Understanding, Respect and Prayers
In the same way, you husbands should live with your wives in an understanding way, since they are weaker than you. But show them respect, because God gives them the same blessing he gives you—the grace that gives true life. Do this so that nothing will stop your prayers. [1Peter 3:7 NCV]
Sometimes we read verses like this with roles (i.e. husband and wives) in mind and miss the broader meaning. Are we not all called to be understanding with those who are weak? Should not respect be a hallmark in the way that we treat everyone? Do not these qualities help us to pray effectively?
In a very real sense living in a respectful and understanding way is all about trying to walk in another's shoes. History is rife with examples of how the strong have abused the weak. How minorities have been mistreated by those in the majority. How men have not tried to walk in another's shoes.
And in the end, our prayers should reflect an understanding and respect for those who we pray for. For one cannot pray with a prideful heart. A heart that is filled with disrespect. As we approach God we understand our need for humility. Towards God. Towards his creation. Towards our neighbors.
Help me Lord. Fill me with understanding towards, and respect for, those who are different than me.