“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” 1 Peter 3:7
Carrying on through the book of 1 Peter, we saw in last weeks sermon Peters appeal to submit, for the Lord’s sake, to every human institution. This week Peter continues on asking both wives and husbands to submit to one another out of a reverence to Christ in chapter 3 verses 1-7. But how does one submit to another without knowing them.
Now, this is not ‘knowing’ in the biblical sense, but understanding them. In the Old Testament book of Proverbs it says, “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” (Proverbs 6:6). Great men have taken this verse to heart and they’ve left for the wild to explore nature and find out what information they can gain from the things in the universe. Men have taken months to study what mother nature has to offer for them. However, many haven’t taken the time to ask, what they might learn from their wives.
If husbands are to ‘live with [their] wives in an understanding way” how is one suppose to do that if they do not understand her? Don’t take this, however, as a full out attack on men. Men work hard to provide for their families. Men will work long hours. Men will go off to work for weeks at a time. Godly men will do what it takes to provide for their families. However, sometimes men do these things unwittingly to the determent of their families.
Whether by good intentions or naivety or malice, men will stop taking the time to understand their wives. They will forget what it means to be at home with the kids, raising them, correcting them and being attentive to them for hours every day. They will forget what makes their wives happy, what makes their day or even what excites them. Relationships get into ruts because there will come a time where you will think, ‘I know them. I don’t have to impress them or check in with them. I already know them.’
But with everything else, wives and husbands will change. Husbands, your wives will change over time. It is your job to take notice of those changes. You live with your wife in an understanding way when you notice and adapt to those changes.
So, Peter encourages his readers who are husbands to go and understand their wife. He encourages them to watch them, as if they would watch the world and understand them. Know how to prefer her and love her and challenge her in such ways that encourage them. Do so, so they might find the strength and energy to pour into their kids, their friends, their family and their neighbors so others might hear the gospel message loudly in their lives.
Once you have that knowledge, honor her. It’s not an easy thing to do after working a hard day’s work. It’s not easy to serve your boss, your coworkers, your community to be spent and then to come home to serve your family. But that is the call on your life: Be a servant. But it’s most important that we serve those who God has given to us under our care. So married husbands and fathers. Honor and love those under your care, starting first with your wife and your children.
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.