1 Peter Bible Study – Week 5

Wives and Slaves – Part 2 – (3:1-12)


Welcome to Week 5 of your 1 Peter Bible Study.

This is the second part of our study on the “household codes” in 1 Peter. As mentioned in Part 1, household codes are behavioral exhortations given to different members of a typical ancient household.

Last week we looked at 1 Peter’s instructions to all citizens and to ancient slaves.  This week, we’ll look at exhortations to wives and husbands and to every member of the church.

It is important in studying the household codes that we pay attention to the cultural context in which they were given.  This is something that we touched on in last week’s study and you should feel free to review that material as a background to the content of this week’s 1 Peter Bible study.

Behavioral advice to wives

Read 1 Peter 3:1-6

Questions to reflect on the passage

  1. In 3:1-2, why does Peter suggest wives be submissive to their husbands?  What other behaviors does he call for in order to achieve this ultimate aim?
  2. In 3:1-4, what additional qualities does he request of women?  Why would he make the kind of contrast (external vs. internal) he does in these verses?
  3. What is Peter’s advice to husbands toward their wives?  What is meant by the term “weaker?

Questions to reflect on your life

  1. How can a wife win over an unbelieving husband in today’s day and age?
  2. Are all of Peter’s requests for women of the first century still valid today? Explain. If yes, does that mean she should call her husband “lord” as Sarah did and as Peter instructs wives to do.
  3. If you believe there is a more nuanced way to read these verses than a strict command-by-command application, what exactly do you think Peter would say to today’s wives? Would calling for a gentle and quiet spirit vs. external adornment still be good advice for wives today? Explain.
  4. Why does Peter require husbands to behave in certain ways toward their wives?

Read 1 Peter 3:8-9

Questions to reflect on the passage

  1. In 3:8, what does Peter exhort everyone in the church (“all of you”) to be? (He lists five things)
  2. In 3:9, what noble behaviors does Peter require of everyone?

Questions to reflect on your life

  1. Of the five attitudes or behaviors in 3:8, which one is the most difficult for you? Which one do you need the most help with?  Explain.
  2. Of the five attitudes or behaviors in 3:8, which one is most needed in your church today?
  3. What do you think of Peter’s exhortation to give a blessing instead of returning evil or insult to people?  Is that something that is difficult / easy for you to do? Explain.
  4. How do you know when you should bear up under insult and evil as this passage suggests and when you should defend yourself?