1 Peter 3:7
New Living Translation
7 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.
In the same way, you husbands must give honor, respect, understanding and kindness to your wives showing love. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together making your life one journey together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her with love as you should so your prayers will not be hindered and stopped
What Does 1 Peter 3:7 Mean? ►
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7(NASB)
Peter spent a significant part of his letter covering Christian conduct and the respect that believers should show towards one another and the community at large. He also gave clear guidelines when dealing with those having governmental authority. “Honour all people, love the brotherhood, fear God and honour the king,” is his comprehensive charge.
Having dealt with society at large, he moved on to Christian slaves and the behaviour and attitude they should have towards their masters, before addressing the relationship between a husband and his wife. Peter instructs servants to be submissive to their masters, irrespective of whether they are good and gentle men or unreasonable overlords who cause their slaves unjust suffering.
He reminds them of Christ’s teaching that there is no reward for being nice to those that are good to you. And he used Christ’s own suffering as the perfect example of someone who when reviled, did not revile in return… and when suffering, did not respond with threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.
It was in this context of godly submission in the midst of suffering, that Peter moved from the conduct of slaves to the conduct of wives and their husbands, and for six whole verses he addresses the virtues of a godly wife, before attending to the conduct of Christian husbands. The possible reason that Peter gave his extended instructions to wives, is because they may have been married to a pagan husband prior to salvation and whose attitude towards women would be very different from that of Christian men.
Just as citizens were to defer to the government and slaves to their masters, so wives were called to submit to their husbands. There is no way that Peter is suggesting that wives are inferior to their husbands or that women have a lower status than men. However, God implemented a clear and unchangeable order in the universe, in nations, in societies, and within families. Just as Christ submitted to His heavenly Father, so wives are to reflect His humility through submission to their own husbands.
When Peter penned his instructions about the corresponding conduct of husbands towards their wives, the beautiful order that God instituted when He created man in His own image, becomes clear, “You husbands,” he wrote, “in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman. Show her honour as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
A Christian husband is expected to be understanding toward his wife and show her love, consideration, and courtesy. There is no question that men should treat their wives as second-class citizens, but as one who shares equality in the eyes of God and becomes a helpmeet that compliments his word, his work, and his will.
Peter explains that women are the weaker sex and should be shown special consideration by their physically stronger spouse. However, in the current climate where woman unwisely demand full (or greater) equality with men, Peter’s premise would be challenged and rejected. But this demonstrates that the foolishness of our ungodly society has refused to honour God’s declared order and denies the One who created them. They have gone their own evil way and muddied the God-given differences between men and women – between a husband and his wife.
Weakness does not imply inferiority and nowhere in the Bible is this concept ever implied, which is why Christian husbands just like Christian wives are to live together in an understanding way. A husband is to treat his wife as someone who is weaker, because she is a woman and to show her honour as a fellow heir, “so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
We are told elsewhere, that in Christ there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free… but that we are all one in Christ. We all enjoy the same gift of grace through faith and all are forgiven of our sins and have received eternal life. The rules and regulations that govern God’s order are neither tedious nor unfair, and Peter even points out that when a husband is treating his wife as God ordained, his fellowship with the Father will be strengthened.
When Christian marriages maintain God’s order, fellowship with the Father flourishes. And when we are in close communion with God, we are able to live and pray in spirit and in truth. When a husband and wife follow God’s order, 1 Corinthians 13 becomes the bedrock upon which their marriage is founded. When a Christian man honours his wife as a fellow heir of grace, he will manifest godly love and will show understanding, patience, kindness, and honour to his spouse.
When God’s order is followed, a husband will not fall prey to jealousy or arrogance, nor will he act unbecomingly, but will rejoice in righteousness and truth. He will bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things – for Christ’s sake.
How wonderful it is to know that Christian marriage is a picture of Christ and His Church. How beautiful it would be if all Christian marriages of today reflected the instructions Peter gave to husbands and wives in this passage on godly conduct.
What does 1 Peter 3:7 mean?
In verses 1 through 6, Peter has given instructions to Christian wives about submitting to their own husbands and how to pursue true beauty. That teaching for wives follows naturally from commands to all believers: that we should submit freely to every human authority for the Lord’s sake. But before moving on, Peter stops to briefly instruct husbands about how to live with their wives.
The heart of the verse is that men should honor and respect their wives. Note, this would have been a radical idea in Peter’s era. Particularly in comparison to modern society, women of this time period were oppressed, discounted, and often treated badly. Various versions of women submitting to their husbands would have been commonplace. Christianity’s emphasis on “submission” to God ahead of the husband would have been unique by itself. However, the teaching that men should honor their wives, as equal, co-heirs of God’s grace through faith in Christ, was revolutionary.
Driving the seriousness of this point home, Peter points to a consequence. Christian husbands who refuse to honor their wives will see their prayers hindered. Either God will not receive those prayers in full or the husband will find it difficult to pray. Any husband who is abusive, disrespectful, or otherwise belittling to his wife is defying the will of God—period. He must repent and change his behavior before that line of communication with God will be fully reopened.
Specifically, men are instructed to give honor to their wives “as the weaker vessel.” Notice carefully that this does not say wives are actually weaker in any specific way. Rather, husbands must honor their wives “as” they would honor or care for something more fragile than themselves. The point is purely about how husbands are to treat their wives: as protectors.
Finally, husbands are commanded to live with their wives “with knowledge.” This may mean with a growing understanding of who their wives are. Or, it may mean with the knowledge that God has given them a responsibility to give honor to their wives. In either case, the responsibility of the husband is very much the same.
1 Peter 3:1–7 continues Peter’s command to Christians, specifically, that they should be subject to human authorities. Here he tells Christian wives to be subject to their husbands, even unbelieving husbands. Why? In part, husbands may be won to Christ by the example of their Christ-changed wives. Christian husbands are also commanded to honor their wives or risk having their prayers hindered.
Peter continues teaching about Christian submission to human authorities, now addressing Christian wives. Believing wives must be subject to their own husbands, even if the husband is not a follower of Christ. By doing so, they might win them to Christ through the example of their own changed lives and hearts. Christian husbands must honor their wives. All believers must live in unity together and refuse to seek revenge. In part, God means to use our hopeful response to suffering to provoke the world to see His power in us. Christ, too, suffered and then died, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven.