What does 1 Peter 3:7 mean?
ESV: 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.
NIV: Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
NASB: You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
CSB: Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
NLT: In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
KJV: Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
NKJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
In verses 1 through 6, Peter has given instructions to Christian wives about submitting to their own husbands and how to pursue true beauty. That teaching for wives follows naturally from commands to all believers: that we should submit freely to every human authority for the Lord's sake. But before moving on, Peter stops to briefly instruct husbands about how to live with their wives.

The heart of the verse is that men should honor and respect their wives. Note, this would have been a radical idea in Peter's era. Particularly in comparison to modern society, women of this time period were oppressed, discounted, and often treated badly. Various versions of women submitting to their husbands would have been commonplace. Christianity's emphasis on "submission" to God ahead of the husband would have been unique by itself. However, the teaching that men should honor their wives, as equal, co-heirs of God's grace through faith in Christ, was revolutionary.

Driving the seriousness of this point home, Peter points to a consequence. Christian husbands who refuse to honor their wives will see their prayers hindered. Either God will not receive those prayers in full or the husband will find it difficult to pray. Any husband who is abusive, disrespectful, or otherwise belittling to his wife is defying the will of God—period. He must repent and change his behavior before that line of communication with God will be fully reopened.

Specifically, men are instructed to give honor to their wives "as the weaker vessel." Notice carefully that this does not say wives are actually weaker in any specific way. Rather, husbands must honor their wives "as" they would honor or care for something more fragile than themselves. The point is purely about how husbands are to treat their wives: as protectors.

Finally, husbands are commanded to live with their wives "with knowledge." This may mean with a growing understanding of who their wives are. Or, it may mean with the knowledge that God has given them a responsibility to give honor to their wives. In either case, the responsibility of the husband is very much the same.
Verse Context:
1 Peter 3:1–7 continues Peter’s command to Christians, specifically, that they should be subject to human authorities. Here he tells Christian wives to be subject to their husbands, even unbelieving husbands. Why? In part, husbands may be won to Christ by the example of their Christ-changed wives. Christian husbands are also commanded to honor their wives or risk having their prayers hindered.
Chapter Summary:
Peter continues teaching about Christian submission to human authorities, now addressing Christian wives. Believing wives must be subject to their own husbands, even if the husband is not a follower of Christ. By doing so, they might win them to Christ through the example of their own changed lives and hearts. Christian husbands must honor their wives. All believers must live in unity together and refuse to seek revenge. In part, God means to use our hopeful response to suffering to provoke the world to see His power in us. Christ, too, suffered and then died, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven.
Chapter Context:
Peter’s letter to persecuted Christians is about how to endure suffering for faith in Christ. Thus far, he has assured Christians that their future is secure in eternity with God. We are His holy people, set apart for His specific purposes. Because of this, it matters that we live out that truth, even when we suffer. Christians are called to live in submission to every human authority, including kings, governors, and slave masters.
Book Summary:
Some 30 years after the resurrection of Jesus, Christians are facing greater persecution for their faith. How should they respond? How should we respond to suffering today? The apostle Peter writes this letter both to comfort believers and to encourage them to stay strong. He urges them to put all their hope in their perfect future with Christ, and to obey and trust Him in the present, even in their suffering. Christ suffered greatly; now the Christ-followers have the opportunity to follow Him even in this, showing His grace and power in their hopefulness, obedience, and faith.
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