“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”1 Peter 3:1-4 (NASB)
Although this passage is applied specifically to married women, I recently saw how it also can apply to all believers. In these verses, Peter calls for wives to witness Christ to their husbands not so much with their words but with their actions and lives. In this, they may win over their husbands for the Gospel.
It occurred to me that more often than not, we make our faith known by our words rather than by our actions. Whether a wife with a challenging or unbelieving husband, or a person sharing on social media, it seems we tend to focus on preaching to others and can forget that our actions speak too.
Peter highlights a different way to these wives: Let your husbands be won over to Christ not so much by discussion but by your lives, as you walk in godliness.
What does this passage reveal to us about God in particular? Christ displayed God’s love to us primarily by His actions. He did preach and teach, but His ultimate act of love for humanity was an action that transcended all speech and proved the heart behind it:
Jesus gave His life for us on the Cross, paying for our sins and making eternal life and relationship with God available to us.
“By this we know [and have come to understand the depth and essence of His precious] love: that He [willingly] laid down His life for us [because He loved us]. And we ought to lay down our lives for the believers.”1 John 3:16 (AMP)
The outstanding act of sacrificial love of Jesus–the Messiah Himself dying for our sins–is what draws us to God above all else.
Just as He did, we are called to demonstrate that we are His by the way we live, not just by our words or even our social media posts. Just as Christ’s act of love draws is to Him, our actions of love toward others can draw them to Him as well.
Just as Christ’s act of love draws is to Him, our actions of love toward others can draw them to Him as well.Tweet
Have you ever noticed that tell a family member how they need Jesus or need to stop doing this or that doesn’t seem to help them get any closer to receiving Christ? Our “preachy” speaking can be a turn off for even those close to us, but our actions can soften their hearts to hear the Word in God’s timing. As we actively love them through our actions of serving, caring, listening and more, they may be drawn to the Lord more easily.
C.S. Lewis was attributed with saying:
“When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.”C.S. Lewis
How true! Because we represent Christ and our faith, it is so important that we seek to live godly lives and love others as Christ calls us to. I know that I need this reminder of where my focus must be, what about you? That call to demonstrate God’s love to others before speaking it is key!
Jesus’ words to the disciples in John 13 comes to mind. He mentions that we will be known as His disciples by our love:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:34-35 (NKJV)
Let this be something we seek to live out as we go about our interactions with others. May the way we treat others reveal our love for God and them. We can then ask God with prayerful hope that they will want to know why we love others as we do, providing us the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
May we make Christ known through godly, loving action–not merely in our speech but in how we live. In this beauty displayed throughout our lives, others will surely be drawn to the Lord.