Posts Tagged ‘Husbands


Wives And Husbands

The marriage relationship between a husband and wife is a mirror image of Christ and His church. Just as Christ is the head of the church, so too is the husband the head of the households. Just as the church follows the lead of Jesus Christ, the wife is to follow the lead of her husband. Husbands and wives have different roles in the family, yet they are equal when it comes to salvation and eternal life. This is what the apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:18-19 (NLT):

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

Was Paul some kind of misogynist? Is this an archaic teaching that doesn’t stand up to 21st century cultural norms? Not at all. Again, the marriage relationship mirrors that of Christ and His church. The church, as the bride of Christ, submits to the leadership of Jesus. Jesus loves His bride and never treats her harshly. Wives should submit to their husbands’ leadership in the family. Husbands are commanded to love their wives unconditionally and never treat them harshly. When it comes to family roles, our eyes should focus on Jesus and His bride for this is our model for how to get it right.


Honoring Our Wives

After addressing wives in the first century church, Peter then turns his attention to husbands. He wrote in 1 Peter 3:7 (NLT):

In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife 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. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

There are three key components to this admonition to husbands.
First, husbands are to give honor to our wives. If you saw someone disrespecting or dishonoring your wife, you’d bop him in the nose. You shouldn’t dishonor your wife, either.
Second, your wife may be physically weaker than you are, but that’s all Peter has in mind here. She is an equal heir of grace and salvation. We may be wired and created differently, but we’re saved by the same grace. You’re not better than her. You’re just different than her.
Third, if you mistreat, disrespect and dishonor your wife, your prayers will be hindered. God will not honor your prayers if you treat His precious daughter poorly.
Treat your wife with the love, honor and respect God commands and He will honor you.


A Beautiful Woman

Peter, in talking about wives, said that they need to do two things to adorn themselves. He said in 1 Peter 3:5-6 (NLT):

This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands. 6 For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.

First and foremost, women need to trust in God. Let God be God. If your husband is not a believer, trust in God’s Spirit to convict him of sin and righteousness. If your husband is a believer, trust in God’s Spirit to lead him to lead your family well. Don’t take God’s place in trying to change your husband. Let God be God.
Secondly, let your husband lead your family. God has designed the family to be led by the husband. Do not try to usurp his God-given authority. Pray for your husband daily to be the leader that God desires him to be.


Winning Your Husband Over

In 1 Peter 3, the apostle Peter turns his attention to various groups of people in the church. He first writes to Christian wives, some of whom had unbelieving husbands. He wrote in 1 Peter 3:1-2 (NLT):
In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
He says that godly wives must accept the order of authority God had instituted in the household. God has given the husband the responsibility of leading his family. Rather than trying to usurp his authority, a wife is to support her husband as he leads the family. But what about situations where a husband doesn’t follow Jesus and he doesn’t lead his family spiritually? The goal of every believer should be to point those within our sphere of influence to Jesus. Wives, if your husband doesn’t believe in Jesus yet, you should be trying to win him over by the way that you live. The temptation may be to leave, but your responsibility is to love. Love your husband unconditionally into a relationship with Jesus. When he sees how God’s love has changed your life, he’ll want to know the Savior, too.

Hindered Prayers

After addressing wives in several verses, Peter turns his attention to husbands. He writes:

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. – 1 Peter 3:7 (NIV)

Notice a couple of things about this verse. First, he uses the phrase, “in the same way.” In the same way as what? In the same way as Christians are to respect government, slaves are to respect their masters and wives are to respect their husbands, so are husbands to honor and be considerate of their wives. Second, Peter says that Christian husbands are not lords over their wives. Jesus is Lord over us all and He is the only Lord we have. Rather, Peter says that wives are partners and co-heirs with their husbands. Third, when he uses the term “weaker partner” it only refers to a tendency to be physically weaker. It has nothing to do with being weaker in any other sense of the word. Fourth, there is a spiritual consequence for mistreating your wife. Your prayers will be hindered. Don’t treat your wife like your servant or a burden. Honor and cherish her as the special gift God gave to you until death parts you.

Trusting In God’s Plan For The Family

Peter wrote that Christ following wives should concentrate more on inner beauty than outward adornment. He said that the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit never fades. He gives an example from Israel’s history to illustrate what he means. He wrote:

For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. – 1 Peter 3:5-6 (NIV)

This does NOT mean that husbands should demand that their wives call them, “lord.” It means that wives should honor and respect their husbands because they love and put their hope and trust in God. God has created an order in the household and He put the husband in charge. It does not mean that his wife is subservient to or lesser than her husband and he should not treat her that way. It means that she trusts God’s plan for the family.

Winning Over Their Husbands

In 1 Peter 2, Peter addressed submission of Christians to governing authorities and slaves to masters. In chapter 3, he first turns his attention to wives and husbands. He addresses a very specific situation here. He wrote:

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. – 1 Peter 3:1-2 (NIV)

What is a Christian wife of an unbelieving spouse supposed to do? In Peter’s day, a wife was expected to take the religion of her husband. What if she became a Christian and he did not? He might become upset or angry and mistreat her. Peter says that she should be a faithful, loving wife who respects her husband. She should practice her faith with reverence and live a pure life. This way, she might win her husband to the Lord, which is the most important goal of all.

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