Friday, November 9, 2007

P4E.048 An Understanding Way

The responses to the last few posts (which go out as an e-mail to many) cause me to pause...

I want to reiterate a point that my mentor, Ken Nair, has made. It's that each husband has the responsibility to understand his own wife. No one else's. The concept comes from I Peter 3:7

"You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."

(side note: Ken likes to characterize the word "weaker" in this verse as meaning "spiritually/emotionally fragile," which helps me.)

One of the study helps I use defines the Greek word for understanding in this verse, "gnosis," in this way:

"Knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding

1. the general knowledge of Christian religion
2. the deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced
3. esp. of things lawful and unlawful for Christians
4. moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living "

Note that I Peter 3:7 requires me to live with my wife in such a way that demonstrates my "knowledge" of Christ and His ways.

There are so many things that go into understanding my wife. Her parents, birth order, gender, sibling, spiritual gifting, physical environment, spiritual environment, age, motherhood, friends, experience, education, interests, tastes and so on....

Will I ever completely understand her? No. Does God require something of me that is impossible? No. So, should I suspend the quest to understand her? No.

Back to my original point, Scripture encourages me to live with my wife in an understanding way. And you with yours. That said, I believe with Ken Nair, that there are many ways that God gifted women. That God made them different from us men. That God meant for the differences to glorify Him. That wives are meant to be a "help" to us. Finally, that the encouragement to live with them in an understanding way is the vehicle through which they help us.

I have a huge tendency to be overwhelmed with projects. But in the call to understand my wife, my commitment is: (to steal a quote) I will not tire, I will not falter, I will not fail. God help me in this quest. Join me if you will...

Your ally in the pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim

1 comment:

  1. I often wonder at the thought, "male and female he created them" in the "image of God". I wonder at it not so much in terms of what it means for my marriage or general relationships, but rather what it tells us of the nature of God.

    Is part of God "weaker" in some mysterious way, that the other parts of God make up for? How do the parts of God interact? Does God somehow combine the best of both man and woman, or is it more a statement of God's way of being (inextricably, intimately linked in some kind of mutually submissive, encouraging, dependent way)? So many questions. Do they matter? Maybe, if they tell us something of how "God is love."

    Thanks for yet another opportunity to muse here.