He was sitting on the couch, angry, trying desperately to communicate with his wife. They had never really learned how to fight well. Neither did they communicate well during tense situations. They didn’t even remember what they were fighting about, but they could not connect emotionally. He felt like he couldn’t get through to her. He thought there was just no hope. Is this you? Do you ever wonder how to understand your wife?
I Peter 3:7 – “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.
During this desperate time, he stumbled across a verse about how husbands should treat their wives. Like most guys, he thought he was doing pretty well. But he knew he needed more to understand marriage. These thoughts from Peter showed him not only that he needed to change his thinking, but also, they showed him how.
The instructions: be considerate, treat her with respect; As the weaker partner, see her as equal. If I don’t, my prayers will be hindered.
Let’s take a closer look.
How to Understand Your Wife
Be considerate. Another way to say this is to live with your wife in an understanding way. Seek to understand her, meaning use insight and skill to connect with your wife. Study her and seek to understand what she needs.
Treat her with respect. Some translations state, show, or grant her honor. You honor your wife by showing her respect, appreciation, and value.
As the weaker partner, we immediately think of physical strength here. But a better view of this is the idea of a vessel, from which the example comes. The concept is that there are vessels for particular purposes and vessels for regular everyday use. Compare your fine china against your Corelle plates. You should treasure your wife as something so valuable and precious, like fine china, that you are extremely careful in handling her.
See her as equal. She is a fellow heir with you. She is not the same; no. But she is equal with you in receiving the gift of grace. How then can you hold yourself above her at any time? We are of equal value and worth. She should be treated as you would be treated.
That nothing will hinder your prayers. Why would you want your prayers hindered? If you don’t treat your wife well, you damage your wife and damage your relationship with God. He doesn’t hear us and won’t answer because of our disobedience.
Do you treasure your wife?
Wow! Talk about a paradigm shift. He now realized that he did not treasure his wife as he should. This model from Peter enabled him to fill his wife’s spirit with life and hope. Without it, they could never experience true intimacy.
You see, he had made many mistakes in his marriage. He had already experienced so much failure in this relationship. It was painful and frustrating. He hated being a failure.
But by following these steps that Peter lays out, instead of losing his wife altogether, he gained her trust and respect. Their marriage became infinitely better. Not easy, but better. They are closer than ever before because he’s treating her like he never has before in their marriage.
If you don’t fight for your wife, then someone else or something else will.
Author: Tom Nichols
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