MEN SERVE YOUR WIFE: SPIRITUALLY
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. –I Peter 3:7 ESV
The Bible tells us that your wife is a co-heir of Christ and of the grace of life! What does that mean? It means that she is in no way inferior to you, less than you, not as important or as valuable as you are to God.
Peter is writing to correct a cultural misconception about women within a male-driven, chauvinistic society. During the first century within the ancient world, women were not held in high regard or respect especially within the Greco-Roman empire, where the early Christians lived.
Much of this was due to the current cultural and philosophical paradigms that plagued Peter’s day. Many trace these faulty notions back to the philosopher Aristotle, who argued that women were inferior to men in every way except in the bedroom!
With women not being seen than much more than objects of sex, it’s no wonder Peter writes to clarify for Christian husbands that there is nothing Christian about treating your lady like a second class citizen in the family of God.
Peter calls for us as husbands to honor our wives. Why? Because they are worthy of it. By saying, “since they are heirs with you of the grace of life,” Peter is referring not only to the eternal blessings a husband and wife have together but also the parental blessings as well. The Bible also says that children are an inheritance of the Lord (Psalms 127:3)! This idea would connect to Peter’s statement about the wife being “heirs with you of the grace of life.” For this is surely a grace of life, for a man and woman to come together in marriage, have children and raise them together! Perhaps there is no greater joy to see your children grow and walk in the truth of God’s Word (3 John 1:4)!
One of the most meaningful ways we as husbands can serve our wives is to help lead the family spiritually. Despite her level or your level of Christian knowledge. God wants you to serve your wife spiritually.
Here are several ways to strengthen your marriage and family spiritually.
1. Make a family library. Make sure you have Bibles and other biblical resources in the house. I recommend you own an ESV Study Bible. There is an electronic version that is much cheaper, but’s it worth every penny. While there are many good versions of the Bible, this is the best one in my opinion for a comprehensive Study Bible. You ought to pick up some marriage books and parenting books. Leslie and I will pick which books we read over the course of a year. Sometime it’s planned, other times it’s spontaneous. The idea for you and your family is to be equipped and growing in God’s truth. Start taking inventory of what your kids are reading amd what you already have in the house, and start building a small library. You can talk to your NG Leader or Pastor about some good books suggestions.
2. Get the family to church each week. Each Sunday is an opportunity to renew your mind with Bible-saturated preaching and teaching that will strengthen you in all of life. Messages are 30-45 minutes depending on the Sunday; that’s a small fraction of time you have in any given week to renew your mind on God’s Word! Biblical preaching communicates timeless truths, expounded and explained to help believers live out a Christ-centered life! Too many people underestimate the importance of regular worship. It’s not only to important to hear the Word, but to sing corporately to our heavenly Father and to fellowship with other believers. When you and your family are not present, you miss the gathering of the family of God!
3. Be part of Neighborhood Group. God made you to be part of a spiritual church family. He wants you and your wife to grow. Often times I hear people say that Neighborhood Groups is where they found their marriage grow the most in our church. Why? Often, God uses other believers to encourage a couple in their marriage by sharing a personal struggle or offering to help the couple/individual out in time of need, or maybe simply taking the time to pray for them. As a husband, I’ve found my wife is better when we are together than we are apart from others. If you are not it one, plan on it getting involved!
4. Take a family Sabbath – Each week my wife and I take a day of the week to rest from our regular routine of work. For us this is a family time to unplug. It’s a time to listen to Christian worship music, read the Bible, play as a family, pray and relax. We turn off all electronics, avoid Facebook, turn off the tablets, put the phone on airplane mode, and chill! It’s always hard to disconnect for the whole family but for roughly 24 hours a week we go off the grid. It’s really a blessing to us. I like to drink green tea, chill in my PJs, snuggle with my wife and kids on the couch, and be Pastor Dad. All you guys as husbands and fathers need to see yourself as the pastor of your family.
5. Plan a Weekend to Remember. Every few years Leslie and I will make special plans to be part of a marriage conference. Family Life offers one of the best I know of, called “Weekend to Remember.” Go online and check one out. Don’t worry we will be sure to remind you about them when the dates get closer. These kinds of conferences are super helpful. They are not cheap, but worth the investment. Think investment, not expense, when it comes to spending on your marriage. Any good marriage requires time, money, blood, sweat, and tears at times. Marriage isn’t always easy but it’s good when you do it right! I promise you, the reward is nothing less valuable than pure gold! If you haven’t been part of a marriage conference in the last few years, be sure to tune up your marriage by signing up for a Weekend to Remember! You and your wife will get the opportunity to stay in a really nice hotel with no kids, have a special date night for just the two of you, learn a lot of practical ways to improve your marriage, meet others, and strengthen your overall marriage. I promise it’s surely a weekend you will remember. You can email Leslie to sign up for a group discount.
Discuss with your wife
1. Which of the 5 ways to better serve you spiritually do you think we need to start doing better at
2. What’s a few things we need to cut out of our budget or schedule so that we can have time to grow our marriage and family spiritually?
Pray – Lord, thank you for my wife. Thank you for charging me with the great responsibility and privilege to lead my family. I need your help, your power and wisdom to keep my marriage and family going in the right direction. Give me courage, give me strength to persevere in doing good for my marriage! In Jesus' name, amen.