A Weaker Vessel

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w05 3/1 pp. 15-20 Continue Dwelling With Them
6 The apostle Peter also had counsel for married couples, and his words to husbands were especially pointed. He said: “Continue dwelling in like manner with [your wives] according to knowledge, assigning them honor as to aweaker vessel, the feminine one, since you are also heirs with them of the undeserved favor of life, in order for your prayers not to be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7) The seriousness of Peter’s counsel is seen in the final words of that verse. If a husband fails to honor his wife, his relationship with Jehovah will be affected. His prayers will be hindered. 7 How, then, can husbands assign honor to their wives? To honor one’s wife means to treat her lovingly, with respect and dignity. Such kindly treatment of a wife would have seemed novel to many. A Greek scholar writes: “Under Roman law a woman had no rights. In law she remained for ever a child. . . . She was entirely subject to her husband, and completely at his mercy.” What a contrast to Christian teachings! The Christian husband honored his wife. His dealings with her were governed by Christian principles, not by personal whim. Moreover, he was considerate of her “according to knowledge,” taking into account that she was a weaker vessel.

“A Weaker Vessel” in What Way?
8 In saying that the woman is “a weaker vessel,” Peter did not mean that women are weaker than men intellectually or spiritually. True, many Christian men have privileges in the congregation that women do not expect to have, and in the family women are subject to their husbands. (1 Corinthians 14:35; 1 Timothy 2:12) Nevertheless, the same faith, endurance, and high moral standards are required of all, men and women. And as Peter said, both husband and wife are “heirs . . . of the undeserved favor of life.” As far as salvation is concerned, they have equal standing before Jehovah God. (Galatians 3:28) Peter was writing to anointed Christians of the first century. Hence, his...
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