As I was studying this afternoon, I read a portion of Scripture that I had read several times before and had never really seen this particular part. God has a way of revealing things within His Word to us when He wants us to see it. We can read a passage every day and still get something different out of it.
The portion that I will discuss is found in 1 Peter 3:7, where Peter is talking to husbands. “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” (NLT)
There are many things that I can discuss from this verse alone, but there are just a couple that I want to point out.
Number 1: There are still many churches that teach that women are not equal with men and should not be allowed to do certain things in ministry. This is even more evident within other religions such as Islam. Women are treated as second-class people and are even seen as a man’s property in many cases. They do not have a voice and are never allowed to speak up with a man in their presence. Even within Christianity as it began to spread forgot the beginnings when Christ had women following Him and Paul had many women deacons of the churches that he planted.
When one gets married, they become ONE with their partner. This verse states clearly “She is your EQUAL partner in God’s gift of new life.” Being one in God’s eyes shows us that women have just as much power and ability to do for Christ within His Kingdom as men do. When it comes to marriage both partners have equal say in all decisions. If it comes to a point where one party is ruling and making all decisions, then there comes anger, bitterness, and sometimes even divorce. Anyone knows in any kind of relationship that it is not healthy for one party to be more in control than another, and this is most true within marriage.
Number 2: Men are called to do more than women here. Men are to live with understanding – and this can be very difficult a lot of the time. Men are called to love their wives – when men love their wives the way that we are called to do, then women will naturally respect us and will be our biggest cheerleader. The last line of this verse does give us a glimpse at reasons why our prayers go unanswered sometimes – “Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” We, as men, are called to treat our wives with dignity, honor, respect, and love. When we do this, our prayers will be answered. If we do not treat our wives properly, our prayers may not be answered the way that we would like them to be.
The main takeaways from this: Men and women within marriage are EQUAL. There is no distinction in God’s eyes (Galatians 3). Men are to treat their wives with the love that Christ extends to us.