I think most of us agree that husbands and Wives are wired differently. We don’t need subject matter experts to tell us that. We know that because the reality of it plays itself out in our daily lives.
Husbands, have you ever joined your Wife as she went shopping for clothes for herself? After several hours have passed and nothing has been bought, you probably wondered why is this taking so long? And the reason the shopping experience seemed so drawn out to you is because you viewed things through the lens of your personal shopping habits. Generally speaking, it does not take husbands as long to shop for their clothes.
What about this one? You have been working all day. You come home exhausted, say a few words to your wife, and slump into a chair to relax. While you are sitting there, a thought occurs to you. “My wife and I are so different. When she comes home from work, she gives me the run down on her entire day in the office. And she gets so detailed, telling me far more than I want or need to know.”
Perhaps those two examples above don’t jibe with your observations about husbands and wives. But they came about because of conversations I have had with other husbands and men. These are just a couple of examples I used to underscore the fact that God has wired husbands and wives differently.
Nonetheless, He wants husbands and wives to live together as one. To that end, let me share an instruction He gives to the husbands: “dwell with them according to knowledge” (1 Peter 3:7). Of course, “them” refers to our wives. What does God mean by that? It means we should let the knowledge we have acquired about our wife—who has been uniquely created by God—dictate how we live with them.
Husbands, each of our wives is different. Yes, there are some common differences that exist between men and women. But even more significantly, each of our wives has her own set of peculiarities. Some of these result from the home environment they came up in. Some have to do with the “baggage” they acquired before marriage and have brought into the marriage, etc. But whatever all this means to us, with respect to the woman we are married to, God wants us to live with her according to knowledge.
Now let me make sure we get the point. Men, we all get to know our wife over time. But that does not necessarily mean we live with them in accordance with that knowledge. You see, we may not like the picture we are seeing. The more we get to know our wife, the less she may seem to be what we thought she was. The question is, how shall we then respond?
Perhaps you will go about trying to help (or make) your wife become the person we want her to be. You will ignore all you have learned about her, her vulnerabilities, and peculiarities. You will disregard the fact that you are pushing buttons you have come to know you should not push.
Let me close by saying that while you are so passionately doing the Lord’s work to make your wife the person you want her to be, you do well to do so within the confines of what you know about your wife. Everyone is more receptive to you when you respect the person you know them to be. I believe that’s what dwelling with our wife according to knowledge is all about.
Copyright © 2018 by Frank King. All rights reserved.
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