Someone brought up a really important point on yesterday’s post about winning a husband without a word, that unbelieving husbands do need to hear the gospel – particularly if they haven’t heard it. All people need this! I don’t intend to say otherwise. And yet, 1 Peter 3:1-2 instructs wives of unbelieving husbands to “win them without a word.”
How do we reconcile the passages that say to share the gospel with this passage which says to win our husbands without words?
1 Peter 3:1-6 NIV
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
This is what John Piper has to say about the meaning of this passage, which may be helpful:
What does it mean for a wife to win her husband “without a word” (1 Peter 3:2)?
– It does not mean the husband does not need to hear the gospel.
– 1 Peter 1:23–25 says that every new birth happens “through the living and abiding word of God… And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”
– Therefore, the husband needs to hear the good news before wife’s Christian behavior can win him.
– “Without a word” means without an excessive word or a nagging word or a manipulative or pressuring word. (1 Peter 3:2)
– Once this husband has heard the gospel in which his wife believes, her conduct might make all the difference in his salvation.
The Saving Power of a Fearless Wife – by John Piper
I believe we need to deal with any unrepentant sin in our own lives first. We will greatly hinder our witness for Christ – in word and deed – if we are not living in submission to His Lordship and if we continue on and on in sin ourselves. So let’s be sure we are living in the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s be absolutely sure WE understand the Gospel of Jesus and have received it for ourselves. Our husbands should know that we profess Christ as our Savior and Lord.
Then, let’s seek the Lord in fervent prayer, maybe with fasting, if we are in a position where we want to influence an unbelieving husband for Christ. And let’s ask for prayer support from a godly mentoring wife. Then let’s be sensitive to how the Lord leads.
We may need to share the gospel with our husband – especially if he has never heard it. There are many ways to do this – sharing a post, sharing a video, sharing a passage of scripture, or several verses, or verbally sharing the Gospel.
The majority of the time in our daily lives, our example, as we talked about yesterday, will be our most powerful approach. It is very easy to accidentally talk too much about spiritual things to our husbands if we are not careful, and to push them away. We let the Holy Spirit do the convicting and drawing our husband to Jesus. We realize we are not the Holy Spirit.
May the Lord and His Spirit give each wife the wisdom and discernment she needs for her situation. And may the Spirit draw many, many lost souls to Himself and to the Kingdom of Christ!
What Is the Gospel? by www.gotquestions.org