Great Marriages: Serve Your Wife Physically
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel….
—I Peter 3:7 ESV
To live with your wife in an understanding way is both an art and a science. That makes you and me students of our wives, if we are any good as husbands. “To show honor” as we have learned means to designate, assign, or to count as precious, which means treating her as the person with the highest priority in life.
I have to remind myself that she is not just my bud, my bro, my chica, or whatever; she is the number one love of my life and my best friend! I encourage you, if you don't already think that way, to make it your goal to work towards that. Realize you need her and she needs you as best friend and lover.
Here in 1 Peter 3:7, Peter calls the wife “the weaker vessel.” This doesn’t mean she is weak emotionally or intellectually! It means she’s probably not gonna whoop you in an arm wrestling competition or take you out in UFC cage fight.
Peter means to say that she is not built like you. You were built with physical strength. As a hunter, every time I go into the wild, I tap into something innately primal within me. I have so much fun, I think to myself that I’d be fine if the world went to pot and I had to hunt and fish to survive. I imagine I would be strong, fight off coyotes, lions, and javalinas to protect and provide for my little tribe that I call the Rice family!
Peter is calling not only for the man to provide for his wife's emotional or spiritual needs but also reminding him to be strong and provide for the physical needs of his wife. Too many men don’t get this. Our culture and media feminize men, making metrosexuals, diminishing the glory of God in His creation of men as male.
I once was at a wedding where a really insecure, handsome, strong dude-groom said to his bride, “Babe, you are my strength, I can’t live without you. I depend on you to get me through, I draw upon you for my daily strength." I cringed, and here’s why: God made men to find strength in two places, from God and from other strong men. When a man tries to draw strength from a woman, it will in time render him impotent and puny. It blurs the lines and distorts the roles and responsibilities within marriage. God’s Word teaches us that God is omnipotent. He alone is all powerful; He is the source of strength, not a woman. God doesn’t grow weary. He has no limits to His power and strength (Isaiah 40:28-31), and as the husband draws upon God as his strength, he will then be able to serve his spouse with a renewed strength.
Lastly, the Bible affirms men encouraging and exhorting other men. Something incredible happens when men can learn from other Godly examples of men. There is a kind of transfer of energy, and sharpening like steel that occurs when godly men gather for fellowship. Proverbs 27:17 describes this relationship like iron sharpening iron as one man sharpens another. If the writer of Proverbs is describing a sword being sharpened, then this would mean that two men are helping one another grow stronger, sharper, more effective, more dangerous, and more powerful! Marriage requires strength. Here are several ways you can serve your wife with your physical strength.
- Lock the doors at night.
- Walk her to her car when it’s dark.
- Get an alarm if needed or a good dog that can actually do something if you can’t wake up and turn into a ninja really quick!
- Work out.
- Eat healthy.
- Hang out with men who are spiritually strong.
- Take out the trash.
- Unload the groceries.
- Move the heavy furniture.
- Work hard on providing for the financial needs.
Discuss with your wife:
- How do I physically serve you?
- What are 1-2 things you think I need to stop doing?
- What are 1-2 things in need to start to better serve you in this area?
Pray – Lord, I will draw upon Your endless power for my marriage and my strength. I need Your strength to replenish mine. I will look to Your Word and other Godly men to help me grow in this area of my life and marriage. In Jesus' name, amen.