HUSBANDS AND WIVES: Both [Pt. 3 of 3]
Wives and Husbands
1 Wives, in the same way 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, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 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. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. 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.
In an effort to better myself and my marriage there is an area I wish to share with you now that is challenging for me - consistent husband and wife (team) prayer. My heart was pricked by the Holy Spirit the other day when someone in the family needed prayer and another family member asked me and Tanya to please pray for that other member. After hanging up the phone I immediately sat down with Tanya, took her hand in mine, and prayed for that need and others. While praying the Holy Spirit whispered to my own spirit - "Why does it take emergencies to get the two of you to pray together?" Point taken.
Even though the phrase above in verse seven says "your prayers" - referring back to "Husbands" who are challenged to be "considerate" toward their wives and "treat them with respect and as heirs" - I believe "so that nothing will hinder your prayers" can also be applied to the married couple as well. "When a husband and wife treat each other as equal and valued partners in life, they become a powerful team. On the other hand, if a marital relationship is out of order and one or both of the spouses do not value or appreciate each other, First Peter 3:7 says that this out-of-sync condition will "hinder" them when they pray together. The word "hinder" is the word egkopto, a word used in Greek times to portray the moment when a runner comes alongside another runner and literally elbows him out of the race. Although the runner was previously running a good race, the aggression of a competitor literally breaks in on his race and destroys his effectiveness. When a married couple see themselves as a unified team, their prayer life becomes powerful and effective. Therefore, husband, adjust your thinking to see your wife as your co-partner, co-inheritor, and co-ruler in life. If you are married, you are no longer just one; you have now become inseparably joined to your wife." (Renner, p.765, Sparkling Gems From The Greek) I would add to Mr. Renner's comments - because I know my memory wanes at times, wives, please support such an endeavor that would remind the both of you on a daily basis to get alone together for prayer - a counseling session with The Counselor.
I truly believe that if I and the rest of Christ believing married pairs will schedule a couples prayer time on a consistent basis we will all see "misunderstandings through miscommunications" begin to diminish. "Misunderstanding through miscommunication is the door the devil likes to use to get in between spouses and divide them. But if a husband and wife will commit themselves to keeping the door shut to misunderstanding and miscommunication, this one factor alone can keep the devil from finding access into their relationship." (Renner, p.767)