Healing a Hurting Marriage, or, How to get a new Husband -- By: David J. MacLeod

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 18:2 (Winter 2009)
Article: Healing a Hurting Marriage, or, How to get a new Husband
Author: David J. MacLeod


Healing a Hurting Marriage, or, How to get a new Husband1

An Exposition Of 1 Peter 3:1-62

David J. Macleod

Dave MacLeod is Dean for Biblical Studies at Emmaus Bible College and is Associate Editor of The Emmaus Journal.

Introduction

F. B. Meyer (1847-1929), a biblical commentator of a by-gone day, made the startling assertion that among the very first creations of Christ and his message “was that of the family and the home.”3

There were, to be sure, homes in the days of the apostles where the old Roman virtues—pietas, gravitas, simplicitas—the mutual devotion of parents and children, a sober sense of responsibility, an avoidance of extravagance or display—still survived.4 We are touched by Panthea who, as her husband left to fight under Cyrus, said, “If ever there was a woman that regarded her husband more than her own soul, I am that woman.” Who can forget Cornelia (2nd. cent. BC), who refused many suitors because she insisted that her marriage with her husband, Titus Gracchus, was not annulled by his death? We are moved by the story of Arria Paeta (d. AD 42), wife of Roman senator Caecina Paetus. Accused of involvement in a plot against the emperor, Paetus was ordered by Claudius to commit suicide. When he hesitated, Arria took the dagger from him and plunged it into her own breast. Dying, she handed the dagger back with

the words, “Paetus, it does not hurt” (Paete, non dolet).5 Pliny (AD 23-79), the Roman naturalist, speaking of his wife, said, “She loves me, the surest pledge of her virtue; and adds to this a wonderful disposition to learning, which she has acquired from her love to me. She reads my writings, studies them, and even gets them by heart. You would smile to see the concern she is in when I have a cause to plead; and her joy when it is over.”6 Both Greek and Roman writers advocated order in the home as the foundation of the state. Plutarch (AD 46-120), the Greek biographer, in his Advice to Bride and Groom, encouraged wives to subordinate themselves to their husbands, and husbands to control their wives by affection and goodwill.7

While Roman moralists might approve the conduct taught by the apostles, society at large did not l...

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