Knowing and Honoring Your Wife
On Father’s Day, we looked at God’s word for Fathers and came away with three charges: Fathers are to pursue Christ, honor their wives, and train up their children. When considering the call to honor our wives, we honed in on 1 Peter 3:7: “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.” We honor our wives because they are the heirs with us of the grace of life. Knowing that my wife belongs to Jesus and will reign with him for all eternity reminds me who I am ultimately accountable to and reminds me of my wife’s dignity in the eyes of the Lord that I am called to uphold.
How am I to honor my wife well? Peter gives us the answer in this verse. We are to live with our wives in an “understanding way.” This phrase literally means “according to knowledge.” That means that I have to be equipped with some knowledge in order to love and honor my wife well. It is important for me to have knowledge of God’s word but also to have knowledge of my wife. Men, we need to study our wives and know them well in order to be the kind of husband that we are called to be. You can’t honor your wife without knowing her well. I need to know what makes her feel treasured, cared for, and loved. I need to know what she struggles with and what are her anxieties. I need to know about unmet expectations that she has of me. I need to know what she longs for, dreams of, and hopes for.
On Sunday I shared a series of questions that I posed to Meredith so that I can have the knowledge that I need in order to love her well. Here are those questions:
1) Is there any way that I have hurt you in this past year that I have for whatever reason neglected to ask for your forgiveness?
2) What are your biggest needs from me this coming year?
3) What are some tangible ways that I can help you better in parenting our children?
4) What do you think are some hindrances to our having a healthy vibrant marriage and family?
5) What are some tangible ways that I can make you feel loved and cherished this coming year?
6) In what areas do you think that I can lead our family better? Spiritually, relationally, socially?
7) What are some things on your heart that you have kept in and desperately want me to know or listen to you?
I cannot overstate how important it is for you to regularly ask your wife these types of questions. They allow you to know what's in her heart and to know yourself and your triggers. This knowledge equips you to love and lead your wife well.