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July 19 – Sojourner men understand their wives

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. – 1 Peter 3:7

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 3:1-7

Men sometimes joke about the fact that they cannot understand the ways of the woman God gave them. According to God’s challenge in this verse, however, that is unacceptable. We are literally called to know our wives well.

That means a depth of love and intimacy. It means a husband should take the time to know his wife’s thoughts, concerns, fears, what she loves and what she delights in. He should know her vulnerabilities and weaknesses, her hopes and dreams, and her day-to-day frustrations, the challenges of the world, and the promises of God’s Word. He should spend much time with her talking about these things, reflecting and praying together.

He will also honour her as the “weaker vessel.” This is not a put-down. It does not mean she is less than him. Think about a precious vase, beautiful, delicate and significant. This preciousness of his wife must never be abused or taken advantage of. Rather, he honours her for it. He knows she is precious in God’s sight. He knows she is precious to him. He needs her.

No Christian husband and wife would ever presume they could know any of this blessing without a life of fervent prayer. The challenge is that as we often fail in our relationships, our prayers can be hindered. We feel guilty and lose the passion for prayer. Please don’t get stuck there. Confess your sins to one another and to God. You will receive mercy and your prayers will be helped. We are heirs together of the grace of life!

Suggestions for prayer

Is there anything in your relationships that hinders your prayers? Talk about it and pray about it. Confess your failings and draw near to God. If you are married, do it together.

Rev. John A. Bouwers is pastor of the Hope Reformed Church (URCNA) in Brampton, ON, where he has served since December 2017. He is married to Julie and they have been blessed with six children and twelve grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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