A wife is to be treated with great respect and honor, even if she is not as physically strong as her husband. A wife will receive the same gift of life as her husband. A wife is to be intimately understood by her husband. She is not subservient to him in any way. Husbands who fail to grasp these basic truths will have their prayers hindered by God. These are some of the things that we learn from I Peter 3:7.
When husbands physically intimidate their wives, either by threat or by injury, they turn from God and bring disgust and dishonor upon themselves. When husbands verbally intimidate their wives they fail to treat them with the understanding and respect that God demands. This physical and verbal intimidation is a breeding ground of domestic violence and brings great harm to women.
Respect, honor and understanding are to be given to wives because God requires it. Violence, physical or verbal, often occurs because the husband believes he has been disrespected in some way. But a violent response is never justified or appropriate. Physical or verbal violence defies God’s commands and does great damage to wives; it is shameful!
If these things can be true of men who have made a commitment before God in marriage to love and honor their wives, how much more will they be true of men who are not constrained by marriage vows!
Peter urges husbands to be like Christ. When a wrong occurs he says to follow Christ’s example and entrust themselves to God. Physical and verbal violence is never the answer.
Husbands, if your words and actions are not designed to cherish and nourish your wife, you are failing to honor her and God. If you are not understanding her in such a way that she is confident you really know her, you are bringing disrespect to your wife and to God. If you see your wife as failing to meet your expectations, you are only one step away from domestic violence. If you do not view yourself as God’s servant to bring the love of Christ to your wife, you will only be happy if she is a servant to your desires and lusts.
Husbands, entrust yourself to God. Follow his commands to honor, respect, understand and love your wife. Use words and actions that are gentle and compassionate. Do not be dominated by anger, but in humility consider your wife as of greater value than yourself. This is the way to bring an end to domestic violence. This is the example Christian husbands must show to a watching world. This is the path of safety and security for your wives. This brings honor to God.
Have the courage to teach and model these things to your sons and daughters. Love your wife as Jesus has loved you.