“Giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.” (1 Pet. 3:7)
In the world, men use their strength to their own advantage and to the disadvantage of the weak. In the Christian faith, however, the strong employ their strength to edify the weak. Paul wrote in Romans 15:1 that the stronger should bear the weaknesses of those who are without strength and not simply focus on pleasing themselves. As the husband, remember that God has placed your wife in a “weaker” position because of the curse of sin. She is commanded to practice submission to your leadership. Peter is writing here to help you understand how to respond appropriately to your position in light of her submission. You are to honor her as a “weaker vessel.”
This phrase doesn’t necessarily seem to be referring to her physical capacity. While it is true that many wives are physically weaker than their husbands, there are more than a few that are not! My grandmother was a very strong woman who likely could have whipped most men. She was a mountain woman and would have considered shooting the ones she was unable to whip! By “weaker vessel,” it appears that Peter is referring not only to her position, her value and her needs, but also to your responsibility to her.
Because of her position in the marriage, she is a weaker vessel. According to the world, to be weak is to lack power and prominence and even to be ridiculed. However, in Christianity this weakness becomes a thing of great value. For instance, a china cup is certainly more valuable than a plastic one. It is also more beautiful and more fragile. You are not to “Lord” over her, but to honor her position and seek to use your strength to her glory and benefit.
Your wife is also a weaker vessel because she is “needy.” She is designed by God with a need to be protected, watched over and cared for! You and I honor our wives when we get up in the night to check on the noise she heard, especially if we do it without complaint or teasing. We honor our wives when we are aware of her insecurities and compensate for them. My wife hates it when I do “doughnuts” with the kids in the vehicle. It frightens her and she is convinced that it will harm me, the kids, and the car in the process. So, I only do them when she is not there! When I minister to those needs or even acquiesce to those needs, I am biblically honoring my wife.
As husbands, we are to use our position to promote and encourage her. It is our duty to promote her well-being and praise her. Remember that Christ’s relationship to his church is our example. He not only gave Himself sacrificially for the church, but is actively at work to perfect and beautify His bride.
So how are you doing? Are you giving honor to your wife as unto the weaker vessel? She deserves it. So go ahead and do it.
This chapter was written by Evangelist Dave Young.
This chapter was taken from The Extraordinary Husband. CLICK HERE for more information about the book.