The believer’s approach to living in a world that hates them is submission. That is something that most people don’t want to hear today. Peter, inspired by God, is about to tell his readers in every circumstance and relationship that submission is the way we need to relate to each other and the world.
Some will be quick to point out that the word used here does not mean obedience, and that this is a voluntary attitude. They are right, but that does not negate the need for the believer to submit. If you prefer, call it deferment or respect, but this is a challenge that many, many believers completely fail at in current Christianity. Our cultural reinterpretation of what God wants tends to err more towards self-fulfillment, peaceful (or not so peaceful) disobedience, and quite frankly disrespect.
Over the next several verses, Peter outlines the way that Christians should behave as citizens, slaves, wives, husbands, and well, generally. It all amounts to one simple axiom: we ought to be the picture of respect.
So, how is that working out for you?