The Forum

The Forum

Dear Brother W.

There is another point in the subject you suggested for discussion. Reference was made to it last month; it is that of the position of the Christian wife in the home. Unfortunately, I have lost the letter from the brother who raised this matter. His question was, “Is it Scriptural for a Christian wife to pray with her husband when alone in their own home?” We shall have to consider this in the light of the Scriptural status of the married woman.

In what better manner could a Christian wife help her husband than to join with him in prayer? Surely this is what Peter means, “Likewise, ye husbands dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7). Let us notice three things in this statement.

    1. DWELLING TOGETHER: The words “Dwell together” which are not found elsewhere clearly cover all the relationships of marital life. In this, true love obliges man to honour his wife. This is a specific application of Peter’s earlier exhortation, “Honour all …, Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King.”

    2. HEIRS TOGETHER: What a glorious hope a Christian husband and wife possess! They are joint heirs with Christ Jesus, and sharers together of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.

    3. PRAYING TOGETHER: “That your prayers be not hindered.” The pronoun “your” being in the plural must make reference to the prayers of both the husband and wife. According to some MSS. the verb form here is very strong, and has been rendered, “That your prayers be not cut off or stopped.” Where there is not that reciprocal love that dwells together, hope that anticipates heirship together, and faith that results in praying together any act of intercession is unavailing.

Let me copy here an exhortation from an old writer, “Now the breach of conjugal love, the jars and contentions of husband and wife do so leaven and embitter their spirits that they are exceedingly unfit for prayer …Those who pray together should not only have hearts tuned within themselves in their own frame, but tuned together; especially husband and wife, who are one; they should have hearts consorted and sweetly tuned to each other for prayer.”

J. G.