“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.” – 1 Peter 3:7
Peter says that the husbands are to “be considerate” of their wives. This is a word for knowledge. To consider her is to know her. To consider her is to understand her. Understanding takes deep consideration and reflection. So, husbands, pay attention to her and get to know her.
To treat her with respect is to show her honor. She is to be honored because she is valued and valuable. The woman living like 3:1-6 is a woman of great value. Peter says treat them with respect as the weaker partner. The word “partner” in the NIV misses some of the meaning of that word. The word vessel is a word for an object, a thing. This is where we get “weaker vessel” = a weaker object. That same word is used in Acts 9:15 of Paul being God’s chosen “instrument” or “vessel” to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. That doesn’t mean she is to be objectified or be seen as an object. That isn’t Peter’s point at all. Peter is saying there is something about her that is by nature weaker than a man. This is no value statement. This is not a moral statement. She is not weaker spiritually or morally. It is a physical statement. Women have more physical limitations than men by and large (childbearing excluded!).
Last, Peter says something that should stop us in our tracks – if you don’t do these things toward her your prayers will be hindered. There are a lot of things we might think would hinder prayers. We might think of things like sin being a hindrance to our prayers. Peter says to not see, value and treat your wife in this way can get between you and God. That is a sobering thought, men!