The Heart of a Godly Husband
“7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7 NIV
First we looked at the heart of a Godly wife and had some tough instructions for women of God. Now we turn with Peter to look at the heart of a Godly husband.
In 1 Peter 3, there are 6 verses that speak to wives and 1 verse that speaks to husbands. Women are given greater instructions because the challenge of living with men may be more strenuous and difficult.
I don’t really care for three point messages, but this one verse does show some key words that husbands need to develop as we grow in having a heart of a Godly husband. Also, I know that men tend to do better with steps to take. Here are Peter’s instructions to husbands.
1 – “GIVE HONOR” – “7In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives…”
I have a daughter and she has a special place in my heart. My little Gracie is precious to me. I know that if anyone messes with or hurts my little girl, they have to deal with me and my wrath. If a kid picks on my baby girl, their daddy better watch out. If there are other dad’s who are reading this that have little girls of your own, you know what I am speaking about. There is a special bond between a daddy and his little girl.
Husbands, your wife is God’s little girl. How are you treating God’s little girl? Are you giving her the honor that is due to her? That’s what Peter says to do, “give honor to your wives.” Peter shows that God CANNOT and WILL NOT bless you if you are not giving your wife the honor that she deserves as God’s little girl. Husbands if you are not treating the daughters of God with honor, Peter says that it will hinder your prayers. Of course!
No one would dare treat my little girl with contempt then ask me for a favor in their next breath. I don’t think that anyone would be stupid enough to put my little girl down, treat her poorly, then really expect to spend quality time with me! If you treat my little girl badly, your relationship with me is on very shaky ground. Husbands, if you treat the daughters of God poorly, your relationship with God Himself is on shaky ground!
This was a radical teaching in Peter’s time. In the ancient culture, a husband had absolute rights over his wife and she had virtually no rights in the marriage. In Roman culture, if a man caught his wife in adultery, he could kill her on the spot. If a wife caught her husband in adultery, she could do nothing against him. Peter recognizes that a Godly husband needed to give honor to his wife.
A godly husband is not there to point out wrongs she has done or to complain about his wife to his friends. He is to give her honor.
Men of God, if you want a godly marriage and if you are man enough to do what the bible says, Peter challenges you to stop looking at your wife as the problem and start look at yourself. Quit focusing on the things that you think she needs to do better in and start giving her honor. Don’t even pray for God to change her, until He has changed you. When you chose to say, “I do” to her, you need to remember that you said, “I don’t” to every other woman and every other opportunity to be with another woman. Stop looking elsewhere. Honor your wife. Pray for her. She needs your prayers because she said yes to marrying you!
2 – “UNDERSTANDING” – “Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.”
This part of the verse is scary to me that God commands husbands to treat our wives with “understanding.” I don’t know anyone who really “understands” his wife.
Don’t treat your wives as a responsibility or a burden. You are to have knowledge/understanding of your wife.
How does a husband know or understand his wife the way she needs to and desires to be known? The Master husband is Jesus Christ. When Jesus deals with His bride, He knows us. He understands us. He doesn’t use our past mistakes against us (although if anyone could, He is the One). He doesn’t condemn us because of our insecurities. Instead He showed perfect love for us despite our insecurities and flaws. He loved us to the point that He was willing to lay down His life for us – even when we wronged Him! Not only was He willing to die for us, but He also chose to live His life for us. He was diligent (and still is) to pray for us. Of all people, He could have treated us as His servants and forced us into submission, but instead He taught us to serve others by His example.
Husbands, are you living with that “understanding” for your wife?
3 – “LIVE TOGETHER” – “Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.”
A godly husband lives with his wife rather than simply sharing a house with her. Too often, husbands and wives can get to the place in their marriage and relationship where they become business partners rather than companions. They share a house and reside under the same roof, but don’t really live their lives together anymore. Peter recognizes the teachings that Paul gave in Ephesians 5
This is a very hard topic for me to wrestle with as I tend to get comfortable in my relationship with my wife. It is easy for me to slip into the “sharing a house” mode with my wife. It is a constant challenge for me to “live together” with her and to be “understanding” with her.
A godly husband knows how to make his wife feel honored because he “lives with” her rather than only sharing a house with her. Rather than making her feel like an employee or someone under a dictator, a godly husband understands her needs and enriches her life. The wife of a godly husband isn’t just “with him.” She is BETTER because she is “with him” because he brings life to her.
Holy Spirit, what a long way I have to go to grow the heart of a godly husband. Forgive the many times I have failed in this and empower me by Your Spirit to be the godly husband that my wife needs to have.
I pray for the husband who has forgotten to give honor to his wife… Holy Spirit, strengthen him to be the man of God that You created him to be.
I pray for the husband who has struggles with understanding his wife… Father give him the heart for his wife that Jesus Christ has for His bride, the church. Give him a heart to lay down his rights, his life, his strength, and his pride, in order to raise up his wife.
I pray for the husband who shares a house with his wife and struggles to “live together” with his wife… Bless him with Your heart to bring life to her and make her better because she is with him.
In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.