Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
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The Scripture I want to look at in this blog actually addresses only men. However, I believe ladies can read over our shoulders and get a firm grasp on some things that we need God to do in our marriages. My experience is that ladies are much better at doing that than men.
The verse is 1 Peter 3:7.
“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
The goal of Peter's admonition points to a great spiritual power afforded to husbands and wives. In Matthew 18:19 Jesus said,
“If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
The depth of unity that can be developed between husbands and wives brings an Earth shaking power in prayer. Need I say that our enemy the devil will do anything he can to hinder our united prayer. Let's look prayerfully at what the Holy Spirit teaches in this verse that will enable us to overcome the barrage of the enemy.
Peter begins by telling men, “live with your wives.” There is a mindset related to this. We need to develope an attitude of unity with one another in marriage. It is God's will for the two of you to become one. Thinking together requires time together? We should desire for our unity to be as complete as that of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit bound together in ultimate love. This may be counter productive to say, because such unity is absolutely impossible for us. But I can say, Men, we are to live in union with our wives. We are to bind ourselves to them with the love of Christ.
Possibly the most crucial thing God tells us here is to live with our wives with understanding. If you think this is easy, you probably haven't tried. You will not think like your spouse. In the 1990s John Grey wrote, Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus. He made a clear point that men and women don't think alike. Although I believe the differences commonly pointed out by social scientists are too uniform and simplistic, we are different. You will not be able to understand your partner by reading a book. You will have to spend time with your wife to begin to understand her. You will have to spend time thinking about what she needs and wants. Most of all you will need to pray about it. If God does not show you how she is thinking, you will remain obtuse. And while this is a life-long endeavor, what God shows you should change your attitudes and behavior. If you are not considerate, you don't understand at all.
We are to put our wives on a pedestal of the love of God. First, because they are the weaker vessels. I am aware that all women are not physically weaker than men. And there will always be ways in which the wife will actually be stronger than her husband. But there is something precious about her weakness. Treat her like fine china.
Then we are to honor our wives as spiritual equals, “heirs together of the grace of life.” Of course, this is how we begin. But in many, possibly most cases, the wife has matured beyond her husband spiritually. And in every case, God will give each of you strengths and gifts that He has not given the other so you can draw from one another.
The point of all this is that you can pray for one another and pray together. Each person in a marriage ought to have a list of things you consistently ask God to do in your partner. These should include some things you feel like you need from your spouse. They should include things you know your spouse needs, possibly from you. And you need to pray for the purposes God has revealed for the person with whom you are partnered.
And because our lives are so busy, we need to work at finding time to pray together. Every couple may do this differently. You may need to be patient with your partner in this. But make it a goal. You can even pray for God to help you find time and incentive to pray together. Who knows what God will do in answer?