We’re on the 12th message in our Marriage & Family Series and the title of this morning’s sermon is “How Husbands Ought to Treat Their Wives.”
We’ve covered verses 1 through 6, and we find ourselves at verse 7. Verses 1 through 6 were for wives and verse 7 is for husbands.
· Verse 7 is going to show husbands a number of ways to treat our wives well.
· Since verses 1 through 6 were largely about wives submitting to their husbands, verse 7 also serves as a warning to husbands against any potential abuses
of the authority God’s given them. The strong warning God has for husbands who mistreat their wives is at the end of verse 7: He says He won’t hear our
Now much has been said about the fact that there are six verses for wives and one verse for husbands, but there is so much packed in verse 7 it could
practically be a number of different verses. Since there is so much in the verse, we’re going to break it up and look at it piece-by-piece.
First, let’s look at the words Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, and this brings us to Lesson 1, Part I…
LESSON 1: HUSBANDS TREAT THEIR WIVES WELL BY (PART 1) LEARNING THEM.
I’ve shared before that there are certain weaknesses w/ the English language: for example, I use the same English word when I say, “I love my wife” as when I say, “I love wrestling” But obviously I love my wife differently than I love wrestling.
One of the other weaker words in the English language is the word “know.” For example, I say, “I know my wife” and I say, “I know of Abraham Lincoln.” Obviously I know my wife much differently than I know President Lincoln.
In Greek, there was more than one word for “know” or “knowing”:
· There was a way you knew something intellectually.
· And there was a way you knew something experientially or relationally.
I played football, but I’ve never played ruby:
· So I know what rugby is.
· But I know football much differently, b/c I know it through experience.
Let me give you an example from the New Testament that illustrates this…
In Acts 19 Paul encountered the Sons of Sceva. They were a group of men who considered themselves exorcists. They would say, “In the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches I command you to come out.” But they weren’t believers and they didn’t have any real power or authority
to cast out demons.
Then one day something happened…
A demon they were trying to cast out answered them, and then the man possessed by the demon possessed jumped on them, stripped them of their clothes and
beat them up. It says they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
When the demon spoke to the exorcists, please listen to what he said: Acts 19:15 “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
Even though the word know is used twice, it’s two different words in the Greek:
He said, “Jesus I know” and that’s ginōskō. It means, “to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of, feel.” It means to learn and understand something through relationship or experience.
When he said, “Paul I know” he used the word
, which means,
“to put one’s attention on, to fix one’s thoughts on.”
It means to think about or observe, w/o having any relationship or personal experience.
The reason the demon knew Jesus differently than he knew Paul is he had a relationship w/ Jesus for some period of time before following Lucifer in his
The reason the demon knew Paul – or more accurately knew of Paul, but didn’t know him personally – was Paul had been a dramatic instrument for the Lord’s
Kingdom. Paul had tremendous apostolic authority and power, he could – and did – cast out demons, putting himself on the radar of the demonic realm. It’s
like he had a reputation among the demons. They had observed him and knew of him, but they never had a relationship w/ him.
Now the reason I’m telling you this, is in 1 Peter 3:7 the word for understanding isgnosis, which comes from the word ginōskō
. The word for understanding is almost identical to the word used when the demon said, “Paul I know.” It’s referring
to knowledge that comes through experience or relationship.
So this is what 1 Peter 3:7 commands husbands to do, it’s commanding husbands to learn and understand our wives through experience or through our
relationships w/ them:
We need to study our wives.
We need to understand them.
We need to learn them.
One commentator said,
“Get your doctorate on the subject of your wife. A good husband ought to know as much as there is to know about her.”
Now as far as learning and understanding our wives, what does the world say about understanding women? It says you can’t understand them! We should
expect the world to tell us the opposite of what God’s Word says.
The truth is it can be hard to understand women sometimes, but God commands it, which means it’s something we should do.
And let me ask you this:
Do wives want to be known?
Do wives want husbands that are interested in them?
Do wives want husbands that learn and understand them?
All the women said, “AMEN!”
This is how wives feel loved, but here’s what’s very unfortunate:
There are lots of wives wishing their husbands knew as much about them as they know about other things.
There are lots of wives wishing their husbands were as interested in them as they are in sports, cars, television, friends, food, music, video games,
you name it.
So husbands, we want to make sure we know more about our wives than almost anything else in the world, and what is it husbands are supposed to learn –
or understand – about our wives?
What they like and don’t like.
How they feel loved.
What’s important to them.
What they desire.
We also need to learn our wives’ weaknesses and live w/ those weaknesses
in an understanding way.
Katie invited me to share:
· Organization is one of her weaknesses, so she appreciates me being gracious to her in that area.
· She has trouble finishing things she starts, so she appreciates me encouraging her in a gentle way to complete things and not start other things.
These are the ways she wants me to dwell with her with understanding.
· This isn’t to say we don’t help our wives improve…
· This isn’t to say we don’t confront our wives or address their weaknesses…
· This isn’t to say we don’t come alongside them and discuss how they can grow…
We do these things, but we do them in a loving and gentle way:
· Every husband has a wife w/ weaknesses, and we can criticize them and be harsh w/ them, or we can encourage them and be gracious w/ them.
· When we read about wives being the weaker vessel, this is also how we treat them as the weaker vessel.
Now notice the word dwell – or in most translations, live. This refers to physically being together, but it means
more than just occupying the same house or having a business relationship w/ your spouse…which is sadly what some marriages look like. The word dwell or live:
Refers to doing life together.
It refers to making your wife your companion.
And if we tie these words together – husbands dwelling – or living – with their wives with understanding it’s
commanding husbands to develop a knowledge of our wives and dwell with them – or live w/ them – according to that knowledge:
We have to take the understanding we have of our wives and use it in the way we live w/ them.
We have to take what we’ve learned about our wives and apply it to our daily lives w/ them.
It wouldn’t make much sense if husbands learned their wives and didn’t apply that understanding to their marriages, but this is usually where we fail
We have trouble following through…
We learn our wives, but we don’t always apply what we’ve learned.
So as husbands we want to:
Learn how our wives want to be treated and treat them that way.
We want to develop an understanding of how our wives feel loved and love them that way.
Now please notice the words giving honor to the wife. I know in some of your Bibles this might follow the words about wives being the weaker vessel, but I’ll explain that later. This brings us to Lesson 1, Part 2…
LESSON 1: HUSBANDS TREAT THEIR WIVES WELL BY (PART 2) HONORING THEM.
The word for honor means, “a valuing by which the price is fixed.” 8 times the word for honor is translated as price, b/c it’s referring to the value of something. It’s the same word used:
The chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price
(or value) of blood.”
Acts 5:3 Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price
(or value) of the land for yourself?
So in verse 7 when it says to give honor to the wife, it’s saying to recognize the value of our wives, and honor them
b/c of their value.
Now here’s where it gets very interesting…there’s something fascinating about the words to the wife…
The word for wife, which is a noun that occurs 221 times in the NT, is the word gynē, (pr: guh-nay).
If you look in verse 1
- If you look in verse 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women
But the words “to the wife” are one word in the Greek
, (pr: guh-ny-ky-oss), this is the only place it occurs, and instead of being a noun, it’s an adjective or describing word. It means, “of or belonging to a woman, feminine, female.” It’s describing things related to females or femininity.
So the verse isn’t commanding husbands to honor their wives simply for the sake of honoring them:
· It’s commanding husbands to honor their wives for being feminine.
· It’s commanding husbands to find value in their wives b/c of their femininity.
· The wife’s feminine nature is what should prompt the husband to honor her.
· The wife’s feminine nature is where the husband finds his wife’s value.
So here’s something ironic…
The feminist movement discourages women from being feminine; it encourages women to move away from femininity toward masculinity, and in the process:
· It encourages women to move away from what God says they should be honored FOR.
- It encourages women to have less value.
· It says, “Be like THIS” where you’ll have less value and receive less honor from your husband.
So the words giving honor to the wife actually have encouragement for all of us…
· Ladies, whether you’re young or old, mothers or daughters, you should celebrate being women. Celebrate your femininity. Celebrate the beauty God’s given
you and created you with. Enjoy it and pursue it.
· Husbands, praise and honor your wife. Encourage her in her femininity. Don’t tell your wife to toughen up or try to get her to be less feminine.
· Fathers, raise your daughters to be feminine. This is what will allow them to be honored by their husbands in the future.
· Young men, pursue a godly woman who values femininity and the way God has created her.
Next, please notice the words as to the weaker vessel, and this brings us to Lesson 1, Part 3…
LESSON 1: HUSBANDS TREAT THEIR WIVES WELL BY (PART 3) RECOGNIZING THEY’RE THE WEAKER VESSEL.
Peter identifies women as the weaker vessel, but first, let’s be clear about how women are NOT weaker:
· They’re not weaker morally, intellectually or spiritually.
· I’ve told you before, I think many women are often more spiritual than their husbands.
This is speaking of women being weaker physically. The Amplified says, “honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker.”
But notice it says weak-ER instead of weak. If it said, “the weak vessel” it would mean wives were weak and husbands
weren’t, but it’s worded this way b/c husbands are also weak. So these words shouldn’t make guys feel too tough, since it’s basically saying we’re weak
Now why did God make men physically stronger? He did this for one very simple reason: so men can protect women. Not only should husbands protect their
wives and daughters, we should teach our sons to protect other women and especially their sisters.
The very evil tragedy that takes place is sometimes men use their strength to abuse or intimidate women. God gave men greater strength so they could be
protective, so when men mistreat women, they’re doubly sinning: they’re sinning through their behavior, but they’re also sinning b/c they’re failing to use
their strength for the reason God gave it to them; they’re failing to fulfill the role God has given them as protectors.
Treating our wives as the weaker vessel means making our wives feel safe and protected. Wives shouldn’t feel afraid of verbal, emotional or physical abuse.
This also means it’s not the wife’s responsibility to deal w/ conflict or danger. Every husband, as best as he can should put himself between his wife and
anything that might threaten her physically, mentally or emotionally.
The words weaker vessel are probably also referring to women being weaker emotionally, or we would better understand this as women being
· This means we need to be sensitive to our wives’ needs, fears and feelings.
· This means we’re not going to treat our wives like we treat our guy friends.
Now please think about something for a second…
Wives being emotionally weaker – or more sensitive – is a wonderful thing. If our wives weren’t weaker emotionally – or they weren’t more sensitive – then
guess what they would be more like? They’d be like us! And that would be bad!
· How many husbands in here want to be married to someone…like them? Don’t raise your hand!
· Plus, how many mothers would really be good mothers if they were more like men? You’d have a lot of children running around that are miserable, unfed,
exhausted, and un-nurtured b/c their moms are more like dads.
But here’s what’s unfortunate…
Even though wives being weaker emotionally – or being more sensitive – is a good thing, sometimes we make our wives feel like it’s a bad thing. When we see
our wives getting upset or emotional, we say:
- Why are you so upset?
- Why are you crying right now?
- Why is this bothering you so much?
When we were going over my sermon, Katie reminded me how I used to say, “Are you really crying about this?” USED TO SAY!
And if all this isn’t enough to convince you, please listen to this…
McGill University is a secular school in Montreal, Canada and they put out a report that basically confirmed what the Bible says:
“In the most successful marriages the husband is emotionally stronger than the wife and there is a clear-cut division of authority and responsibility
(and listen to this…)
It was [also] noted that marriages in which wives were emotionally dependent on their husbands almost always produced happier, better adjusted
When the ladies conference takes place each year, I try to make sure I hear a little from each speaker, especially this year since all the speakers were
from WCC. I have to say I felt really blessed as the pastor of WCC to have so many talented female teachers! God’s gifted women to teach women and children
and we have some women very gifted to do so.
I happened to catch Wendy Petta’s message when she was talking about this verse, so of course I became even more interested since I knew I’d be teaching
this in a few weeks. I asked her if I could have her notes, and here’s part of what she said…
“If we are wise, we will take this knowledge & we will use it to our advantage. I’m sure you have heard the saying “they don’t know their own
strength”, well conversely, we as women need to be aware of our weakness, because not knowing our weakness can hurt us! Not knowing our weakness can
cause us as women to think we can handle things we cannot, shoulder things we should not & run ahead of God. Not being aware of our weakness can
also tempt us to come out from the shelter of the safety that God provides through our husbands. Knowing we are weak drives us to the One who is
Strong! It drives us to stay under the protection of our husbands.”
Let me conclude this lesson…
We should appreciate the way God’s created our wives – as the weaker vessel – and that’s really what this is about: it’s about God’s design. To be upset
about the way our wives are, is really to be upset w/ God.
As husbands, we want to recognize our wives are the weaker vessel, and treat them gently, lovingly and patiently as a result. Col 3:19
says Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them (NIV & ESV).
Now please notice the words and as being heirs together of the grace of life, and this brings us to Lesson 1, Part 4…
LESSON 1: HUSBANDS TREAT THEIR WIVES WELL BY (PART 4) TREATING THEM EQUALLY.
This is connected to husbands honoring their wives: remember the word honor means value. The verse actually says husbands give honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel AND AS BEING HEIRS. The idea is husbands are supposed to see their wives as
equals b/c they recognize their value.
These words occur b/c of two truths that have been communicated…
1. First, even though wives are commanded to submit to their husbands…
2. And second, even though wives are called the weaker vessels…
They’re still equal w/ their husbands.
The words heirs together teach husbands that our wives are also our sisters in Christ. Wayne Grudem said, “This
reminds husbands that even though they have been given great authority within marriage, their wives are still equal to them in spiritual privilege and
eternal importance: they are ‘joint heirs.”
So there are two strong encouragements:
1. First, as husbands we should remember we’re married to daughters of the King; we’re married to God’s daughters.
2. Second, the young men should remember that even though young ladies have an earthly father, even more importantly they have a Heavenly Father…and He
knows everything you do – and even think – w/ His daughters.
Now if you need a strong encouragement regarding how seriously God expects men to treat His daughters, please look at the words that your prayers may not be hindered, and this brings us to Lesson 1, Part 5…
LESSON 1: HUSBANDS TREAT THEIR WIVES WELL BY (PART 5) BEING SPIRITUAL MEN.
A theme in Scripture is that our sin can prevent God from hearing us:
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
(Now He tells us why…) Your hands are full of blood.
- Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.
And there’s a very clear sin in the NT that prevents God from hearing the prayers of husbands, and that’s the sin of mistreating our wives. This has to be
one of the most sobering warnings in the New Testament: God wants husbands to know there are spiritual consequences to mistreating our wives.
I’m ashamed to say that there have been times I’ve walked to my office and had to turn around and go home and make things right w/ my wife b/c I knew I
hadn’t treated her the way I should and if I got to my office and prayed God wouldn’t hear me.
The Greek word for hindered means cut down; the Amplified says, “i n order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off.” The word for hindered is used throughout the NT for
cutting down a fruit tree; that’s what the word literally means:
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is CUT DOWN
– that’s the word for hindered.
He said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. CUT IT DOWN.”
Again, that’s the word for hindered.
You say, “Why would God use a word about a fruit tree being cut down to describe our prayers being cut down?”
- It’s picturing our prayers being cut down.
- It’s picturing our prayers being fruitless.
Since God has called husbands to be spiritual leaders, what we need most is for God to answer our prayers. And it’s so important to God that we treat our
wives well, that He says He won’t hear us when we’re not doing that.
Spurgeon said, “ To true believers prayer is so invaluable that the danger of hindering it is used by Peter as a motive…in their marriage relationships.”
There is actually one prayer God will hear when husbands have mistreated their wives:
- It’s the prayer of repentance!
- It’s, “I’m sorry for the way I treated my wife.”
Now here’s the sad truth associated w/ these words for some men…
They have such a low regard for prayer that this warning doesn’t mean much to them:
- It won’t motivate them to be any different w/ their wives.
· Perhaps it’s even a relief to know there are no physical or financial consequences.
Let me tell you one of the reasons this is so terrible…
Verses 1 through 6 were largely about wives submitting to their husbands and…
· Wives are going to have a much easier time submitting to spiritual men…
· Wives are going to have a much easier time submitting to men who truly scared of having their prayers hindered.
Let me give you an example that I hope illustrates this…
If there’s any organization that understands submission and authority it’s the military. Think of the Roman Centurion telling Jesus, “
I am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do
this,’ and he does it.”
People in the military understand authority and submission.
Whatever position you hold in the military there’s someone in authority over you. As a result, everyone in the military always shares the exact same fear,
and it’s this: “Will I have someone in authority over me who doesn’t have his act together?”
If you talk to almost anyone in the military, especially in the branches that involve combat, you’ll be told their greatest fear is being under a poor
commander. And why is that? B/c they’re expected to submit to that commander and they might not trust his leadership.
The reason I’m telling you this is it summarizes the fear some women have:
- Is my husband competent spiritually?
- Can I trust him to lead our family well?
- Will God answer His prayers?”
Last week’s sermon was about the fear wives having submitting to their husbands, and this week’s sermon is about husbands treating their wives well and
dwelling w/ them w/ understanding…and one of the best ways for husbands to do that is by understanding their wives are commanded to submit and doing
whatever they can to make that easier. And two of the greatest ways for husbands to make submission easier for their wives is found in verse 7:
· Loving and treating our wives like verse 7 describes.
· Being spiritual men, who prize more than almost anything having God hear our prayers.
Before we move on, let me give an exhortation to the young men here and the young ladies here…
Young men, what are you doing w/ this season of singleness?
· Are you using it to prepare to be a loving, spiritual husband like verse 7 is describing?
· Are you striving to become a husband that will treat his wife like this verse describes?
· Are you striving to be a spiritual man that your wife will be able to respect and follow?
Here’s what I can tell you for sure: it is not too early for you to be striving to be this type of man!
Young ladies here…
· Are you committed to marrying a man that either is – or is striving to becoming – like verse 7 is describing?
· It’s not too early for you to be committed to that so you don’t settle and spend the rest of your life w/ regret.
Now we’ve reached one of those times I want to go to the Old Testament to look at examples of what we’re discussing, but instead of looking at examples of
what to do, we’re going to look at two examples of what not to do. Verse 7 has told us what to do, and now we’re going to see what not to do.
I wanted to think of an example of a man who didn’t understand his wife, didn’t know how to dwell w/ her in an understanding way and two men came to mind.
Please remember, the OT gives us examples of what the NT discusses. You can think of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments often looking like
· The New Testament tells us what to do or not to do.
· The Old Testament shows us examples of what to do or not to do.
First, please turn to Gen 30…
Here’s the situation…
Jacob had two wives: Rachel and Leah. That right there is part of the problem. Having two wives is obviously inconsiderate and sinful; that’s how you DON’T
dwell w/ your wife – or wives – in an understanding way.
Sometimes people wonder why men in the Old Testament had multiple wives, but it’s descriptive and not prescriptive. In other words:
· It’s describing something that took place.
· But it’s not prescribing what we should do.
Whenever polygamy took place in the Old Testament it always caused serious problems. There are no examples of polygamy accompanied by peace and harmony –
every instance is characterized by turmoil and strife – and there’s no place where it’s condoned by God.
Chapter 30 begins right after Leah gave birth to four sins: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah. But Rachel hasn’t been able to have any children. And in the
Old Testament there weren’t many things worse for a woman than not being able to have children. Many women today would say the same thing. So how do you
think Rachel’s feeling, considering her sister, who’s also happens to be her husband’s wife, just had four sons?
1 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister
(Leah), and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!”
One of the reasons I like this example is it has instruction for husbands and wives…
Like we discussed earlier, women are generally more emotional than men, and this is a fairly melodramatic statement from Rachel: not having any children
was terrible, but she shouldn’t have been talking about dying b/c of it.
Second, who does she hold responsible for her suffering? Her husband!
· Was it really Jacob’s fault she couldn’t have any children? It clearly wasn’t his fault since he’d been able to have children w/ Leah.
· Rachel shouldn’t have talked to Jacob like this; she shouldn’t have blamed him. She should’ve taken it to the Lord.
Here’s the application for wives…
· Do you hold your husband responsible for your suffering?
· When you’re upset do you get upset w/ him?
· If you’re having a bad day, are you going to make sure your husband – or the rest of your family – has a bad day too?
Some wives and mothers do this!
Plus much of her anger stemmed from her sister Leah having children. So her anger wasn’t motivated by something her husband did: it was actually motivated
by her own sin…her discontentment.
Ladies, maybe some of you are discontent w/ your lot in life:
- Do you take it out on your husband?
· Is it planting a root of bitterness in your heart like it did w/ Rachel?
Now w/ all that said, Jacob has the opportunity to be a loving, understanding, sensitive husband. So what is he doing to do? He’s going to pick up his
insert and say:
- How can I dwell w/ my wife w/ understanding?
- How can I give honor to her, recognizing she’s the weaker vessel, and that it’s reasonable for her to be so upset?
- She’s a female and part of her femininity is a desire to have children.
- Yes, covetousness is a weakness of hers, so how can I come alongside her and help her overcome this weakness w/o being harsh?
- We’re heirs together of the grace of life. How would God have me treat her right now so my prayers won’t be hindered?
- I know what I’ll say, I’ll say…
o I am so sorry you haven’t been able to have any children.
o This must be really difficult.
o Let’s pray about this together.
That’s what he could have said. Look at verse 2…
And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
This brings us to Lesson 2, Part 1…
LESSON 2: HUSBANDS MISTREAT THEIR WIVES BY (PART 1) RESPONDING IN ANGER.
His anger was aroused against her?
- NLT Jacob became furious
- ESV Jacob’s anger was kindled
- NAS Jacob’s anger burned
When wives are upset and emotional it can be tempting for husbands to get angry in return, but God commands us to dwell with our wives w/ understanding,
consider why they’re upset, think of them as the weaker vessel, show them compassion, and generally be strong for them.
Now the irony associated w/ Jacob’s words is…he’s right. Everything he said is true! He’s not in control of whether his wife has children.
But he’s still wrong b/c of the way he responded to his wife. As husbands, we can definitely be right…but still be wrong.
While it wasn’t right for Rachel to talk to Jacob like this, it wasn’t right for him to respond this way.
Now please turn to 1 Samuel 1. Let me explain this situation…
A man named Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah, and between these two wives, one of them, Peninnah could have children, and Hannah couldn’t. Are
you noticing a pattern here?
But there’s something about Hannah’s situation that makes it even worse, and that’s Peninnah’s cruelty toward her. It’s bad enough not to have children,
but it’s even worse when your husband is married to another woman who IS able to have children and she throws it in your face…
Please look at verse 6: And her (this is Hannah’s) rival (referring to Peninnah) provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she (Elkanah) provoked her (Hannah – you’re told the same thing twice so you can see how bad it was) ; therefore she wept and did not eat.
Now there’s a difference and similarity between Jacob and Elkanah:
· The difference is Jacob was angry w/ Rachel and responded w/ anger, but Elkanah will actually try to encourage Hannah; he’ll try to cheer her up.
· The similarity between Jacob and Elkanah, is Elkanah didn’t pick up his insert and look at it first either.
Look at verse 8…
8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you
than ten sons?”
This brings us to Lesson 2, Part 2…
LESSON 2: HUSBANDS MISTREAT THEIR WIVES BY (PART 2) RESPONDING IN PRIDE.
Husbands, if your wife is upset, don’t try to cheer her up: Pro 25:20 Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather,
vinegar on soda,
one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
But if you still decide to try to cheer up your wife, please don’t do it like Elkanah did w/ Hannah…
He basically said:
“Why are you crying?”
Remember husbands I told you not to say this…and I know not to say it b/c I used to say it!
“Why aren’t you eating? Why is your heart grieved?”
He knew why, but it wasn’t a good enough reason for him. Talk about not treating your wife as the weaker vessel: he told her, “You shouldn’t be upset about this!”
· Then the king of all insensitive, prideful things to say, “Am I not better to you than ten sons?” Basically, “Isn’t being married to me better than having ten sons?”
He rebuked her for crying and mourning, and then tried to encourage her by saying, “Why are you upset about not having any children when you have me?”
· This is a man who really didn’t understand his wife.
· This is a terrible response to a woman who’s hurting.
What does it look like today for husbands to be like this?
- Look at me! You get to be married to me.
Aren’t you glad you’re not married to so-and-so?
As if I’m so much better than other husbands.
- Look at what I give you.
- Look at all I’ve done for you.
- Look at how I take care of you and provide for you.
All these statements scream of pride and basically say, “You are so lucky to be married to me!”
So husbands, when our wives are upset, let’s make sure we don’t:
· Respond to them in anger b/c we lack patience.
· Or respond to them in pride and tell them all the wonderful things we’ve done for them.
Let me conclude the sermon, by asking the husbands – and I ask myself these questions too:
· Would our wives say we’re interested them and interested in understanding them?
· Would our wives say we honor and value them?
· Would our wives say we treat them as the weaker vessel, understanding they’re more sensitive, and adjusting to that?
· Would our wives say we’re spiritual men who pray w/ our families and encourage them to trust us and respect us?
Let me close by reminding all of us – not just husbands – how Christ treated His Bride, the Church…
J.R. Miller said, “
How did Christ show His love for His Church? (In other words how did Christ treat His bride?) Think of His gentleness to His friends, His patience with
them in all their faultiness, His thoughtfulness, His unwearying kindness. Never did a harsh word fall from His lips upon their ears. Never did He do
anything to give them pain. It was not easy for Him at all times to maintain such constancy and such composure and quietness of love toward them; for
they were very faulty, and tried Him in a thousand ways. But His affection never wearied nor failed for an instant. Husbands are to love their wives
even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself up for it. He loved even to the cost of utmost self sacrifice.”
LET’S REVIEW THESE LESSONS:
HUSBANDS TREAT THEIR WIVES WELL BY…
RECOGNIZING THEY’RE THE WEAKER VESSEL.
TREATING THEM EQUALLY.
BEING SPIRITUAL MEN.
HUSBANDS MISTREAT THEIR WIVES BY…
RESPONDING IN ANGER.
RESPONDING IN PRIDE.
As we close w/ this song, let’s be thinking about how Christ loves us and treats us.
Author: Scott LaPierre