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1st Peter 1:1-9 1st Peter 1:7-19 1st Peter 1:20-25 1st Peter 2:4-15 1st Peter 2:15-25
1st Peter 3:1-6 1st Peter 3:7 1st Peter 3:8-22 1st Peter 4:1-19 1st Peter 5:1-14

 

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1st Peter 3:7

 

"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."

 

Marriage, Part 2

 

In Review

 

"Last Wednesday we took the first six verses here in 1st Peter chapter 3 and talked about wives and their responsibilities, so I see a few of you who weren't here, so we'll back up and start over again, [laughter], no, you can get the tape.  If you can't afford it, your husband will buy it for you.  Ah, we are looking at the roles of husbands and wives, and by the way I'm not preaching this, this is a disclaimer, because I've got it all nailed down.  I'm pretty good, you can ask my wife (she's not here tonight), but you can ask her.  But because these things are true, is why they're important.  And there has never been a husband who has loved his wife the way Christ loves the Church, that never lowers the standard.  There has never been a wife who has done it perfectly, that never lowers the standard.  And we are in a culture that is at war with all that's sacred, with family, with marriage.  And these things are important.  Sometimes, you know, my wife will say to me, 'You should teach on marriage.'  I know I'm doing pretty good when she says that to me, because sometimes she says to me 'You call yourself a pastor and you act like that!?'  But she's saying to me 'You should teach on marriage,'  and I think, 'ok, I'll teach it when I get to it, I'm not a marriage guy like Dobson or some of these guys,' like these marriage guys, that's what they do, I just kind of like the Bible, and I like teaching through the Bible, and if I run out of things to say on one verse, I go to the next verse, it's great, it takes about ten years to get through the Bible that way, and go all the way through.  But we're looking here at what the Lord says through Peter in regards to marriage.  There are lots of different views, just some quotes. For those of you who weren't here last week I quoted, and I don't remember where they're all from, but I know that general Montgomery of the British army said to his young men, "Men, never think about marriage until you have conquered the art of war."  Ah, just one man's perspective.  Another man said, "Every woman should marry an archeologist, so that the older she gets the more interested he'll become."  Marx said this, not Karl Marx, Groucho, "He who would keep a happy wife, should keep his mouth closed and his checkbook open."  Now that's not good advice because he went through a lot of wives, so obviously he didn't know how to do it.  LBJ, Lyndon Banes Johnson our President said, "Only two things are necessary to keep a wife happy, one, let her think she's having her way, two, let her have her way." [laughter]  Abe Lincoln, said "Marriage is neither heaven or hell, it's simply purgatory."  Whoever is married here finding their little angle of sick humour on this, I know.  An unknown author said "Love is blind, and marriage restores its sight."  [laughter]  A Greek proverb from the time of Paul, 2,000 years old, it said, "Marry in haste, and repent at your leisure."  The laughter moves around the room, depending on when it strikes, 'Oh I get it!'  A Chinese Proverb, and I like this one, it says, "Married couples who are truly in love, can tell each other a thousand things without talking."  My wife can do that.  Another unknown author said, "The most difficult year of marriage is the one you're in."  An ancient Chinese Proverb again said this, "Marriage is our last and best chance to grow up," because marriage is a terrible environment for selfishness, and growing up is the opposite of selfishness.  You see a baby, you know isn't it a good thing babies are cute?  Imagine if they were ugly and acted like that.  Because they don't give a hoot about your life.  They want one thing, and that's what they want.  And if they weren't cute, it would be tough.  And you don't mind it when they're 8 lbs and 21 inches, but when they're six foot and 180 lbs and act like that, well it's another thing.  But it's the last and best chance to grow up.  Again, Ruth Bell Graham after sixty years of Billy Graham was asked 'What is the most difficult thing about marriage?' she said, "It's so daily."  I understand.  A jewelry store in Hollywood had this sign in the window, "We rent wedding rings."  Great commentary on Hollywood, and how fragile marriage is in our culture.  Robert Lewis Stevenson, great author, said, "Marriage is one long conversation interrupted by disputes."  Marriage, mawage, Peter begins in verse 1 by saying "Likewise," he's referring back to chapter 2, verse 13, where it says, "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake..." and he goes on to describe those things we should submit to.  Verse 18 he says, "Servants," or employees, "be subject to your masters with all fear..."  Verse 23, speaking of Christ himself, that he committed himself to the one who judges righteously, Jesus offered himself, according to the predeterminate counsel and foreknowledge of God, that it was somebody else's plan he yielded himself to, and sacrificed himself.  That there's order in all of these things.  And then Peter says "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands..."  And again, he's not saying 'Women, be subject to men.'  The Bible doesn't say that.  If you're engaged to somebody, and they say you're supposed to submit to him, that's stupid.  Don't let any boy, he would be a boy if he told you that, don't let any man tell you that, that you need to submit to him while you're engaged.  [If that's what that guy is telling you, you most definitely don't want to get married to that guy, he just disqualified himself.  Marry him at your own peril.]  When you get married you have a marriage, before that, you don't, you submit to Christ.  Ah, this is husbands and wives that it's speaking of.  "be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word" "a word," small "w", the mouth of the wife, "be won by the conversation [lifestyle] of the wives; while they behold" look at "your chaste conversation [lifestyle], coupled with fear" reverence, respect, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting of hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." (verses 1-4)  Meek simply means, has the idea of not causing trouble to others.  It's not just meek, non-personality.  Quiet spirit is tranquil.  That's the idea here, not troublesome.  "For after this manner in old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:  even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord:  whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." (verses 5-6)  Culture has changed, but you can still call your husband "lord" with your attitude, you don't have to call him "lord."  "lord Joseph," my wife is glad of that.  "whose daughters ye are," notice, "as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement."  So we talked about this last week, love and respect, that what the Scripture asks of the wife is that she would respect her husband.  There is not a verse in the New Testament that tells the wife to agape' her husband, nowhere.  And there's all kinds of conferences, everything, on loving one another.  There is nowhere in the New Testament where the wife is commanded to agape' her husband.  In Titus it says 'Let the aged women teach the younger women to love, phileo, to be fond of, be friends with their husbands.'  But God doesn't command a woman anywhere in the New Testament to agape' her husband.  And the reason is, he doesn't have to command you ladies to do something you were designed to do, you're going to do that anyhow.  What he does command you to do, is to respect or to reverence your husband.  Husbands, on the other hand, are commanded to agape' their wives, they're under a divine command.  They would probably respect them, but a wife wants to be loved.  So the design is there on God's part.  Love and respect, there's quantitative research today, by leading researchers, that say, unsaved psychologists, that say in their findings, love and respect are the two most important things in marriage [and that was all thoroughly covered in the last transcript, so go back and read it if you haven't already].  So it isn't just Solomon or Paul or Peter or the Scripture, these things are current related to the things we go through today.  If you look at the Church out there, and all the different denominations, what calls itself the Church, the truth is, the part of the Church that is genuinely submitted to Christ is a church that is endued with great power, that accomplishes great things, that has great worth.  What calls itself the Church out there that is not submitted to Christ is a mess.  And likewise are the wives, there's order, there's order in government, there's order in employer/employee relationships, Christ himself was submitted to the will of God.  So let wives take the place that God has designed for them.  And then when we get to verse 7, it says "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them" your wives, "according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel," girls, don't leave, we'll get there, "and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."  Isn't it interesting, six verses for the wives, and only one for the husbands.  And I wonder about that.  I think because, you know, it says in 1st Corinthians 9:5, Paul says, 'Don't we have the right to take with us a wife, a sister like the other apostles, even like Cephas?'  Peter traveled to the end of his days with his wife.  She was taken out and martyred in front of him, she was with him all the way to the end, Perpetua her name.  P e r p e t u a, I believe.  Clement tells us his wife's name.  And she was with him till the end.  And I think probably when Peter, they sat down together, and he wrote these things, and he said, 'Honey, what about the husbands now?'  She probably said, 'Honey, keep it simple, you know how they are.'  The wives will not get confused with six verses, but if you do that to the husbands, they'll never get it down.  So there's one verse here, and it says we are to care for their physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well-being, it's all contained in one verse, in regards to the way a husband should care for his wife.  The first thing it says here is that, men, we are, now I'm talking to husbands, if you're not married, you're a teenager, listen up, maybe you'll think twice before you do this, when you understand the seriousness of it.  And I think there needs to be thought in it.  One author I read, he said both hanging and marriage are by divine appointment, God's sovereignty either way he said.  I think he was facing the gallows. 

 

1. Husbands, 'Dwell,' Spend Time, Live With Your Wives

 

'Likewise you husbands, dwell with them,' first thing it says, number one, no-brainer, husbands, you want to get married?  You have to live with them if you marry them, "dwell with them," only time it's used in the New Testament, the Greek word 'sunoikeo,' "sun" means with or together, "oikeo," to live or to dwell with,'  it means to settle down or live together with them. [Strongs #4924, sunoikeo]  It speaks of time.  Husbands, come home, spend time with your wife, if you're going to take a wife, you are to live with her.  There are wives who never see their husbands, because they're married to work, they're married to success, they're married to career, they're married to hunting or fishing.  First thing it says, is, you have to live with them, you have to dwell with them, you have to be with them.  Husbands dwell with them, settle down is the idea, and be with them.  And I assume as we go through this, this is all part of agape', the divine love that God orders the husband to have towards the wife, because it says "we should love our wives the way Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it."  The primary thing that Christ did was he entered into our world.  The incarnation, how did he love the Church?  He entered into our world, and he died there.  And husbands, if you're going to be successful in your homes, you need to enter into your wife's world, and die there.  And that sounds simple and trite, it isn't, it's a lifelong process.  He was Emmanuel, God with us.  The first thing it says here, is 'we have to be with them.'  And the only time this word is used in the New Testament, 'to dwell together with,' husbands dwell together with your wives.  They're interested not in a definition, but a demonstration of what love is.  My wife doesn't care if I give her the dictionary definition of agape', she wants it demonstrated.  And she's not perfect, it doesn't say 'husbands love your wives because they're perfect,' and now wives, it doesn't say 'respect your husbands because they're perfect,' either.  This is unconditional love, agape [toward the wives], and it's unconditional respect in the other direction.  You don't love your wife because she's perfect, or you'd never love her.  It's the kind of love that Christ had toward the Church, that he has towards me.  I don't want Jesus just to  love me because I'm perfect, or he'd never love me.  He loves me because of his grace, he loves me because he sees what I'm going to be, he's a God who calls things that are not as though they were, and he's begun a good work in me.  And because he's done a good work in me, he loves me unconditionally.  We have to understand our wives are also joint-heirs of God's grace and forgiveness, and they are in-process.  And we don't love them the way Christ loves because they deserve it, you know, we've drawn some graph and they've measured up.  No, it's because that's the way he loves, that's the way he loves me.  When I make a mistake I go to him, 'Oh Lord,' I remind him of what his own Word says, 'If we confess our sins, you're faithful and just to forgive us, and cleanse us.'  I know all the verses, because I use them quite often.  That's the way we're to love our wives.  Jesus, when he washed the disciple's feet, he said, 'Do you know what I'm doing?'  He said, 'You don't have need that I wash your whole body, because anybody whose received my Word is saved, he's cleansed, it's your walk, your feet,' how many times we need to be picked up and dusted off?  And that's the way he loves the Church.  That's the way we have to love our wives, and we have to understand that if we're going to dwell with them. 

 

2. 'Dwell With Your Wives 'According To Knowledge'

 

How do we dwell with them?  He tells us here, the next phase of that, it says "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them" and then it says, "according to knowledge,"  According to knowledge, there's some things we need to understand.  And it isn't, it's not gnosko in the sense of we just have knowledge about what a woman is, it's a different word, it's gnosis, it's the only time it's used in the New Testament, and it means "mental understanding."  [Strongs # 1108, gnosis, knowledge, science]  It means intellectually we are to understand our wives.  There's certain things, if you're going to be married, you need to understand about your wives.  You do not need to understand why the way that they are.  You will never understand that. All you need to understand is that they are the way they are. [Comment:  Pastor Joe is kind of copping out on this point with that last statement.  Some of that can be understood, and it's thoroughly explained and made plain at this link, denoting the 5 needs of a woman, and five needs of a man, and how they are complementary to each other, essential "knowledge" we are to have about women, wives.  Most women understand the things listed there intuitively, men don't, and need to know them.  See, http://www.HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.COM.  It contains this essential information that helps us dwell with our wives with knowledge, gnosis, knowledge, science."]  That's vastly different.  When we first got married my wife would also say 'You don't understand!  You don't understand.'  And I would say 'Yes I do!  I do understand!  Want to put on the gloves, I understand!  Don't tell me I don't understand, I do understand!'  Well after many years, I understand now that I don't understand, why she is the way she is.  That was a divine work, and his ways are above my ways, they're past finding out.  She responds to things differently, she thinks of things differently, she's different, she's different.  Now I enjoy some of those differences, and I complain about others.  But God's never asked me to figure out intellectually and understand why she is the way she is, he's just asked me to understand that she is the way that she is.  And that's by his design.  And I know that.  She was a normal human being when I married her.  I know that.  That was before four kids and 26 years of marriage.  It's funny, because you meet and you fall in love, and marriage has different stages to it, it's always morphing.  Just when you think you've got comfortable with something, then something else happens.  You get married, and then kids come, and when your first child is born, you're an outsider, it's her and that kid, you're the gofer, 'Would you go for this, would you go for that?  Would you pick this up?  Would you do that?'  When the second one comes, she softens towards you a little bit, again.  It's not as dramatic.  Again, the nook falls on the floor you don't have to boil it anymore, you just stuff it back in one mouth because the other one's screaming.  When the third one comes, your wife returns.  Because it's two of you against three of them.  And you have to join forces to survive.  When the fourth one comes, all of that is very secure, you're back together.  And then what happens, my wife, because she bore the primary responsibility when they were young, she learns to think differently.  I mean, I think of the big picture, I think, you know, how much the house is going to cost, what's inflation, how much am I making this year, what's happening with this, where are we going to go.  And she learned to think in increments, because she had these creatures in the house, who if you don't watch them every second they will end up dead.  They will kill themselves.  They pick stuff off the floor and put it in their mouth, they need helmets, I mean, just look what they do to themselves.  And she learned to sustain their lives, to think that way.  And then the funny thing is, they get big and they say, 'Why is she like that?  Why does she worry about everything?'  'You made her that way!  She was normal when I married her, you made her that way.  And you were the worst out of all of them.  You really sent her over the edge.' 'I mean, don't worry about her, what about you, and you didn't look that good from the start.  You came out with that face, put it back.'  And then twenty years later you're married to the same person, but in ways, they're not the same person, because Christ has been working all of those years, to conform that person into the image and likeness of his own Son.  If we love our wives the way Christ loved the Church I think we'd perceive, you know, Kathy is different, she has different needs, she has different perceptions in different situations.  What makes her secure and feel secure is something different than what makes me feel secure.  And I have to look at those things, I have to understand her moods, her feelings, her stress-level.  I have to anticipate.  The wonderful thing is if I'm perceptive enough to anticipate and do something, if I actually take what she considers initiative, and I do something before she asks, 'Oh, honey, thank you, that was so nice.'  And I don't have to understand why she thinks what she thinks about that, I just have to know that she does.  To live with her and do that, according to understanding.  Very important to her, understanding.  Genesis chapter 2, verse 18, where God says 'It's not good for man to be alone, I'm going to make you a helper that's meet,' King James "meet", "suitable" some translations say, the Hebrew word has the idea of "co-responding," she's the co-respondent, she responds the other way in any given circumstance.  And God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and took something from his side.  We know the Hebrew is not real clear, we say a rib, but he took something from Adam's side, and with that he made Eve.  Eve had the same DNA, the same genes, the same chromosomes, they were more alike than any identical twins that have ever been born, in one sense.  And there was something missing from him, and he was only complete as they were together, 'For this reason shall a man leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife, the two shall be one,' and Kathy completes me.  I have to understand that, because if you don't understand that, if your wife is your co-respondent, in our immaturity, we perceive that as conflict, I say one thing, she says another.  If I say left, she says right.  I say this is the fastest way to go, she says no, that's the fastest way to go.  I say up, she says down.  She's my co-respondent.  And something in that is, you know, it's divine.  She sees things that I don't see, she's sensitive about things I'm not sensitive to.  She perceives things that I don't perceive.  We go in and out of here sometimes in church, and she'll say to me 'Did you see this?  Did you see that?  Did you see this?  Did you see that person?  Did you see this?'  I'm thinking, 'I didn't see any of that stuff, you're in Calvary Chapel, I'm the same pastor, you saw all that stuff?'  And I think, 'If I was wired like her, I would jump out a window.'  But believe me, she makes me sensitive to those things, she sees so many of those things, she has the gift of mercy and she has the gift of helps, and so many of the things that go on in regards to mercy go on because of her gifts and what she sees.  And she looks good, because I'm just kind of plodding through life.  I'm immune to most of my surroundings.  I love the Word, I love to teach the Word, and I bring consistency to our home, just like an ox.  And it's an important contribution.  Ladies, your husbands make an important contribution there.  But she's different. 

 

Knowledge Of How And Why Women Communicate The Way They Do

 

Her sensitivities are different, and she needs me to listen to her.  Isn't it amazing that Christ listens to us, he's on the throne, and any time we get on our knees, and the times we sit and pray, any time we go to him, we have his audience.  Isn't that amazing.  We're to love our wives that way.  You know that sometimes Kathy comes to talk to me and I'm like, stoneface, sometimes, and she just wants to talk to me.  And I've learned there's different reasons why she talks. [see http://www.HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.COM/heshe.php to see why] I only talk for one reason, to communicate a concept.  No frills, 'Did you know that,' it's very factual.  She talks for different reasons, sometimes I realize, sometimes she's just thinking out loud [that article at that link explains all about that].  She just thinks out loud.  I'd never think out loud [men don't, again read that article].  She thinks out loud.  She'll walk around the house talking to herself.  And I'll say 'What did you say?'  'Oh nothing.'  And I know that she's just kind of unloading, she's just kind of getting it out.  Now the problem is, I have to pay enough attention to know whether she's talking to herself or talking to me.  That's important.  Because sometimes she'll say something, and I'll think 'I'm not sure how to answer this, is she talking to herself or is she talking to me?  I really Lord Jesus, I really want to give the right answer, Lord, give me wisdom.  If I give the wrong answer my life's over for two or three days here.  I really want to say the right thing, it's in my heart to say the right thing, I'm just a man, Lord, I'm just an ox plodding along, help me to say the right thing here,' you know.  Look, statisticians come up with this stuff that an average woman speaks, 5,000 words a day, the average man speaks  2,000 words a day [according to that article I linked, women speak 15,000 words a day, men 9,000 words a day, it's quite a good article].  And lots of times I get home, I've met my quota, she's just getting started.  And I need to listen, because sometimes she's just thinking out loud [and God designed women to think out loud like this so she would be sharing her thought process with the man she loves, her husband, there is intelligent design here folks].  Sometimes she's got something she just needs to tell somebody.  It's not really a conversation, she just needs to get it out, it's just burning in there, she's just got to tell somebody, and I'm there.  And she's just got to get it out, and it's ok for me to just go 'Hmm,'  I can watch TV, you know, 'oh, hmm.'  It's ok, she's just glad I'm there, just needs to get it out.  And then again, there's another level of listening that comes in, and I can tell she's a little more serious, then you have to put it on mute.  It's ok to watch the picture, but you have to listen to what she's saying at that point in time.  And then there's those very serious things where "off" is the only...and I'm joking, because all of you that are laughing are married, I assume.  But Christ listens to us whenever we come.  We're to love our wives the way Christ loves the Church, he has always been there, when I'm up, when I'm down, when I do something stupid, when I do something that I think pleases him, when I make a huge blunder, he is always there.  And he always listens, and he always meets with me.  And sometimes I think, 'You know, Lord, my poor wife, before she married me, you were her head, now she's stuck with me.'  No wonder she can't wait till the Rapture. 

 

The Meaning Of "Shopping" With Your Wife

 

Different, you know, my wife will say to me, 'Honey, do you want to go to the mall,'  'yeah...' you know, there's a code there, I'm learning to break the code.  You know you see that TV commercial where the woman says 'Honey, do I look fat in this?'  He says 'Sure,' he's not paying attention.  You have to understand, that's not what she was really saying, 'Honey do I look fat in this?' she wanted you to say 'Oh, you look great, Honey.'  She wasn't really asking that question, you need to understand the code, because that's not what they're really asking.  You have to speak the truth in love, of course love without truth is hypocrisy, and but truth without love is brutality.  So, sometimes she says 'Do you want to go to the mall with me?' she doesn't really want to go to the mall with me, she's really saying 'Do you want to go with me, just want to spend an hour with me?'  And I do want to do that.  I would do it a different way, but [laughter], I do want to do that.  And shopping is different to her, you know, it's completely different to her.  Shopping to her is an activity, that may have nothing to do with purchasing.  I'm a man, God made me a man, I was a man-child when I was born, and I'm a grown man now, and I don't shop, I hunt.  [laughter]  I know what I want before I go, I know where it feeds, I load my gun, I go, if I see the shirt I want, I shoot it, strap it to the top of my car, and come home.  I'm home in 15 minutes.  That's not what she's doing, she's shopping.  Now, sometimes there's decision-shopping, where we really are there to make a decision about a purchase, sometimes it's just shopping, shopping.  It may having nothing to do with purchasing at all, we may just want to go to every store in the mall that sells that, just to compare prices, and then go home without spending anything.  Ok?  Sometimes there's divine shopping, that scares me.  'Oh look Honey, the Lord gave us a spot right by the door.'  And then I know I'm in trouble, that means I'm supposed to go in and spend money, because Jesus gave me a spot right by the door.  'Honey, the devil gave you that spot, Jesus didn't give you that spot.'  And then there's sometimes like sneak-shopping, where I'm going, 'Honey, this is a hunting trip, we're not going shopping, you have to understand, yes, you can go with me, I know where this thing grazes, I'm going to shoot it, we're going to get it, we're just going to go in,' 'Oh I understand,'  'This is not shopping, is that right, Honey?' 'That's right.'  You know that she deceives me, we get into the mall, we go to the store we're supposed to, I have a map, I know where we're going, and know where it is, and next thing I know she's gone.  [loud laughter]  She's like looking at towels, 'Look at this, Honey.  Oh, you know who wanted one of these...''  'I don't know who, I don't care who, I'm on a hunting trip, I'm not shopping!'  These are generalities.  OK?  [Oh really?]  If you're married to a hunter that's a wonderful thing.  They're different.  If, and we're laughing, but there are distinct differences, it says in the Scripture God made them male and female. 

 

3. 'Giving Honour Unto The Wife'---What Does That Mean?

 

And what does love mean to her?  And Peter doesn't stop, he goes on.  What does it mean then to love her?  She is different, she perceives differently, she has to be different so the two of us can be complete, so she can complement me, and I can compliment her.  "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge," you have to do that with understanding, and the way that is manifest and what it looks like, is "giving honour unto the wife,"---giving honour unto the wife.  Now that's not grudgingly, guys.  To give honour there is the Greek word that means "to assign, to ascribe, to render honour."  In fact it's used in Deuteronomy 4 where the land was divided amongst the tribes of Israel, to divide to her honour, and the idea is, because it's her God-given right.  It is her God given right, that you in your marriage divide to your wife honour.  Well what does that mean, honour?  Well, chapter 1, verse 7 says that 'the trial of you faith, being more precious than gold, that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto the praise' and here's our word, 'and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.'  what's our word "honour"?  What kind of honour does Christ have at his appearing?  To honour her, interesting in chapter 2, verse 7, it says that Christ is the chief cornerstone, it says 'Unto you therefore which believe, he is honour,' it says 'precious' in the King James.  How precious is Christ to us?  How precious is he to us?  Husbands, settle down, step into life with your wives, as Christ has stepped into life with us.  Do that according to understanding and sensitivity.  And what that should look like in the final analysis is that you are honouring her, that you give her a place of significance, that you give her a place of honour, to assign a special place.  Ah, I don't do that perfectly.  I don't do that perfectly.  You know, it's funny, to me, not to her, I don't like to travel.  When I was younger, it was kind of adventurous, been to Israel fifteen times, and to places all over the country, and people want you to do this and do that, Mexico and Canada and England, but you know, I'm 54 now and I like to be home.  There ain't nothing out there, I mean, I go when I feel prompted by the Spirit to go, but I love to be home.  And when I'm away I really think about her.  I think about my kids, I think about my home, and I think, there is no place I would rather be than sitting in my own living room with my wife and my family.  No place on this earth I'd rather be.  Not with the President, not with Billy Graham, nowhere.  It was funny, the other year when we thought she had ovarian cancer and went through that whole deal, Kathy and I, down at Hopkins with the honchos, the oncologists.  When we got home, and it wasn't malignant, and we kind of got through that, we were sitting, and we looked at each other, and I said, "You know what, Honey?  I don't want anything, I don't want a bigger house, I don't want a swimming pool, I don't want a better car, the best friends in the world are the people I work with, best comrades, I'm crazy about all of my kids," that's because they took 20 years to make me crazy, "but I'm crazy about all of them, and we have each other.  I don't want anything."  I really don't.  I am just tickled to come here, to be your pastor, teach the Word, the journey that I'm on.  And it will be interrupted at some point.  Kathy will say to me once in awhile, "Why don't you ever get sick?"  I always say "I will, just wait, I will, I might be 80 or 90, I will, it's bound to happen, sooner or later."  But what I'd really like to do again, I'd just like to do it right, I'd really like it to be the two of us, 80 years old, white hair, no hair, whatever we look like then, sitting on the front porch together in rocking chairs and say, 'We did it Honey.'  'Eeeh?  What?'  'Nevermind.'  We did it, like to do that in this world, this world that mocks marriage, that makes fun of marriage, that degrades marriage, that treats a woman as a sexual object, and men being treated that way too.  I would love to do it right, and honour Christ, have godly seed.  God has blessed us so much.  And when I think about that, I remember how much I need to honour her and give her a place of significance in my life. 

 

You Have To Study Your Wife To Honour Her

 

You have to study your wife to honour her.  Every husband in this room should know your wife's shoe size.  What size shoe does your wife wear?  Just smack 'em right now, if they don't know, so we can hear those slaps and know where they are.  They should know your dress size, they should know your birthstone, your favorite flower, your favorite junkfood, they should be a student of you.  When you honour something, if you have a rare coin or you have, you know, if you collect anything, and it's just really rare, you take it out, you look at it, you know it from stem to stern.  If you're going to honour your wife you should know her well, her favorite colors, cards.  There's one of those things, I don't know why, but I know, my wife loves cards.  I don't know why.  I could live the rest of my life without getting a card.  And please, so many of you send cards to us, we appreciate it.  But the truth be told, I wouldn't be offended if you didn't.  But my wife loves cards.  I mean, she'll get me a card, and I'll read it.  [laughter]  And she'll say 'Did you like my card, Honey?'  'Yeah, it was really nice.  It was really cool, I really liked it.'  But it's different with her.  I get her a nice card, I write something nice in there, maybe I'll write a poem or something, you'll never find out, but just write something in there, and she saves them.  'Oh, Honey....'  And then she gets like Valentines cards, cards I never thought of, Thanksgiving cards, thank you for thank you 'cards people' send us.  'Thank you for the thank you card you've sent, I just wanted to send you a thank you card and say thank you.'  But you know what?  That tells me that it means a whole lot to her, if I say to her "Thank you."  Because it tells me something about her value system.  Flowers, I like trees better, but if I got her a tree she wouldn't appreciate it.  She likes flowers.  Men, don't stop dating, 'Well we can't afford to date,' you can't afford not to date!  You can date, you can take her out for a buck, you can each get a cup of coffee, or get one and when you refill it she can drink it.  [loud laughter]  If you can't afford it, see Jerry or Frank, they'll give you a buck, they'd rather give you a buck than council your marriage.  Just go have a cup of coffee together.  Be considerate.  Be courteous, Don Juan, men, said you could get to any woman by showing appreciation, by saying 'Thank you,' by being courteous, by being considerate, by saying 'Thank you.'  Very important, giving honour to the wife. 

 

4. 'Give Honour, As Unto The Weaker Vessel'

 

Now, it says "as unto the weaker vessel,"  Notice it says "weaker", that means both vessels are weak, ok.   She's the weaker.  Paul, Jesus when he appeared to Paul in Damascus, he told him he was a "chosen vessel."  So we're all vessels.  It says "weaker vessel," here.  Now that's not weaker mentally.  My wife's certainly not weaker than me, mentally, she's moving much faster.  I hate getting in an argument with her, because she's usually a step ahead of me.  I could beat her in a fair fight [laughter], put on the gloves, Marcus and Queensbury Rules, she wouldn't stand a chance.  But this way [pointing to his head, obviously] I'm a goner, I'm a goner.  She's not weaker that way.  There's nowhere in the Bible that warns women about men.  There are many places where men are warned about women.  God doesn't have to warn women about men, women know exactly what men are.  We're the ones that stand around dumb, daaah, aaah.  Certainly she's not weaker spiritually, she has some great gifts, and has discerned some great things over the years.  She sure isn't weaker in regards to endurance, I'll tell you, in regards to pain.  I watched her squeeze out all four of our kids, and kept thinking 'Thank God I'm the husband here Lord!  Thank you Lord I'm not a woman.'   And she heard somehow the painkiller could effect the baby, so she did all four of them without any pain medication.  That's the way she is.  I'm saying 'Give me something for the pain, knock me out!  Wake me up when it's over, I don't want to know nothing.'  Just all four of them, naturally, no pain medication.  I mean I can't imagine getting a root canal without pain medication.  'I just want to do it natural, Doc, just start drilling away, I'm fine, go all natural, root canal here.'  Or an appendectomy, 'just slice me open, take it out, the holes are not big these days, let me know when it's over, give me a piece of leather to chew on or something.'   I'll tell you, I watched her go through that, and it was remarkable.  Women are not weaker in that sense.  It is in the sense strictly, and if you look at all of the meanings in the New Testament, of physically, generally the woman's physical frame, because of testosterone levels, because of everything with the difference between men and women, she is not as strong.  If Kathy and I were in a burning building, being overcome by smoke, and they put the ladder up to the sixth floor window, I would rather have her pass out, and me carry her down the ladder, than me pass out and have her carry me down the ladder, because she'd be dying halfway down.  People would be saying 'It's not worth it, drop him!' [loud laughter]  'His son can do it now anyway, just drop him, we're not worried anymore.'  In that sense, she's more fragile than I am.  "A vessel" vasulam in the Latin, where we get vase from, because I would honour her because she's a vase.  That's where we get the word vase from.  And if you have a Ming vase, you put it in a special place, in a place of honour.  You put it somewhere of significance.  The husband, in our hearts, we need to do that.  You know, let me tell you something.  We don't do this perfectly, we'll be learning to do this for the rest of our lives, but it should be our goal, as Christ took the Church and put it in a position it could never be in, in and of itself,  ascribed to it all of its value.  When he created the worlds and the universe he laid it all out with the Church, the Church was not an afterthought, the Church was in the center of everything that exists, of everything that he did, in the center of his energy, of all that he's expended.  So, as a vessel of honour, putting her in that place. 

 

Why Should We Be Honouring Our Wives?  Bottom Line:  'So That Our Prayers Be Not Hindered'

 

Why?  Well it says because you're heirs together of the grace of life, "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." (verse 7)  That's "being heirs together."  It's the same phrase when it tells us, that with Jesus Christ we are joint heirs, same exact phrase.  Why, because we're joint-heirs together.  When you look at that wife, she was as costly to God as you were.  It was the blood of Jesus that purchased her, just like it was the blood of Jesus that purchased you.  And she is as valuable to Almighty God as you are.  You are heirs together of the grace of life.  And if you understand that, how hard can you be on her?  How really hard can you be on her?  How hard can I be on my wife?  'Honey, I need you to do this,' or we get in one of those conversations where she just wants me to listen.  Or, 'Honey, can you come down in the kitchen and help me with the dishes?'  'Can you help me vacuum.'  [I do most of that stuff in my house, always did, following the example of my dad, who spoiled my mom, he really honoured her.]  It takes more Holy Ghost to do the dishes than it does to talk in tongues.  All you charismatics better get that down.  It takes more Holy Ghost to vacuum than it does to talk in tongues.  And if she says to me, 'Honey, would you...'  'Wait a minute, I'm the pastor of a large church, served God all day today, served his people, spent my time with eternal things.  And I come home, and I need to study, because I need to feed the flock of God.  And you want me to do dishes?'  Of course it's the week I'm studying "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour to the wife..." and you know you're praying, and the Lord says, "You want to talk to me, I'll be at the sink, big-shot,"  [loud laughter] "where the dishes are."  You know, isn't it funny, you get in an argument with your wife, and we all do, don't be surprised, I was in an argument fairly recently, with my wife, it happens, and the thing you realize is in God's Kingdom there are things that are higher than right and wrong.  There are things that are more important than just right and wrong.  Because there have been times when the Holy Spirit has said to me, 'You know what, you're right, and she's wrong, but you don't look very much like Jesus right now to me, that I was to be the initiator, to patch things up, to apologize, to make things right, the example, the servant-leader, to be partakers of the grace of life together.'  Why?  So that your prayers are not hindered.  That is individually, and together.  How can I go pray and seek the Lord if she's sitting somewhere crying, or hurt?  Or I need to make something right?  Jesus says 'If you know your brother's offended, leave your gift at the altar, go make that right, and then come back and worship.'  Well what about my life-partner?  And Satan certainly understands that.  And if he can keep you divided, at each other's throats, it thwarts your spiritual momentum, it really does.  It really does.  Can you pray with you wife when you go home tonight?  Can you pray with your husband?  Is there something, you're thinking, 'I wouldn't have even come if I knew this was the message, I'd have just stayed home, I should have brought her last week, the heck with this.  No, I should have bought a four-wheeler to get her here to listen to that wife-message.'  Can you go home tonight and say, 'Honey, let's pray together' ?  Or will it be? 'Honey, let's pray together, we need to talk first.  We really need to talk.  We need to straighten some things out before we pray together.'  Where are you with her?  You're prayers shouldn't be hindered.  If there's something going on in the way you're treating her, you're not honouring her, you're not loving her the way Christ loved the Church, then sometimes it's difficult to say 'Let's pray together.'  That channel should always be open.  Now let me tell you something individually, the thing you have to understand men, is you are married to the King's daughter.  And you're going to go talk to the King after you treat his daughter that way?  This is something that any father in this room understands.  You mess with my daughter, you mess with me.  You want to date my daughter, you're dating me and my daughter.  You hurt her, I hurt you.  [laughter]  God's more gracious.  But my point is, you're dating God's daughter.  You're married to God's daughter.  How can your prayer not be hindered if you go to talk to him, if she's sitting somewhere in a puddle of tears, because you were a jerk?  Our prayers shouldn't be hindered.  You know, look, of all horizontal relationships, there is no relationship more sacred than marriage.  Paul said it is the only thing the Holy Spirit compares to Christ and the Church.  It is to be more sacred than your relationship with your kids.  Between ages 45 and 55, divorce rates in this country sour.  Because people make their kids the center of their marriage.  They lose contact with each other, and the husband and the wife become an island, and they're willing to stick out the marriage because of the kids.  The kids grow up and say, 'Bye, thanks,' and they're gone, and then two strangers are standing there looking at each other.  The most important thing you can do for your kids, is make your wife, make your husband the priority.  [my father did that, and they weren't even believers.]  They need to be under that covering.  If the kids are fighting with your wife [I didn't dare], even if they're right in what the argument's about, they're wrong, for not honouring her.  God used her to give them life.  God used her to lay in that delivery-room and go 'I don't want to breathe!!! Don't tell me to breathe!!!' and squeeze those kids out into the world.  If it wasn't for her they wouldn't have life, and they're supposed to be honouring her.  And they're fighting with her, they're already wrong, even if she's wrong with what they're arguing about.  And the husband is supposed to step in on behalf of his wife.  I can talk to Kathy later and say 'Honey, you were overbearing...' and it should be the same thing with the husband.  The best thing you can do for the kids is make one another a priority.  Maintain your first love.  Keep dating, hang out, listen to one another.  Wives, respect your husbands.  'Well you don't understand.  If you were married to the guy I was married to,' well I'll never be married to the guy you're married to, don't mean to depress you. 

 

In Conclusion

 

Paul says this, 'I would have you to know that the head of very man is Christ, the head of every woman [married woman that is] is the man, and the head of Christ is God.'  And here's the order.  Jesus Christ was submitted, he had a head, he had a covering.  He was submitted to God [the Father], he then because he was submitted to God and gave his life on the cross, and is risen again, he is now the head of the man.  And the husband, this is not just men and women, this is for husbands and wives, and the husband is the head of the wife.  If the wife is not honouring the husband, respecting him, fighting him, what she's really doing is she's fighting with Jesus for the headship of the husband.  God is the head of Christ, Jesus himself submitted to this order.  Christ is the head of the husband.  Wives, give your husbands that respect, that's the air that they breathe, that's the value-system they understand.  Not because they always deserve it, but because God has asked you to.  And if you have a husband whose not living according to the Scripture, then let the wife, without a word, by her attitude, by the way she lives, win that husband's heart, soften it.  [To see how to do that, go back and read the previous sermon transcript on 1st Peter 3:1-6]  Husbands, just as Christ loved the Church, likewise, just as Christ loved the Church, husbands, you need to spend time with your wives.  How can you have a wife and not dwell with her?  That's the whole point.  Live with them, spend time with them.  How?  With understanding.  And if that understanding is godly, it will cause you to honour her.  Men, we all fail.  I don't want anybody to throw in the towel because you're discouraged, it's a lifelong process.  I'm still learning.  And you know what?  Honouring a young wife is different than honouring a wife who has raised four kids, and it is different than honouring a wife then as a grandmother.  You know, there are stages and seasons in life that through all of this needs attention.  But honour her, and honour her as the more fragile, intricate vessel, the vase, a vessel of honour.  Both of you are weak.  She is not weaker mentally, spiritually, in regards to enduring pain.  You just want to carry her down the ladder and save her, you don't want her to be carrying you down the ladder.  And do that because both of you are heirs of God's grace.  That's how you got into the Kingdom.  You didn't deserve to get in any more than she did.  She doesn't deserve to get in any more than you do.  You're heirs together of the grace of life.  And if you live that way, in living that way, you are honouring the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and the purposes and ordinances and order of his Kingdom and of his Word.  And it says so your prayers, channels are always open, always a direct line, prayers are not hindered.  A husband who is laying his hand on his wife, hey, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Why don't you find somebody six-foot-five, 300 lbs, why don't you pick a fight with John Runion, tough guy.  That's not honouring her, that's not treating her as a vessel that God has intricately made and brought by your side.  He who  has found a wife has found a good thing, has found favour with the Lord.  And I don't see how sometimes husbands can treat their wives the way they treat them, and then act spiritual.  It says if you're that way, you're prayers are hindered.  Look, and the door's open for any of us to come say 'Lord, forgive, I'm spending time in your Word this evening, I'm failing as a husband, I'm failing as a wife, I know these things need to change, and I trust you Lord, you've changed me so much already.  Lord Jesus I know you can continue to change me.  I want to be a better husband, I want to be a better wife, Lord.  I want to be your husband in the marriage not her husband.  I want to be your husband, that you've bought with your blood, and I want to read the Script you've written out for me and I want to play my part.'  'Lord, I want to be your wife in the marriage, not his, yours.  You paid for me with your blood, you laid down your life for me, Lord, I lay down my life for you.  I want to read your Script for me, the role that you write out, and I want to fulfill that Lord.'  That Script still produces a healthy marriage, it hasn't changed in 2,000 years.  Human beings are the same, technology has changed, culture changes, different things change.  But human beings are essentially the same as they've been in every age, selfish, distracted, uncaring.  And when the Lord asks these things of us, he's appealing to the higher nature within us, that Christ is in our hearts, the Holy Spirit is indwelling us, his Word is real to us, and he's appealing to us to step above the culture that we live in, to honour one another the way he asks us to honour one another, and to treat one another the way he asks us to treat one another.  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on 1st Peter 3:7, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

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