I love what I do! Five to ten times a week I sit down with engaged couples and I get a chance to help them set the foundation of their upcoming married life together. It is interesting to see the range of perspectives that men and women bring into their marriage. From money questions like, “Are we going to have a joint bank account?”, to questions about parenting and the role of men and women in marriage – we all have different perspectives when it comes to what a marriage is or ought to be. To those that have followed my previous posts, it is no surprise that I like to shape those conversations around a person’s spiritual life. There is one particular verse that I like to share with husbands (or husbands to be) that I have found to be a sense of wisdom that could reshape how a man treats his wife and therefore establishes peace in his home.
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. I Peter 3:7
A few days ago I ran it past a brother in a very unique relationship scenario which has left him bitter because he doesn’t understand why his wife does what she does or thinks like she thinks. The reality I find in the wisdom of this passage is that: how a man orients himself to God in his spiritual walk is the truth of his strength.
First, be understanding. The strength of a husband is in how we live “understanding” of our wife. What I have learned the hard way is that there is a big difference between being understanding of my wife and understanding my wife. As a man, there are things I may never understand about my wife, but it doesn’t excuse me from being understanding of how she feels. The difference between understand and being understanding is compassion.
The emotions of your wife, her perspective that can be very different from yours or why it takes so long to get one thing at the mall – are things you may never understand but still we find strength in being understanding (compassionate) of what is important to her. Whether a husband agrees with his wife’s needs or not is not relevant. We become the friend our wife is looking for when we show compassion toward their needs.
How we are able to show compassion to our wives directly impacts our relationship with God: so that your prayers may not be hindered (I Peter 3:7b). God has proven this to me more than a few times. I have thought I was right. I have known my wife is wrong. I have taken great pleasure in my rightness – and then I go to pray and it is like talking to a wall…
So how about you husbands, how have you found strength in learning to be compassionate toward your wife’s needs?