“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 KJV
In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.] 1 Peter 3:7 AMP
God gives specific instructions to husbands and wives that, if obeyed and followed, would lead to a long, happy, and prosperous union. The biggest hindrance to any relationship is an attitude of rebellion against God’s word, an attitude of selfishness, and a tendency to see the splinter in one’s partner’s eyes whilst ignoring the log in one’s own eye (Matthew 7:3). The only person you can change is you! It would be especially useful to remember this before you take the plunge and enter into a marriage covenant with someone with whom you think needs some improvement.
Marriage is not a competition. Neither is it an opportunity to control or manipulate another person. It is not an occasion for one-upmanship. The bottom line is that you can either win – or you can be happy! You have to realize that on the day you said, “I do!” you became teammates on the same team – not opponents on different teams. If you want to win in life, you have to protect the unity of the team. We only win as individuals when we win as a team!
Today, we are speaking specifically to husbands. Many husbands get married thinking that they are going to automatically be the boss and that their wives will just have to submit and do whatever they say. In fact, many of them remind their wives to submit to them on a regular basis, without realizing that they have given her nothing to submit to! Men need to understand that they have a responsibility to love and appreciate their wives. When you were dating, you did not take her for granted – you were trying to impress her. Don’t stop nurturing your relationship just because you are married!
Husbands, love your wives [be affectionate and sympathetic with them] and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them. Colossians 3:19 AMP
Recognize your differences and appreciate them. Women are physically, mentally, and emotionally different from men and this is not a bad thing. We all have our place and function in this world. Men and women were designed to complete one another not compete with one another. It is very important that husbands realize that their wives are physically weaker. This is not an opportunity or a reason for the man to dominate his wife, but rather for him to make sure to protect her and be considerate and gentle with her. Even though you are different in the flesh, you are equal in the Spirit. God does not consider only the outside and therefore treat you differently from each other, but He looks on the heart, sees everyone the same, and treats you the same. In the Spirit the same rules apply to men and to women. On the outside, women may be different from men, but they are definitely not inferior in God’s eyes. Men and women – we all have value.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, 27 That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. 28 Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, 30 Because we are members (parts) of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. 33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. Ephesians 5:25-33 AMP
Husbands love your wives in the same way that Christ loves the church; love her unselfishly; prefer her above yourself; protect her; be prepared to give your life for her; love her like you love yourself; nourish, carefully protect and cherish her; leave your parents physically and emotionally and be permanently joined to your wife; put her needs above your own; learn what she needs; learn what’s important to her; you may never totally understand her, but love and accept her for the unique creation that she is; appreciate her; find out what her love language is; demonstrate your love for her in the way she understands love; be patient; be affectionate; be verbally positive and encouraging; don’t tear her down with your mouth; never harm her physically or emotionally; spend time communicating with her; care about what she cares about; help her in the house and with the kids; bring her gifts on a regular basis (they don’t have to always be huge or expensive gifts, they just need to be thoughtful); take her to dinner; buy her flowers, and dresses, and perfume; kiss her often; hug her; tell her you love her every day.