“7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect…”(1 Peter 3:7)
It is no great secret that I pastor teens. The young and excitable junior high student to the independant high school-er. Their lives are overwhelmed with academic pursuits, hormone induced crushes and the ever present struggle with identity. Their affections are mostly set on college, career and the lure of a “freedom” associated with adulthood. No matter what their future intentions may be, it is almost universally assumed that most are not even considering marriage at this point.
If that is the case(and I believe it is), then how does the intimate discipline and conduct between husband and wife spoken of in 1 Peter chapter 3 apply to our young people at this stage in their journey?
I’m glad you asked.
We are responsible to train young people in Godliness(Eph 6:4; 1 Tim 4:7). And though they may not fully understand or appreciate the method and structure now, later, when tested, the student will enjoy the righteousness and peace produced by them(Hebrews 12:11).
The sad reality is that all too often we are so concerned with catering to the present progress of our young people that we forsake much of what is meant for their long term growth. Would we assume that they never intend to get married? What qualities will they look for in a spouse? How will they know how to love, serve and care for them properly?
Much of what we see in our society concerning marriage is a gross misrepresentation. Scandalous affairs, skyrocketing divorce rate and the subsequent fall-out…Broken families and children who are destined and trained to reciprocate the same.
But what if things were different?
What if we looked at marriage as another opportunity to make much of Jesus? What if by modeled humility, service and character, struggling faith was restored? What if by reverent respect and sacrificial devotion, a subordinate partner was established? What if?
It would look like Christ. It would model Him in His footsteps and it would make a big deal of His worth. This is why we train now for the future. This is why talk about marriage when it is yet to be considered. Because every student who is fully trained by his teacher will become like his teacher(Luke 6:40).
Who will they follow?