How A Husband Treats His Wife
Learn all you can about your wife. You honor your wife by not criticizing her, but encouraging. To honor means to value her opinion. Pray together as heirs of the grace of God.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doin’ all right? Oh I’m fine, I got no complains today. Just happy in the Lord. I generally wake up before daylight, and stir around, and make a cup of coffee, and then come on down in this one room apartment that serves as a, a radio studio, and office for me, in the house that we are buying — us and the bank, (Laughs) here in the Pocono Mountains in Tannersville, PA. And then I sit down before the microphones. It’s, turn on the big timer, and I have the chance again to talk with you. What a privilege that is. Thanks for being there, dear friend. I’m so grateful for the chance just to be together with you, around the Word of God.
And we’re looking these days at 1 Peter, we’ve come to chapter 3. And Peter had a good deal to say to Christian wives. “If you want to win your husband, or having won him to Christ, if you want to nurture him in the things of God, make sure that he sees as he, as he watches you, a holy lifestyle; real respect for him, as a human being; inner beauty that doesn’t depend upon what you can put on; well-doing, you do the right thing, not the convenient thing; and fearlessness, you’re not afraid of anything, or anybody. What a combination! Well, many of you whom I know are exactly that way, and I, I want to just tell you, we thank God for the dear Christian wives here and there, across the country, and across the world, who are standing true to God, and whose lives are an inspiration to their husbands, and their families, and all who know them.
I certainly have been blessed with a Christian wife, and a happy home. I’m so grateful for that, believe me. Now he’s talking to the husbands. And he says, “Likewise ye husband…” Interesting, I don’t know if, if, if we have to accuse Peter of male chauvinism or not, but he spends six verses on women and there’s one verse on the husbands. And then he finally talks to everybody. But anyhow, let’s see what he says to the men. “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them,” that is with your wife, “according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as under the weaker vessel, as being heirs together of the grace of life; in order that your prayers be not hindered.”
Well, that’s quite a mouthful. What does he say? You want to think about that fellows, here for a while? He says, “Dwell with them according to knowledge.” Do you know the average husband never studies his wife; he never gives thought to, to how he could be more of an inspiration and a blessing to her? He just takes her for granted. Now isn’t that true, men? We tend to take our partner for granted. We come home, we expect her to be there; we expect dinner to be ready on the table; the kids to be washed and shushed (Laughs) and ready for supper time; we expect the house to be clean and orderly; we expect our clothes to be in order; we have a fit if we can’t find a shirt. “Where’s my shirt?” (Laughs) Did you ever say that? Ah, yes we take things for granted, don’t we?
He says, “You dwell according to the knowledge.” What does that mean? Study your wife — what makes her happy, and what makes her sad; what encourages her; what are some of the things she would like to accomplish if she had a chance, things in which you might help. Many a wife is discouraged because nothing ever seems to happen the way she dreams it, it would, you know? And if, if you and I would put a little more effort into it, those things could happen. You want to think about that in, in your own, in your own home, in your own connections? Study your wife and see what it is. Now don’t make a federal case of it, and say, “Now I’m going to study you, my dear, what is that…” Oh come on. Just, just keep your mouth shut.
Remember the old Spanish proverb “En boca cerrada no entran moscas.”? The flies don’t enter a closed mouth. So just keep your mouth shut, but your eyes open, and see what it is that you can do that will help, and that will inspire, and that will encourage. Somebody wrote a book some years ago with a little formula in it that, that was supposed to be very helpful, and I think it may well be a good formula for encouraging your wife. It’s an acronym, ‘Best-, B.E.S.T, Blessing, Encouraging, Sharing and Touching.’ Blessing, Encouraging, Sharing and Touching. Pretty good, good way to think about it. You dwell according to knowledge.
Many a person you know, takes for granted, even, even the more intimate side of marriage. You never even gave any thought as to how best to fulfill the desires and hungers of your better half. Do some studying, do some thinking. And see what God would do for you in encouraging this person who is devoting her life to being your partner. That’s what Peter is saying, “Dwell according to knowledge.” Then he says, “Give honor to the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.” Give honor to the wife.
How do you honor your wife? Well, number one, you don’t criticize her. Criticism never changed anybody’s wife or husband, now I can guarantee you that. And some of you can, can say a hearty ‘Amen’ to me at that point because you may have been the victim of a nagging husband or wife. And you know that every time you’re criticized, you just stiffened your backbone and, and determine to do it your way. (Laughs) Isn’t that true?
So if you’re going to give honor to a person you, you don’t criticize, you try to encourage. You’d be surprised how people will improve if you encourage them a little. Catch people doing something right, look for something that you can say, “That’s great!” This is serious business now. Most of us look for mistakes. We look for things we could say, “Ah-ha, you shouldn’t have done that, I told you so.” (Laughs) Resist, resist the impulse to say. “I told you so.” To keep your marriage beaming with love, in the loving cup, whenever you’re wrong admit it, whenever you are right, shut up. (Laughs)
Oh yeah, don’t criticize but encourage. But ‘to give honor to your…’, what does that mean? Brag about her a little, compliment her in public, compliment her in public. If she’s, fixes a nice meal, tell her so. Whether you’re with the rest of the family, or whether you’ve got the boss home for dinner, compliment her. How long has it been since you told her she looked nice? Huh? “Oh,” you say, “We’ve been married for forty years; I don’t do that sort of things anymore.” Well, that’s your problem mister, you know. Compliment her in public, not just in private.
So that… You know, I went to a, a class years ago called ‘Human Engineering.’ And the man said, I remember him saying, “When you give a person a compliment, do you notice that he backs off, backs off away? You think he’s trying to be humble. No,” he said, “he’s just stepping away so you’ll have to speak more loudly, so somebody else will hear it.” (Laughs) Well be that as it may, people appreciate being complimented. Giving honor to the wife.
How do you give honor to a person? You respect his or her opinion. Pretty good idea to say, “What do you think of that, dear? What would you think of this?” Now the male ego is a delicate thing. It’s hard for us, we, we fellows, it’s hard for us to admit that we don’t know it all. (Laughs) Isn’t that true? Come on now, you know that’s true. The male ego is a delicate thing. And some of us need to be stroked more than others, but there it is.
Now you have to get over that hurdle, to a point where you can sincerely say, concerning a decision, “What do you think dear?” Giving honor to the wife. “What do you think? What is your opinion?” You’d be surprised how the, how the domestic weather might improve if now and again you would ask for, for an expression of opinion, with the knowledge that your ma-, your wife probably is, is right about it.
You see, women have a instinctive way of getting at the truth. We men, we noodle about it, and we think about it, and we think we’re being logical. And in the meantime your wife has already arrived at the conclusion, and is probably right. In any case, giving honor means ask for her opinion now and again, and listen to her. Well, what did I say? Respect her, don’t take her for granted, study her, find out what blesses her and, and what distresses her, give her credit for, for the things that she does, compliment her, encourage her. Giving honor to the wife. Good idea fellows? You try it.
Then he says “As being heirs together, of the grace of life.” The two of you between you are God’s repository of the grace of life. And from your union comes the new little life that He creates. ‘Heirs together of the grace of life’. The fact that you are living together is part of God’s extension of grace. I have to look at my own marriage; we’ve been married 54 years now — in September of this year it was 54 years. 1935, when we said ‘I do’. I was so glad to get married, that when the preacher said, “I pronounce you man and wife.” I said, “Amen.” (Laughs) Well, look back and see the fact that the essence of a life together is that it is an extension of the grace of God to you.
And so many times you have to look up and say, “Thank you Lord, that you just did it that way.” Yeah. ‘Heirs together of the grace of life’. Share your togetherness under the umbrella, not of your romantic feelings, because romance fades oftentimes. Not under the umbrella of your romantic feelings, but under the umbrella of the grace of God. Your relationship with the other part of your life, that dear lady who shares your life, is an extension not of your feelings, but of your God’s grace. You’re responsible, both of you, to Him. Heirs together, of God’s grace in your life. It’s quite a concept, isn’t it?
Now why do you that? He says, “If you don’t, your prayers aren’t going to do, get any farther than the ceiling. Your prayers will be hindered if you don’t share your life together, under God. Now that’s the reason that we emphasize when young people get married, start a family alter right away. Don’t let a day go by but that you pray together, that you share the presence of God, that you seek God’s blessing upon your life as you approach the throne of grace. Start a family alter, pray together. Why? Because if you aren’t together in the grace of God, you drift apart in everything else.
If you’re not together in enjoying the grace of God, you tend to drift apart in everything else. That your prayers be not hindered, pray together. How long has it been since you prayed with wife or husband? Long time? Well you can always start. Start right now, and have a little time of prayer. Doesn’t have to last forever. But a sincere prayer that commits you, and your life, and your loved ones, and your work, and everything to God, will make a great yield of difference in the domestic weather, I promise you.
Dear Father today, oh help us to live together with our spouses as under the grace of God. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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