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A Strong Husband Studies His Wife

In Yesterday's blog,  we discussed the second requirement for a strong husband from 1 Peter 3:7. A strong husband commits to his wife. Today let’s consider a third requirement: if you want to be a strong husband, you must STUDY YOUR WIFE

This is taught in 1 Peter 3:7, which says: 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. 

Many husbands view their home as their oasis. You’ve been working hard all day. Maybe your body is tired and sweaty from the physical exertion of your job. Or if you’re a white-collar worker like me, your mind is exhausted. You’ve been staring at a screen or had your nose in books, or you’ve had to solve complex problems or lead tumultuous meetings. Whatever the reason, when you arrive home your mind and body are beat. But that’s okay because this is your oasis, your retreat, your place to relax. NO!

Ladies, we so appreciate how hard many of you work to make your homes an oasis for your husbands, but Peter is inviting us to view our homes in a new light. The Christian home is not the husband’s oasis, but his research lab. When you pull in the driveway, your calling is not to kick up your feet and relax but to put on your lab coat and get to work in your real job, which is studying your wife.

Once again, Daniel Doriani is helpful here. He writes this: “Men occasionally excuse careless leadership by pleading ignorance: ‘I don’t understand women.’ But a man doesn’t need to understand women; he needs to understand his wife. Husbands are scientists with a narrow field of inquiry. A man should know the preferences, moods, needs, of his beloved so that he can love and care for her.”[i]

Husband, are you studying your wife? Perhaps you’re wondering how you’re supposed to do that, exactly. Men, if you want to grow in this area, I highly recommend a little book by C.J. Mahaney entitled Sex, Marriage, and the Glory of God. In that book he says this: “To learn how to touch your wife’s heart and mind, you must study her. . . . Do you know how to surprise your wife in specific ways in each of the following areas?

  • Sex
  • Clothing sizes, styles, and stores
  • Jewelry
  • Health
  • Excerise
  • Books and Magezines
  • Movies
  • The Arts
  • Sports
  • Food
  • Music
  • Entertainment
  • Places to Visit
  • Intellectual Interets
  • Hobbies
  • Vacations/gateways

As I was preparing this sermon, I had planned to say it’s sad when a husband needs help from his children or other ladies to buy an appropriate gift for his wife. Then the Lord reminded me that I did the same thing this past Christmas. I needed my daughter’s help to find the right kind of lotion for Holly. Why? Because I had failed to study my wife. What about you, husband?

By the way, doing this well is much more than knowing how to shop for your wife.  That may help you learn about what she likes, but you also need to learn about her. Once again, C.J. Mahaney’s book is helpful here. He writes, “Do you know how your wife is faring in each of these areas?

  • Theological knowledge
  • Practice of the spiritaul disciplines
  • Growth in godliness
  • Spirtual gifts that can be used to serve others
  • Involvement in the local church
  • Relationship with children and parents
  • Relationship with in-laws
  • Relationship with friends
  • Fears, hopes, dreams, disapointments, temptations[iii]

Let me challenge you husbands: you’ll only grow here if you plan to grow. Perhaps the first step for you is to schedule a regular date night where you’re spending time with your wife. Think of a few questions to ask her that evening so you can grow to understand her better. Some of you are excelling here but let me challenge you not to give up. Here’s the thing about the wonderful woman God has given you, brother: she changes! The moment you think you’ve got her figured out she’s different! So don’t stop studying!

Husband: here’s one question I want you to ask your wife: how can I grow in understanding you better? And ladies, you will serve your husband well if you give him two, at the most three simple things to work on instead of a four-page list. But husband, your job is to humbly receive her words and not fight back.

Being a strong husband requires you to study your wife.  

[i] Doriani, 118.  

[ii] C. J. Mahaney, Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004), 33.  

[iii] Mahaney, 33–34.