Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
- Our Fall Theology Conference is NEXT SATURDAY (9/26/2015). For information and to register, see here: http://providencepres.com/2015-theology-conference/
- OFFICER TRAINING. On Sunday, October 11, we will begin a new season of officer training. More details to come soon.
- This Lord’s Day we will begin a new sermon series on the book of 1 Corinthians.
- Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is part 2 of “A word to husbands and wives” by looking at Peter’s instruction to husbands from 1 Peter 3:7.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“A Word for Husbands”
1 Peter 3:7, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
The Lord created and instituted the marriage bond and covenant all the way back in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:18-25). As such, he is the one who defines the boundaries and outlines the responsibilities within the marriage covenant. Put simply, as God is the creator of marriage, so he is the one who ‘sets the rules’ for marriage. And he does so in numerous places throughout Scripture. For example, Ephesians 5:22-33 is often regarded as the ‘locus-classicus’ regarding husbands and wives in marriage. The Apostle Peter, however, also has significant teaching for the church with respect to the marriage covenant. Last week, we considered a ‘word to wives’ from 1 Peter 3:1-6; and this week we will consider a ‘word to husbands’ from 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.” Although Peter’s instruction to husbands stretches only one verse …this one verse is hard-hitting and gives husbands a life-time of teaching to apply and to absorb. There are three brief points to note.
First, we note ‘how’ husbands are to live with their wives, namely ‘in an understanding way’ (lit. ‘according to knowledge’). Likely Peter has in view that husbands are to live with their wives according to God’s purposes and plans for marriage. That is to say, they are to live with them in the manner the Lord calls them to. And what is that manner to be?? The Apostle Paul makes it clear, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph 5:22). Husbands are to love their wives – they are to cherish their wives – they are to care for their wives – they are to gently and faithfully lead them – they are to sacrifice for them. Moreover, the husband must know his wife – he must strive to understand her – he must respond to her feelings and cherish her as his bride.
Second, Peter expands on what he has just said in v. 7b, “lives 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.” In this verse, the language of the woman as the ‘weaker vessel’ speaks to either physical strength (i.e. men are generally physically stronger than women and thus may be tempted to abuse that strength … thus they are to show honor to the woman) or to a difference in functional authority (i.e. men are called as the head of the home, they are called to lead their wives and families in the way of godliness). However one takes the phrase, the clear principle is that husbands are to honor their wives, ‘since they are heirs with you of the grace of life.’ That is, whether Peter is speaking to differences in terms of physical strength or in terms of functional authority, husbands are to honor / cherish / love their wives as ‘co-heirs’ of the gospel of Christ (cf. Gal 3:28).
Third, Peter speaks to the gravity and seriousness of what he is saying, “…so that your prayers may not be hindered.” Husbands, do not miss what Peter is saying! At some level, the way we treat and care for and lead our wives affects our spiritual well-being. In some sense, if we are treating our wives in a sinful or unbiblical way, our prayers are hindered!! That is food for thought! That is cause for self-examination. Husbands, may we love our wives well. May we lead them well! May we honor and respect them as co-heirs of the grace of life!
Rev. Robert Arendale, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC), www.csopc.org