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God's admonitions to husbands

After he addresses the wives as a group, Peter speaks to their husbands. From the text, Peter gives husbands three exhortations. Although the apostle is intricate in his discussion on the duties of the wife and relatively brief in his instructions to the husband, the significance of his exhortations to the husband should not to be taken lightly. Christian husbands must realize that if their marriage is built upon a foundation of love, following Christ’s example, their mutual husband-wife relationship will flourish. Peter tells the husbands to be considerate and love their wives in a Christian manner. That is, husbands ought to live with their spouses in accordance with godly principles established from God’s Word. In their marriage, they should demonstrate the love of Jesus that is revealed in the Scriptures and thus be considerate and understanding. Then, Peter tells husbands should love their wives by “showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life.” They have to treat their wives as the “weaker partner.” Husband ought to praise his wife of noble character and call her blessed. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her” (Proverbs 31:28). The adjective “weaker” is relative and implies that husbands are physically stronger. Therefore, as the stronger of the two marriage partners, the husband ought to shoulder the heavier burdens, protect his wife, and provide for her according to her needs. The physically weaker wife submits to her husband’s authority, yet she receives honor and respect from him. Thus, the wife who understands her submissive role according to the scriptural models finds complete fulfillment in her husband. Peter says that together they are “coheirs of the grace of life.” Husbands and wives are equal heirs of God’s grace for their daily lives. “There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Lastly, Peter brings the passage to a climax by focusing on the devotional life of the husband and wife as they present their prayers to God. Their prayers should not be impeded. Paul commends Peter’s life for the apostle indicates that he is fully acquainted with married life and that he speaks from experience. “Don’t we have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife like the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas?” (1 Corinthians 9:5). When a husband fails to live with his wife according to Scripture and does not respect her, he finds that he is unable to pray with her. Prayers to God are impeded when husband and wife are continually in an atmosphere of strife and contention. He wants them to be reconciled so that they are able to pray together in peace and harmony and thus enjoy untold divine blessings.



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