Reading: 1 Peter 3:1–7
How are husbands and wives to conduct themselves within marriage? St. Peter teaches us that it is good for a woman to submit to her husband in marriage. This word “submit” often brings with it negative connotations of a woman being forced to obey an authoritarian husband. But that is not what the word “submit” means at all. For to submit to one’s husband is to place oneself under his headship and to receive good things from him, just as the Church looks to Christ, places herself under His headship, and receives from Him every good gift she could ever imagine.
St. Peter also teaches husbands how they are to act toward their wives. They are to honor their wives and to be understanding and gentle toward them. In other words, they are not to abuse their headship over their wives but they are to use it in service to their wives. Just as Christ is head of the Church and lays down His life for her and gives to her nothing but good gifts, so also husbands are to love their wives, give up their lives for them, and provide for their wives. It is in this way that marriage on earth is a picture of the eternal marriage between Christ and His bride, the Church.
Lord God, heavenly Father, You have established marriage between man and wife to be a picture of the heavenly marriage of Christ and His bride, the Church. Grant that husbands and wives may conduct themselves toward one another according to Your will, that at the end of the world all might enjoy the wedding feast of Christ and His bride that will have no end; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Oh, blest that house where faith is found
And all in hope and love abound;
They trust their God and serve Him still
And do in all His holy will! (LSB 862:2)
Emmett Bartens (Sem II, CTSFW)