Giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel… 1 Peter 3:7b
1 Peter 3:7 says, “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” This verse should not be viewed as demeaning to women. The heading above this scripture is “A Word to Husbands.” This verse was written to men to inform and remind them to honor their wives, be understanding of them, and acknowledge that they are joint heirs or co-heirs. Joint heirs, as God said in the beginning in Genesis 2:24. Notice that Peter tells husbands to treat their wives “AS” the weaker vessel. Peter does not say the wife “IS” the weaker vessel. For the woman to be treated AS the weaker vessel, both men and woman would be considered vessels as 2 Corinthians 4:7 says.
If we are both vessels, you could use the analogy of a woman as fine china and a man as a Tupperware container. If you are washing both of these in the sink, you are going to be more careful when washing the fine china. The wife, like the china, is not inferior, but should be treated as more valuable. This goes along with Philippians 2:3, “esteem others better than yourself.” Men should treat themselves like the Tupperware and esteem their wives higher like the fine china. If you drop fine china, it might break. But if you put that same fine china in a Tupperware container before dropping it, the container will take the brunt of the blow and shield or protect the china from most of the impact. Husbands should be this covering and protection for their wives (Ephesians 5:23-29). Husbands should not be domineering over their wives or treat them as any lesser. On the contrary, husbands should treat their wives as partners. Regardless if the wife fulfills her end of the partnership, husbands should be loving, praying for their wives, and declaring the Word over their wives (Ephesians 5:25). Husbands should daily spend time with God in His Word to ensure they are leading their wives and families in the way that they should go (Psalm 32:8).