It is the end of the semester and frankly, I am tired, so I might not be giving my best. The question was about taking a passage from 1st Peter and speaking to the notion of exile/stranger and witness:
I wish to explore this passage (1 Peter 3:1-7) further, at a later date, but I find that the use of the ‘weak vessel’ of the woman and the towering effects of the husband is a rhetorical device used to call attention that in a society where women were considered a not-man, the woman could still be warriors for God in winning (leading?) their husbands to Christ. The weakness of the earlier Messiah-believing community is primarily one (at least for these examples) one of position. They were still Jews, and in synagogues, but because they were no longer ‘orthodox’ they were second. To the Romans, they seemed to believe in a new god so that their religion was seen as inauthentic. Along with other economic factors, the early Community of Christ-followers were outcasts and thus unprotected by many social structures, including the law.
In this passage, I find that the woman is acknowledged to be of a different social class than her husband, but even in that condition, as a not-man, she would through being obedient (to the social structures) win her husband to Christ. She is a stranger to the higher social structure which gave her added protection under the law and indeed, was the weaker vessel, but she had the power to be the ultimate victor.
The witness of the weak, of the outcasts, of the socially derided, was promised to eventually turn the tide of the persecution and overtake those who were stronger. It was their witness in suffering which allowed their strength to become known and thus reveal Christ.