Trusting God for finances?
Telling the truth?
Living free of fear?
Reigning in your anger, bitterness, wild tongue, or sexual drive?
Obeying God in winning the lost?
Nope . How about this: “ Husbands…be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life…” (I Pet. 3:7a).
You’re thinking, “Nah, it can’t be THAT! Yeah, it really is. Because God warns us that if we don’t get this one right He cuts us off in terms of responding to our prayers. That is, He reaches down and turns off the valve. We are now on our own.
So here is what He expects from us:
- To live considerately with our wife. Simply put, that means picking up our underware off of the floor, helping her with the dishes and the kids, compassionately listening to her heart and respecting her feelings. Being considerate means viewing her as precious, and treating her with dignity; holding her in high esteem. Ephesians 5 tells us:
– To love her as Christ loves us – After all, He sacrificed Himself for us at Calvary. (vs. 25)
– To nourish and cherish her as Christ does us, and as we do our own body. (vss. 28, 29)
- To honor our wife .
– To respect her as physically weaker. You know, do the heavy lifting around the house. Just because you can put in 14 hour days does not mean she can…or should. Honoring her means taking out the garbage before she asks you. It means choosing to be a gentle man. It means looking for ways to make life easier for her. And how about giving her a bouquet of flowers once in awhile with an endearing note?
– To respect her as a joint heir with you of eternal life. Guess what? The male chauvinistic culture does not exist in heaven. There she will be on equal status with you. To avoid culture shock, you may want to start practicing honoring her now as your equal!
Back to God cutting off the valve: If we choose not to consider and honor our wives, Scripture informs us that our disobedience will “ hinder [our] prayers.” That is, God will intentionally cut off and frustrate them. (I Pet. 3:7b)
CHALLENGE : There is no greater test of your true character than in how you treat your wife. Lose here and you can write off any illusions of influencing your world for Christ. Get it right in this wonderful, but challenging relationship, and the world (spiritually) is your oyster: “ Jerusalem…Judea…Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Act. 1:8b). Are you man enough to step up to the plate on this one? I am confident that you are.
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill