In An Understanding Way

Last week we discussed the role of the Christian wife to her husband. This week we explore the role of the Christian husband to his wife. It is clear from Peter’s instruction that the standard of Christian living is no different for the husband than for the wife. But since the husband’s role is different, his service and submission is embodied and expressed differently.

Husbands, you are called to live with your wife “in an understanding way.”

  • How would deeper consideration of your wife’s needs, desires, and dreams help you better live with her in an understanding way?
  • Ask God for a greater interest in knowing your wife. Identify some areas of weakness in your understanding of your wife.
  • Schedule a date night where you can talk with your wife candidly about these areas of weakness. Ask her to help you know her better.

Peter describes the “understanding way” of a husband’s relationship to his wife as “showing honor to her as the weaker vessel.” Over the years, some readers of this passage have taken offense to the description, “weaker vessel.” Peter intends nothing derogatory, however. He is calling husbands to care for their wives in an understanding way, and this means bearing the heavier burdens, extending protection, and providing shelter (literally and figuratively) for their wives.

  • Husbands, is it possible that your wife is failing under the weight of burden—feeling anxious, displaced, and alone—because she is not experiencing the support she needs from you?
  • Is your relationship to her one of protection and shelter? Take the time to inquire of her. She wants to hear from you.

Husbands, Peter teaches us that if we neglect caring for our wives, our spiritual communion with God will lack—our prayers will be hindered. God’s desire is that the prayers of husbands and wives would reflect the unity of Christ and the church.

  • Husbands, are you praying with your wife? If not, what is keeping you from it?
  • Is there distance between you and your wife?
  • Are you afraid of the intimacy and vulnerability of prayer with your wife?
  • Ask God to open your heart spiritually to your wife, and to not give into fear or laziness. Together by grace you may become a holy priesthood, and your home a temple of the living God (I Peter 2:9).

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