Chapter 3 Verse 7
Visitors to the forthcoming Calgary Stampede who are feeling extra frisky can now leave their wedding rings at the door. A local Calgary hotel is offering to let guests check in their wedding rings as they might their cars or their coats. Hotel Arts’ staff will even airbrush ring tan lines, so all the telltale signs of commitment vanish. "The stampede has a reputation for promiscuity, kissing and a little bit of infidelity," said Stephen Carter, an event planner who has been hired by the hotel to plan their corporate party tent during Calgary’s western-themed extravaganza. "That naturally led to the creation of a ring check." While eyebrows are being raised over the appropriateness of an ad campaign that appears to facilitate and condone cheating, the promotional video is receiving some attention on YouTube.(National Post: Published: Saturday, June 23, 2007).
Unfortunately this kind of pandering is not uncommon. From dating services reserved for married couples to communities that practice polygamy, like in Bountiful BC, a failure to live up to God’s standards of marriage are rampant.
Part of the problem is that men and women often have radically different expectations in marriage. Coming in with a rosy fog of blind optimism, unsaid and unconsidered expectations, often change to resentment, bitterness and too often lead to divorce, often at just the same rates for those who profess to be Christians and non-christians.
When the failure to implement the selfless submission of 1 Peter comes, everything breaks down. Relationships with family and friends are strained and often broken, finances are lost in arguing, and the name of Christ is tarnished.
No doubt in your wedding you exchanged vows with your spouse. Marriage vows traditionally include the notions of affection ("love, comfort, keep"), faithfulness ("forsaking all others"), unconditionality ("for richer or for poorer", "in sickness and in health"), and permanence ("as long as we both shall live", "until death do us part"). As grand as these are, the standards that God indicates goes well beyond. As difficult as the calling has been for wives in submission, the demand for Husbands goes far and above.
1 Peter 3:7 presents the Husbands Responsibility of A) Consideration, B) Chivalry, and C) COMPANIONSHIP
1 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. (ESV)
Likewise /In the same way refers again to the duty of submission (2:13, 18; 3:1).
We have seen this in three regards so far all for the same reason:
1 Peter 2:13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, (ESV)
1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. (ESV)
1 Peter 3:1 [3:1]Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, (ESV)
This time it is the believing husband who submits to serve his wife.
Husbands obey that duty by adhering to three basic responsibilities in caring for their wives’ needs: A) consideration, B) chivalry, and C) companionship.
1 Peter 3:7a live with your wives in an understanding way
Please turn to Eph. 5
In 1 Peter 3:7a, husbands are to live with their wives in an understanding way, which means they must be considerate. Understanding speaks of being sensitive and considering the wife’s deepest physical and emotional needs.
Illustration: Understanding Each Other
Someone has said:
A man is a person who, if a woman says, “Never mind, I’ll do it myself,” lets her.
A woman is a person who, if she says to a man, “Never mind, I’ll do it myself,” and he lets her, gets mad.
A man is a person who, if a woman says to him, “Never mind, I’ll do it myself,” and he lets her and she gets mad, says, “Now what are you mad about?
A woman is a person who, if she says to a man, “Never mind, I’ll do it myself,” and he lets her, and she gets mad, and he says, “Now what are you mad about?” says, “If you don’t know I’m not going to tell you.”
(Galaxie Software: 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press, 2002)
Understanding our spouses often takes a lifetime of searching.
Well before we can figure out the intricies of our spouse, we must look to the standard, as men, of care:
What is the degree to which we are to love our wives?
Ephesians 5:25-28 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (ESV)
Illustration: Reverse Reasoning
Often when couples meet for premarital counselling, they are entranced in a rosy fog of optimism. Blinded to the shortcomings, each sees only the other’s good points. But as the excitement of the new marriage wears off, they often drift to the opposite extreme and view these same traits as faults. Someone has called this “reverse reasoning,” giving the following examples:
She married him because he was ‘strong and masculine’
she divorced him because he was a very ‘dominating male.’
He married her because she was so ‘fragile and petite’
He divorced her because she was so ‘weak and helpless.’
She chose him because ‘he knew how to provide a good living’
She left him because ‘all he thought about was the business.’
He married her because she was ‘steady and sensible’
He divorced her because she was ‘boring and dull.’
(- H.G.B.Our Daily Bread, June 3)
In 1 Peter 3:7 The word translated live (sunoikountes) means “dwelling together” and refers to living with someone in intimacy and cherishing them. Believing husbands must constantly nourish and cherish their wives in the bond of intimacy:
Proverbs 5:18-19 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (ESV)
Illustration: Needs Are Different
Perhaps our understanding for marriage is to give our spouse what we feel is best.
Dr. Willard Harley, a Massachusetts psychologist, surveyed the perceived basic needs of men and women in marriage and found that the perceived needs are completely different. According to Dr. Harley’s survey,
The top five basic needs of the female in marriage are:
4. Financial Support
5. Family Commitment
The male’s top five basic needs are:
1. Sexual Fulfillment
2. Recreational Companionship
3. An Attractive Wife
4. Domestic Support
Looking at both lists, it becomes obvious that if we give our spouses in relation to our perceived needs, hoping to receive the same in return, we will miss the mark every time. Therefore, instead of giving in relation to what we need, we must strive to give what our spouses need.
From Bad Beginnings to Happy Endings, by Ed Young (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publ., 1994), pp. 120-121.
Husbands obey that duty by adhering to the responsibility in caring for their wives’ needs in terms of: A) consideration,
1 Peter 3:7c the woman as the weaker vessel
A believing husband should also be chivalrous to his wife, realizing she is as some translations render: someone weaker, since she is a woman. Just as submission does not imply inherent inferiority for the ones who submit (see the discussion of verse 1 of this passage), so the word weaker does not mean the wife is intrinsically weaker in character or intellect than her husband. The word (rendered “weaker vessel” by the King James and New King James translators) also does not mean that women are spiritually inferior to men (cf. Gal. 3:28).
I have repeatedly mentioned this verse over the past weeks, but it must be front and center in understanding God’s regard to women in their worth before Him.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
The Word Vessel refers to the physical body. Therefore, women generally possess less physical strength than men. With that in mind, Christian husbands are the sacrificial providers and protectors of their wives (cf. 1 Sam. 1:4–5; Eph. 5:23, 25–26; Col. 3:19; 1 Tim. 5:8), whether or not the wives are believers.
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. (ESV)
For Husbands, we see A) consideration, B) chivalry, and finally:
1 Peter 3:7b showing honor/respect 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. (ESV)
This should be what is looked for in a prospective mate and what parents should train boys to do: honour/respect women.
-What do you say of your wife when you are at work or with the guys.
-Is she the but of Jokes, or do you praise her?
The husband is to be a companion for his wife since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, which refers not to eternal life, but to the true and intimate friendship that belongs only to those who are possessors of God’s most blessed gift in this life—marriage.
Peter labels marriage the grace of life because grace (charis) means “unmerited, undeserved favour” (cf. Rom. 1:5; 3:24; 5:15, 17; 12:3; 15:15; 2 Cor. 8:1; 9:8; Gal. 2:9; Eph. 2:7; 3:2, 7; 4:7; 4:29; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 4:16; James 4:6). Marriage is a divine providence given to mankind regardless of his attitude toward the Giver. Intimate companionship in marriage, the richest blessing of this life, was a foreign concept to the Greco-Roman culture of Peter’s day. Husbands were generally uninterested in friendship with their wives, expecting them to merely maintain the household and bear children. In contrast, the Christian husband is to cultivate all the richness God designed into the grace of marriage by showing honor to his wife in loving consideration, chivalry, and companionship.
So that his prayers may/will not be hindered is the reward God promises to the loving, caring husband (cf. Ps. 66:18; Isa. 59:2; John 9:31; James 4:3).
Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
Isaiah 59:2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. (ESV)
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (ESV)
The warning is clearly given that if a husband in Christ is not fulfilling his responsibilities toward his wife, God may not answer his prayers. No more serious divine threat could be given to a believer than that—the interruption of all the promises of prayers heard and answered (cf. John 14:13–14).
The key to having a positive witness to an unsaved spouse is living an exemplary Christian life as a faithful, submissive spouse. That obedience pleases God and provides the testimony that honours Jesus Christ before the unsaved partner.
Illustration: A Better Plan
When in college Robert J , Morgan came across a poem written by a teenage girl looking for a husband. It was written as a prayer, and this is what she said:
Dear God, I pray all unafraid / As girls are wont to be
I do not want a handsome man / But make him, Lord, like Thee.
I do not need one big and strong / nor yet so very tall,
Nor need he be some genius / or wealthy, Lord, at all;
But let his head be high, dear God, / and let his eye be clear,
His shoulders straight, whate’er his fate / whate’er his earthly sphere.
And let his face have character, / a ruggedness of soul,
And let his whole life show, dear God, / a singleness of goal.
And when he comes / as he will come
With quiet eyes aglow / I’ll know, dear Lord,
That he’s the man / I prayed for long ago.
That girl’s name was Ruth Bell, and she later met and married—Billy Graham.
She died recently. Her life had a profound effect on one who so faithfully supported Billy Graham.
Robert J , Morgan found her poem while a college student, shy and wondering if I would ever find anyone to marry. So following her example he wrote a prayer to the Lord as a request for a life partner. It said:
I stumble, Lord, when I should think / Of finding one for me.
But to Thy throne I come to claim / That prudent wife from Thee.
She need not be a beauty, Lord, / The queen crowned at the fair;
Nor need she have a made-up face / Beneath embellished hair.
But let her eyes contain Thy strength, / Her smile announce Thy grace;
Her body kept within Thy realm, / Thy sheen upon her face.
Lord, give her hands that make each day / An innovative art,
And grant her feet to always serve / The progress of Thy heart.
She need not be a scholar, Lord, / But warm like Thee, and wise;
And with Thy wit, Thy word prepared / To teach and empathize.
And when the throbs of life shall come, / The trials that we shall see,
May she both find in Thee her peace / And be a strength to me.
So as I wait on Thee, dear Lord, / And in Thy dictates lean
Make me to be your man, and hers / And her to be my queen
(Morgan, Robert J.: Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, S. 540)
You know what? So do you! Verse seven says “7Husbands, IN THE SAME WAY, be considerate as you live with your wives.” In other words, in the same way your wife is submissive and considerate with you, you need to be submissive and considerate toward her!
One of the biggest complaints I hear about us guys is that we’re not always very considerate. We’re so busy doing this and doing that – that we don’t take enough time to love our wives. We don’t take the time to say, “Sweetheart, I want to know how your week is going. I want to know what I can do to be a better husband.” James 3:17 says that “the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, and considerate.”
Being considerate means taking time to discover your wife’s deepest needs, her unspoken concerns, and her biggest fears. Once in a while, it means turning off the game and giving your baby your undivided attention.
Being considerate means holding the door for her before she gets into the car. It means rubbing her shoulders when she gets tired. It means helping out with the chores. It means telling her how special she is. Being considerate and treating your wife with respect means treating her like a princess.
And 1 Peter 3:7 says that when you treat your wife the way she deserves to be treated, nothing will hinder your prayers.
Submitting to one another in your marriage is commendable before God. Ephesians 5:21 says that we should submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. In other words, our love for Jesus should motivate us to cherish the special someone he has brought into our lives. Our reverence for Christ should motivate us to strive for the best marriage we can have! Submitting to one another in your marriage is commendable in the eyes of God.
So before you say “I quit,” I want you to practice the art of encouragement. Wives, when was the last time you told your husband, "I’m proud of you." "I appreciate how hard you work to provide for our family." "I appreciate how even when you felt like quitting, you stayed with me through the years.” That makes us guys feel good!
And husbands, when was the last time you said to your wife, “You’re my princess. You’re my girl. And I’ll always love you.” Hebrews 3:13 says that we should encourage one another daily.”
And when you submit to one another in marital love, you will have the kind of marriage that the world will envy. Remember, that’s what 1 Peter is all about: Being witnesses for Christ in a hostile world so that they may see your good works, that they may see your beautiful marriages, and be drawn closer to Him. I call it submission for the sake of the mission. 1 Peter 2:11 says “Live such good lives among the pagans that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
We hear a lot of talk about defending marriage today. I understand what people mean by that. But the best way to defend marriage is for Christians to show the world what a loving marriage can look like. The best way to defend marriage is by loving and cherishing and serving the spouse that God has brought into your life! And when we do this, the world will want to know more about the Lord we worship and serve. Submission for the sake of the mission.
And remember that submission in marriage has to begin with personal submission to Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:18 says that “Christ died for our sins once and for all – the righteous for the unrighteous – to bring you to God.” He submitted to God on the cross to pay the price for your sins. Then He rose from the dead to rule the world at God’s right hand. And now Jesus is ready to give you the power to have a better marriage. Jesus is the One who can help you to be the best spouse you can be. Before you say I quit, ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life and the Lord of your marriage. Let’s pray.
Text: 1 Peter 3:7 (King James Version)
"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."
Topic: Meeting The Needs Of Our Wives!
The New Living Translation (NLT) of our Holy Scripture text, for today, reads: "In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard."
Married life takes hard work to be successful! Rearing a household of busy children, maintaining good communication, living unselfishly with others day in and day out under the same roof, remaining positive and affirming, dealing with strong wills, and handling some of the other domestic challenges, can be extremely difficult; but, it is worth the effort.
The late great poet, Edgar Allen Guest (1881 - 1959), in his poem, entitled "Joys of Home," says it well:
***"Curling smoke from a chimney low.
***And only a few more steps to go,
***Faces pressed at a window pane
***Watching for someone to come again.
***And I am the someone they want to see -
***These are the joys life gives to me.
***So let me come home at night and rest
***With those who know I have done my best;
***Let the wife rejoice and my children smile,
***And I’ll know by their love that I’m worthwhile.
***For this is conquest and world success -
***A home where abideth happiness."
The late Ruth McCue (Bell) Graham (1920 - 2007), the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. Nelson Bell, medical missionaries to China, and the wife of Rev. Dr. William Franklin "Billy" Graham (Born: 1918), was a teenage girl going off to Pyongyang, Korea for schooling from her childhood home in Qinjiang, Kiangshu, China, with the full intention of being a confirmed old maid missionary to Tibet. She did, however, give the thought of a husband some serious consideration.
She wrote the following list of requirements for the man who would be her husband, if she married: "If I marry: He must be so tall that when he is on his knees, as one has said, he reaches all the way to heaven. His shoulders must be broad enough to bear the burden of a family. His lips must be strong enough to smile, firm enough to say no, and tender enough to kiss. Love must be so deep that it takes its stand in Christ and so wide that it takes the whole lost world in. He must be active enough to save souls. He must be big enough to be gentle and great enough to be thoughtful. His arms must be strong enough to carry a little child."
Well, from what I know of her husband, I believe that she got everything on her list! I think that most Christian women will agree with Ruth’s assessment of what an ideal husband would look like - notice, my brothers and sisters, that she didn’t say anything about his looks, his intelligence, or any superficial quality. While I’m sure those things couldn’t hurt, her focus was on his spiritual life, his character traits, his romantic qualities, and his dedication to family life!
I know from personal experience that I have often been confused concerning what women want and need from their husbands. While I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, I believe that I have picked up a few things from the Holy Bible - the written Word of Almighty God - from my own life experience, and from the couples I have had the privilege to talk to about such matters, that may be of help to someone; and, I’d like to share them with you this morning.
First of all, husbands, we need to honor our wife’s contribution! Study after study has shown that the number one determining factor in a wife’s self worth, is the response of her husband to her. A woman largely gets her estimation of her own self worth from how her husband responds to her, how he speaks to her, how he treats her; and, how he feels about her.
If we are going to honor our wives, men, we need to verbalize to her, in both private and public, how much we value her contribution to our lives and to our families! Appreciation means to rise in value - depreciation means to lower in value. We need to affirm what our wives do, how they think, and how they contribute to the overall betterment of our families on a regular basis!
I’m not talking here about fake compliments - that, my brothers, will not build her up; but, rather, will tear her down - I am talking about taking the time to affirm and honor who she is, and what she means to us!
Next, we need to understand the needs of our wives! This is a tough one for most of us menfolk! The late Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud, once said, "Despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, I have not yet been able to answer the great question, ’What does a woman want?’"
The Disciple/Apostle Peter tells us that we are to "treat her with understanding as [we] live together." Peter is literally saying that we must grow to know our wives better so that we can meet their needs. This, my brothers, is a process that never ends - just about every single day, being unmarried at the present time, I learn something about the women in my life, that I didn’t know before.
Women are very complex individuals - every time we open a door into who they are, we find another door behind it. There is always another room in their life that we have not yet experienced or explored! However, if we put some effort into learning about who she is, it will keep us interested for the rest of our lives.
Next, we need to acknowledge our wife’s partnership! The Disciple/Apostle Peter tells us that "She may be weaker than [we] are, but she is our equal partner in God’s gift of new life." Peter is talking about physical weakness here - not mental, emotional, or spiritual weakness. We are not our wife’s boss, we are not her ruler, we are not her king, we are her partner! This is true, in every area of our lives; but, specifically, Peter is talking about our partnership as fellow believers in Christ Jesus!
Not only are our wives the persons we are married to; but, they are our sisters in Christ Jesus! We need to treat our wives, not only with the respect, honor, and understanding that she deserves; but, because she is married to us, as our fellow traveler in a spiritual quest!
The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 5:21 (NLT), tells the church at Ephesus and us: "And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Paul is teaching us how husbands and wives live out a life of mutual submission as they serve Jesus, the Christ, as Lord! This does not mean that there are not different roles to play in the marriage relationship; but, that these roles are lived out in a manner that acknowledges each other as equals.
I am going to deal, now, with five (5) general needs that apply to all women; but, there could be some areas of need in your own wife’s life that go beyond these general needs:
1. A woman needs affection! Affection is the cement of a relationship - it symbolizes security, comfort, and approval. When we show affection to our wives, we are sending a powerful message to her, "I care for you, I will take care of you, I will protect you, I am concerned for your needs, I approve of you; and, I am proud of you."
Listen once again to the Apostle Paul, as he speaks to us from Ephesians 5:25-29 (NLT): "And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave His life for her (v. 26) to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s Word. (v. 27) He did this to present her to Himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. (v. 28) In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. (v. 29) No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for His body, which is the Church."
So tell me, men, how do we take care of our bodies? We make sure that we have food to eat, we brush our teeth, we take a shower, we make sure we are properly clothed and taken care of. In other words, we are giving attention to our own care! The Apostle Paul says that we need to do that with our wives in this area of love and affection! We need to pay attention to them in every area - we need to make sure that they are taken care of in every respect!
Ask your wife what it is that she likes - what makes her feel special? Is it hugs just to show that you love her and not always a prelude to intimacy? Is it complimenting her? What is it that lets her know that you really care? King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived on the face of the earth, with the exception of Jesus, the Christ, gives us some valuable lessons on the subject, in Song of Songs 4:1-7 (NLT): "...How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are like doves. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats frisking down the slopes of Gilead. (v. 2) Your teeth are as white as sheep, newly shorn and washed. They are perfectly matched: not one is missing. (v. 3) Your lips are like a ribbon of scarlet. Oh, how beautiful your mouth! Your cheeks behind your veil are like pomegranate halves - lovely and delicious. (v. 4) Your neck is as stately as the tower of David, jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes. (v. 5) Your breasts are like twin fawns of a gazelle, feeding among the lilies. (v. 6) Before the dawn comes and the shadows flee away, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense. (v. 7) You are so beautiful, my beloved, so perfect in every part."
Tell me, "What woman could resist such affection?" In all seriousness, your wife needs to know that you cherish her! What does it mean to feel cherished? Cherished means the feeling that she is more important to you than anyone or anything else, with the exception of the Lord God Almighty!
2. A woman needs conversation! One thing I learned early on, in my experience with the women in my life, is that women really need to talk; however, it isn’t just idle talk! Your wife has a great need to have conversation with you! The typical man comes home from work and his wife asks him, "How was your day?" The typical husband replies, "It was okay."
For the husband, that’s the end of the conversation - he has told her what she needs to know; and, he really doesn’t want to rehash every detail of his day! However, your wife wants to know the details; and, what’s more, she wants to discuss them with you! A good definition of conversation is: "Verbal attention!"
When you have an actual conversation with your wife, it means that you are actually communicating with her and not reading the newspaper or watching the television at the same time - it lets her know that you value what she has to say! I’m not talking about faking a conversation; but, when you are actually dialoging with your wife, it lets her know that you care about her. When you sit down with her and talk and listen and interact and look your wife in the eye, regardless of what she is talking about, it means that you are interested in her day, in her; and, that you are especially interested in how she feels!
If you say, "But, I’m not interested in how she feels," then, you need to learn to love; because love means being interested in how other people feel! Let’s say your wife has a decision to make and she wants to talk to you about it. More than likely, she does not want you to make the decision for her. She just wants you to listen and talk with her about it. The very act of conversation is what counts! When your wife doesn’t have you talk with her, she feels further away from you. You may not; but, she does!!
The Apostle Paul, tells the church at Philippi and us, in Philippians 2:4 (NLT): "Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing." While this passage of Holy Scripture is not directly speaking about the marital relationship, it does have definite application there - part of our communication with our wives is showing an interest in who she is, what she thinks; and, how she feels!
3. A woman needs honesty and openness! When I say openness, I mean that your wife has a deep craving to know the details of your life! She wants to know your innermost thoughts, your feelings, the details! The fact of the matter is, that she has a right to know those things because you are married to her! Your wife ought to know you better than anyone else in the world! If you are not open to her; and, if you do not give her accurate information, she won’t trust you! And, my brothers, a woman who doesn’t trust you is going to be difficult to satisfy! We men, have got to build openness in our marriages!
Most of us men, are afraid to be open with our wives - we are afraid of our feelings - we are especially afraid to share our fears - that’s not manly! However, I think that you will discover, that when you share with your wife the things you fear the most, your marriage will be strengthened, rather than weakened!
I don’t know what your particular fears are - the fear of failure - the fear of success - the fear that you will not be a provider - the fear that you will not be the spiritual leader - or, perhaps something else! But, when you share the things you fear the most, your marriage will rise to a level of intimacy that probably you do not think is possible right now! Rather than your wife thinking less of you, you will be raised in value in her eyes because she got into your mind! When you share such things with your wife, they won’t scare you anymore; and, she will become your biggest supporter!
Now, let’s talk about honesty! I have learned that it is foolish to lie out of fear that you are going to hurt your spouse! In Proverbs 12:22 (NLT), we are told: "The Lord hates those who don’t keep their word, but He delights in those who do." Not only does Almighty God have a distaste for liars, no marriage can survive a lack of honesty! Honesty is the best marriage insurance policy - granted, though, we need to be tactful! If we are dealing with an issue like weight, a new dress, or hairdo, we need to choose the right time!
It would not be a wise thing to tell your wife that you don’t like her new hairdo the moment she walks in the door ans says, "How do you like it?" Change the subject by pointing out something attractive about her and then tell her later! In all seriousness, if you have been lying to your wife up until now about anything, she is not going to believe you overnight, even if you commit yourself to honesty. Truth is not a light switch that you can turn on and off. You are going to have to prove your trustworthiness by telling the truth!
4. A woman needs financial security! The Apostle Paul tells his young preacher, Timothy, and us, in 1 Timothy 5:8 (NLT): "But those who won’t care for their own relatives, especially those living in the same household, have denied what we believe. Such people are worse than unbelievers." The Holy Bible says, if you are the husband, you are the provider of the home! It is your duty to provide for the financial needs of your wife! It is not your duty to provide her with everything that she wants; and, that may be an issue that you have to deal with; but, it is your duty to provide for her financial needs!
Now, I realize that there are sometimes extraordinary circumstances out there, husbands with physical problems and that type of thing; but, for most of us, there is no option but to work to provide for our families. This does not mean that we have to be rich, men; but, that we will do whatever it takes to make sure that our wife and our children are provided for!
In Proverbs 12:9 (NLT), we are told: "It is better to be a nobody with a servant than to be self-important but have no food." If my wife and my children are going hungry, I will go flip hamburgers if I have to! There is no job that is beneath my dignity - as a provider of the home - and, our wives need to know that we will do whatever it takes to make sure that they are provided for!
5. Finally, a woman needs a commitment to the family! How do we show that we are committed to the family? By being faithful to our wives! In Proverbs 6:32 (NLT), we are told: "But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul." Men, your wives need to know that you are faithful to them and that you will remain faithful to them!
Next, we men need to share parental responsibilities! Listen to the Apostle Paul speak to the church at Ephesus and to us, from Ephesians 6:4 (NLT): "And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord." By far the greatest way that we, as fathers, can help our wives is to assume the responsibility for the discipline.
Fathers, don’t overcorrect your children - don’t make it difficult for them to obey - don’t nag them! And, if you want your wife to be a thoroughbred, don’t treat her like a nag! Fathers, discipline your children, don’t punish them! Punishment is paying a penalty for the past, discipline is training for the future!
Next, we men need to be the spiritual leaders in our homes! Sacrifice is the key here! We men must sacrifice ourselves for our wives! Some of you might say, "How can I be the spiritual leader in my home? My wife has been a Christian ’true believer’ longer than I have." Spiritual leadership is a matter of attitude not knowledge! It makes no difference how long your wife has been a Christian "true believer," Almighty God says that you are to be the spiritual leader of the home! You only have to be one step ahead to be the leader - you don’t have to be way out front - just one step ahead!
As I take my seat now, know that the bottom line is this: Husbands, we need to commit ourselves to loving our wives and to treating them the way that Almighty God wants her to be treated for the rest of our lives together! Understand that you are married to Almighty God’s daughter; and, you had better make sure that "Daddy" is happy with the way that you are caring for her! I don’t say that in a threatening sense, I am just stating the facts!
Almighty God cares for our wives in a way that is beyond any of our comprehension; and, He wants to make sure that we understand how this entire marriage thing is supposed to work! Let’s begin to meet the needs of our wives - today is a good day to get started!
Meeting The Needs Of Our Wives!
May Almighty God richly and abundantly bless each and every one of you!
This sermon leans heavily on a sermon, written by Rev. Dr. Barry L. Davis, entitled, "How To Meet Your Wife’s Needs," found at www.sermonworld.com, and used by permission.
1. "Leaves of Gold," edited by Clyde Francis Lytle, c1948: A.C. and D.G. Remley, published, Williamsport, Pennsylvania: The Coslett Publishing Company, p. 85.
2. "Living Beyond The Daily Grind," Book II, c1988: Charles R. Swindoll, LCCN 88-20513, ISBN 0-8499-0673-3, published, Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing, p. 322.
3. "The King James Study Bible," Reference Edition, edited by C.I. Scofield, ISBN 1-55748-745-6, published, Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour Publishing, Inc., p. 1314.
4. "The Open Bible," New Living Translation, c1998 Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., pp. 832, 836-837, 875, 1572, 1580, 1612 and 1669.
5. "www.wikipedia.com" (Ruth McCue Bell Graham), (William Franklin "billy" Graham), (Sigmund Freud).
3:7 closes the long exhortation begun in 2:11 . Peter has been urging his readers to exercise spirituality in all the varied relations of society. His final word on the subject is addressed to married men. One verse sums up briefly their responsibility as wedded Christians.
“Ye husbands” (R.V.) verse 7 will begin in accordance with the directness of the Greek original, “Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with your wives, etc.” Ὁμοίως is repeated from above at verse 1 . In what manner does the writer mean? Just as the first verse bade the wives to honor their mates agreeable to the general command of 2:17 , “Honor all,” so the married men are addressed here. 3:7 will go on to explain, of course, in what ways the man is to revere his spouse. Συνοικου̂ντες , the verb, occurs but this once, although the two parts of the compound-dwell with-are familiar enough terms. Robertson has commented on how old a Greek word it is for domestic association. 1
Believing husbands are asked to dwell with their partners “according to knowledge.” The knowledge involved we learn in the words following. There it is disclosed in what two ways man should look up to woman with genuine respect. First, she must be honored as a vessel weaker than the man (“giving honor unto the female vessel, as weaker,” R.V. margin). Second, she ought to be revered as a joint-heir of the
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grace of life along with the spouse. 2 Use of the comparative word here, weaker , will imply that both man and woman are frail creatures. Certainly Scripture bears this out. Peter, for example, has borne testimony in chapter 1 : “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.” It was to be expected that the husband should have greater powers of vitality, since fallen man has the responsibility of winning a livelihood for his family, but fallen woman the more sheltered life at home bearing and rearing the children ( Gen 3:16–19 ). Description of man and wife as a vessel should impress the reader. Bigg has discussed the possible meanings of the word as employed by the New Testament and concludes: “We must take σκευ̂ος to mean simply ‘chattel.’ Husband and wife are both parts of the furniture of God’s house, though one is weaker and the other is stronger.” 3 Accordingly Paul wrote in his last letter to Timothy: “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” ( 2 Tim 2:19–21 ). One final observation might be made before passing to the second reason for honoring woman. The popular philosophy in the world declares “Might is right” ( Luke 11:21–22 ). But the Biblical outlook has called for not only “Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute...”, but also “Love thy neighbor as thyself” ( Rom 13:7–9 ). God
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Himself is no respecter of persons ( Acts 10:34 ); nor will His true children be. Instead, they will accord honor to the less privileged with no less readiness than to the more exalted individuals.
In language reminiscent of an earlier chapter ( 1:4 , 13 ), the apostle proceeds to a second cause for reverencing the wife. She will inherit the gift of God’s grace, life eternal, equally with her partner. 4 After all, Paul had taught the Church: “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” ( Gal 3:26–29 ). One man comments shrewdly on what Peter has uttered: “In the eyes of God the wife may be superior to the husband, not merely equal.” An example of this which should come to mind readily is the couple, Aquila and Priscilla, helpers of Paul. Compare Acts 18:2 with a later part of the chapter, verse 26 , and Romans 16:3 . The precedence of one name over the other, in the two cases where spiritual activity is mentioned, seems to indicate that the woman excelled.
Verse 1 preceding the apostle’s injunction to husbands, had fortified and intensified a call to women for their obedience in the home by giving good reason for adoption of such an attitude. Likewise the present verse does not close without stating what is ample justification for revering the spouse: “that your prayers be not hindered.” The pronoun ὑμω̂ν might refer to men alone or both man and wife. But the thought is clear no matter which antecedent is preferred. Christ has promised: “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” ( Matt 18:19 ). This gracious pledge, however, could not be claimed if the two were at odds
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with each other, the one failing to honor the other aright. Prayer requires, as it must of necessity, the most delicate adjustment to the divine will ( Psalm 15 ; 1 John 1 ).
1 1. The word of command, though participial in form, may be quite the equivalent of a verb in the imperative, as shown above when 2:18 and 3:1 were studied.
2 2. A participle must be supplied in thought with the second conjunction as . It will be the participle of to be , the coppula always being omitted in Greek idiom unless such a word was needed for emphasis of a kind. The use of kai , translated also by the Revisers instead of and , hardly seems worth discussing. Either rendering is good, though the former may fit in better with the word order of the original. Giving , the participle in the first comparison, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament.
3 3. International Critical Commentary , in loc .
4 4. A few idiomatic points are evident here. Grace and life have been written without the article because they are familiar phrases to the believer. Grace may be construed as the objective genitive, life as the descriptive genitive.