It’s day 20. I’m so glad you keep coming back. You are one of the elite. You keep showing up. You’re committed to learning, growing, being stretched, and encountering the Holy Spirit in a way that leads to life change.
Now, I must admit, the last two devos were hard for me to write. I felt stretched. I wanted to communicate my heart on this topic and be faithful to Peter’s intent with his encouragement to the wives.
Today it’s our turn, men. Here comes Peter, full force with a challenge that completely flies in the face of first-century Roman culture. First, I want to address his label “heirs with you to the gracious gift of life.” Peter is letting the husbands know that husbands and wives are equal. We get this in the 21st century—to think otherwise would be archaic and immoral.
But it was not that way in the first century. I think we need to give Peter and the early followers of Jesus some credit for how they stood in the face of culture to bring dignity to the identity of women. Before Peter discusses physical differences, he hits on spiritual similarities: co-heirs of God’s grace. We are equal before God! Amen.
While we are the same spiritually, I think we can all agree that there are differences between men and women physically. God has designed our bodies differently. Women tend to be smaller physically, and men tend to have a whole lot more testosterone.
My wife is superior to me in a lot of ways. She has more stamina, she is more patient with kids, she is more caring and more emotionally in-tune with people’s needs. But when it comes to squats, pull-ups, push-ups, and the bench press, I have her beat.
My guess is that this is true in the majority of marriages. What do we do with this? We are different, but we are also the same.
I remember having a disagreement with Stacie one time. I was getting pretty direct with her, which I often do in conflict. I was telling her why I thought she was wrong and what I would like her to do the next time we were in a similar situation. She graciously said to me, “I’d like to remind you that I’m not one of your male co-workers.” Ouch!!
That’s what Peter is talking about. I’ve heard it said before that the weaker vessel could bring up the image of a crystal goblet. We have some crystal goblets. We’ve had them since getting married. We let the kids drink out of them about three times a year, but we never let the kids wash or dry them. Why? Because the kids aren’t careful enough to handle a goblet that is worth more than their Playstation or XBox.
A wife should be shown honor and cared for as an incredible gift from God. Solomon said, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22).
Sometimes we husbands can forget what a gift we have received from God in our wives. Many men I know have limited their spiritual influence because they have not connected the dots between their prayers and their care and concern for their wives. When we love, care for, protect, serve, and bless our wives, we are pleasing God.
My wife loves when I wash the dishes. I love to wash dishes now because I love my wife. If that act of service blesses her, it blesses me—and that honors God.
Husbands, your words, your attitude, and your actions are either building up your wife or tearing her down! There is no greater evidence of your spiritual formation than how you love, serve, and care for your wife. I have not implemented these truths my whole marriage. I experienced the pain of taking her for granted the first five years of marriage. I can honestly tell you now that by God’s grace I’m working hard every day to love her this way.
I say this to give you hope! You can grow. You can change. You can become a better husband. There is no day that’s better than today to make that choice. Will you find one way that you can love her and serve her today?
And, if you are single, it’s not too early. The way you treat your mom is the way you treat your wife. Women, if you want to know how a man will treat his wife someday, watch his relationship with his mom. Does he open the door for her? Does he say thank you and show her honor? Men, your actions today are going to determine the kind of woman you marry tomorrow!
I pray that Peter’s words would stir all of us today to place value on the home and the order God has created within it. We may not get it right, but by God’s grace, we can keep getting better.