There are 3 simple duties that men, as husbands to their wives, should be doing daily. How easy to forget; how unfortunate to do so. ♦
In the context of justifying my very busy recent business schedule, a Bible passage from one of the apostle Peter’s letters from the New Testament was highlighted to me by one of my own sons. The passage speaks to both wives and husbands, but I was specifically convicted by the word and guidance to men as husbands:
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
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. – 1 Peter 3:1-7
This passage, in alignment with other Bible text and themes, is fairly clear for woman: submit, respect, even honor your husband. And if your husband is not a believer (many couples in the early 1st century church did not initially share the same faith), stay loving and beautiful in behavior and appearance, gentle, kind and reverent. Be strong and hopeful, obedient to God and your husband.
Great wives do that. They don’t nag or berate. They love and submit under the authority of their husband as God designed.
A Convicted Husband
By the way, if you’re cringing at this notion of submission, consider this true story told by George Muller, a 19th century Christian evangelist:
There was a wealthy German whose wife was a devout believer. This man was a heavy drinker, spending late nights in the tavern. She would send the servants to bed, stay up till he returned, receive him kindly, and never scold him or complain. At times she would even have to undress him and put him to bed.
One night in the tavern he said to his cronies, “I bet if we go to my house, my wife will be sitting up, waiting for me. She’ll come to the door, give us a royal welcome, and even make supper for us, if I ask her.”
They were skeptical at first, but decided to go along and see. Sure enough, she came to the door, received them courteously, and willingly agreed to make supper for them without the slightest trace of resentment. After serving them, she went off to her room. As soon as she had left, one of the men began to condemn the husband. “What kind of a man are you to treat such a good woman so miserably?” The accuser got up without finishing his supper and left the house. Another did the same and another till they had all departed without eating the meal.
Within a half hour, the husband became deeply convicted of his wickedness, and especially of his heartless treatment of his wife. He went to his wife’s room, asked her to pray for him, repented of his sins, and surrendered to Christ. From that time on, he became a devoted disciple of the Lord Jesus. Won without a word!
3 Duties for Husbands
I see 3 duties for men relative to their wives in the 1 Peter 3:7 passage:
1. Live with your wife
This can literally can be translated “dwell with your wife.” A husband needs to be home, present and available. We men are busy, working, traveling, preoccupied with toys, sports, cars, hobbies, friends, even ministry. We’re into many things that bring escape, pleasure and satisfaction. As a husband, I need to step back into the home and live with my wife. Full attention. She needs me. For those with families, your children need you home.
2. Love, cherish and respect your wife
She is to be seen and appreciated as the precious vessel that she is, fragile and beautiful as designed. A partner in life sharing the treasures and fruit of your union. Don’t miss a day of thoughtful consideration of the gift that is the wife of your youth.
3. Pray with your wife
I believe the prayers of both husband and wife are hindered when there is strife in the marriage. Men, don’t let that happen. It is our duty to head up the home, marriage and family in godly obedience and prayer. Pray with her, and for her, and watch her and your family blossom and thrive.
When I return home this week from my travels, even in the midst of a busy life, I will confess my selfish ways and reset on these simple but highly impactful duties as a husband. She deserves nothing less than my full attention, love and devotion.
Men, are you a good and godly husband?
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. – 1 Peter 3:7