Friday, January 14, 2011

Women talk more

1 Peter 3: 7 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. 

The likewise is connected with 2:17 in the concept of honor where honor is due.  Peter has been explaining to women that they were created to submit, (in the same way a slave is there to obey no less) and by doing this they bring honor to themselves and their husbands.  Earlier he had commanded all men to submit to the rulers and authorities in all places that God had put there, to give them due honor, and in the same way the 10 commandment demands honor for those due honor when it says honor your father and mother the principle stands that wives are to submit to their husbands. 
Now husbands have a different command than women, since women were made in the subordinate position as helpers to their men, husbands cannot bring honor by submitting to them, but instead are to do so by leading and guiding their families in love.  Or more specifically, husbands bring honor to their wives by living with them in an understanding way; if I might paraphrase, by listening to them.  Wonder why women talk more than men? Perhaps this delight is theirs (and ours) because God is trying to make it easier on us men.  After all, it's much easier to listen to someone who is both a willing and able communicator than it is to listen and lead someone who won't tell you their felt needs or opinions.
The next clause reminds them why they have the need to listen, because women are weaker.  Number one they are in the position of the subordinate, and don't have the final say, so the only recourse they really have is your attention and compassion.  But number two, women are more dainty and fragile, their beauty is in the thinness of the material, making them more vulnerable to emotional harm.  God made men strong and thick skinned so they could lead their family much more naturally than a woman could, and He made you thus to take care of her need, making your strength for her weakness.
Peter then adds, because really you are not leading a slave or a child, but a co-regent, a fellow heir.  Someone who is the other half of you, and so therefore do this in love.
I see the last statement as a follow on to all that he has said earlier.  If you as a man reject what God has made for you then He is going to reject you. If you don't think His plan is good and right then He will punish you for it.  If you are using your thick skin and great strength not to break a path for your wife but on her then He will use His greater strength against you.  If you lead without listening, then He will do the same, for you are going to be treated as you treat her, according to the measure you use it will be measured back unto you.
So  I propose that men delight in their woman's verbal skills.  Just imaging how much harder it would be to be a leader who listens otherwise.

1 comment:

Jack said...

excellent thoughts Phil