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A letter from the apostle Peter

The role of husbands

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7)

Peter pointed out that wives should be subject to their husbands. Now he addresses the husbands about their role in marriage. They should not oppress their wives, or exploit their position as leader of the family. On the contrary, it is their responsibility to “live with [their] wives in an understanding way”. A husband should pay attention to the needs of his wife, and take care of her.

The woman is here described as “the weaker vessel”. This could refer to her position, having less authority than the man, or to the fact that women usually have less physical strength than men. This makes a wife vulnerable towards her husband. But the husband is not to take advantage of her weakness! He should show her honor instead, and use his
physical strength to protect her and to provide for her.

This teaching about husbands’ role in marriage fits in the larger picture of leadership in the Bible. Authority and power always come with responsibility. Being in a leadership position requires dedication and self-sacrifice for the well-being of those who are entrusted to our care.

Do you have role models who follow these instructions? Or do men around you misuse their authority?

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Grietje Commelin

Grietje studied theology and mastered in Bible Translation. Next to being a mother, she supports GlobalRize by writing bible reflections and other content for GlobalRize.

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