Love is Honorable

1 Peter 3:7

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.

Romans 12:10

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

A big part of marriage has to do with honor and respect.  One of the main complaints of husbands is that they feel their wife doesn’t respect them enough.  Of course there can be many reasons for this including the fact that some husbands aren’t worthy of respect.  Still, this cuts to the heart of the matter – that honor and respect are very important within a marriage.

A number of people take offense to Peter’s statement about women being the weaker partner but they miss the second half of the statement where they are equal as “heirs with you of the gracious gift of life.”  Peter is not degrading women by calling them weak and insisting that they need a man to take care of them.  Instead, he is calling for men to love their wives and respect them.  This idea was radical at the time when women may be considered little more than property.

There are plenty of strong women in the world today – spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  And there are plenty of weak men in all of these areas as well.  Some women don’t need to be taken care of and many live completely satisfied lives even as single people.  The idea that Peter conveys is that love is sacrifice, just as so many other writers have conveyed.  President Truman is famous for the phrase “the buck stops here.”  This meant that he made the final decisions and was accountable for the results.  This is actually love in a marriage.  A loving husband will say that the buck stops with him.  He will hold final responsibility for taking care of the family.  He will make the sacrifices necessary for the sake of his wife and family.

It is never implied that a woman is weak and doesn’t contribute to the well being of her family.  In many cases, the responsibilities of a wife exceeds those of a husband, especially in today’s age where women often take care of the home and work outside of it.  The idea that love is honorable means that the husband is the one who is required to make sacrifices.  It doesn’t negate or diminish the many sacrifices that wives make.  Instead it says that “the buck stops here” with a loving husband and if he honors his wife, he’ll make sacrifices instead of asking her to do so.

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