“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife 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. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7
Peter has just finished a lengthy discourse on wives, how they dress, how they act and how they should relate to their husbands. For some, this is very chauvinist. For for those who submit to the Lord, who understand his word and his ways, this is freedom.
Right after Peter directs wives, he turns his attention to husbands. Now, it would have been easy in this Jewish society to leave the men as they are. To let them do what they want, leave them alone, and ignore their actions. But the Lord won’t allow that to happen. And so, Peter finishes addressing the wives and he says these words — “In the same way.”
What a bomb shell! “In the same way….” There is no excuse for men now! They must love their wives, honor them, treat them with ”understanding” and respect. Peter says “she may be weaker than you are” (probably in physical strength only!) but “she is your equal partner.” Repeat these words – “your equal partner.” Equal partner in what? “God’s gift of new life.” So, “treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”
How we treat our wives matters deeply. It’s not merely a matter of choice but of command. God tells us through Peter they are our equal partners. And, we are to treat them with honor. This is not happening in much of the world. Most of Christianity affirms women but it’s not the case in Islam or other religions. Christianity affirms the role of women in the house and in the church.
The phrase, “in the same way” holds us. It captures us. It reminds us we are under God’s authority to love as he loved. Are you doing that today?
“O Lord God, you are good. In my weakness you are made strong. In my suffering, you are glorified. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Renew my heart, mind, soul and body for you. Let me live according to your ways and so honor my wife as you have honored me. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen