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How Am I Doing on the 1 Peter 3 Checklist?

First Peter 3 is a familiar passage to most Christians: it deals with the wife’s required submission to her husband (vv. 1–6) and the husband’s responsibility to honor his wife (v. 7). However, if we keep reading, we find that the passage’s applications broaden out to areas of the Christian walk that all family members would do well to obey.

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? (1 Pet. 3:8–13)

So all believers—whether husband, wife, or child—are supposed to be compassionate, loving, kindhearted, and courteous (showing humility) toward all our Christian brothers and sisters. In addition, we’re not to seek revenge on those who wrong us but instead to bless those who treat us unfairly. A tall order!

Verses 10–12 are actually a quotation from the Old Testament—Psalm 34:12–16, which reads,

What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

How well do we evidence these characteristics in our families? Here’s a checklist that may be helpful, encouraging, and challenging to each of us.

  • Do I strive to be "of one mind" with other members of my family?
  • Would my family characterize me as loving? as kindhearted? courteous?
  • Am I compassionate? Or am I so wrapped up in my concerns that I fail to see the importance of others’ needs?
  • Am I bent on "getting even" or "defending myself" when I’m wronged? Am I willing to be a blessing even to those who have hurt my feelings?
  • Are my words free from deceit and evil?
  • Do I seek to be a peacemaker when family disagreements arise?

May the Lord give each of us the grace to obey Him in all of these areas! And let’s remember the encouragement of 1 Peter 3:13 as well: "Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?"

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