Husbands to be Considerate

1 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.

Women and men are inherently different, and not just physically. Husbands, being the leader of the family, need to take such into consideration. One of the weaknesses women have which husbands need to take into consideration is their tendency to be misled. Paul for example speaks of “old wives’ fables”, 1 Timothy 4:7, and instructs the church not to assign them as teachers of men, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”, 1 Timothy 2:12, one reason being, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression”, 1 Timothy 2:14. Consequently husbands need to instruct their wives. Concerning wives, Paul writes, “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home”, 1 Corinthians 14:35a. But also don’t expect much of them as students, as they tend to have an allegiance to their personal feelings over that of ideas.

Also, with regards to submission, while it is a command given to wives, husbands need to realize that submission does not come as easy to women as to men. You get a bunch of men together and they form a hierarchy, while a bunch of women will form a committee. Men more easily embrace the idea of being under authority and don’t find such a position as humiliating as women apparently do. This is likely due to the nature of the fall in which a women usurped authority over a man and that precedent then became inherent in the nature of women. So husbands need to give their wives some room with regards to submission as it is a greater challenge for them.

To treat them with honour is to be considerate in view of their weaknesses.  But to be considerate is not to condone their sinfulness, anymore than Christ’s consideration towards us condones our sinfulness. Indeed it says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish”, Ephesians 5:25-27. Thus, just as Christ loves us by dealing with our sinfulness, so husbands need to take into consideration the weaknesses of their wives and deal with it considerately. Respect the fact that your wife is of the weaker gender. For Christ also tolerates a good deal of our weakness in the process of sanctifying us. But at the same time, He does expect us to progress.

A weaker vessel by no way means she is a weaker Christian. Many great Christians are women who excel in many virtues and are a great influence to the spouse, family and society. God created woman, because man needed help. If the woman is a weaker vessel, then man is a weak vessel.

Let us all learn humility in the sight of God and submit to His arrangements, so that our will are in accordance to His. Thereby, our prayers will be heard and not hindered because of our willfulness, which is the cause of many sins. Z

W is for Weary and Wounded

Last year was the worst year I lived as a Christian. Discouragement in service, pathetic spiritual life, falling into temptations, lack of prayer and devotion for God, spiritual lethargy were just some of the issues that I had experienced. Was that the end of my spiritual life? Definitely no! If it were so, I would not be writing this testimony now.

Three weeks ago, on Wednesday, I fell and dislocated my left elbow. As a result, I rested at home and had time to write this testimony for you. It sounded like I was complaining, but as I pondered upon God and thought deeply, I realised that these things happened because God was testing my faith. Am I going to give up my belief at this low point?

I know some of you are feeling discouraged just like me; God reminded me with 2 verses from His infallible Word—“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58), and “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”. Hope they will speak to you too.

Yes, the men of faith in Hebrews 11 had gone through some of those things that I had mentioned. However, what does God’s Word say? We have “to lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us”. Our race is not completed, there is still a long way ahead. Why dwell on things of the past and stop ourselves from running forward to our final destination?

We are told to be “stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”. Keep on serving Him; do not stop! Look at the signs of time; we do not have much time to serve Him. He promises that our labour in Him is not in vain. Is this a clear answer to our problems? Whether we are discouraged by people, our loved ones, brothers and sisters in Christ or ourselves, let’s do what God’s Word says!

Brother Alan Tan