1 Peter 3:7
ESV - 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.
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When the bible says, the husband should treat the wife as the weaker vessel, I strongly believe the bible wasn't saying the wife is weaker than the husband, but rather that the husband should treat the wife with much care and attention as he would have given to a weaker vessel. The focus I think is on the treatment to be given to the woman and not the qualities of the woman. I say this because there are so many women exemplified in the bible as being strong and brave; the likes of Deborah, Esther and many more. God obviously doesn't view women as weak.
Let's look at the most general purpose of the woman's role in the family unit. She is the most nurturing parent. She is ruled more by emotion than a man. This was a part of God's plan for mankind. Women are ruled more easily by emotion than a man in general, although there are always exceptions. She is also usually the more patient parent. When I think of the Lord's love towards me and who exemplified that love, I remember my mother as the one that showed emotional love towards me. When I think of my father, I remember a teacher and a man of wisdom in life skills as a provider. One parent ruled with way more emotion and one parent ruled with way more wisdom. Emotion is a wonderful part of our humanity, but when it overrules wisdom trouble is on the horizon. It can be damaging to many in our sphere of influence, especially when emotion enables loved ones not to deal with laziness, addictions, bad habits, weaknesses, or to refuse to take on adult responsibilities that we all must accept as a part of childrearing and adulthood. When I was a child, I thought as a child. When I became a man or a woman, I had to put away foolish thinking and actions. A woman is weaker in several areas, such as emotions and physical ability. But there are also strengths as long as wisdom keeps them in check. A marriage partnership is a give and take relationship, but it must always be equitable for both parties. When my wife speaks I listen and discern. If wisdom comes I say, "Yes boss." But if emotion reigns I listen and do what's wise without argument. You do not always have to express disagreement in a marriage. You can show disagreement by taking the action you discerned is necessary. Of course, prayer is the number one responsibility for the husband in dealing with disagreements. Sometimes as a husband we even have to not insist on our own rights or our own way but trust in the Lord for peace to reign. If you cast your care on the Lord to settle a disagreement he will change the heart of the person in the wrong.
Please consider that the bible reflects cultural dynamics of the society in which it was written. Women were "weaker" structurally. Slaves were subservient structurally. Diseased citizens were ostracized. Jesus highlighted the injustice of this kind of treatment of those created in God's image. He, in this way "rewrote" the scriptures. We can no more treat women as "less than" than we can own another human being. The Word is living. It is not frozen in time. The earth is part of an evolving universe. If America is In any way a great nation it is so when we honor the creator by treating all others as we would like to be treated.
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