“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.”
(1 Peter 3:7)
Now, there’s so much we could talk about with this verse. It’s a part of a wider context talking about wives and husbands and God’s giving a loving headship to husbands in a home. And so when the Bible talks there about weaker vessel, that’s not saying in any way, the Bible does not teach in any way that women are inferior to men. Women and men both equally made in the image of God, equally valued, equally valuable, and with different roles in marriage.
Our relationships with others affect our relationship with God. Lord, help husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Help all of us to care for others around us the way you have called us to do so.
So, that’s what the Bible’s talking about here. We could spend a lot of time there, but the focus I want us to pray through today is at the very end of First Peter 3:7 when this exhortation to husbands is basically saying to love your wives well, care for your wives well, serve and honor your wife so that your prayers may not be hindered.
In other words, the Bible is teaching point blank right here that if husbands do not treat their wives in a God honoring God, glorifying selflessly, loving, caring way, then God will not heed their prayers. I hear that as a husband. I hope for everybody who’s listening to this who is a husband or potentially a future husband, that you will realize, that I will realize, that we will realize that God hearing and heeding our prayers is directly related to the way we love and serve and care for our wives. And then on a broader level, to realize and so we could go different places in scripture, but just to see how our relationships with others affect our relationship with God.
That’s why Jesus, for example, gives clear exhortation to if you are offering a gift to the alter and remember that your brother or sister has something against you, then leave your gift there at the altar, go and be reconciled your brother and sister, then come and offer your gift. How if you refuse to forgive, Jesus says, “Brothers and sisters, for their sin against you, then your father will not forgive your sin.” That’s what he teaches right after the Lord’s prayer in Matthew chapter six. So, we see this picture of how our relationships with others, the way we love or don’t love others, the way we care for or do not care for others has an effect on our prayer lives before God and how God hears and heeds our prayers.
So, we are compelled to pray then. God, please help us to love others as you’ve called us to love others. God, I pray for my own life as a husband, help me to love my wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. God, I pray for faithfulness as a husband. I pray for that over every husband, every potential future husband. God, I pray that you would help us as men to love our wives selflessly, carefully, with holiness. God, that in this, we would grow in intimacy with you and that you would hear and heed our prayers.
God, I pray for wives. I pray that you’d help wives to love husbands as you have called wives to love and respect and support and care for their husbands. And in this, I pray that they would grow in intimacy with you. God, we pray that you’d help us to love the people around us as you’ve called us to love, to forgive, to care, to show compassion as you have called us to do this.
God, we pray that you would keep us from ever disconnecting our relationships with people and the way we act toward people from our relationship with you. We know you have tied this together, loving you with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength, that is is the first commandment and the second commandment is like it to love our neighbors as ourselves.
So, God we pray just generally for the application of that reality in our lives. We pray that you would help us to grow in our love for you and intimacy with you and that you would help us to reflect your love in our love for others. And we pray based on First Peter chapter three, verse seven specifically for husbands to love and care for wives in ways that our prayers will not be hindered. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
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