alas, it was not to be. We are now 150 years deep into this mess caused by decisionism, with that same period of time having passed since the assault on marriages by feminists began in response to the pathetic practice of most men to exhibit only a perversion of what God requires for the proper conduct for husbands and fathers. I do not blame most women. The good Lord knows how frightening it is for them to deal with brutal and ignorant men on one hand, or how frustrating it is for them to deal with effeminate and passive men on the other hand. What would you do if you were in their place, fellas? Would you not brow beat the ignorant brutes with a propaganda campaign to put them on the run to escape criticism, while steam rolling over the top of effeminate and passive sissies because you can out-hustle them and outthink them? Humanly speaking, and any without consideration of God in all this, I perfectly understand the thinking of feminists. Why in the world would any intelligent woman subject herself to most men? Where is the benefit? Where is the upside in all of this for the women? The great tragedy that will result from all this, of course, now that we have moved through the Christian era in our culture, and now that we are in the process of moving past the feminism dominated post-Christian era with all its political correctness and confusion about the proper roles of men and women, is what will come next. When there is no longer any cultural memory of equality in the sight of God between men and women, and when the real barbarians return who will not tolerate the shrill protests of smaller, weaker, less aggressive women, then those violent young men will once again resort in the coming neo-pagan era to the same ethic that characterized the pre-Christian era. What ethic is that? Violence and brutality against women.

My friends, we are beginning to see it happen already. Let me take you back. My grandfathers grew up in a more Christian America. It was at least an America that was far more Christian than the America my father grew up in. To illustrate this, consider that one of my grandfathers addressed his wife of 70 years as Mrs. Conner in all but the most extraordinary circumstances. Were they not in love with each other? To be sure. Were they not intimate? Of course they were. But the depth of respect my big, tall, boisterous, and highly regarded grandfather with the commanding physical presence had for his wife, my grandmother, was a thing to behold. Did he get mad from time to time? Yes. Did he raise his voice? Sure he did. But what great respect he treated her with. However, the next generation was different. In my father’s generation men began to use profanity in the presence of their wives. In my father’s generation men began to far more frequently divorce their wives. But it was still a rare thing for anyone in my father’s generation to raise his hand to his wife, or to think he had the right to order his wife around. Not to suggest that any type of behavior was completely uniform during any period in history, but that the relationships that exist between men and women, between husbands and wives, has so deteriorated over this last century that we now have men who are so retarded in the development of their senses, so backward in their understanding of the relationship that ought to exist between husbands and wives, that they are getting downright weird in the ways they treat their wives.

We now have guys who think they have the right to decide what ex-girl friends do and where they go, as well as who they hang around with. We have men in the United States who take keys away from their wives, as though they have the right to control their wive’s driving habits and decide where they can and cannot go as adults. As well, men are have been known to actually block doorways to prevent their wives from leaving their apartment, ignoring that such behavior is a felony called unlawful detention. Excuse me, but this is not the culture that I was born into. I remember that my mom and dad sometimes argued about whether or not she would work outside the home. My brother and I were such perfect children that mom got bored at home, so she wanted to get a job. My dad was humiliated by the thought of his wife working outside the home, and he told my mom she was forbidden to do such a thing. However, despite what he actually said, there was always the understanding in our home that my mom could do whatever she wanted to do. She was an adult. Therefore, when my dad told her she could not work outside the home, both of them clearly recognized that it was her choice and not his whether or not she would comply with his wishes.

Do you understand what is now happening in this culture we live in? Some see it as advancement, but what is really happening is a slide back toward the days before the days the gospel was first heard. Those men who are not weak sisters with their wives are too oftentimes bullies who give no thought to the equality their wives enjoy in the sight of God. They see so many of the rights, without any of the responsibilities, associated with marriage. Because this problem is so very serious in our society, God has given us the wonderful opportunity of drawing a sharp contrast between Christians doing things God’s way and the pagans who surround us who give no thought to the will of God. So, let us sharpen our edge, beginning with family leadership.

Turn in your Bible to First Peter 3.7. Stand when you find that verse, and read along silently while I read aloud: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

My plan is to bring a series of messages using this verse as my text. In this series of sermons, I hope to more sharply focus the men in our church, as well as raising the expectations of the women in our church, with heavy application of the truths we find to our lives. This message will be very simple, with only two points:


The Greek word translated “likewise” is pronounced omoiwV. The word refers to being in the same way, or also.[2] Thus, when the Apostle Peter begins this verse of instruction to the husbands in his reading audience, he is letting them know up front that there will be similarities, there will be parallels, to look for.

Should this be any surprise to a Christian? Should we not, by now, come to expect certain parallels in our Christian life? To the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul pointed out that his spiritual leadership of them was much like a nurse cherisheth her children and a father raises his children.[3] To Onesimus, Paul likened their relationship to that of a father to his son, Philemon 10, as did the Apostle John in First John 2.12-18. As well, do not forget the comparison Peter makes later in this epistle, 5.8, likening the devil to a roaring lion who walks about seeking who he may devour.

Therefore, a parallel exists. It should be considered, studied, meditated upon, and used to provide a greater understanding of Peter’s lesson about being a Christian husband.


“Peter writes this letter to give hope in the midst of suffering. While the chief word of the Epistle is “suffering,” occurring seventeen times, the references to “hope,” occurring five times, give the proper perspective in the midst of suffering. In addition, the letter was designed to teach believers to exercise obedience and patience in whatever circumstances they found themselves.”[4] Thus, in the overall context of First Peter, we see that being a husband is properly understood in the context of suffering. But what is suffering? The Greek word is pascw. Found about thirty times in the New Testament, in all but two places the word has to do with enduring and suffering in an unfavorable sense.[5] You may recognize the word in connection to the Lord Jesus Christ, the paschal Lamb.

Therefore, it should be understood that being a Christian husband is not far removed from suffering. Of course, this proves to be quite a surprise to guys from broken homes, since studies have shown that guys from broken homes have extremely unrealistic expectations of marriage and what being a husband is like. But do not make yourself out a martyr, since suffering is also part and parcel of being a wife, First Peter 3.1: “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 of the wives.” So, from the beginning of Peter’s instructions to husbands, as with his instructions to wives, not only does the overall context of the epistle show that suffering is part of being a husband. But there is an immediate context with respect to suffering that is even more compelling. First Peter 3.1-7 is part of a larger passage in which the Apostle deals with the pressure and suffering associated with the household, which begins back in First Peter 2.18:

18     Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

19     For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

20     For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

21     For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

22     Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

23     Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

24     Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

25     For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

So, you see from this passage that when Peter uses the word “likewise” at the outset of his instruction to both husbands and wives, he is communicating very clearly that suffering is involved, and that there is a parallel between the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian husband. But what are the parallels? What are the similarities to be? First, we learn from First Peter 1.21 that in your suffering as a husband you are following Christ’s example. In His suffering, Christ did not sin, as you are not to sin when you suffer, husband, verse 22. Verses 22-23 shows us that Christ, additionally, did not sin with His mouth during His suffering. No guile was found in His mouth, and when He was reviled He reviled not again. Neither did He threaten. In other words, husbands, He did not come back and retaliate when He was sinned against. When Jesus suffered, He threatened not.

So you see, before we ever get off the mark, we see that merely by following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ when He suffered (which we are supposed to do), the whole complexion of our husbanding changes when it comes to the way we react to what people say or do that we do not like. I am very much blessed by being married to a wife who does not hurt my feelings. I simply cannot remember a time when my wife actually said something that wounded my heart and hurt my feelings. But some wives do that. Too bad. If we follow the example of Jesus when we are suffering, we will not sin with our mouths.

There is more than can be said, but this bite we are chewing on is a big piece to swallow. Being a husband involves suffering. When you suffer, husband, follow the example of Christ and do not explode with protest and retaliation. It is disgraceful and a poor testimony.

[1] Decisionism is the belief that a person is saved by coming forward, raising the hand, saying a prayer, believing a doctrine, making a Lordship commitment, or some other external, human act, which is taken as the equivalent to, and proof of, the miracle of inward conversion; it is the belief that a person is saved through the agency of a merely external decision; the belief that performing one of these human actions shows that a person is saved.

Conversion is the result of that work of the Holy Spirit which draws a lost sinner to Jesus Christ for justification and regeneration, and changes the sinner’s standing before God from lost to saved, imparting divine life to the depraved soul, thus producing a new direction in the life of the convert.  The objective side of salvation is justification.  The subjective side of salvation is regeneration.  The result is conversion.

[2] Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 708.

[3] 1 Thessalonians 2.7-12

[4] Walter Dunnett, An Outline Of New Testament Survey, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1960), page 149.

[5] Bauer, page 785.

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