(KJV) 1 Peter 3:7 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.
Yesterday I was rearranging the furniture in my office, and while I pushed a credenza full of files, which seemed to weigh a ton... And while I moved a miniature fridge... And moved a desk and couch... This "weaker vessel" verse came to me.
How can a woman who can birth babies be a weaker vessel? How can women who'll stand in front of a bullet to protect her child be a weaker vessel? I know women who can bench press huge amounts of weights! How can women be considered the "weaker vessel?" I've heard non-Christian women and Christian women alike feel slighted by this verse.
But.... Wait a minute... Ah-ha! Let's look a bit closer to the wording of that scripture, shall we?
"giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel..."
It doesn't say a woman IS weak! It's merely a mental image to show a man how he is to honor his wife! Now I'm liking this verse a whole lot better! Lol
In our culture we can get a "vessel" to drink out of from the dollar store. If we break it we're more frustrated by the mess than the destroyed glass. But "vessels" of ANY sort in the ancient times this verse was written in were valuable. First of all they had to make their own vessels... If they didn't have the means to do so, then they'd have to go buy their vessels from a potter. The potter didn't sell his handmade wares cheap. Men, women, and children were very responsible and careful in their handling of any vessel in their house.
Peter was not saying women were weak. Rather he was using their understanding of how valuable the vessels were in their home to demonstrate the care men were to show to their wives. They didn't go knocking about clay bowls or vases. They didn't carelessly toss any type of vessel across a room. They understood their value and they treated their vessels with respect.
THIS is how women are suppose to be treated, with honor. Handled with care.
God created women, therefore he knows how they best function; in a loving, caring environment. If men want their "vessels" to reach their full potential they will give honor to her. She will in turn cherish that level of care and will give the "holder" the respect and service he needs.
Neither God nor Peter were saying women are weak... But rather that women are valuable and should be held with honor.
What a lovely bit of advice God and Peter gave to men!