September 14, 2022 – Wednesday
1 Peter 3:7 ESV
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 3:7 NIV
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.
1 Peter 3:7 NET
7 Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as the weaker partners and show them honor as fellow heirs of the grace of life. In this way nothing will hinder your prayers.
This verse has, at times, caused much controversy, but it was certainly needed in the first century A.D. It was needed as often (almost always) women had little power even within the family. Still, I almost missed this verse as I was looking for verses with the word grace in them using the NIV as my primary search tool. However, I had two versions open when I found this verse. If you go here, you will find grace is the most popular translation used, but a number used gracious gift of life as well. Above, both the ESV and the NET use grace of life as do most versions.
When I first read this, I wondered if Peter was harkening back to Matthew 19:3 when some Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by asking, Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason? Jesus answer went back to Genesis with his answer concluding with God’s direction, 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. They did not like that answer so they asked this follow up question, 7 Why then did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away? They may have thought they had finally trapped Jesus with this question, but they were in for a real surprise with His answer, 8 Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery. When Jesus said this, it was not uncommon for a man to divorce his wife for the most trivial of reasons. This was in God’s eyes simply wrong as made clear in Malachi 2:16, 16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.
With that as our background, let’s look at today’s verse, 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. There was no room for doubt in Peter’s words, as husbands we are to be understanding of our wives or considerate of our wives. We are to honor our wives as the weaker vessel and all translations of this verse had either honor or respect. And in case the men were not sure why they were to be treated with honor and/or respect, Peter adds, they are heirs with you of the grace of life. The wife receives grace just as the husband does and she is to be honored as a co-heir. Peter concludes this verse with another reason why this is how husbands should behave, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Some versions have instead of hindered, blocked, obstruct, stand in the way, stop them from being heard, etc. In other words, if you want God to hear your prayers this is how you are to treat your wife.
Bottom Line: We all want the Father to hear our prayers, so let us treat our wives as co-heirs with respect and honor so they may be heard.
Prayer: Almighty God, Help me to always honor and respect my wife, especially as a co-heir to life everlasting with You, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton