Thursday after the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Peter 3:1-7 (NKJV)
3:1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”
To many modern ears, the words of today’s devotional text would sound utterly arcane at best, and woefully “repressive” or “sexist” at worst. Previous verses speak of wives submitting to their husbands (even unbelieving ones!), citing the example of Sarah calling Abraham “lord.” In the verse above, the “weaker vessel” reference again seems condescending.
But this is the Word of God! It is not in error. If it doesn’t match how we think, it is us and not the Word of God that needs to change. To focus on the “weaker vessel” words is to go off on a tangent to the actual point! Husbands are to be gracious, understanding, honoring their wives, even as wives are to honor their husbands. This is what a godly Christian home looks like.
Behind all of this is Christ the Bridegroom, and His Bride, the Church. Jesus’ love for the church is self-sacrificial, not self-serving. We as the Church, as the Bride of Christ, strive to be obedient to Him, with about as much success as any sinful wife has. Yet He forgives, and deals mercifully with us! God grant our marriages to be holy pictures and icons to the world of the love of Christ for His Church, and of our loving devotion to Him.
We pray: Lord Jesus Christ, forgive our many failures in our marriages, and grant them faithfully to portray the holy love that exists between You and Your Bride, the Church. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.