“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.” (1 Peter 3:7)
The Greek word for “honour” is “timhn” or “time.” In our text verse, it means “honor, esteem.” Peter tells us it is to be given to wives by their husbands.
As a noun, Webster says, (2) “an exclusive or special right, power, or privilege”; (3) “a person of superior standing”; (4) “one that brings respect or fame”; (5) “an evidence or symbol of distinction”; (6) “chastity, purity”; and (7) “integrity.” The synonyms for (5) are “acclaim, accolade, credit, distinction, glory, homage, award, decoration, distinction, prize.” Some of the synonyms for (7) are “honesty, righteousness, uprightness, blameless, virtue.”
“Honor” can also be used as a verb, meaning “to treat with honor” or “to confer honor on.” It can be an adjective, “honorable”; which means “deserving of honor”; “of great renown”; “accompanied with marks of honor”; “doing credit to the possessor”; or “characterized by integrity.” The synonyms include “decent, ethical, good, honest, just, moral, right, righteous, straight, upright, virtuous, blameless, guiltless, irreproachable.” It can also be an adverb, “honorably”; meaning “in an honorable manner.” But here in our text verse, it is used as a noun, “giving honour.”
The question naturally arises: In what way is a husband to give honor, or esteem, to his wife?
To begin with, we will consider the How, or the What, or the Method, or the Manner of giving honor:
- Acknowledge who God created and why. She is “woman”; she is from man and for man. (Read Genesis 2:18-25; about God’s creation of woman.) She is to be man’s companion (Genesis 2:18). She is to be his helpmeet (Genesis 2:18b). She is to be one with him; to be his wife (Genesis 2:23-24).
- Acknowledge her God-ordained position. She is his body (Ephesians 5:22-33). She is in a position of subjection (1 Timothy 2:9-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7). Respect her position in the Body of Christ.
- Acknowledge she is for enjoyment and pleasure. (See Proverbs 5:15-19; Song of Solomon 5:9; 2:4-5.)
- Acknowledge God’s Command of how to treat a wife. (See again Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:1-7; also see Proverbs 31:30, “…she shall be praised.”)
- Acknowledge God’s blessings to the husband in a wife.
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22)
“…a prudent wife is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 19:14b)
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10)
Another manner in which the husband is blessed by God in a wife, is that she is the avenue for offspring (Genesis 1:26-28).
The husband is to acknowledge all of the above by giving her honor (1 Peter 3:7). See the example of Abraham honoring Sarah (Genesis 21:12-14).
This is done by acknowledging who she is “in Christ.” Therefore, give her respect, honor; listen to her; meet her needs; be an example of Christ to her; teach her; lead her in right; encourage her; lift her up.
Now we look at the “Why” a husband is to give honor to his wife.
- She types out the Church, his body (Ephesians 5:22-33; Galatians 4:24-31).
- She is a co-heir of “the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7d).
- “That your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7e).
- Because God commanded it be done (1 Peter 3:7c).
- Because she is a Child of God, equal to man in the Church; for God is no respecter of person (Galatians 3:25-28).
- Because of her position to the husband (Ephesians 5:22-33).