Treat her 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. If you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard.” (1 Peter 3:1-7 NLT)
Question – “What hinders your ability to get your prayers answered?” Sometimes our prayers aren’t answered because we have sin in our lives (Psalm 66:17), or because we aren’t persistent in prayer (Matthew 7:7), or because we are asking with the wrong motives (James 4:2), or because we are seeking our will rather than God’s will (1 John 5:14-15). Also, as Peter notes in 1 Peter 3:7, when Christians don’t treat their spouses as they should their prayers will not be heard by God. Peter teaches us in our entire text how Christians are to treat their spouses so that they will have intimacy and success in their marriage, and so that their prayers will be heard by the Lord.
Second Question – “How are Christian wives to treat their husbands?” Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:1-6 that wives are to be submissive in their attitudes, redemptive in their actions, and attractive in their approaches towards their husbands. He says, “You wives must accept (and submit to) the authority of your husband.” The Bible teaches that we are all to practice submission on a daily basis. We are to be submitted to the authority of our governments, employers, pastors, and to one another in the Christian life. In marriage, wives are to be submitted to the authority of their husbands (1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-24, Colossians 3:17-18). Submission does not mean inferiority, but it is an inner quality of gentleness that affirms a husband, acknowledges biblical authority, and it is an obedience that is pleasing to the Lord (Colossians 3:17-18). Peter writes that through their submission and other godly actions, Christian wives will be able to win their ungodly husbands to the Lord (1 Peter 3:1-2). He writes that it is the character and conduct of a wife, not nagging or arguments, that teaches and wins husbands who are not submitted to the Lord. Thirdly, Peter writes that Christian wives should major on internal character more than on external decorations (1 Peter 3:3-4). The Bible teaches that a woman’s real beauty comes from her heart (Proverbs 31:30). A truly beautiful woman named Sarah (Abraham’s wife) learned and practiced these attributes which made her even more beautiful and Christian wives are to emulate her example.
Third Question – “How are Christian husbands to treat their wives?” First, Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:7 that Christian husbands are to honor their wives. That means they are to treat and communicate with them respectfully, courteously, and even admiringly. Second, Peter writes that Christian husbands are to learn to understand their wives. Most husbands don’t spend enough time getting to know their wives which may indicate a selfish or self-focused attitude. The truly admirable husband will be someone who learns his wife’s needs, desires, insecurities, fears, etc., and then learns how to address and meet those needs by the power of God’s Spirit. For example, studies have indicated that in a marriage relationship most men want sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, vocational support and admiration. Most women, however, want affection and attention, intimate conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment in their marriage. When Christian men focus on meeting their wife’s needs before focusing on meeting their own needs, they will find themselves pleasing the Lord and their wife, and experiencing a satisfying relationship with God and with their spouse.
As you pray today: 1) Pray for the Lord to show you what changes you need to make to become a godly spouse (or future spouse); 2) Ask the Lord to show you any attitudes or actions you have taken with others close to you that have hurt your marriage or your relationship with the Lord; 3) Pray for the Lord to show you how to really affirm, encourage and minister to your spouse (or future spouse).