Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.
1 Corinthians 7:5
The lives of families today are often
busy to the point of being nearly frantic.
Husbands and wives work, maintain
the house, care for children and aging
relatives, exercise, pursue further
education, and try to squeeze in the
occasional dinner together. Sadly, the
discipline of prayer may creep to the
bottom of the list—or slide off entirely.
Though the specific activities may
have been different in the first century,
no doubt early Christians struggled
to focus on righteousness as much
as modern believers do. Peter’s
instructions in today’s passage return
our scattered energies to the marital
priorities of greatest importance: mutual
love, humility, and prayer.
Wives are to submit to their husbands,
husbands are to be considerate
and respectful to their wives, and
all believers are characterized by
compassion and sympathy. As Peter
will later summarize: “All of you, clothe
yourselves with humility toward one
another” (1 Peter 5:5). This, of course, is
the way of our Lord who was rich and
yet became poor (see 2 Cor. 8:9), who
made Himself nothing (Phil. 2:7), and
who washed the feet even of those who
would later deny and betray him (see
One way we express humility is in
prayer. Peter warns husbands that
if they do not act with Christ-like
humility and love toward their wives,
their prayers will be hindered (v. 7).
Bringing a spouse before the throne
of God is an act of love for them and
a testimony of our mutual need of
the Lord’s help. Prayer should be as
central to our married life as anything
we do. As theologian Robert Leighton
commented: “[Peter] supposes in
Christians the necessary and frequent
use of this; takes it for granted, that the
heirs of life cannot live without prayer.”
Apply the Word
If you are married, take time today to pray for your spouse. Ask the Lord to help you grow in humility and love in your relationship. If you aren’t married, pray that God will strengthen the marriages and families in your church, community, and across the nation. And seek the Spirit’s strength in your own relationships as you express His love to others.
Pray with Us
Today, we finish our prayers for the Public Safety team: Marc Lazarescu, Marques Funchess, and Steven Cascio. Ask that God give them encouragement and strength as they provide the best possible service to Moody’s students, staff, and guests.