A continuing theme in this series has been: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.
This lesson logically follows that which was taught regarding a breakdown in communication in any relationship but here specifically in marriages.
When a couple reaches a point in communicating where they say literally or figuratively I don’t, can’t or won’t they must return to a point where they can say “I do.”
We couple this time-tested truth with the following question: What Christian would abuse another when practicing the Word of God? The answer is obvious.
To teach this principle we will look at First Peter 3:1,2 and 7. This passage sounds harsh, but it illustrates biblical balance in a marriage relationship.
For each command God issues His Word gives a reward for following that command.
I Peter 3:1: “Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation* of the wives;…”
*Conversation: (Greek: anastrophe) behavior.
Verse 2 & 7: “While they (husbands) behold your chaste conversation (behavior) coupled with (their) fear.” (Greek: phobos: fright)
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
Knowledge in the Word of God always means at least understanding what the Word of God is saying. Here it also means knowing who she is as an individual and how she is to function as a wife.
Weaker vessel, in this verse, describes her as more delicate - without detracting from her womanhood she is more vulnerable.
Heirs together of the grace of life can be stated that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. In God’s view wives are equal to their husbands in worth and value.
Verse 7 concludes with these very plain, easy to understand words. There are no hidden meanings here.
That your prayers be not hindered is a very harsh warning to husbands who neglect this teaching.
Therefor not following this biblical admonition is a lose/lose situation while following it is a win/win situation.
Next time: Biblical Submission
Rev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy, Advisory Board Member of the Virginia Christian Alliance and Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service.