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
Husband, it is simply a fact that you married a woman who loves you and needs you. Your wife is your partner, and she wants to be treated like she is a partner.
That is exactly the way God designed marriage in the first place. God intended for your wife to be more than your housekeeper, your bookkeeper, your personal slave, or the babysitter for the children you bore together. God desires that she be your partner in life. Literally, she is to be a co-ruler in the partnership of life.
This is why Peter told husbands in First Peter 3:7 to view their wives as “…being heirs together of the grace of life….” I want you to especially notice the phrase “heirs together.” This phrase is taken from the Greek word sunekleronomos, a compound of the words sun and kleros. As noted earlier (see October 8), the word sun always carries the idea of partnership and cooperation. When the word sun is used in the New Testament, it always connects two or more people into a very vital union.
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The second part of the word, kleros, describes a portion, an allotment, or a part of something that belongs to a person or to a specific thing for which the person is responsible. As time passed, the word kleros later came to denote a parcel or portion of land that was inherited and thus became one’s possession and responsibility.
When the words sun and kleros are compounded as in First Peter 3:7, it carries the idea of two people, a husband and wife, who are joined together in vital union to share life together. They are literally joined to become co-inheritors. The word sunkleromenos means they are partners, not only in marriage but in all the affairs of life. This is a joint venture, a joint partnership, a co-joining of two people into a shared adventure of life.
You see, God intended for marriage to be a joint venture. Whenever a spouse is treated as less than an equal partner, that spouse can become deeply discouraged regarding the marriage relationship. This discouragement, if not corrected, leads to bitterness, hurt, and hardness of heart. This is why it is so essential that a husband learn to esteem his wife as his partner in life, which is precisely who God called her to be. If the husband’s perception of her is anything other than this, he must renew his mind to the truth of God’s Word and learn to value and appreciate her. He also needs to find ways to show his wife that he counts her as his most valued partner and friend.
When a husband and wife treat each other as equal and valued partners in life, they become a powerful team. On the other hand, if a marital relationship is out of order and one or both of the spouses do not value or appreciate each other, First Peter 3:7 says that this out-of-sync condition will “hinder” them when they pray together.
The word “hinder” is the word egkopto, a word used in Greek times to portray the moment when a runner comes alongside another runner and literally elbows him out of the race. Although the runner was previously running a good race, the aggression of a competitor literally breaks in on his race and destroys his effectiveness.
This categorically means that when disruption comes between a husband and wife or when spouses don’t hold each other in esteem, the enemy is able to elbow into their relationship and invalidate the power of their prayers. That is why it is so important that husbands and wives view and receive each other as co-partners and co-inheritors in life. When a married couple see themselves as a unified team, their prayer life becomes powerful and effective. But if they allow their relationship to remain disjointed and disrupted, their prayers will be powerless and ineffective.
Therefore, husband, adjust your thinking to see your wife as your co-partner, co-inheritor, and co-ruler in life. If you are married, you are no longer just one; you have now become inseparably joined to your wife. Isn’t it time for you to start treating her like she is your princess?
Before you got married, you treated her with respect, and that’s the way God expects you to treat her after the wedding as well. So if you have become insensitive or have failed to treat your wife like the equal partner God intends for her to be, don’t you think it’s time for you to ask her forgiveness and then start treating her with the same courtesy and respect you expect her to show toward you?
Never forget — God intended for your marriage to be a powerful partnership. So make the decision today to treat your wife as though she is just as important and significant as yourself!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, help me treat my wife like the partner You intended for her to be in my life. You gave her to me to be a co-ruler and co-inheritor of the grace of life. You placed her at my side to be my helper, my companion, and my partner. You called us together to achieve Your will for our family. I am sorry for the times I have ignored her or unintentionally forgotten to treat her like the partner she is in my life. Starting today, please help me reverse any of my behavior patterns that my wife perceives to be unkind or insensitive. Show me ways to demonstrate to her that she is truly my partner and my co-ruler in this life!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that my wife is my co-ruler in life. She is my helper, my companion, and my partner. God called us together to make an impact in this world. Without her, I am incomplete, lacking all that is necessary to do this job. I acknowledge that I need my wife. I treat her as my equal partner whom God has joined to my life. She and I together make a powerful team, and together we are achieving great things!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Do you treat your wife like your partner in life, or do you treat her like she is your maid, your housekeeper, or your lifelong professional babysitter?
2. How often do you sit down to discuss your plans, your dreams, your future, or your daily schedule with your wife? Does she feel like she is a central part of your life, or does she feel like she is always the last one to be considered and the last one to find out what is happening?
3. If you were really honest with yourself about the way you treat your wife, what changes would you have to make in order to get your marriage in God’s order and make your wife feel like she is a vital part of your life?