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Submission to Her Husband

Submission to Her Husband

Despite what has just been said, the custom of the time expected that a wife would be submissive to her husband, which means in part that she would normally adopt his religion. This placed converted wives in a difficult position. The Christian wife should, therefore, seek to please her husband in other respects as much as possible. The basic command to submission sounds strange to modern Western readers, and so it must be understood in its first-century and early Christian context. Submission to the husband was the custom of the time. For Jews, it was based on the stories of the Creation and Fall where the woman, originally created to be a helper for the man (Gen 2:20), is cursed by the pain of childbirth and submission to the rule of her husband (Gen 3:16).
In contrast, the Christian gospel emphasized that in the new situation brought about by the death and resurrection of Jesus “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). Paul expresses the equality of husband and wife in as fundamental a matter as their physical sexual relationships (1 Cor 7:3–4). He also stresses that they are mutually dependent (1 Cor 11:1112). This teaching clearly shows that the effects of the Fall are undone in the new creation that is manifested in the church.
Consequently, a new evaluation of the roles of husband and wife was bound to arise. With the new freedom that Christians enjoyed in Christ, there also inevitably arose the temptation to carry things to excess, trespassing the bounds of social propriety at that time.… More
Marshall, I. Howard. 1 Peter. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.
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