The Scripture I want to look at in this blog actually addresses only men. However, I believe ladies can read over our shoulders and get a firm grasp on some things that we need God to do in our marriages. My experience is that ladies are much better at doing that than men.
The verse is 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 goal of Peter's admonition points to a great spiritual power afforded to husbands and wives. In Matthew 18:19 Jesus said,
“If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
The depth of unity that can be developed between husbands and wives brings an Earth shaking power in prayer. Need I say that our enemy the devil will do anything he can to hinder our united prayer. Let's look prayerfully at what the Holy Spirit teaches in this verse that will enable us to overcome the barrage of the enemy.
Peter begins by telling men, “live with your wives.” There is a mindset related to this. We need to develope an attitude of unity with one another in marriage. It is God's will for the two of you to become one. Thinking together requires time together? We should desire for our unity to be as complete as that of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit bound together in ultimate love. This may be counter productive to say, because such unity is absolutely impossible for us. But I can say, Men, we are to live in union with our wives. We are to bind ourselves to them with the love of Christ.
Possibly the most crucial thing God tells us here is to live with our wives with understanding. If you think this is easy, you probably haven't tried. You will not think like your spouse. In the 1990s John Grey wrote, Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus. He made a clear point that men and women don't think alike. Although I believe the differences commonly pointed out by social scientists are too uniform and simplistic, we are different. You will not be able to understand your partner by reading a book. You will have to spend time with your wife to begin to understand her. You will have to spend time thinking about what she needs and wants. Most of all you will need to pray about it. If God does not show you how she is thinking, you will remain obtuse. And while this is a life-long endeavor, what God shows you should change your attitudes and behavior. If you are not considerate, you don't understand at all.
We are to put our wives on a pedestal of the love of God. First, because they are the weaker vessels. I am aware that all women are not physically weaker than men. And there will always be ways in which the wife will actually be stronger than her husband. But there is something precious about her weakness. Treat her like fine china.
Then we are to honor our wives as spiritual equals, “heirs together of the grace of life.” Of course, this is how we begin. But in many, possibly most cases, the wife has matured beyond her husband spiritually. And in every case, God will give each of you strengths and gifts that He has not given the other so you can draw from one another.
The point of all this is that you can pray for one another and pray together. Each person in a marriage ought to have a list of things you consistently ask God to do in your partner. These should include some things you feel like you need from your spouse. They should include things you know your spouse needs, possibly from you. And you need to pray for the purposes God has revealed for the person with whom you are partnered.
And because our lives are so busy, we need to work at finding time to pray together. Every couple may do this differently. You may need to be patient with your partner in this. But make it a goal. You can even pray for God to help you find time and incentive to pray together. Who knows what God will do in answer?
A young doctor once told me about attending a symposium of Christian physicians. He said they raised the question, “What is the difference between a Christian doctor and a doctor who is not a believer?” Their conclusion was simply that a Christian doctor prays for his patients.
I can think of a number of spiritual gifts and spiritual fruit that God might use through a Christian physician. And I suspect some doctors who are not necessarily committed Christians pray at least occasionally for their patients. Still, I suspect they touched the heart of the matter simply out of years of practicing medicine.
Thinking of this made me wonder about the difference between a Christian writer and one who does not believe. I do not want to minimize Christian subject matter. But I think there are differences beyond what we write about. There will be some difference between a Christian journalist and one who does not know the Lord. What about a travel writer? What about a restaurant critic? I believe two differences are foundational; whom we trust and whom we please and honor.
Two ferry boats cross a river. One runs along a cable stretched across the water. The other does not. When the river runs smoothly, the operator of the one without the cable claims his fairy moves faster. And that may be true, although I'm am not sure. But when the river is raging the one without the cable will be swept away in the flood.
A writer who knows Christ has an anchor of meaning and confidence in the sovereignty of God that a writer who does not know the Lord does not have. That is not to say that she is not bewildered by evil or unfairness. A Christian writer may write about evil or tragedy that she has no answer for. But beneath everything she has a confidence that that there is an answer and God knows the solution even when we do not. A Christian writer may suffer from writer's block. But she knows that she can pray for inspiration.
Most of you are far too young to remember the television series The Millionaire. In it Michael Anthony, played by actor Marvin Miller, was “the confidential secretary to the trillionaire John Beresford Tipton.” Each week on the show at the philanthropist’s Direction he gave a million dollars to an unsuspecting recipient. While Michael Anthony gave wonderful things, a million dollars, a much greater fortune in 1955 than it is now, he did not work for them. He worked for the eccentric trillionaire. He obeyed his direction. The checks were drawn from the wealthy man’s bank account. And the secretary had to please him and him alone.
A Christian writer ultimately writes to please God. God is the source of her insight. He is the one who calls her to write. I am not primarily focusing on how a Christian ought to write. Although we seldom get all of this together, these are fundamental principles of belonging to Christ. A Christian writer seeks to speak from God and for God. She seeks to honor God rather than herself. And in this motive the truth of what she has to say is anchored.
In John 7:18 Jesus said,
“He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”
Who are you writing for?
Please pray for an ongoing relationship with a family of the land. Friendship has been formed and many conversations of faith have been had. The wife has taken home a Bible to read. Please pray that she will read it and as she does the Truth will resonate with her heart. Please pray the whole family will come to faith in Christ.
“He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so.” (Walter Lippmann, A Preface to Morals, 1929)
Character originates in our mind. Thoughts translate into words, words into actions, actions into habits, habits into character.
Garbage pollutes; truth ennobles. What we think, we become. Television, movies, magazines, and websites full of violence and sexual perversion corrupt the mind and cause nagging problems with rage and lust.
To be deterred from sin, we must internalize the Word of God as a personal treasure.
Traveling the highway of excellence is a far better use of life than wasting time in the sewer! If we keep heavenly thoughts foremost, we will become holy in the way we think. If we weave God’s thoughts into our mind, we will become pure in heart. If we program our mind with honorable thoughts, we will learn to live honorably.
To those whose lifestyle is a pattern of turning away from sin and obeying the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, God promises life’s highest distinction—Christlikeness. Child of God, stand tall, hold your head high, and march forward with dignity and grace until your Heavenly Father writes the name of Jesus on your forehead—the ultimate medal of honor.
“Make a medallion of pure gold. Using the techniques of an engraver, inscribe it with these words: Set Apart as Holy to the Lord.” (Exodus 28:36 NLT)
Johnny R. Almond
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity
[This devotion based on Day 53 of Gentle Whispers]
Interim Pastor, Nomini Baptist Church; Montross, Virginia
Dear Fellow Prayer Leader,
Dr. Rick Shepherd, the SBC Director of Prayer and Spiritual Awakening for the state of Florida, is offering resources being used in his state to call Christians to pray for God's honor, for neighbors, and for our nation this fall. The resources include a calendar document with prayer prompts for September 16 - November 10, a leader's notes document, and a sample pastor's letter to a congregation. Rick is offering these for your use in your sphere of influence as you see fit. His contact info is in the content if you have any specific questions for him.
There are many calls to prayer this fall and many tools available, this call to prayer deserves a look.
For God's glory,
Note: this page contains paid content.
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