“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
1 Peter 3:7 is a great reference scripture for husbands striving to love their wives unconditionally. Husbands, we have direct commands on how to treat our wives, so that our prayers may not be hindered. If you have been praying to God without avail I would suggest examining how you have been treating your wife. There are only two ways we can treat our wives lovingly or unlovingly. Let’s dive in to ensure our prayers are effective and our wives are loved effectively.
Living With Your Wife in an Understanding Way
Do you know what it means to live with your wife in an understanding way? To understand means you know and comprehend the nature of something or someone. This means you need to first study your wife to be able to understand her needs. How often do you turn off the distractions of this world (cellphones, social media, email, etc.) to hear the heart of your wife? If you cannot remember the last time you heard your wife out then you may want to start here because she will usually tell you how she is feeling and why she is feeling this way.
Your wife is yearning for you to hear what she has to say, so take time to actively listen to what she is saying. Actively listening means she has your full attention inside and out, and you are not thinking the entire time on how to respond to what is being said. It is difficult at times when my wife is pouring out her heart to me because I’m thinking of solutions to try to fix what she’s experiencing. The truth is she does not want me to “fix” her, but she does want to know I care about what she is going through. The next time you want to cut in when your wife is letting you know what’s on her mind…DON’T. Assure her with eye contact you are hearing her out, then when she’s done respond appropriately.
You can actively listen to your wife like never before then disqualify your attentiveness with a dumb response. Responding with words is one thing, but our actions give weight to our words. For instance, if your wife says, “I really just need some help around the house this week because I’m feeling overwhelmed with house chores.” You can say, “I’m going to help you out this week where can I help you the most?” If she tells you on Monday she needs help washing and folding the laundry, and Monday rolls around again without you helping her what are you saying? Better yet what may she be thinking?
Healthy Communication Promotes Healthy Relationships
Anyone can talk the talk but not everyone can walk what they talk. If you really love your wife then tell her through your actions. Do what you say you are going to do, and be honest if you don’t think you will be able to do something. Communication is essentially the heartbeat of any relationship, and many of our relationships are on the brink of flatlining.
To flatline in this sense means the life is gone out of the relationship or the relationship is dead. To my brothers that need a defibrillator for your relationship with your wife here it is…Learn to unselfishly and unconditionally love your wives the same way Christ loves the Church which is His body!
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8 (ESV)
Be gracious to your wife, even when she doesn’t look the way you want her to look, even when she makes mistakes, even when she doesn’t cook, even when she doesn’t clean, even when she’s too tired to have sex, even when you don’t feel respected, even when you don’t feel loved, and even when you don’t feel like loving her. Why? Because while you were yet still a sinner Christ died a death you couldn’t, to pay a penalty you couldn’t, to achieve a salvation you couldn’t, because HE is merciful and gracious. In the same way seek Him so you may know how to love and live with your wife in an understanding way, so that your prayers may be effective!