“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.” I Peter 3:7
As long as I can remember, I have always wanted a wife, kids and a white picket fence. I guess two out of three is not bad, so I have no complaints. I have not always been the model husband, but I strive everyday to be better. I am challenged by this verse, and I know following these instructions will allow me to be successful in the role God has given me.
I fell in love with Rebekah when I was 13 years old and have been smitten ever since. In Junior High, we talked about eloping and having 11 kids. Thankfully, that did not happen, and we waited for several years to tie the knot and settled in at three kids. I married Rebekah because I knew she would make my life better, and she was the one I wanted for all eternity. I know it is a selfish perspective, but that is truly how I thought. I was in our church bookstore one day and I noticed a book on the shelf titled, “The Ministry of Marriage.” I bought the book and began to read it. It blew my mind and changed my thinking and how I viewed Rebekah. There was one thing that caught my eye and helped me tremendously in my marriage.
The book argued that most people get married to make their own life better, but we should get married to make our partner’s life better. I was taken aback by this statement and was shamed as this was not my thought when I said, “I do.” I sought to love my new bride but had not really thought about making her life better. I had not thought to forgo myself and put her life above mine. I did desire to honor her, but this was a whole new level of honor and commitment. The book talked about marriage being a ministry and that I was to serve my wife and highly esteem her. I was not to entangle myself in my own selfish ambitions but I was to dwell with her according to knowledge.
I was to make sacrifices and bypass what I wanted to do - not to gain “points”, but rather out of love. I was not to use her to make my life better but I was commanded to honor her and love her as myself. I have loved myself a long time and now I was introducing another element into the game. My desires should no longer be selfish, but selfless, expecting nothing in return. I was to respect her and be the man that God commanded me to be - not the man I wanted to be. My mind was forever changed and I realized we were partners, and we were to be examples of God’s love to a lost world. God had knitted us together, and He placed us together for His honor and glory. I realized marriage was not the fulfilling of my ambitions and dreams, but it was a relationship God had ordained.
Is your marriage pleasing to God? Husband, are you giving honor to your wife? Do you dwell with her according to knowledge and with understanding? Are you in marriage only to make your life better or do you seek to make your spouse’s life better? Does God hear your prayers or are they hindered by the way you treat your wife? May we be thankful for our spouse and may we treat him or her as God has commanded us. Proverbs 18:22 states, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” I praise God for His favor, and I am thankful for the helpmate He has given me. May we honor God with all our relationships, and may we always seek to improve the lives of others.
Stay in the fight! Saso