The way we treat our spouse has a lasting effect; but not always in the way you would suspect.
[Gary Petty] This is the second BT Daily that we’re doing on “Honoring Your Parents”, the fifth commandment. And we’re talking about ways in which we as adults teach honor to our children. One of the most important things you can do as parents – in fact, in your daily activity, it may be the most important thing – is you teach children honor by how you honor each other as husband and wife. Maybe nothing is more important than when children see the respect and love given between husband and wife – then they learn to honor.
Peter, the apostle Peter in the Bible, talks about marriage, and I want to read a couple verses here and I want you to think of this in context of not just how husbands and wives should treat each other, but what this looks like to children. He says in chapter 3 of 1 Peter, “Wives, in the same way, be submissive to your own husbands, so that if any of them who do not believe the word, they may be won over” (1 Peter 3:1 1 Peter 3:1Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
American King James Version×). Now, think about that a minute. Peter says, you know, wives, be good wives. He doesn’t say do this because you’re a lesser person or not as important as your husband. He’s saying here, do this because even if your husband doesn’t believe in God, your conduct may draw that person towards God. As wives, your conduct towards your husband is going to affect your children and how they treat their future husbands and wives. So if you wish to be honored, honor your husband. Then your children will honor you.
Likewise, verse 7 says, “Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect” – the King James actually says “with honor” – “as the weaker partner, and as heirs with you of the graciousness of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7 1 Peter 3:7Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
American King James Version×). You know, the “weaker vessel” here doesn’t mean that Peter’s saying that women are weaker mentally or emotionally. Physically, most women are weaker. He’s saying that men can never abuse simple physical brute force and use that to abuse them. To do so, he says, your prayers will be hindered. As husbands, we must honor our wives. We must show honor to them, respect them, hold them up in high esteem in front of our children and grandchildren, because when we do, those children learn honor and they will honor us.
Children don’t learn honor simply because they’re born with it. They learn it because they view it in others, and that’s why it’s so important if you want to teach your children to honor you, then as husband and wife, you honor each other.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.