The Husband's Role, Part 4

Faith Church April 18, 2010 1 Peter 3:1-7

1. We’re continuing our series: Taking the Next Step with Joy: In the Role of the Husband #4

- this is the last part of our study on the Role of Husband – next week we start the Wife’s Role

- guys, my prayer (our prayer) ought to be that EVERY man who hears this teaching will step up to the plate and be a REAL MAN (like Jesus) and fulfill his role as a husband

2. We know we are in a spiritual warfare, and Satan doesn’t want us to bring ANY glory to God

> in fact, he “walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”

> so we have to be on the alert AND working hard to obey God’s Word

Q: What did you learn from last week’s lesson on a husband loving his wife?

[various answers]

Q: What examples can you give of showing love to wife?

[Homework assignment – 100 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife]

3. Remember our goal is to glorify God and to strengthen our marriages, families, and our church!

- NOTE the ADDITION to what we’ve been saying…:

* Strong Christians and Strong Marriages and Strong Families = Strong Churches!

6. If FBC is going to be STRONG (growing, serving, outreach, bringing glory to God), we have to be strong in our relationship with Christ & have strong marriage relationships & strong families where:

  • Problems are being solved
  • Jesus Christ is the CENTER of attention – Matt. 6:33; Col. 1:18
  • The goal in life is please God by being like Jesus Christ – 2 Cor. 5:9; 1 Cor. 10:31

Testimony: Kevin & Amy Johns – NOTE: We do this every week – a different couple will share 1 or 2 biblical truths that have helped them in their marriage and/or a practical lesson that God has taught them that has helped their marriage

[OPEN your bibles to 1 Peter 3:7 – read vs. 1-7 (part of the wife’s role next week) – READ]

- Let’s do a QUICK review of the last 3 weeks:

I. The Husband Is to Lead His Wife – Gen. 1:26, 2:18-25; Eph. 5:23; Matt. 20:25-28

* The biblical foundation for the husband’s leadership is

(1) The order of creation (Gen. 1-2)

(2) God’s declaration of the husband being a leader to his wife (Eph. 5:23)

  • Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

- In Matt. 20:25-28 Jesus makes it clear that godly leaders are not a DICTATOR (Gentile view)

- instead, godly leadership is SERVITUDE (v. 26-27)

- secondly, we studied the command:

II. The Husband Is to Love His Wife – Ephesians 5:25-33

  • Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. . . . 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies . . . 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself.

- we mentioned some wrong views of love

- and we clearly defined the biblical definition of love:

  • agape = unconditional love; self-sacrificing love; God’s love!

1) The love Christ displayed on the cross for us!

2) Godly love is described in detail in 1 Cor. 13

Q: Which characteristic of love do need to ‘take the next step’ of growth in love for your wife?

3) Key Quality: Emotions will come and go, but godly love ‘never fails’ (1 Cor. 13:8)

- of course, the greatest example of love is Jesus!

- LAST WEEK, we answered the Question:

D. What degrees of love are we to show?

1. First – 1 John 4:19

2. Most – John 15:13 “Greater love has no man than this . . .”

3. Sacrificially - Eph. 5:25

4. Unmistakably – I John 3:18

“Love must be demonstrated in ways that can be interpreted.”

5. In spite of faults – Rom. 5:8

6. Without bitterness – Col 3:19

7. As your own body – Eph. 5:28-29

- Let’s close our study of the Role of the Husband with a very KEY principle that helps us ACHIEVE the other 2 roles as a godly husband

- Even though this is the only specific verse on this subject, it’s still in the Word of God and we need to address this issue!

III. The Husband Is to Learn His Wife – 1 Peter 3:7

  • 1 Peter 3:7 You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

- the important thing here is to realize that . . .

A. Learning is a command

- This not an encouragement, it is a command – a choice a man has to make to obey or disobey God’s instruction; it is an act of the will

- From a worldly perspective: A man can’t understand a woman (women are too complicated, too emotional, and several other reasons)

- But if God commanded it, then we have the ability, with His help (John 15:5), to pull it off!

[Note: Besides, you don’t have to understand EVERY woman, just the one you married (PTL!!)]

1. A command that requires time.

- In our culture, many men have the attitude: "I’m too busy to learn about my wife."

- Remember 1 Cor. 10:13

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

- To be a learner means that a husband may need to take time from other activities to study his wife

Q: What kind of things is a guy typically involved in that draw him away from spending time with his wife?

A: Sports events, TV shows, hobbies, business – climbing the corporate latter

2. A command that requires study.

- For a husband to be learner of his wife, it will take time and study

> implies purposeful pursuit and commitment to make progress and be prepared for various situations!

- The point of all this is, if you haven't learned her, you don't know how to dwell with her.

- Her problems are your problems

> You may not think her views are important, but they are because of who she is.

- and remember, marriage is a ‘one flesh’ relationship (Gen. 2:24)

NOTE: This doesn't mean her views are necessarily right, but they are very important!!

* Biblical examples of a wife giving her view, and it was wrong: Lot’s wife / Job’s wife!!

- God gave the wife to be a ‘fitting helper’, so her position merits careful attention, consideration, and respect!

- Think about what the exact OPPOSITE of this would look like:

“We may grasp its content by proclaiming its opposite: ‘Dwell with your wives according to ignorance. Just walk in blindness. Don’t look beyond your own desires. Let your vision be entirely introspective and microscopic. Never exercise your eyes in clear and comprehensive outlook. Dwell in ignorance!’ - The Epistles of St. Peter, J.H. Jowett. 1970, Kregel, reprint from 1905 original, p. 109

- As I read this quote, I wonder how many wives would quietly say to themselves, “That describes my husband! He just seems to live in ignorance of me. He doesn’t try to understand what I’m going through. He doesn’t seem to care.”

Jowett went on to say: “No, says the apostle, ‘Dwell according to knowledge.’ Keep your eyes open. Let reason be alert and active. - Ibid

- It may be that a husband needs to ask your wife to forgive him for just living in simple ignorance.

Point: Study your wife and godly women in the Bible to determine what God expects!

- She won't be happy unless she's growing in her desire to please God by being like Jesus Christ and specifically, God's kind of woman!

- But you won't be able to help unless you understand those concepts.

3. A command that includes being mindful of her weakness

  • 1 Peter 3:7 You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman. . .

Weaker = lit. without strength

a. What this does NOT mean:

1) Weaker positionally

  • Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

- When it comes to being part of the body, it’s level ground @ the foot of the cross!

2) Weaker intellectually

- The Scripture reveals very intellectual women:

  • The wise woman of Tekoa (2 Sam. 14:2)
  • Deborah the prophetess (Judges 4)
  • Jael who deceived Sisera, the military commander of the country of Canaan (Judges 4:2, 19-21)

3) Weaker in endurance

- Undoubtedly she has in some ways (e.g. childbirth) more physical endurance than most men.

“It cannot be held to apply to character or to ability, nor is it true of health or physical endurance without many reservations.”
– E.G. Selwyn, The First Epistle of St. Peter, 1964.

- This does not necessarily refer to “physical endurance” but to the husband being “physically stronger in the sense of being more muscular; and his is the ultimate responsibility for the direction of the home”

b. What this DOES mean:

- Wayne Grudem: “Any kind of weakness of which husbands would need to be cautioned not to take advantage.”

- Here are three possible areas of weakness:

1) Weaker physically

[Study Guide only] “The recognition of her greater weakness is not derogatory, and does not imply inferiority. Generally speaking, the wife is physically weaker than the man, but it is unfair to imply that she is intellectually or morally inferior to him. By and large, commentators have understood ‘weaker vessel’ as a reference to physical strength. . . .” – Hiebert, 1 Peter, p. 206

2) Weaker in authority

[Study Guide only] “The wife may be considered weak because of her role as a wife. She, by marrying, has accepted a position where she submits herself to her husband. Such a position is vulnerable, open to exploitation. The husband is commanded not to take advantage of the woman’s vows of submission.” – Hiebert, 1 Peter, p. 206

- Living with your wife in an understanding way means that you recognize what it is like to be in submission to an imperfect authority.

3) Weaker emotionally

- Women are typically emotionally more sensitive

- This isn’t necessarily a bad thing . . . it can also be a strength but can be a weakness in the sense that they are more affected by conflict within a marriage

[Study Guide only] “Both in body and mind some women are stronger than some men; but, in ordinary cases, the female, in the human as in other species of living creatures, is weaker than the male. In delicacy of apprehension, both intellectual and moral, and in capacity of passive endurance, the woman’s mind is, I apprehend, far superior to man’s. But, generally speaking, the woman is the weaker fabric. – Brown, 1 Peter, Geneva Series Commentary, Banner of Truth (reprint from 1848):

Point: The key concept here is the weakness or fragility of the vessel, jar, or vase.

Note: It seems to be inaccurate to assign the concept of “value” (i.e. treating her like a highly prized possession) to the ‘weaker vessel’ concept instead of simply fragility which is all it implies. A fragile vase need not be an expensive one (although it may be and could be worth great value, but that should not be assumed here)

B. Honoring is a command!

  • 1 Peter 3:7 You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, . . . and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

- This is actually a second command in this verse [both of them imperatival participles].

1. Honoring her is more than just “respect” (NIV “treat her with respect”)

- You can actually treat someone with “detached, formal respect and yet give no special honor to the person at all” – Hiebert, 1 Peter, quoting Grudem

2. This is because she shares the same inheritance as the husband.

  • A wife puts her faith in Jesus Christ just like the husband does
  • Jesus had to pay the same price to save her as he did to save the husband
  • God’s Word directs her steps on a daily basis just like the Word is a ‘lamp’ to the husband
  • The Holy Spirit lives and dwells insider of her just like He does the husband
  • Someday, she will experience the mansion that God has prepared for her (Jn 14:1-6)

1. Minimizing the needs of your wife is sin – if fails to obey this 2nd command

C. Both these commands impact your spiritual life!

  • 1 Peter 3:7 You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, . . . and grant her honor . . . so that your prayers may not be hindered.

* ‘prayers’ = not just one’s prayer life, but also implies one’s relationship to God – the idea of communicating with God Himself!

> only a fool would want to hinder that relationship, but yet many men ignore this caution!

- Both the command to live with her in an understanding way and the command to honor her have serious consequences if not obeyed.

- Your prayers will be hindered.

‘Hinder ‘= to impede or thwart; it’s placing something in the path of your prayer.

* ILLUSTRTION. The spiked strips that police lay on the road to stop the fleeing fugitive’s car. THAT’S what you do to your prayers, husbands, when you violate this verse by not learning and honoring your wife.

  • Ps. 66:18: If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear;

* Summary:

1) A key to a good marriage is keeping short sin accounts.

2) A key to a strong spiritual life is a godly relationship with your wife!


1. Before we close, let me ask you a few questions.

1) Has this concept been part of the way you've viewed your role as a husband?

2) Can you list definite things that you have learned this year, this month, this week?

3) Do you need to ask God's forgiveness or her forgiveness?

2. Here is a sample homework assignment which should allow a husband to learn some things about his wife and to show her honor . . . and maybe allow him to clear up some issues with his wife.

See “Fifty Questions to Ask Your Wife” [interview her, don’t just give her the Q’s & “fill them out” – guys, you ask the Q’s, and take notes! Let her review the Q’s for a couple of days 1st.

Faith Church