God takes seriously how we interact with those in our family.
- Children are called to honor parents (Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-2; Col. 3:20).
- Fathers are instructed not to provoke their children (Col. 3:21) but to bring up their children in the instruction of the Lord in a gentle way (Eph. 6:4).
- Husbands are called to love their wives and wives are called to respect their husbands (Eph. 5:32).
- In all relationships, we are called to bear with one another and forgive one another to the degree that we have been forgiven (Col. 3:13).
In particular, the Apostle Peter warns husbands that the way they treat their wives correlates with the effectiveness of their prayers.
Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as co-heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. -1 Peter 3:7
What does it mean that your wife is weaker than you? Does it mean that she can’t lift heavy objects like you can? Maybe. Does it mean that she is more prone to cry or have more emotional days than you are? In some situations, yes. While it is difficult to ascertain exactly what this verse says about women, it is abundantly clear on what it says about men.
Honestly, this verse speaks more to the role of the husband than it does to the role of the wife.
Rather than focusing upon your wife’s weaknesses, reflect on what it means that you are to aspire to be stronger than her.
In trying times, husbands are called to be resolute. It means that when the world is falling apart, you are unwavering in your faith in God. In those moments when you are able to stand firm but your bride begins to waver, don’t insult, degrade, or intimidate her.
Be a man, but don’t bully a daughter of God under the guise of masculinity.
God doesn’t appreciate handling his daughters in that manner. In fact, he says that if you can’t live with your wife in an understanding way, your prayers are hindered.
Do you ever feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling? You’ve prayed for something but haven’t seen any change?
Maybe it’s not that God is not listening, it’s just that he doesn’t respect the prayers of a bully.
While this verse singles out husbands, that does not provide a free-pass for everyone else. Wives, it is a good idea to live with your husbands in an understanding way too. In fact, it is a wise thing to serve all members of your family.
Is there anyone in your family that you have failed to live with an understanding way lately? How so?
Ask God for forgiveness and talk with God about a reconciliation plan. Today is a great day to start!