Scripture Passage: 1 Peter 3:7-9
God’s plan for marriage is for husband and wife to become one flesh, totally together as one. In order to be this intimate, men and women must have constant, healthy communication. 1 Peter 3 offers four steps to total intimacy and total togetherness in marriage.
Husbands must dwell with their wives thoughtfully: “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel...” (1 Peter 3:7). Men and women are equal in worth before God, but they are quite different and do not serve the same function. Neither is better or worse—God put these differences in us to complement each other.
Men are designed to be initiators, while women are designed to be responders.
Men and women are also different in thought. Generally, men tend to think logically, while women tend to think emotionally. Men tend to be inward thinkers, while women tend to be outward talkers. Men tend to be more goal-oriented, while women are generally more relationship-oriented.
We must understand our differences and give thought to the other in our communication.
We must also dwell together thankfully; we should be in the habit of expressing appreciation for each other, to each other.
Adrian Rogers says, “Happy is the man who learns how to express thanksgiving. Nothing will do more to intimacy in a marriage than for you to recognize those character traits and achievements in your wife and give honor to her.”
Couples must also communicate their trust in each other, understanding they are “heirs together of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7).
Husbands must value their wives’ opinions and transparency, so that their wives may speak into their circumstances without fear of retaliation. One way we do this is by praying for each other, with each other.
Finally, we must express tenderness: “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous…” (1 Peter 3:8).
This passage calls wives the weaker vessel—this does not mean they are inferior, rather, that they are more delicate and should be handled with tenderness, physically and emotionally. We must love in the little things, dwell together as one flesh, and allow our homes to become colonies of Heaven.
God’s Word gives practical insight to reach total togetherness in marriage; if we communicate thoughtfulness, thanksgiving, trust, and tenderness, we can reach total intimacy.