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. (1 Peter 3:7 KJV)
This word, 'likewise' is interesting. I noticed that Peter used it when speaking to the wives. He said, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands...." Then in this passage to the husbands, again, he says, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge..."
Likewise means "equally, in the same way. In the same way as what? We have to go back to 1 Peter 2 to find that out.
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:19-24 KJV)
Wait a minute, Peter! This is talking about suffering wrongfully! What does that have to do with the marriage relationship? Think about it. When you bring two fallen human beings together, to live under the same roof, who each have had different upbring, different personalities, different ideas about how things should be done etc, someone at some point is going to feel they are suffering wrongly. And so Peter says, "Likewise..." We are to follow Christ's example in committing ourselves to God and being patient while doing good to our spouse. So Peter says, "Likewise..." to the husband as well as the wife. It applies equally to both.
Women are different than men. I don't think I need to go into all the details, but suffice it to say, we are different. Peter tells the men to dwell with them according to knowledge. Men, learn all you can about how women are different. Learn what a woman's needs are for spiritual leadership, security, tenderness, physcial touch outside the bedroom without sexual strings attached for performance later, notice of her efforts around the house & cooking meals, offers of help from time to time with chores, etc.
Honor your wife for who she is. Show your kids, if you have any, what she is worth to you and what she contributes to the family. Help your kids appreciate their mom.
Peter talks about the woman being the weaker vessel and the women's "lip" movement has really jumped all over that because they want to be considered equal to men in every way. I'm not sure what the big deal is. They seem to ignore the physical biological facts. Women are different than men. Period. Study any human biology/anatomy book and you will see it. The female body is different and a little bit weaker than the male counterpart in structure and design.
The whole bit about the husband being head of the wife in Scripture has nothing to do with him lording it over her, demanding service and generally being a tyrant. It has everything to do with being a leader in the marriage relationship and being considerate of what the wife feels and thinks and taking her into consideration when making decisions that affect both.
We are equals in Christ. We are both heirs together of the grace of life found in Jesus Christ and the husband is to live with his wife with this knowledge.
Their prayers will not be hindered when these principles are followed. If these principles are not followed it leads to difficulties in the relationship and prayers are hindered because there is no agreement. How can you REALLY pray together if there are underlying issues hindering the relationship?