"In the same way, husbands, live understandingly together, giving respect to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the favour of life, so that your prayers are not hindered.”
(TS2009 -boldness added by me for emphasis)
The more a culture disobeys God's Holy Word the more that culture will not value and will not protect its women. We have seen this throughout history. Women, including daughters and wives, are the first of a society to be abused and subjugated to men, including their husbands, as no more than sexual slaves.
When the Apostle Peter speaks of wives in this verse he refers to a woman as being a vessel. Humankind is often denoted as being vessel's within the Bible. Here the focus is on the wife.
While most commentators would argue that the word “weaker” denotes that the woman is inferior to the male in bodily strength and some even argue in mental endowment, this is not the intended understanding of the usage of the word in this scripture.
The scripture states that the man is to give “honor” or “respect” to the wife. This word in the Greek means to “give the highest value, priceless, paid for with a high price”. In other words she is like a very costly, very expensive, vessel. In ancient cultures, including Hebrew, the bridegroom would pay a bride price to the father of the bride to be able to marry his daughter. This was to compensate the family for their loss. In addition, the bridegroom would give bridal gift/s to the bride to be. Messiah Yeshua paid a very high price for His bride. He purchased her with His own blood. Then He gave to her the gifts of the Holy Spirit to comfort her until His return. This is why the Scriptures make a comparison between Yeshua and His church and a husband and wife. The love and adoration should be the same.
Whenever a person values something they protect and guard it because it has great worth.
Proverbs 31:10 “Who does find a capable wife? For she is worth far more than rubies.” (TS2009)
Rubies are a very rare and expensive gem. Solomon states that a wife (Godly wife) is worth far more than these precious gems.
A male friend of mine made this quote one day and it has stuck with me because this is exactly what this verse means:
“A wife being the weaker vessel denotes the difference between Fine China and Corelle" (A cheap dinnerware compared to fine china dinnerware).
Now, fine china is delicate. It is often handed down from generation to generation. It is not used on a daily basis but is usually stored away in a china cabinet and gazed upon until a special occasion when it MAY BE brought out. However, Corelle is used everyday. If a piece of Corelle is broken it isn't a big deal, but if a piece of Grandma's China is broken – then some tears may be shed.
This is the way that Peter is using the word “weaker” here. The Godly wife is a very expensive, very precious vessel that has been given to the husband, by God, as his helpmate. He is to cherish, protect and provide for her, for she is very fragile and delicate like that fine piece of china. She is not “fragile” (weak) because she is inferior, but she is “fragile” (weak) because of her great price and worth to him. Her usefulness to him as a vessel of honor (cost) is beyond monetary measurement.
She is not to be one of many “vessels” of honor that he has, nor is she to be abused or made to feel inferior in any way. She is to be his one and only Ruby! The Ruby he adores. The rose he chose out of all the roses in the world to be his until death parts them.
So to all you Godly husbands out there – go cherish, protect and provide for your fine china of a wife, your Proverbs 31 woman!
Blessings and I hope you enjoyed this little lesson. :)