1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
This verse was completely uncontroversial and was indeed dearly loved by many women up until the “Women’s Liberation Movement,” when some women chose to be greatly offended at being called “weaker.” However, the very recent phenomenon of “transgender” men competing in athletics against women is driving home the accuracy of that part of this verse. It’s hard to argue against basic biology in terms of skeletal structure and muscle mass. Men and women are simply designed for different tasks. However, those differences don’t in any way mean different value. We need to pay more attention to what Peter says about respect and “heirs with you.” Peter is the one Apostle we know for sure was married, since Jesus healed his mother-in-law, (Matthew 8:14-15) so we know he was speaking from experience. That makes the last part of this verse all the more pointed. Marriage is the most intimate relationship we can have on this earth, and numbers of places in the Bible use it as a picture of our relationship with God. When that closest human relationship is disturbed, it stands to reason that our relationship with God is also disturbed. If we want to be on right terms with our Creator, we need to be on right terms with our spouse! I really don’t know how John Wesley did all he did, because he had a marvelous mother but an extremely difficult wife. It is said, reasonably enough, that that was why he spent so much time away from home! Such cases aside, it’s important to remember that men and women were never intended to be identical, even apart from biology, but rather complementary. (And don’t confuse that with complimentary.) Each is designed to do different tasks more easily. It is no insult that there are more men than women in the STEM fields, even though there have been outstanding women scientists and mathematicians. Likewise, women are generally better at dealing with children, though some single fathers have raised really good kids. Men and women need each other on many, many levels. We need to recognize, respect, and thank God for that.
Like Peter, I speak from experience, having been married for over 53 years now. I have personally experienced having difficulty praying when I was at odds with my wife! I am grateful for the opportunity to counsel couples before I perform their weddings, and as I say in every ceremony, I like doing weddings because I consider marriage to be God’s 2nd greatest blessing, after salvation itself. I married early, at 20, because I had seen how marvelous marriage was for my parents. Early on I had gained the perspective that marriage would be the biggest job of my life, but it would carry the greatest rewards. I was right! Marriage is very much under attack in society today, with many couples not bothering to “tie the knot,” and with the absurdity of same-sex “marriage” that denies the very principles on which the institution is founded. My wife and I are to be examples to all who know us of what God intends marriage to be, for their blessing and His glory.
Father, thank You indeed for the wife, the marriage, You have given me. May I be the husband to her that You desire and she deserves, supporting and completing her as she supports and completes me, as an example to many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!