"So That Nothing Will Hinder Your Prayers"
I am so grateful for my godly husband who epitomizes the qualities in Ephesians 5:25. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” I am greatly blessed to have a partner who treats me like this. It wasn’t always that way, though.
We went through our “marital fire” and stayed together only by the grace of God. He saved our marriage and transformed it into the biblical marriage that He desires for us. Of course, we are still human and have our moments, but those rare moments are greatly overshadowed by an amazing relationship that keeps God in the center. I don’t know how marriages survive without God in this day and age.
So what if your spouse is not at the same place you are spiritually, or maybe they are not a believer at all?
1 Peter 3:1-4 tells wives what to do in that situation. “Wives, in the same way (the previous verses talked about submission to authority) 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 and fine clothes (although taking care of your appearance is a big bonus to most husbands.) Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
Shoving your religious beliefs and biblical superiority onto your husband are not ways to win him over to a life with Jesus. These verses say that they should be won over without words. Ladies, I believe that may be one of our greatest problems. We feel it is our duty to tell our husbands everything we think and desire, criticizing all that they do. First of all, it is not our job to change them and to judge their behavior. That is up to God and why these verses are so important. “They may be won over without words.” Watch your tongue and let God do the rest.
Your behavior also needs to be above reproach. Your spouse will be won over “When they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” Your beauty should not come from the outside, but instead, “It should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit – which is of great worth in God’s sight.” The quality of your life should speak volumes over your words.
It would not take long at all to heal a difficult situation by controlling the words you speak. If you are someone who is critical (who wants to listen to that?) holding back the negative words will surely gain the attention of your spouse. If you want them to know a godly life, then show them, by your actions and words (or lack of), the difference God has made in your own life.
Verse seven goes on to say, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
Not only are these guidelines for a godly husband, but also great advice to win over a wife who may not be walking with the Lord.
This verse doesn’t mean women are inferior to men, but refers more to physical strength. Men are called to physically take care of their wives. Women in our society have pushed femininity to its limits by trying to be “equal” to men in everything. They were made bigger and stronger than us for a reason – to protect us!
These life applications are not only a suggestion, but instructions from God as to how our marital relationships should look. If we choose not to abide by these instructions, we run the risk of our prayers not being answered. “So that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
If you feel as though God has abandoned you and is not hearing your prayers, you may need to evaluate your marriage relationship. Are you doing all you can to be the godly husband or wife that he called you to be?
We can’t expect to have a healthy marriage when we ignore God’s advice for it. He will allow us to try it on our own, but it isn’t until we desire to include Him in all we do that we give Him the green light to bless us with a wonderful marriage.