Relationships are hard and messy and most men are not good at developing healthy relationships. Once we get married it is easy to sit back and focus on our work and providing financially or focusing on our own needs. Most guys, myself included are selfish and we are not always thinking about how to love our wives or lead our household.
Peter talks about this in one of his letters that is part of the Bible. Peter talks a lot about submission, respect, blessing and honor. This is not only in marriage relationships but in all relationships. He writes this after having spent a significant amount of time with Jesus. After observing how Jesus treated other people he was able to write about how we should treat our bosses, our political leaders and our spouses.
I want to zero in on his comments to husbands. in 1 Peter 3:7 he is talking to husbands, I like the Message version of the Bible which says “Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.”
He is calling husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way. We are to honor our wives and model submission and service. We are to initiate blessing, rather than retaliate when things go wrong. Men are called to be spiritual leaders and that means we take responsibility for the health of our relationships. This means we set the tone and we initiate what we want others to do. Don’t wait for her to start treating you with respect before you make an effort to love and respect her.
The way we treat our wives will affect our spiritual health. It starts with us and how we respond to our wives. The words we use, the things that we do, the time that we take, and the way that we listen.
Peter sums this up by saying this “Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless-that’s your job, to bless. you’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.”
Now I realize that we won’t always get it right and we will mess up. We will do selfish things and say stupid things, but in order to love our wives we must keep pushing forward, trying to understand our wives and treat them as a precious gift. Being humble means asking for and giving forgiveness on a regular basis. The key is to not give up, keep trying to learn how to love your wife better, learn from your mistakes and above all else keep growing closer to God. Only God can help you to love your wife the way you should.