We?ve dealt with husbands loving their wives and also with husbands performing this love without being bitter. Presently we?re looking at a direct consequence of not performing our duty as a husband?loving with understanding and grace.
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Pet 3:7
I?m not too sure how often people touch this verse which strikes me as extremely profound in its practical importance. I really don?t have a peek into the home-life of persons, theologians or otherwise, so I can?t say with a certainty if someone is not understanding toward his wife. I do hear a few disrespectful jokes but that?s neither here nor there. We may gravitate towards the state of the local gathering or the problem of postmodernism or trying to stamp out Arminianism or Calvinism?but I wonder how often we men look at the grievous danger inherit in mistreating our wives.
The verse doesn?t say ?careful or she?ll leave you? nor does it say ?your public testimony is proving a shamble?. The verse connects our prayer life, our communication with the Throne in Heaven, the Father Himself, being hindered by our lives with our wives.
That communication which Christ promised in John 14-16, that a believer can ask the Lord for anything (John 14:13-14) has access to the Father and can ask anything under the Lord?s authority (John 15:16). That access which the Lord doesn?t have to make petition for in our stead, but we can ask the Father directly for He loves us (John 16:25-27). That communication?hindered.
If we are to actively love our wives, while completely looking away from ourselves we are to do it without bitterness. If we are doing this without bitterness, we are to do it with understanding, and I?ll use the apostles words, as to someone weaker. Not as looking down at her as if she is a child?that would be straying into that whole area of bitterness from the last post. Nor is this looking at her as if she is weaker in faith when in fact, she is a fellow heir of the grace of life. There is a weakness in Woman, which the apostle doesn?t specify in this verse, although I will submit that he defines it earlier on.
If this manner of life is not performed, that free access communication is somehow hindered. Perhaps this has something to do with Jesus? words about offering a sacrifice and having a quarrel with our brother?that the person has to leave the sacrifice and go make amends with his brother? Maybe this type of action toward the weaker vessel can be defined as evil and thus hinders prayers? If you wish leave some commentary explaining how you see this connection affecting prayer life and how you deal with it. This would prove beneficial to all.
We do know this; husbands are to understand their wives and in their active, non-bitter love, they are to be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit; not returning evil nor insult for insult but giving a blessing instead (1 Pet 3:8-9). In so doing, we reflect the love of Christ in our relationship and our prayers are offered unhindered to the very throne of grace.
Yay! One series done! Um…I’m not counting the women’s side of this series, so…yay!