This post is by a man who I consider a mentor Dr. Dan Owen. His posts will appear on the site periodically. Dan is a tremendous student and teacher of God’s word.
Help! Marriages are dissolving daily! Even Christian people are often struggling to keep their marriage relationships positive. Among the great Bible passages that offer help for better marriages is 1 Peter 3:7, “Husbands, in the same way 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, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” There are three main ideas in this passage that will help us relate more positively to our mate.
First, the apostle says, “Husbands…be considerate as your live with your wives.” This command certainly also applies to wives. The New American Standard translates it, “live with your wives in an understanding way.” Several things are implied by this command. It implies a commitment on the part of one spouse to understand the other. This commitment arises out of agape love, a basic concern for the satisfaction, security, and positive development of the other person. This commitment also implies the need for communication because without communication there can be no understanding and without understanding there can be no real consideration.
Good communication takes plenty of time and undivided attention. It takes place when couples can focus completely on each other without distraction. Many couples are so involved in their own individual work, recreation, and social activities that they have little or no time with one another. Some even make up excuses to avoid spending time with each other. In order for communication to take place and understanding to follow, both parties the marriage must make time intentionally to be together and listen to one another. Conversations must be non-threatening, balanced, and geared toward informing, investigating, and understanding one another. Couples must be honest about how they feel and seek real steps to address one another’s needs. Your spouse knows you are listening when your conversations are followed by positive actions to address the needs that are expressed.
Our passage also says that we are “joint heirs of the grace of life.” We are equal partners in the good things of life. Couples who try to understand each other and act considerately will not be selfish with money, possessions, vacations, or any other blessing of life, but will consider one another. Are you being considerate and sharing the good things with your spouse.
Finally, our passage gives the reason for doing these things in marriage. It says, “So that your prayers will not be hindered.” When we are not behaving properly toward our spouse, it hinders our relationship with God. We can’t have a good relationship with God if we are not trying to live considerately with our spouse. Let’s commit ourselves to do what it takes to listen, understand, and live with our spouse in an understanding way!
Please help us to live with each other in peace and harmony, with consideration for our spouse. Help us to work at having good marriages by putting you first in our individual lives.
In Jesus Name,