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Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect

as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:7 In the days leading up to the celebration of Fathers Day it is helpful for us to meditate upon what the Scriptures say to Fathers about their calling in life. This coming weekend First Baptist Church will be having our annual Not Just a Fathers Day Breakfast. This event focuses upon the call of God, not just upon Fathers, but upon all men to live as Biblically Spiritual men in this world, sharing the love of the Lord Jesus Christ with everyone who will receive it. As Peter writes regarding the will of God for husbands he is in reality calling all Christian men, we might even say all Christians, to live in a way that reveals the attractiveness of the Gospel of Christ. We can see this as we look at 1 Peter 3:7 in its context. This verse, and its companion verses to wives, is given as illustrations of a longer section of the letter in which Peter has been outlining the call for believers to live out their Christian lives as those who are submitting to the authorities that God has put us under. Peter focuses our attention on the importance of this section by writing in 1 Peter 2:12, Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us. One of the purposes and benefits of living this life of Biblical submission is evangelistic. In this way we commend the Gospel to those we encounter. Ray Pritchard writes about the difficulty of this lifestyle when he calls it the hardest doctrine in the Bible. What is the hardest doctrine in the Bible? I think the answer is, it depends. If you mean, What is the hardest doctrine to understand? I would nominate the doctrine of the Trinity. If you mean, What is the hardest doctrine to believe? I might suggest the doctrine of eternal hell. But if you mean, What is the hardest doctrine to obey? I think its the doctrine of submission. The problem is not hard to see. Most of us dont like giving up the right to make decisions for ourselves. And we dont like the idea of someone else telling us what to do. We dont much care for rules and regulations, and we dont like restrictive laws. I was going to say thats an American trait, but its really a human trait. To paraphrase Isaiah 53:6, weve all gone our own way, and by nature we are all rebels at heart. And even when we obey, we often dont like it. Perhaps youve heard the story of the little boy who disobeyed his Mother. As punishment, she told him to sit in a chair in the corner. After a while, she asked him, Have you learned your lesson yet? With a look of defiance, he replied, Im sitting on the outside but Im standing on the inside. This call to submission is incredibly hard for us human beings. It is so hard that it can only be lived out by us as a consequence of the grace of God working in our lives. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than within the marriage relationship. As Peter issues his call to Christian men he literally brings them to see that they are going to need a new nature if they are ever to live it out. Husbands are called to a lifelong committed relationship in which they treat their wife as someone of infinite value. This means that we recognise in our wife the incomparably great value that they have in the eyes of God. They are in fact a person for whom the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ was shed. Here is a

person that the Son of God gave up His life to redeem. How then can we take them for granted? Peter tells us that the Gospel is revealed as a beautiful thing by the way it has transformed our love for our wife. What is needed here is the gracious working of the Spirit of God within us to tame our rebellious heart so that our one great desire is to submit to the working of Gods grace in every area of our lives, especially in those relationships which are closest to us. Praise God that His grace is producing this in us!