1 Peter 3:1-2
These verses are a perfect applied example of our discipleship philosophy. The given example involves a saved wife with an unsaved husband, but the basic principle applies to any relationship that is mixed spiritually. Our natural response to a blatantly unsaved person is to try to “win them to Christ.” Many evangelistic programs encourage pushing the unbeliever. Peter encourages the believer to “win” the unbeliever with a manner of life and not primarily words.
As we seek to live this out, some reflection is required. We ought to reflect on what we might do to communicate our faith in a God who loves all and provides for our need of forgiveness. Secondly, we ought to reflect on what message our lives are truly advertising. This message may be different or even contrary to our words. We ought to reflect on the divergences in our real life message and the message our life ought to reflect.
This level of effort can be wearying. So that we do not give up in frustration, Peter gives us perspective when he says that our manner of life should be tempered by fear. This is not fear for our relationship nor our reputation, but fear for the eternal soul of the unbeliever. This fear overcomes our natural self centeredness.
This is the beauty of Christmas. God sent His Son to earth so that we not need fear eternity. The good news tells us that salvation has come!