The older I get the more I learn that context is everything, and that sometimes you cannot understand a truth unless you are in the position to. There are situations in which no amount of intellectual work can take the place of experience. In my life, marriage may fit that description better than anything.
A few days ago I came across a verse in my daily reading that struck me with great force. Not because it is new to me, but because it is so timely and so true:
“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7
I have heard it said that a better way to think of the “weaker vessel” phrase is to think of fine china. China is certainly more fragile than your run of the day dish ware, but it is also more beautiful, more impressive, more precious. You could take the Fiesta ware in our kitchen and bang it around in the sink, run it through the dishwasher, and stack it roughly in the cabinet with no damage whatsoever. The same cannot be said of our wedding china. We take care of it, we treat it delicately, we hand wash it and have special padded containers for it. That is how we are called to treat our wives.
So, for me this week I am working on seeing my wife as fine china. I am praying for insight into how to honor her and treat her. I am asking the Holy Spirit to change my heart and my tongue. I am asking him for humility in my approach to my wife.
After all, she is beautiful, sensitive and precious, just like fine china.