“the woman as the weaker vessel”

We looked at 1 Peter 3:7 in church this morning (soon to be yesterday morning – oh late nights). I would save this to blog another time, but I feel like ideas are best when fresh, just like warm bread or just-baked cookies.

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 [1] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

What does “weaker vessel” insinuate? That women are weaker than men? I don’t think there is any physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, or social realm in which this is absolute. While I personally don’t find the answer that women are in general physically and emotionally more vulnerable to be offensive in the slightest, and actually quite agree (for myself at the very least), I do think there could be a more agreeable answer. Agreeable being something that is more likely to be agreed upon… not necessarily pleasing to anyone.

Perhaps “weaker” is not so much a descriptor as a prescriptor. Women were created to have less authority than their husbands and to submit to their husbands. They are instructed earlier in 1 Peter 3 to have a “gentle and quiet spirit” and to be “submitting to their own husbands.” In other words, however strong of a woman you are (intellectually, spiritually, socially, emotionally, physically etc.), you are to take the position and role as the weaker vessel in the duo of husband and wife as part of God’s divinely appointed structure — and yes, hierarchy. (A very negative buzzword these days.)

I’ll stop there before I tease this idea to death, partly because I am tired, but also because I don’t think I have the final answer.

P.S. I didn’t read this entire page, but I found the headings useful as points that establish how equally God places/created/allowed men and women to be in other realms (outside husband/wife structure).

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