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Marriage: Foundations & Principles – Lesson 8: The Need of the Wife

Scripture Verse: I Peter 3:7.

Introduction:

Husbands are given an interesting command in I Peter 3:7:

“Dwell with them according to knowledge.” In essence, Peter is telling husbands that they can understand their wives. To many men, this might sound like an impossible challenge. Yet, the fact that husbands are commanded to understand their wives means they can. So, what does a wife need?

First and foremost, a wife needs to be loved. More than anything else, husbands are told to love their wives. This indicates not only a struggle on the husband’s part but a need on the wife’s. As the Church desperately needs the sacrificial love of Christ, the wife needs the undying love of her husband.

Wives not only need to be loved, they need to be honored. With the exception of Christ, a wife should be more important to her husband than anything. To most wives, a husband’s heart is far more important than anything the world has to offer. His words should encourage her, his actions cherish her, his thoughts contemplate her beauty, and his heart continually desire to be near her.

As she needs his understanding, love, and honor, so too does she need his trust. It can be a devastating blow when a husband harshly calls his wife’s motives into question, when he sharply criticizes her judgment, or when he quickly believes what another has said about her. Trust is especially important when it comes to children. If he won’t trust her ability and judgment, the children will see this and a spirit of distrust will permeate the family.

Finally, wives need protection. As the shepherd protects the sheep, the husband must protect his wife from the things of this world that would drive them apart from Jesus Christ or one another.

Lesson Questions:

  1. Based on I Peter 3:7, women are to be seen as fragile, due the honor we normally give to kings and magistrates. How can a husband show his commitment to nurturing, cherishing, and honoring his wife? Discuss the following examples.
    • Providing for her needs – I Timothy 5:8; I John 3:17.
    • Protecting her – Ephesians 5:28.
    • Helping her fulfill her responsibilities – Romans 12:10.
    • Sacrificing for her – Philippians 2:5-6.
    • By sharing his life – I Peter 3:7 (notice “heirs together”).
    • Refusing to compare her unfavorably to others. – I Corinthians 7:3
    • Demonstrating she is second only to Christ. – I Corinthians 11:3
    • Giving her tenderness and respect – I Corinthians 13:4-5.
  2. Husbands are specifically commanded to love their wives. Could one of the reasons be that the wife has a great need for love from her husband? Discuss.
  3. Proverbs 31 was written by King Lemuel to his son but was based on the instruction King Lemuel received from his mother. Discuss the significance of this passage being taught by a mother to her son.
  4. Why is it necessary that the wife have her husband’s trust, especially in the area of ministry? Ecclesiastes 4:9-11; Amos 3:3.
  5. In I Timothy 5:8, husbands are commanded to provide for their families financially. How important is financial provision to a wife?