1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear– 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. 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. [1 Peter 3:1-7 ESV]
This is the scripture passage for our church today. So awesome to have a pastor who is not afraid to talk about marriage, and I can’t wait to hear his words of wisdom (no pressure Jeromy, really!).
I’m going to pass over the first six verses here because my audience is men. If your bride is blowing it on some – or all – of that, my suggestion is that you should not bring it up until you are sure you have done an excellent job with the part aimed at you – verse seven. The real kicker is the end – so that your prayers may not be hindered. Hindered is a rather poor and weak translation there – the Greek means to “cut off” or “cut down”. Jesus uses this word in Mt 7:19 when he said “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” It seems Peter thought failure to treat one’s bride correctly can result in God having no regard for our prayers! I have always seen this as like what happens when you disrespect a man’s daughter – it does not go well for you! Your bride is God’s daughter, and if you don’t treat her well you are really asking for it.
As to weaker vessel, we could argue that no end. As I understand the Greek (and I don’t read Greek) the weaker vessel is speaking about the physical strength of the body – nothing more. What does honouring women mean in real life? If you are under 30 and living in a “Western country”, you may have only seen it in movies. All of the standing, pulling out chairs, and opening doors was an outward sign of an inward belief men had. Not that women were weak or stupid, but that they were to be protected. This was NOT just a show; men of the past were fully ready to die for, or in place of, a woman – just about any woman. When the Titanic sank, it really was women and children first. Did you know that a third class woman was 41% more likely to have survived than a man from first class? Compare that to what happened with the Costa Concordia!
Do you see your bride as worth protecting? Would you die for her? What about day-in day-out acts that show your willingness to sacrifice for her, to die for her? As I said, the door opening et. al was a reminder, a way of teaching and reminding men that resulted in them being willingly to die so a “lower class: woman might live. (By the way, on the Costa Concordia it was the crew from poor parts of poor countries who took the most risk to help passengers. These are the men still being taught “old fashioned” ideas such as women and children first. Maybe we have given up too much in our rush to be “modern”.)
Okay, rant aside; are you doing what God thinks you should do to properly honour your bride? Given that failure could result in cutting off your prayers, I think it’s something we each need to think and pray about.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Between The Sheets
Do you Celebrate Your Marriage? : A thought provoking read.
Black and Married with Kids
How Overnight Guests Can Strain A Marriage: Please note it’s usually harder on her than him!
Couple Things Blog
Creating a Moment: You can never have too many special occasions!
Happily Married After
Sex, Marriage & Fairytales: Great spoken word poem by Jeff Bethke
Hot, Holy and Humorous
Do Your Friends Support Your Sex Life?: Aimed at women but valid for us too.
Journey to Surrender
How to Naturally Increase Oxytocin, and Why This May Help Your Marriage: Good round up of info.
Once Upon A Time: Are you trying to impress others, or build a good marriage?
Don’t do it alone: So true – a marriage without community is a dangerous thing.
One Flesh Marriage
Romantic Act of the Day
Time for the Family, Too: Romance and the kids?
What’s so Beautiful About Her? : Figure it out, then tell her. Repeat.
Whatever Happened to Chivalry?: Rich has a rant similar to mine above.
Protect Her from the Cold : Speaking of caring for the weaker vessel …
Marriage Fun for Valentine’s Day : A few great V-day give-aways.
Stupendous Marriage Show 030: Is Porn Cheating and What Happily Married People Know: Porn and romance novels and chat rooms … Oh my!
…to Love Honor and Vacuum
What If You’re Not a Touchy Person? Learning to be Affectionate: Your bride want more touch? Check this out.