June 21, 2020
Marriages may be “made in heaven,” but the battlefield for a good marriage is right here on earth. Men, I want to tell you what I’ve learned about being a husband and father because, I believe, as goes dad, so goes the home. I sincerely believe the problem in most homes is not with the woman, but probably with a drop-out dad who is failing to be what God designed him to be. I want to give you five things to put into practice, so you can know, when all’s said and done, you’re a successful husband and dad. I say “dad,” because I believe the best thing any father can do for his children is to love their mother. So, gentlemen, we begin with the Word of God in 1 Peter 3.
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:7-9)
Within this one passage are five ways to be a successful husband—five things to do for and with your wife.
I say “practice” because it doesn’t come naturally. Most men are knuckleheads when it comes to this, so let’s put it in easy terms to understand: What does it mean to dwell with a car with understanding? You study the manual that comes with the car. You can avoid the breakdown if you’ll read the manual in the first place. Guys, read the gauges. Save yourself a lot of trouble.
The deepest need of a woman’s heart is to have an intimate relationship with her husband. When surveys ask women what they most want from their husband, the #1 answer is always the same: togetherness with her husband. People think “intimacy” refers only to sex, but “intimate” comes from a Latin word meaning “inmost." It means opening up and sharing. 1 Peter 3:7 says to share that inmost life. God has been saying it since Genesis 2:24, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Becoming one in marriage is like a diamond; it has many facets.
This kind of intimacy includes physical intimacy but goes far deeper than that. It doesn’t come easily. Men, we’re not wired this way naturally, so if you want to be a successful husband, you’d better learn to practice all of these.
…with understanding. (1 Peter 3:7)
Not just live under the same roof, but live together with good sense.
Understand our differences. Guys, you will never change your wife’s basic nature. Accept that men and women are wired absolutely differently physically, emotionally, psychologically. This is not a disadvantage. God made us this way as part of His wonderful plan. We’re equal but not identical. In the beginning, God made us male and female, and the devil has been trying to blur the lines ever since. We have the same worth but different functions.
Knowing this, we men better learn to adjust if we’re going to dwell with understanding.
Initiator vs. Responder. God designed you to be the initiator. She is the responder. By nature, a woman wants a man who will lead in their home. It gives her a sense of security. But if you’re weak and won’t lead, and she has to assume leadership, she’ll become angry and frustrated. She’ll think less of you and less of herself.
“Just the facts” vs. “Here’s how I feel.” Women and men approach situations differently. It doesn’t mean men can’t be emotional and women can’t be factual, but we come at things differently. She might think you’re unfeeling, cold, and insensitive. You may think she’s illogical. She comes to you with a problem, and you just want to fix it, when all she just wants is to tell you about it and have you listen and understand her feelings.
Silent thinker vs. talker.. That’s not to say the thinker can’t talk and the talker isn’t thinking. But both men and women need to work on this. We need more talking thinkers and more thinking talkers.
Fulfillment from work vs. fulfillment from family. A man tends to see his work as an extension of himself. She sees her home the same way. Guys, if you don’t show concern for things at the house and take care of things there, that’s frustrating to her. Something’s wrong.
To all of these, there are exceptions, of course. I’m speaking in generalities. But if you’re not careful to take care of what’s important to her, your marriage will drift apart.
…giving honor to the wife… (1 Peter 3:7)
Intimacy and togetherness are built on valuing and expressing appreciation for your mate. She has exceedingly great value. In their book The Gift of Honor, Gary Smalley and John Trent wrote:
Honor is a decision we make to place high value, worth, and importance on another person, viewing him or her as a priceless gift and granting that person a position in our lives worthy of great respect. And love involves putting our decision into action.
Sir, do you really honor your wife? What kind of an emotional paycheck are you giving her? Have you ever thought about what your wife does? Dennis and Barbara Rainey of Family Life Today made a list of 44 items in your wife’s job description, here are just a few:
meal planner, cook, nurse, counselor, comforter, policeman, judge, settler of internal disputes, wardrobe consultant, seamstress, maid, budget and financial planner, teacher, tutor, cheerleader, spiritual advisor, home environment maintainer
Show you honor her by giving her the recognition she’s due.
Put her on a pedestal.
Let the children know how much you love and honor her.
Praise her in front of her friends.
Verbalize those character traits that make her the wonderful person she is.
…being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
In Jesus, there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, bond nor free (Galatians 3:28). Husbands and wives have equal inheritance as children of God. We are one in the Lord Jesus Christ. Treat your wife as a full partner.
Guys, don’t miss “that your prayers may not be hindered.” This is where most of us fail more than anything else—failing to pray with our wives.
Why do men find that so difficult? Because we’ve got that outer hard shell around us. Most men will get out in the woods and pray to God. They just don’t want to pray with somebody else because you can’t do that without total intimacy and transparency.
A woman wants her husband to pray with her because it says “My husband acknowledges my spiritual worth. He has a genuine interest in my spiritual growth. I’m part of his spiritual life. He wants to be the spiritual leader in our home.” What a release it gives when her husband will pray with her. Learn to pray with your wife.
…giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel… (1 Peter 3:7)
Not the inferior vessel. A porcelain teacup is more fragile than a sledgehammer, but it’s of more value. Deal tenderly and gently with her.
From 1 Peter 3:8-9, "Finally, be of one mind, having compassion for one another…"
Be compassionate. Look at her and say, “I understand and I care.”
…love as brethren…
Your best friend should be your wife. Someone wrote, “Tell me when our friendship stopped and our love began. That’s the secret. Our friendship never stopped.”
… be tenderhearted…
When she hurts, you hurt, because you love her as your own body.
… be courteous…
Our homes need courtesy. Why are we more courteous to those outside than those inside our family? Courtesy is love in little things. These make for tender actions, tender emotions. Love is more than a noun. Love is a verb.
… not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
Do you want to live out this lesson before your children and give them the best gift you could ever give? The most wonderful thing on Earth for our children and grandchildren is a Christian home—the love, the joy, the fun, and the future we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t take anything for it.
The closest thing we have to paradise today is a Christian home. But you can’t have a Christian home without Christians any more than you could have a cherry pie without cherries. You must give your heart to Jesus Christ.
If you’d like to pray to accept Christ as your personal Savior, follow the prayer at this link.