In 1st Peter 3:7, Peter instructs husbands to be cognizant that their wives lack the strength that men do as vessels.

1 Peter 3:7

7 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.

To what here does Peter imply or refer to? In this context, what are men, as a matter of creation, stronger vessels for? For what do women vessel such that they lack the strength that men do?

By what measure does Peter assess here men to be stronger and women weaker?

  • Doth not nature teach ? 1 Corinthians 11:14. This is a question of nature and the answer is a natural one. It isn't spiritual.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Feb 11, 2023 at 0:12
  • @NigelJ, I admit that it's a matter of creation... but what pray tell do you think, that Peter has in mind, it is that we carry as vessels, one sex better than the other?
    – Austin
    Commented Feb 11, 2023 at 0:51
  • 'Vessel' is a matter of capacity. Containment. What is within is precious. (In both cases.) But one containment is sturdy and the other, less so. And the strong should support the weak. This is very obvious and so a comment , not an answer, but if you wish, I can place this comment in the answer box.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Feb 11, 2023 at 11:25

1 Answer 1


It's physical, muscle strength. Men have more muscular, physical strength than women. Women live with an underlying fear, as they know that they can't match the strength of an enraged man, or a man determined to rape and abuse them or force them to do something they don't want to do. To this day we hear plenty about wives being beaten and abused by men with their superior power. Women are not afraid of the man on an intellectual basis, but they are afraid of the physical pain and abuse he has the strength to cause them.
Peter is telling husbands to treat their wives with respect, honor, and understanding, as fellow heirs of the grace of Christ. They are not to use their physical strength to beat them to submit to their whims. Peter also tells wives to respect, honor, and listen to their husbands and not to boss them around.

The bottom line in all this is that both men and women are called to be vessels of God's grace and light, so that we may show forth the power of God who works within us to make us clean vessels for His glory.

Paul the apostle writes:
2 Cor. 4:6, 7

6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2 Timothy 2:21-22

21 if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Neither physical muscle strength nor a sharp tongue is to be used to berate or force their partner into compliance. We are all vessels created to accept the light of knowledge and grace and love each other as Christ has loved us. An excellency in character comes from the power of God working in us, it is not something we can force with our own power.

  • 1
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    – agarza
    Commented Feb 11, 2023 at 4:58
  • 1
    Very good answer. +1.
    – Dottard
    Commented Feb 11, 2023 at 9:12

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