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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (I)

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Lesson 7 Sabbath, May 18, 2024

An Appeal to Husbands and Wives

MEMORY TEXT; “While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear” (1 Peter 3:2).

“The home is too sacred a place to be polluted with vulgarity, sensuality, and recrimination. There is a Witness who declares, ‘I know thy works.’ Let love, truth, kindness, and forbearance be the plants cultivated in the garden of the heart.”—Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, p. 157.

Suggested Reading:   The Adventist Home, pp. 99-112, 177-180

Sunday May 12

1. A BIBLICAL QUALITY OFTEN OVERLOOKED

a. What vital principle for family happiness is often rejected by women today? 1 Peter 3:1 (first part); Ephesians 5:22–24; Colossians 3:18.

“Sister, what did you expect of your husband when you married him? Did you expect to take the reins of government in your own hands, and bring his will into harmony with that perverse, stubborn will of yours? How much rest, contentment, peace, and joy has your husband realized in his married life? But very little. . . . The wife must not consider herself a doll, to be tended, but a woman, one to put her shoulder under the real, not imaginary, burdens, and live an understanding, thoughtful life, considering that there are other things to be thought of than herself.

“Do you think it is no disappointment to your husband that he finds you what God has shown me you are? Did he marry you with the expectation that you would bear no burdens, share no perplexities, exercise no self-denial? Did he think that you would feel under no obligation to control self, to be cheerful, kind, and forbearing, and to exercise common sense?”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, pp. 310, 311.

b. What is the most effective way for a converted wife to reach her unbelieving husband? 1 Peter 3:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 7:10, 13, 14.


Monday May 13

2. PROMOTING A HARMONIOUS RELATIONSHIP

a. What biblical example does Peter use as a model for a wife’s relationship to her husband? 1 Peter 3:4–6. Explain the balance revealed in this relationship. Genesis 21:9–12.

“The instruction given to Abraham touching the sacredness of the marriage relation was to be a lesson for all ages. It declares that the rights and happiness of this relation are to be carefully guarded, even at a great sacrifice. Sarah was the only true wife of Abraham. Her rights as a wife and mother no other person was entitled to share. She reverenced her husband, and in this she is presented in the New Testament as a worthy example. But she was unwilling that Abraham’s affections should be given to another, and the Lord did not reprove her for requiring the banishment of her rival.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 147.

b. What too often makes a husband miserable in the family circle and damages his reputation in society? Proverbs 14:1; 25:24; 27:15; contrast this with 1 Peter 3:4.

“Very many husbands and children who find nothing attractive at home, who are continually greeted by scolding and murmuring, seek comfort and amusement away from home. . . . The wife and mother, occupied with her household cares, frequently becomes thoughtless of the little courtesies that make home pleasant to the husband and children, even if she avoids dwelling upon her peculiar vexations and difficulties in their presence. While she is absorbed in preparing something to eat or to wear, the husband and sons go in and come out as strangers.

“While the mistress of the household may perform her outward duties with exactitude, she may be continually crying out against the slavery to which she is doomed, and exaggerate her responsibilities and restrictions by comparing her lot with what she styles the higher life of woman. . . . While she is fruitlessly yearning for a different life, she is nourishing a sinful discontent and making her home very unpleasant for her husband and children.”—The Adventist Home, p. 249.

“The minister’s wife who is not devoted to God is no help to her husband. While he dwells upon the necessity of bearing the cross, and urges the importance of self-denial, the daily example of his wife often contradicts his preaching and destroys its force.”—Gospel Workers (1892), p. 210.


Tuesday May 14

3. DANGEROUS FORMS OF PRIDE

a. How does a Christian wife make herself attractive? Proverbs 31:25–29.

“[The wife] should diligently do all in her power to bind her husband to herself by strictest fidelity to him and faithfulness in making his home cheerful and attractive.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 598.

“God is displeased with disorder, slackness, and a lack of thoroughness in anyone. These deficiencies are serious evils, and tend to wean the affections of the husband from the wife when the husband loves order. . . . A wife and mother cannot make home agreeable and happy unless she possesses a love for order, preserves her dignity, and has good government; therefore all who fail on these points should begin at once to educate themselves in this direction.”—The Adventist Home, pp. 22, 23.

b. Whom does an unconverted woman often try to attract—and with what consequences? Proverbs 7:6, 7, 10, 18, 19; 2 Kings 9:30; Isaiah 3:16–26.

“There will be women who will become tempters, and who will do their best to attract and win the attention of men to themselves.”—The Review and Herald, May 17, 1887.

“Showy, extravagant dress too often encourages lust in the heart of the wearer and awakens base passions in the heart of the beholder. God sees that the ruin of the character is frequently preceded by the indulgence of pride and vanity in dress.”—Child Guidance, p. 416.

c. While most Christian women may not consciously seek to entice men into adultery, against what form of pride are all warned? 1 Peter 3:3; 1 Timothy 2:9.

“Nothing has been as great a hindrance to you [and your husband] both as your pride. You are both fond of display; this has no part in good, humble religion.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 493.

“The Bible teaches modesty in dress. . . . This forbids display in dress, gaudy colors, profuse ornamentation. Any device designed to attract attention to the wearer or to excite admiration is excluded from the modest apparel which God’s Word enjoins.

“Self-denial in dress is a part of our Christian duty. To dress plainly and abstain from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind is in keeping with our faith.”—Child Guidance, p. 423.


Wednesday May 15

4. THE HUSBAND’S DUTY

a. After appealing to wives, what serious admonition does Peter address to husbands—and the spiritual consequence of disregarding it? 1 Peter 3:7.

“Let the husband aid his wife by his sympathy and unfailing affection. If he wishes to keep her fresh and gladsome, so that she will be as sunshine in the home, let him help her bear her burdens. His kindness and loving courtesy will be to her a precious encouragement, and the happiness he imparts will bring joy and peace to his own heart.”—The Adventist Home, p. 218.

b. Give an example how an unconverted husband can make his wife’s life miserable. 1 Samuel 25:3, 14, 17, 23–25.

“If the husband is tyrannical, exacting, critical of the actions of his wife, he cannot hold her respect and affection, and the marriage relation will become odious to her. She will not love her husband, because he does not try to make himself lovable. Husbands should be careful, attentive, constant, faithful, and compassionate. They should manifest love and sympathy. . . . When the husband has the nobility of character, purity of heart, elevation of mind, that every true Christian must possess, it will be made manifest in the marriage relation. . . . He will seek to keep his wife in health and courage. He will strive to speak words of comfort, to create an atmosphere of peace in the home circle.”—Ibid., p. 228.

c. What should be the attitude of a truly Christian husband toward his wife, to inspire her to respond favorably in turn? Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33; Colossians 3:19.

“Husbands should study the Pattern, and seek to know what is meant by the symbol presented in Ephesians. . . . The husband is to be as a Saviour in his family. Will he stand in his noble, God-given manhood, ever seeking to uplift his wife and children? . . . Let every husband and father study to understand the words of Christ, not in a one-sided manner, merely dwelling upon the subjection of the wife to her husband, but in the light of the cross of Calvary study as to his own position in the family circle.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, p. 216.


Thursday May 16

5. NO “BOSS” IN THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY

a. How close should be the relationship between husband and wife? Genesis 2:23, 24; Matthew 19:4–6.

“Neither husband nor wife is to make a plea for rulership. The Lord has laid down the principle that is to guide in this matter. The husband is to cherish his wife as Christ cherishes the church. And the wife is to respect and love her husband. Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other.”—The Adventist Home, pp. 106, 107.

“We must have the Spirit of God, or we can never have harmony in the home. The wife, if she has the spirit of Christ, will be careful of her words; she will control her spirit, she will be submissive, and yet will not feel that she is a bondslave, but a companion to her husband. If the husband is a servant of God, he will not lord it over his wife; he will not be arbitrary and exacting. We cannot cherish home affection with too much care; for the home, if the Spirit of the Lord dwells there, is a type of heaven. . . . If one errs, the other will exercise Christlike forbearance and not draw coldly away.

“Neither the husband nor the wife should attempt to exercise over the other an arbitrary control. Do not try to compel each other to yield to your wishes. You cannot do this and retain each other’s love. Be kind, patient, and forbearing, considerate, and courteous. By the grace of God you can succeed in making each other happy, as in your marriage vow you promised to do.”—Ibid., p. 118.


Friday May 17

PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. How can my attitude and tone of voice toward my spouse more consistently reflect the principles God has clearly directed?

2. Why should I be quicker to admit my faults and ask forgiveness from my spouse?

3. Why does God call me to be ready/willing to die for my spouse?

4. How can I avoid ever cheating on my spouse in my thoughts?

5. Why would it be wise for my spouse and I to prayerfully consider whether we may be guilty of pride of display—either in dress, cooking skills, or possessions such as a vehicle, electronics, house, etc.?

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