There is yet a final likewise obligation for men to keep. This is recorded in 1 Peter 3:7. It is the matter of dwelling with their wives according to knowledge, giving honour unto her as unto a weaker vessel. Interestingly, there is a huge consequence for failing to keep this particular likewise. His prayers will be hindered. The heavens will be closed over his head. Let him fast and pray for 21 days if he likes, while he’s maltreating his wife, Heaven will not honour his cry with ready answers.
It would seem as though God has appointed Himself as the Defender of women in matrimony. He knows that we men can easily become power drunk. Because of the many advantages we often have over our wives, we have a tendency to oppress them; maltreat them, subjugate them and break their spirit.
As I’m thinking on this, I quickly remember the popular passage in Malachi 2:13-16 where God in a similar fashion read the riot act to the men. That He won’t honour their sacrifices any longer, nor consider their tears – including tears in prayer – because He had been a witness between them and the wives of their youth and He had seen how they had dealt with them treacherously – how they had not kept their vows to love them to the exclusion of all others; to protect them physically and emotionally; to nourish them and cherish them.
Any husband therefore who doesn’t want God to declare a war on him must pay attention to keeping this obligation because clearly, God is the Senior Advocate of Women (SAW).
To dwell with your wife according to knowledge is to first recognise that she’s a woman and not a man. She’s therefore very different from you. You need to know her make-up mentally, emotionally, behaviourally, attitudinally in order to be able to accomodate these expressions with grace. If not, these attributes will vex you perpetually and change you to a monster towards her.
You need to know first of all that she’s far more delicate than you are. Good News Translation renders 1 Peter 3:7 as follows:
“In the same way you husbands must live with your wives with the proper understanding that they are more delicate than you…”
She’s very delicate. She’s easily breakable. The moment the atmosphere is too hot, like a snail, she coils into her shell. You don’t see the full expression of her grace under such atmosphere. She needs an environment that is cool and calm, peaceful, where she’s loved and accepted; where her gifts are appreciated and she has freedom to express them; an atmosphere where the husband perpetually lavishes loving words to cherish her beauty, capacity and grace, as against where she’s always pummeled with hurtful and denigrating words.
Yes, I know that by natural makeup, a lot of venom is in her mouth herself until she consciously subjects herself to the transformation of God’s word, but nevertheless note that the same hurtful words that she’ll sometimes say to you and you’ll look the other way, if you say it back to her, she’ll break down for many days.
Unlike you who will easily forget the words and move on to other things, a woman is both an incubator and emotional feeler. She will go and sit on the words and incubate them in a deeply emotional way. By the time she’s done with the incubation, that single phrase of statement would have grown to become a booklet. Be very mindful therefore never to say hurtful words to your wife regardless of what she does. She’s more delicate than you. She can’t handle it the way you would.
The bible asked us to give honour to her as unto a weaker vessel. The honour the bible is talking about here is not first the honour of prostrating to her. It’s the honour you give to things that are delicate. The honour you give to your ceramic plates that you don’t give your plastic plates. What’s the difference here? The ceramic plate is delicate. It can easily break. So you don’t throw it on the zinc harshly like you do the plastic plates. You carry it as carefully as though you’re walking on eggshells. That’s the picture of how God wants us to treat our wives.
Don’t treat your woman harshly. Treat her with tenderness. Don’t shout on her. Provide an atmosphere in your home that is peaceful for her to thrive. Be very generous with complimentary words. That’s what makes her feel loved and accepted. Let her have space to be herself; to make mistakes without fear of judgmental criticism. Whenever trouble sleeps and she uses her ‘yanga’ to wake it, be her Fire Extinguisher – estinguishing the embers of discord that she’s fanning with her tongue or attitude.
To achieve this, you’ll need a lot of absolvent capacity. Remember her mouth can be sharp. You’ll need the grace of silence. You’ll need the capacity to swallow your words and violently push them back. You’ll need the grace of deafness. Sometimes both of you are locked together in a car where you can’t escape and she’s saying things that can really make you mad. You’ll sometimes need to deliberately distract yourself with other thoughts so that you’re hearing nothing that she’s saying just so that you can still be a Christian after she’s done talking.
This is what it will take to keep this likewise my brother. You’ll have to decide to take responsibility for the maintenance of peace in your home even if it means you’ll be the sacrificial lamb. Wasn’t Jesus that for the Church? Just do everything to ensure this woman’s spirit is not crushed. To ensure she’s not broken. To ensure she has an atmosphere of peace, love and acceptance that is conducive for the expression of all the grace that God has parceled inside her.
When you’re done, be sure you’re a real man and that God is very proud of you. Whenever your prayer request arrives the throne of grace, it will be treated with dispatch. That is your reward for delicately taking care of God’s delicate creature.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| firstname.lastname@example.org