FOR MEN ONLY
By: Willard A. (Al) Meservy
(TO THE MAN WHO IS UNEQUALLY YOKED)
Be to her virtues very kind;
Be to her faults a little blind.
Let all her ways be unconfin'd,
And clap your padlock on her mind.
Prior must have understood a very basic Biblical principle. He understood human nature - one of the few men who seems to understand women. I make no such claim, but I do know that our Father who made us understands. He laid down the methods and principles for us to learn and follow if we want results.
As Fran explained earlier in this book, a personís salvation is not as dependent on them as it is on God's benevolent grace. Our problem is to stop being a hindrance so God can solve the problem that we are facing.
In Luke 19:20, Jesus told a Pharisee that if the crowds kept quiet, God would make the very stones cry out in praise. The trick is to "Let go and let God."
Now, letís look at our part.
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving
honor 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 Pe. 3:7, KJV)
First, in saying likewise, Peter is referring to 1 Peter 2:13-25, which precedes this promise. He is telling us to submit to God's ways as Jesus did and suffer for doing good. Yes, we know the suffering; but, we also know the reward! Knowing this, we can submit our lives and must if we are to receive the promise.
Dwell with them according to knowledge. What knowledge? Knowledge of what our wives have done wrong or what other people have told us? NO! According to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; information found in the Bible and the wisdom of the scriptures. We are to overlook her faults and love her unconditionally. (read chapter "How Quiet" because it explains how the fruit of the spirit works. According to the Bible, you are to teach your wife - this is not quietness.)
Give honor to your wifeÖ. That your prayers be not hindered". (1 Pe. 3:7, KJV).
What is honor? Honor is credit: She must have some good points; otherwise, you would not have married her. There is an old saying "Don't criticize your wife's judgment. Look who she married." Think about it the next time you start to criticize her.
Serving our wives is a type of honor. We serve them by going to work and providing for their needs. In Pr. 31:31 we are instructed to praise our wives publicly for all the good they bring us. We create our wives' reputation by what we say about her. Honor her by telling others the good things about her and what she does well. Tell her how well she is doing in the area she does best. In John 2:1-11, Jesus honored his mother by making the best wine there was. Honor your wife by being the best husband possible.
Wives have positional authority. We should never undermine what they are doing if we delegated them the authority to do it. If we want them to discipline the kids, we should not argue with them about how it is done (especially in front of the kids). We shouldn't sneak around behind their backs and tell the kids to hang in there because Mama is just freaked out or try to hide what they do from her.
Pr 31:31 also says we are to give her the reward she has earned. Our wives earn their keep and we are not to be stingy with them. This is another type of honor.
Show your appreciation for her work in caring for your home and children by taking her out occasionally.
Do you feel like God has forgotten you and your prayers are not being answered? Maybe part of the reason is we do not honor our wives (Read chapters on "Hopeless Prayers" and "Hope in Prayer").
Women have needs that we don't understand because God created them different. He created men to be independent and women to be dependent. We feel secure because we usually provide the income through our skills. But, if we died, our wives probably could not duplicate the income (especially if small children need tending). They need the security that insurance provides to avoid unnecessary worry. Insurance agents play on these insecurities - that's why they talk to the women first. They know the women wanted insurance before the salesman ever showed up. By the way, Decreasing Term is inexpensive and would put her worries to rest. Of course, if our wives are able to provide their own income (enough to take care of all the bills, etc.), they may feel secure without the insurance.
If we make our wives feel secure, they will love us more and be less likely to wander. Do we wander far from that good paying, secure job we have?
Each person is different; therefore, each has different needs. Some needs are universal: the emotional need for security is one of them and, of course, the necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter, etc.). In addition, the obligation to be committed to her and fulfill all marital duties so she will feel loved are obvious. See 1 Cor 7:5.
Some problems are molehills turned into mountains because of the great fears that non-Christians have over all life's problems. But, they are real and we need to take our wives fears to heart and do whatever is necessary to alleviate them. We may not be able to get rid of all of them; but, we can some.
Jealousy is one of these things we must suffer through. We must constrain our lives to meet unreasonable demands until our wives know we love them and are confident of that fact. (Read chapter "Why is He Jealous")
Many things to non-Christians are wants; but they perceive them as needs. Unfortunately, until God reveals Himself to them and they believe, nothing will change this attitude. Again, we must endure this until our Father answers our prayer.
Read the other chapters in this book. They were spawned by the Scriptures, based
on 1 Peter 3:1-6.
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do
not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of
their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty
should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of
gold jewelry an fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading
beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in Godís sight. For this is
the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make
them-selves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah,
who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do
what is right and do not give way to fear. (1 Pe. 3:1-6)These are for women and the one on obedience doesn't apply to men. We are to honor our wives instead of obey. You will find many principles which apply equally to men and women.
Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in
much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep
truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if
there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way,
their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but tem-
perate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one
wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have
served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their
faith in Christ Jesus. (1 Pe 3:8-13)We know this is for deacons; but, it should be our goal to arrive at this point. We should be loving leaders worthy of respect.
We are to use chaste conversation: the words out of our mouths should be clean - never using obscene language or dirty jokes. We should not gossip. We should be blameless, just, and fair. We shouldn't lie to her or do anything that would tempt us or others to lie about our actions. "The hidden man of the heart" should be the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). We should realize that the fruit we bear is probably what she fell in love with in the first place. Use the fruit God gave us to love her into obedience. Jesus loved us into obedience and we are to do for our wives as Jesus did for us.
We are to be meek (read chapters "Who Am I", "Heart to Head" and "How Quiet"). We are not to be afraid: perfect love (God's love) casts out fear. Do we love our wives? There is a way to rid ourselves of the pain caused by anger so we can love again (read chapter "Head to Heart").Be fearless and step out in faith that God will fulfill His promises. "Life After Salvation" is the chapter you will need after your wife is saved.
"Part II: For Men Only" is what your wife will need to read after she is saved.
If your wife is violent or promiscuous read "For Battered Wives Only."
Make your wife the center of your life and pay attention to her. Involve her in your decisions (God said she was your helpmate). When she does something good, praise her by telling her you are proud of her. Value her ideas and judgments. Speak only good things about her whether she is with you or not. Love her unconditionally and God will reward you with a wife created especially for you.