Prayer Barriers: Dishonoring Your Wife

Daily Devotion | Day 296 

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them [your wives] according to knowledge, giving honor 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, KJV).

So far, we have identified in the Bible two barriers to prayer: unforgiveness and doubt. Today, we will look at a third barrier. This time the barrier is located within marriage. Specifically, it applies to husbands. Therefore, if you are a husband or are planning to become one, you will find today’s message personally relevant. As usual, let’s briefly recall the purpose of the current series on “Prayer Barriers.”

Prayer is vital to our relationship with the Father. Therefore, if there are factors that can block our prayer from being heard, it’s necessary that we identify them. Identifying the root of a problem brings us closer to its solution. Fortunately for us, the Bible talks about these things. Our duty is to become acquainted with what the Bible teaches. Once a barrier is identified, the goal is for us to remove the obstacle and prevent it from being a problem in the future. Let’s look at today’s passage taken from 1 Peter.

In chapter 3 Peter had a word for married couples. He started with wives, reminding them to submit to their husbands, and to imitate the holy women in the Bible, in particular, Sarah (1 Peter 3:1-6). Next, as expected, Peter turned to husbands. His message for husbands is what you find in today’s opening Scripture. Let’s start with the last thing Peter said, which is, “that your prayers be not hindered.”

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Peter revealed something profound concerning marriage in general and husbands in particular. He revealed that a husband’s prayer can be hindered, depending on how he treats his wife. To prevent this from happening, Peter says husbands must dwell with their wives according to knowledge. In a husband’s relationship with his wife, he needs to be guided by knowledge on two levels.

First, he needs to know that the woman is “the weaker vessel.” Aware of this, the husbands needs to do what he can to uplift his wife. He does this by treating her with honor. When you honor someone, it means you esteem them and acknowledge them as having significant value in your eyes. But if you dishonor someone, you lower their value. For a husband, an attitude of dishonor will hinder his prayer.

Second, the husband will do well to remember that he and his wife are joint-heirs of “the grace of life” in Christ Jesus. In other words, in Christ, the couple has a common (joint) inheritance of God’s grace. Being head of the household, the husband is expected to be aware of this and treat his wife accordingly. As he honors his wife, he can be sure that his prayer is not hindered. 

Husbands, may the Lord grant you wisdom, understanding and strength as you lead your household. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study1 Samuel 1:1-8 and Ephesians 5:22-33

How to Live Long and Prosper

Daily Devotional: Day 163

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-2, NKJV).

Once a child, always a child. In other words, you’re always somebody’s child. No matter how old or independent you are, you always will be someone’s child. Similarly, once a parent, always a parent. Whether your children are around or not, your status as a parent remains a permanent fact of human history. The bond between parent and child is precious to God; for God Himself is a Parent and the Source of all life. God, therefore, pays special attention to the parent-child relationship. Today’s message will focus on what God wants children to do for their parents. As usual, look carefully at today’s opening Scripture; there’s a lot going on the passage.

Honoring your father and mother is so important to God that He included it in the Ten Commandments (cf. Deuteronomy 5:16). In the New Testament, Jesus reiterated it (cf. Mark 10:17-19); so did Paul – as you can see in today’s reading. Speaking to the Christians in Ephesus, Paul says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” The context suggests that he is addressing children who are still under the care of their parents. Notice that the command is for children to obey their parents in the Lord. It’s an important qualification, because when we become Christians, we’re supposed to do all things (good things, of course) in the Lord and for His sake. Love for Christ motivates us to do what pleases Him, including obeying our parents. Paul adds, “for this is right.” The life of a Christian is about doing what is right, i.e. practicing righteousness. Obeying our parents is the right thing to do, therefore, we do it. And, when we do what is right, we’re showing that we are righteous people (cf. 1 John 3:7).

“Honor your father and mother” means obey your parents, respect them and show them reverence. It means you serve them; you provide for their welfare; it also means you don’t quarrel or fight with them; you don’t talk back to them or talk down to them; you don’t raise your voice against them or give them attitude. God hates disrespectful attitude toward parents. How you treat your parents says a lot about the authenticity of your relationship with Jesus. If you love Jesus, you’ll do what He tells you. Regardless of how insufferable you think your parents are, God wants you to always uphold honor and respect. You may not like something about your parents, but they’re your parents; and, so long as they remain alive, Jesus wants you to honor them. If you have a problem with them, look for ways to handle it while maintaining a posture of respect and honor.

Furthermore, “Honor your father and mother,” is the first commandment with a promise attached to it. If you honor your parents, God promises that it will be well with you (meaning, you will prosper) and you will live long on the earth. See, God has given you the key to prosperity and long life. He is not asking you to go on a diet or go to the gym. All He is telling you to do is to honor your parents. Do you want it to be well with you? If yes, then honor your parents. Do you want to live long on earth? If yes, then honor your parents.

May the Lord let His face shine upon you and your family today! Amen.

For further study: Luke 2:41-52

The Joy of Competing for Jesus’ Team

Daily Devotional: Day 127

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me” (Philippians 1:29-30, NKJV).

Blessed are you if you suffer with Christ.

Today’s Scripture reading is selected from Paul’s letter to the Christians in Philippi. Paul had a wonderful relationship with them; you will notice this if you read the whole letter. Currently, Paul is writing from prison. He tells them that they, the Philippians, have been granted not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for His sake. Paul describes this suffering as a “conflict.” The Greek word translated “conflict” is agōn. This word was used by the Greeks to refer to the crowd that met at the national games, for example, the Olympic and Pythian games. Hence the word can be understood as a contest for a prize. Paul wants the Philippians to rejoice in the fact that the Lord has bestowed on them the privilege of suffering (the suffering that comes with competing) for His sake.

People suffer for different reasons. But suffering for the sake of Christ and His Gospel is a special gift (grace) given to us by God, for which we should rejoice. As already noted, the kind of suffering Paul is describing in today’s passage is what he calls a conflict or contest. By borrowing a term from the world of competitive sports, he is telling us that suffering for Christ is like competing in a contest. You must be disciplined, steady and sound if you want to win the prize. But it is also a great privilege to be selected to represent the competing team – Jesus’ Team: the Sons of God.

As we go about witnessing to our faith in Christ, there are powers we must contend against. We therefore need the mindset and discipline of an athlete to succeed. You may think of yourself this way: You have been selected as an athlete to compete for Team Jesus. In Jude 1:3, the author says, “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (emphasis added). I pray you take your place today and contend for the Christian faith. The peace of the Lord be upon you! Amen.

Pray to the Father about what you’ve heard today.

For further study: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27