- I Peter 3:1, 2
I believe God calls us to a life of submission because submission is influence. What is the definition of “influence”? Here is the definition.
In-flu-ence [in-floo-uh ns]: noun
1. The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others. (Dictionary.com LLC., 2013)
Influence is force upon people. That means that influence is a powerful thing. When we submit to others as God directs us, we exert force upon them. I do not intend to say that submission is to be used as a controlling or manipulative power over people. What I am saying is that submission within God’s bounds allows us to be used of God to affect people.
Peter says this very thing in our text. He writes that wives should submit so that their husbands can observe the wife’s behavior and be won. The submissive wife is used of God to affect the husband for goodness. Let’s examine this idea a bit further.
Peter writes that a submissive wife’s behavior can actually be used of God to win the husband. Win the husband from what? I belief the text states that the husband can be won from disobedience to obedience to God. What is meant here is the occasion in which a believing wife is married to an unbelieving husband. The word used here for “disobedient” is the Greek word “apeiqew” which means to “disbelieve” or to “disobey”. The word is used to describe someone who does not believe in Christ.
Although the text is speaking of an unbelieving husband, I believe the principle can be applied to another situation. I mean specifically a situation where the husband is a believer who has fallen into sin. In such an instance, a submissive, believing wife can also be used of God to “win” her husband back into a clear relationship with God.
Some other examples of submission as influence can also be seen in the Scriptures. Jesus submitted to arrest, false prosecution, and execution. When Jesus identified Himself to those coming to arrest Him, the arresting party fell to the ground (John 18:6). The Lord’s submission influenced Peter right after Peter denied the Lord (Luke 22:60-62). Jesus’ submission rattled Pilate, a ruthless man, into confusion, indecisiveness, and fear (John 19:28-40). Our Lord’s obedience to the Father also won all believers the right to become children of God.
Jesus could have avoided arrest by striking down his captors. It would have been no big deal for the Lord to break his bonds and give Peter punishment. Jesus could have easily out witted and overpowered Pilate to take over the whole Roman government. The Master could have denied the cross and let the world die. But Jesus chose submission. The Savior’s willing submission to the Father affected people.
Wives, your submission to God means submission to your husband. But this submission, by God’s own word, means you are doing what you should to affect your husband for Christ. As your husband watches your godly behavior which respects both your spouse and the Lord, the Bible says God uses you to affect the husband.
 I do not believe that the Bible promises that the husband will be won but this is the way to affect the husband for Christ.