By Dr. Draper Rogers
Has anyone ever said something you could not get out of your mind? I recently heard Dr. Tony Evans at a Men’s Conference, and he said something I have been thinking about. In speaking about the husband’s role in marriage and the home, Dr. Evans noted that God holds the man responsible for things that happen in his home; even if it is not his fault, he must own it. Upon reading this statement, what was your thought? You may disagree with the idea if you are a man like me. If you are a woman, you may disagree as well.
When it comes to gender roles in marriage, much conflict can arise; why? Because ultimately, we do not like people telling us what to do. Regardless of who it is, we all want to lead, but few want to be followers.
As the Lord has held what Dr. Evans said in my head for weeks, I want to speak on gender roles in marriage. I want to look to God’s Word and allow it to guide us. Lord’s will, I will deal with the husband this week, and next week, I will deal with the wife.
As I was studying the topic of husbands and wives, I read a familiar passage about husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:22-33. However, the passage that has helped me is the Letter that the Apostle Peter wrote. Yes, the entire Letter, not just a verse. The Letter of 1 Peter is estimated to take around fifteen minutes to read. The book is 1,684 words in length.
As I read 1 Peter, I naturally drifted to 1 Peter 3:1-7, where Peter uses the words “wives” and “husbands.” However, in verse one of chapter three, Peter uses the phrase “likewise” (ESV). The word is meant to connect the reader to the previous chapter, chapter two. Once you go back to chapter two, you realize that you need to read chapter one to understand chapter two. Therefore, we find in chapter one that the key to the Christian life is the living hope that we have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Wait a minute, Draper, what does the “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” have anything to do with gender roles in marriage? Everything! A man cannot be the husband God calls him to be on his own or through his efforts. Neither can a woman be the wife God calls her to be through her efforts. You can only be the husband or wife God calls you to be by being born again in Christ. Nothing that Peter talks about in this Letter is possible unless you are in Christ. It does not matter how many books you read on how to be a better spouse, you will modify your behavior, but something will happen. After it happens, you will resort to your old behavior. Our only hope is to focus on Christ and allow him to change us.
Are you in Christ?
Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed God raised him from the dead? Have you repented of your sins and made Jesus Lord of your life?
“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7, ESV)
Guys/Men, I want to draw your attention to one interesting word in this passage. Peter directs the husband to show “honor” to his wife. What does the word “honor” mean here? It means the state of being highly respected or admired.
Great resentments often grow out of small hurts. – Warren Wiersbe
Men, do you respect your boss or friends more than your wife?
Men, your respect for your wife will show your respect for God.
When you give your wife respect, it is not simply a “nice guy” kind of thing to do. Instead, it would be best to respect your wife because she is valuable to you.
Men, in what ways are you showing your wife daily that you highly respect and value her? We just passed Valentine’s Day, and I bet you spent money on her. You could have bought her a pair of new diamond studded earrings, but if you are not showing her that you highly respect and value her daily, you wasted your money. Do not just wait for one day or multiple days a year to show your wife that you highly respect and value her, do it daily.
Men, you will be known and remembered for many things; let one of them be that you highly respected and valued your wife. Not just in words but in action as well.
Men, you are to honor your wife so that God hears your prayers. Look at the last part of verse seven, “so that your prayers may not be hindered.” The word “hinder” suggests that something is not reaching its intended destination. A husband that treats his wife wrong will find himself unfit and unable to pray, not to mention that he will not want to pray. A husband’s spiritual health depends on how he treats his wife.
A husband-and-wife role in marriage is similar yet different. The husband and wife are both called to follow Christ in humble and compassionate love, accepting correction with forgiving grace. However, the husband must dwell with his wife, and he must know her needs and recognize the delicacy of his wife’s nature and feelings.
God will not bless a man who is mistreating his wife.
I love the way one author summed up how men are to behave in their marriage.
“Giving honor unto the wife” does not mean “giving in to the wife.” A husband can disagree with his wife and still respect and honor her. As the spiritual leader in the home, the husband must sometimes make decisions that are not popular; but he can still act with courtesy and respect.
“Giving honor” means that the husband respects his wife’s feelings, thinking, and desires. He may not agree with her ideas, but he respects them. Often God balances a marriage so that the husband needs what the wife has in her personality, and she likewise needs his good qualities. An impulsive husband often has a patient wife, and this helps to keep him out of trouble!
The husband must be the “thermostat” in the home, setting the emotional and spiritual temperature. The wife often is the “thermometer,” letting him know what that temperature is! Both are necessary. The husband who is sensitive to his wife’s feelings will not only make her happy, but will also grow himself and help his children live in a home that honors God.
~ Warren Wiersbe ~
Men, let’s do what God calls us to do.
Dr. Draper Rogers is a pastor with Gardendale First Baptist Church and a contributor to The North Jefferson Herald and North Jefferson Magazine.
You can read all of Dr. Rogers’ columns on faith and marriage at North Jefferson Magazine.