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, ESV)
Last time, we introduced the verse above with the reminder that as a man considers his role within the family he needs to bear in mind that he himself is under much authority. As he hopes to be treated well by others, such as his employer, he should be willing to treat his wife considerately too.
After attempting to insure that men would be mindful of their own position under authority, Peter then calls upon them to live with their wives in an understanding way. Before we throw up our hands and conclude that women are impossible to understand, we need to remember that God never commands us to do something He also doesn’t enable us to accomplish. Sorry men, we may find it difficult at times, but we CAN learn to understand women – or at least one woman – OUR wife!
Perhaps we can demystify the process a bit by looking at what Peter meant. “Understanding way” here literally means “a working knowledge gleaned from first-hand experience.” But it doesn’t end there. What is learned is then to be applied. In fact, one definition of this word is “application-knowledge.”
In short, God is calling upon husbands to learn directly from their wives, and then consistently apply what they learn. We’re to study her. Learn what makes her tick and what builds her up. We’re to observe what sets her off – and then AVOID those things as much as possible. We need to earn a PhD in our wife and then sign up for Continuing Education classes, because she won’t remain the same woman 10, 20, or 30 years later.
Men – she’s always teaching – are you studying and applying what you learn? –Dave
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