In the middle of 1 Peter (2:13-3:12), the apostle Peter explains how Christ followers are to live in relationship to others. We are to practice submission, willingly placing ourselves under authority as citizens (2:13-17), workers (2:18-25), marriage partners (3:1-7), and members of Christ’s body (3:8-12).
Admittedly, submission is a difficult topic to preach on because we live in a culture that is anti-authority. While we don’t necessarily want to lead, none of us want to follow. We want to be in charge of our own lives and not have to answer to someone else’s bidding.
When Scripture says one thing and society tells us something entirely different, we have several options. We can:
- Reject the Bible—Don’t even attempt to read or understand what it says.
- Avoid the parts we find disturbing—Don’t talk or preach about them.
- Reinterpret the disagreements as “cultural, not timeless”—Since times have changed, those instructions are irrelevant.
- Negate the problem by “attacking the author”—Accuse the apostle Paul or the apostle Peter of being a male chauvinist of the worst kind; and conclude that only Jesus’ word can be trusted. (Since Jesus doesn’t address sexuality or marriage roles & responsibilities, it must not be important.)
- Determine it isn’t relevant—While this part of the Bible may be true, it cannot be lived in this day and age.
- Accept the truth of Scripture and pattern our lives after it.
If you want to be truly counter cultural, study the Scriptures and commit yourself to obedience. Where it says to submit, willingly place yourself under the authority of the one above you. Don’t be afraid to swim against the tide.