- Take a moment to pray. Praise God for His Word and ask Him to teach you its truth, just as the psalmist prayed in Psalm 119:12-16, “Praise be to You, O Lord; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word.”
- Read 1 Peter 3:7
- Peter writes 6 verses to Christian wives (3:1-6) and only one verse to Christian husbands (3:7). Why do you think that is?
- STUDY NOTE: It has been previously noted in this week’s study that wives in the first century Roman Empire had virtually no rights compared to their husbands. The Roman author Cato said, “If you catch your wife in an act of infidelity, you can kill her with impunity without a trial; but, if she were to catch you, she would not venture to touch you with her finger, and, indeed she has no right.” Given that the context of 1 Peter dealt with Christians suffering because of their faith in Christ, it is very likely that Christian wives married to unbelieving husbands were suffering much more that Christian husbands married to unbelieving wives. Knowing this dynamic, the extended section Peter writes to wives shows his concern for their well being, more than his desire to have them fulfill some fantasy for their husbands. Any Christian husband who sees these verses concerning Christian husbands/wives as a rationale for abusing, neglecting, or taking advantage of their spouse are acting in a manner totally offensive and opposite to the standard of God in Scripture.
- The Christian husband is called to do a number of things for his wife. First of all, he is called to “dwell” or “live” with her in an “understanding way.” This means that the husband and wife would have a very close relationship where they truly know each other. In order to understand his wife, the husband must get to know her, on the inside and not just the outside. What are ways in which a husband can get to know his wife? What does that practically look like? What does it mean, then, to live with his wife in light of what he knows about her?
- The husband is next called to show honor to his wife. What are ways in which a Christian husband can show honor to his wife?
- In 3:7, Peter comments that the wife is the “weaker vessel.” It seems that Peter is referring here to the wife being weaker physically, not mentally, spiritually, or emotionally. Husbands are generally physically stronger than their wives . . . women being more like fine china, while men are more like iron skillets. While we may find exceptions to this principle, it is generally true. What is the connection to the call for men to “show honor” and the woman being the “weaker (physical) vessel”?
- Lastly, Peter comments that there are spiritual consequences to a husband not treating his wife in this prescribed way. Peter says that “prayers are hindered” when husbands do not treat their wives with honor and understanding. What do you think Peter meant by this?
- Based on everything you have read and studied this week, what are some applications you take away concerning Christian marriage?
To access the rest of the “True Grace” Study, click here.