Did you watch the Superbowl last weekend? I’m not much of a football fan, and certainly wasn’t excited about the teams after the local 49ers lost to the Giants in the playoffs. But like so many Americans, I watched the Superbowl for the commercials.

Now I know that Superbowl commercials are always a little edgy, but did you think there were more scantily clad women than usual? It seemed that so many companies objectified women with abandon. I was embarrassed by some of those ads, especially those from GoDaddy and Telaflora! And did you see that halftime show featuring an aging Madonna trying to look 20-something? Is that what it takes to attract men these days? Bikinis and brazen sexuality?

Then we come in Sue Edwards’ study on 1 Peter to 1 Peter 3:1-7 where women are given an entirely different standard – don’t use your looks (read: sexuality) to win over or manipulate your husbands, either to the Lord or to your way of thinking. Peter calls on women to evidence a gentle and quiet spirit, to submit graciously, and to not fear. The example he uses is Sarah, who was beautiful but modest, assertive but submissive. In both the culture of Abraham and Sarah and of the first century Roman Empire, these words were both expected and revolutionary since women were considered property – more like the Muslim world today than America. Yes, women were expected to submit, but Peter is talking about a heart attitude rather than a physical behavior. And women had good reason to fear since their fates were entirely at the hands of their husbands. Then in an equally revolutionary command, he calls on men, not to ogle, brutalize, or use women sexually, but to live with them in understanding and honor. To treat them like human beings. In Peter’s culture, these behaviors would indeed stand out. They would be countercultural.

So what do we do with his charge today? How do we live in this culture with those biblical standards? Are they out of date, or do they still make sense 2,000 years later? How can we as Christian women apply these standards to our lives today? Even in the face of a culture that seems to prefer sexualized beauty? I’d really like to hear from you.

Image courtesy of http://clipart.ochristian.com

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  1. Resources for 1 Peter 3:1 - 7 on February 18, 2012 12:14 pm

    […] 1Strengthen the Sacred Mix–1 Peter 3: 1-7 : Why Didn’t You Warn Me? SUBMIT […]

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