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Marriage is a lot like a house with curb appeal. When you first start out things are new and exciting, you have a great curb appeal. You finally have that love that you had dreamed about your entire life. However, overtime a neglected marriage can lose that appeal and desirability. Let’s take a look at 3 attributes of a desirable marriage from I Peter 3:1-7 and learn how to get that “Curb Appeal” back. Learn how to make your marriage better by applying the principles of God’s Word.
Curb appeal is the first impression of a property as seen from the street. It creates the wow factor and it makes the house stand out from others in the neighborhood. When a house has curb appeal it increases its value, makes it easier to sell, and it becomes a point of pride. In order to add curb appeal, you can do things like install new landscaping, clean the driveway, or even paint the front door. The point is to make your house more desirable. Overtime, a house just loses that curb appeal as the driveway cracks, the paint fades, and the lawn becomes overgrown.
Marriage is a lot like a house with curb appeal. When you first start out things are new and exciting. You finally have that love that you had dreamed about your entire life. However, overtime a neglected marriage can lose that appeal and desirability. Let’s take a look at 3 attributes of a desirable marriage from I Peter 3:1-7 and learn how to get that “Curb Appeal” back.
The Attitude of a Wife in a Desirable Marriage ( I Peter 3:1-2)
Submission is more powerful than control.
Society has a wrong view of this principle.
Society has pushed on us the idea that men and women are the same, this is wrong and the Bible has it right. In a Christian marriage, both spouses submit to one another (see Ephesians 5:21), but there is a specific instruction to the wife. She is to allow her husband to take the role of leader in the home. Just like Christ is the head of the Church, the husband is the head of the wife. This does not make the wife less important or inadequate, but it does provide a framework for the structure of a Bible marriage. Submission is an attitude of the heart and requires your willingness. It is not like a wrestling match where you finally give in and submit to a superior opponent. You voluntary give yourself and and your will to your husband. God created men and women differently with these roles in mind.
The feminist movement has pushed their agenda so hard that this Bible concept seems foreign to us today but it is still just as relevant as it was when it was penned some 2000 years ago! Submission is a powerful thing in marriage and will accomplish more than trying to control your husband. You may be laughing to yourself right now, but the Bible is right and if you implement this into your marriage it will change everything!
Many Fundamentalists have a wrong view of this principle.
Some self proclaimed fundamentalists (I am a fundamentalist by the way) also have this teaching wrong. They use these words to justify treating women poorly. They use language that is coarse and ugly when referring to them, language that Christ would never use about the Church. These misguided men reduce their women to servants, who conveniently should give them everything they want when they want. This is not what God intended, Christ would never treat the Church that way. In fact, the command to a husband is to “love” his wife, not to dominate her. Peter uses these words, “To your own husband”, so the principle of the wife submitting to her husband does not mean that all women everywhere should be dominated by men- it means that she should have a submissive heart and will toward her husband. This is the secret ingredient to marriage.
Behavior “preaches” better than words.
The context of our text is a wife with an unbelieving husband. By living the principles of God’s Word in a marriage, the believing wife can win the unbelieving husband. The best way to teach the Bible is to live it. You don’t have to harass, bribe, or threaten, just live out the Bible before your lost spouse. The word “conversation” here mean behavior, but their is no mistake in the Words of Scripture. Conversation is intimately connected with behavior in marriage. The way you talk your spouse makes all the difference. Your words, including the tone of your voice, set the atmosphere in your marriage. Many are the stories of spouses who have put their trust in Christ and through the way they live have convinced the other to come to the Lord as well. My father in law, Phillip, is perfect example of this. After we had prayed for him to come to Christ for many years, he gave his heart to the Lord. Just a few months later his wife, Becky, asked Jesus into her heart as well. This works because the Bible is true and right.
Reverence corrects better than badgering.
Women have an instinctive need to feel love, and the love they seek is unconditional. Conversely, men have an instinctive need for respect and admiration. This respect and admiration should not have to be earned but it should be without conditions just like the love that the wife seeks have. I am not saying that wives do not need respect and admiration, or that husbands do not need love. God simply created male and female with certain instinctive needs that can only fully be met within the bonds of marriage.
Men will fight and die for honor and respect because it is so important to them. That is what the Bible means when it says to couple your chaste conversation with fear. The word “fear” is referring to that respect that men universal crave. Give respect to him unconditionally and you will find the key that unlocks his happiness. You will have your husband eating out of your hands!
The Appearance of a Wife in a Desirable Marriage (I Peter 3:3-6)
Looking good is overrated.
Do not get me wrong, I was at first drawn to my wife because I thought she was beautiful. She still is very beautiful by the way! The Bible is not teaching here, as some people have taken it to mean, that a wife should not try to look nice. It is OK to fix your hair, wear jewelry, and even own nice clothes. The Bible here is showing that those outward things are really not that important, but the inward attitude of the heart is. The joy of the Lord is where the real beauty of a wife comes from.
The world today has pushed the female image to the limit. The “Barbie” figure that everyone is chasing is not realistic. Hollywood actresses spend countless hours in the gym with a personal trainer and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgeries. A wife cannot compete with that kind of ridiculous standards. Wives have babies and get older, this all affects the way they look!
God’s Word has a way of bringing things back into focus, this is one of the reasons I love it so much. A Spirit filled wife will have an attractiveness to her husband that this world knows nothing about it and guess what, this kind beauty never get old or out of shape! The beauty of godliness and faith is something on the inside that show on the outside. Your attitude can change the way your husband thinks about you and put some real fire in your marriage!
Meekness is irresistible.
God says that a meek and quiet spirit are valuable. Read following verses for clarification:
- “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” Proverbs 21:9
- “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” Proverbs 25:24
- “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Proverbs 27:15
Wives do not always realize the harm they are causing with their demeanor. In love they want to “fix” their husband, and make things better so they do what they think they have to in order to correct the problem- they nag. This changes nothing for good in your marriage.
The Actions of a Husband in a Desirable Marriage (I Peter 3:7)
Know your wife
Pay attention to the details like dates and things your wife likes. Dwell with her “according to knowledge.” I do not always remember dates, just the moments, but to my wife the actual dates are critical. Celebrating and remembering those dates are even more critical. Ask any married man the importance of remembering his wedding anniversary day, and you will get an earful!
Also, conversations are different to women, I speak this of my own experience. I talk about a subject for a few minutes, close out the conversation, and move on to something else. With my wife, the conversation is always open ended, she may go do something else, but as long as I am near her that conversation could continue at any moment. A big part of knowing your wife is learning how to listen. However, Women speak in code. For a classic example, “I don’t have anything to wear” means- “you need to buy me some new clothes.” Your wife wants you to be sensitive enough to know what she really means. This can be challenging for a guy like me, since I just like to keep things simple and direct. Knowing your wife involves learning her language and her code, so be sensitive enough to know.
Give honor to your wife.
We have gone so far as a culture that women are being pushed to be “equal” to and treated the same as men. Men are being pushed by movies, images, and websites to treat women as sex objects. The Bible however, teaches that women should be treated better than men, as the weaker vessel (emotionally). Your wife needs attention, protection, and love so give it to her.
Treat your wife as a joint heir in Christ.
The Christian marriage is unique in that you are also brother and sister in the Lord. You share a faith and future in Heaven. Everything you do as a couple should be in the light of eternity because this life is temporal. Together you can serve God and grow close to the Lord. Your wife is your companion in spiritual things and should be treated with the respect of fellow Christian. Remember the picture that marriage paints of Christ and the Church. Treat your wife the way that Jesus would treat his Church.
Overtime a house just naturally loses that curb appeal. The landscape gets over grown, the paint fades, and driveway cracks. The same thing happens to a marriage, it goes from appealing and exciting, to neglected and dull. Choose to implement changes to “refresh” the curb appeal of your marriage right now.