By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR
Peter finishes his exhortations concerning conduct in relationships by writing to husbands (vs7). The key instruction regarding a believer’s conduct towards government, masters and husbands is to submit. Now, he instructs husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way, but he starts off with the word “likewise,” indicating that he is suggesting like behavior. The like behavior is summarized in verses 9-12, ending with his oft-repeated charge to “do good.” Verse 8 is a chiasm (illustrated below), with brotherly love in the middle. Notice the pattern: mind (influences) emotion (promotes) LOVE, (influences) emotion, (informs) mind.
Verse 9 is a straightforward admonition, followed by a quotation from Psalm 34 (verses 10-12).
(7) Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way,
showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel,
since they are heirs with you of the grace of life,
so that your prayers may not be hindered.
I broke it down into 4 parts. Likewise reminds me that we are still talking about relationships. The rest of it comes down to context – how do husbands live with their wives in an understanding way? By showing honor to them as the weaker vessel, since (think: “because”) they are heirs with you, (why?) so that your prayers may not be hindered (3 S’s). His final argument: because you are both heirs, failure to do this will result in your prayers being hindered.
(8) Finally, all of you,
have unity of mind,
a tender heart,
and a humble mind.
“Finally, all of you” – he’s wrapping up. Have 5 things, starting with the mind and ending with the mind. I arranged in order of the chiasm. It may or may not help you.
(9) Do not repay evil for evil, or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Pretty obvious: Don’t – “evil” twice and “reviling” twice, BUT, Do – “bless, blessing”
(10-11) For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
There’s just something about poetry that makes it easier to memorize, but I kept putting lips before tongue. To help, I thought of tongue being inside the lips, so that comes first, Because the psalmist is just repeating the same idea twice for emphasis. It’s a Hebrew poetic form.
And then, of course you end with seeking two “P’s” in alphabetical order.
(12) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer. But, the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
The reason (“For”) to turn away from evil and do good, is the contrast between the Lord’s response to good verses evil.
I hope you are taking time during our break to solidify what you have memorized so far, and/or catch up if you have fallen behind. Whatever the case, I urge you not to give up. Christ is our greatest treasure. To have him is to know him and we know him through his word.
May the contemplation and celebration of the WORD made flesh bring great joy and adoration to your heart this Christmas season!
Soli Deo Gloria