Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In Understanding

Originally posted January 28. 2011

"You husbands, likewise, conduct your married lives with understanding.  Although your wife may be weaker physically, you should respect her as a fellow heir of the gift of Life.  If you don't, your prayers will be blocked."   1 Peter 3:7

The Weaker Vessel verse: the hackles on the back of my neck just went up. The song from Annie Get Your Gun, "Anything you can do, I can do better.  I can do anything better than you." screams from the recesses of my conscious.   

As women, we hear in a big thunderous voice, “Woman weak. We big, strong men should understand her inabilities and not expect much out of her.” Much of modern culture is motivated by this paradigm.

Women stay home, only capable to take care of house and children. Not smart enough for science. There is nothing worse than a book-learned woman. Especially in cultural christianity for the past 30 years, this dogma, force fed to girls and women create a millstone around our necks. Much of the subjection of women supported with New Testament words being taken out of context. 

Photo taken by pedrojperez
To answer this nagging question, a ventured into logic and began to research.  The word for vessel in the Greek grammar is an adjective. The application is different than our English noun.  A commentary written in 1871 by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown: The Commentary Critical andExplanatory on the Whole Bible explains the focus should be on God’s design of the sexes, instead of the actual difference. Men should give honor to their wife, remembering that they and their “wife are vessels in God's hand, and of God's making, to fulfill His gracious purposes.” A man needs to be aware of “his own weakness, and that she, like himself, is God's vessel and fabric, ought to lead him to act with tender and wise consideration towards her…because God gives honor to both as fellow heirs.”

Photo taken by Schick
Further digging brought me to John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes produced 1754-1765. Wesley wrote a man should “dwell with the woman according to knowledge …Both in heart, in word, and in action; as those who are called to be joint - heirs of that eternal life which ye and they hope to receive by the free grace of God.”

Both of these commentaries were written long before the Feminist Movement. Both express the idea to live with a wife in understanding is to: be sympathetic, considerate, to remain thoughtful, act kind and accepting. Awareness of her frailties will grant him grace when she falls. A man’s logical perspective is valuable when emotions are overwhelming. A husband who lives in understanding of his wife creates a beautiful harmony for both to live and grow in.

Simply comprehension is the counterfeit to understanding. Acknowledgement patronizes a wife’s complexity. A husband who loves with intention means he gets involved. Unpleasantness is experienced with conflict as a result. The challenge is, he is to indulge a little so that she can be picked up and supported by the one still standing. In this beautiful life dance of iron sharpening iron, both grow closer in Divine Love. 
A Mother Life

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