Man was God’s crowning creation. He was made with a capacity to enjoy and fellowship with His creator. The Psalmist, speaking of the glory that God has given man, says: “You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor” (Ps 8:5). God further demonstrated His love and care for man by creating a wife for him. Adam truly loved his wife Eve, and they both lived in harmony with their Creator in the garden of Eden. Then the sad day came, when they rebelled against their Creator and chose to heed the voice of the enemy instead. That sinful act of rebellion resulted not only in breaking fellowship with God, but also in bringing disharmony into their marriage union. Man was no longer the loving, caring head that God had created him to be, but rather a selfish, demanding, and arrogant person. God, in His kindness and mercy, did not leave man in this state of misery and condemnation, but sent him a Savior. Through faith in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, man can now be empowered to love his wife sacrificially, as Christ loved the church.
In our last study, we looked at Peter’s exhortation for wives to submit to their husbands (1 Peter 3:1-6). Peter then goes on to address the husbands, exhorting them to live with their wives in an understanding way; this knowledge (Gr: gnosis), gained by life experience, is to help the husbands love and nurture their wives. He then calls on husbands to honor their wives because they are the “weaker vessel.” This by no means is saying that women are necessarily physically weaker or intellectually inferior to men; rather they are more tender and delicate, and as such, should be treated with gentleness and respect. Another reason to honor their wives is that they are fellow-heirs of eternal life; in Christ’s kingdom, we are all one; there is neither male nor female. It should be noted that Christianity is, perhaps, the only religion that restores humanity and dignity to women in society. The final motivation for the exhortation is so that their prayers would not be hindered. Uniting together in prayer is one of the means that God has given couples to strengthen their marital bonds. However, strife and contentions between husband and wife will prevent them from praying together, and seeing His blessings on their lives. May the Lord bless these studies to strengthen the marriages in our congregation.