Fragile: Handle With Care
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
I recently read that UPS (United Parcel Services) handles an average of 15.8 million packages per day. This is substantially more than FedEx, which averages more than 3.4 million packages per day. A percentage of these shipped goods fall into a category that are labeled “Fragile: Handle with Care.” This means that the contents are items that are easily breakable, and must be handled with carefulness so not to break or damage them. Peter is addressing the subject of marriage in 1 Peter 3:1-7. In this passage, he wants us to see why the marriage relationship is fragile and must be handled with care.
We see the emphasis on consolidation.
“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh” (Matthew 19:4). Marriage is when two people, a man and a woman, become one. They are to become one in spirit, heart, objective, desire, goals, and direction. They become one spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially. They are building their home together, and are leaving the emotional ties and dependence of their respective parents. Two become one, and, in the process, two are better than one.
We see the emphasis on consecration.
“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” The emphasis in marriage is our character and holiness. Character and holiness manifest the beauty of the Lord God in our life. These inner qualities are what make us attractive to our spouse. Often, our marriages are shaped by external pressures such as finances and child-training so that our marriages suffer stress, disagreements, and even bitterness. A consecrated spouse brings out the best in his or her spouse.
We see the emphasis on consideration.
Peter told husbands to dwell with their wife according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel. The word “vessel” means that the wife is the chief possession of the husband. “Weaker vessel” is teaching us that she is fragile and subject to breakage, or damage. With this in mind, the solution to potential disagreements, bitterness, bad habits, and deficiencies that you might see in your spouse is through giving honor. This means to be kind! This means to always give the benefit of a doubt! This means to take the high road always! This means to be gentle, patient, always commending, and proactive. Giving honor implies putting my spouse before me. This is handling with care.
We see the emphasis on Christ.
Christian married couples are heirs together of the grace of life. They are both saved and washed by the blood of Christ. They both have the availability of God’s wonderful grace in their lives. They are to both serve the Lord together. In order for grace to abound in marriage, Christ must be first. Submission to each other is only as strong as the individual’s submission to the Lord. Christ must be the centerpiece and hub of the marriage. Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.
Marriage is a special package from God. We must remember that it is fragile, and we must handle it with care. When we do so, it will be in good condition and free from breakage or damage.
Have a careful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Samuel 4-8