Peter says that a godly man must honor his wife as the weaker vessel (1 Pet. 3:8). The fact that many Christians would turn a light shade of pink when this verse is read out loud is an indication of just how spineless and cowardly we have become. But still worse are the consequences that necessarily flow from ignoring this verse or explaining it away with footnotes and throat clearing.
This means that a man who gets up multiple times a night with young children throughout the week and continues to get up early to go to work must not complain or be bitter when his wife happens to get up once and asks to sleep in for a bit. He may not respond by pointing out how “unfair” that is. This is to ask God to flatten out the differences between men and women. This is to dishonor a woman’s glory rather than to honor it.
Let me give you another example: This means that a wife or daughter may feel free to unload her feelings, hurts, confusions, worries, and fear to her husband or father, and that man may not unload in the same way on his wife or daughter. A man must be honest, but his duty is to be strong for his wife, to be strong for his daughter. This may seem unfair to some, but it is nothing less than the gospel in operation. Paul says that a man’s example is Jesus who loved His bride and gave Himself for her (Eph. 5:25). He bears our burdens, and men must bear the burdens of those they are responsible for. To ask a man to be “transparent” and to “share his feelings” is to ask a man to disobey Jesus. There is of course a generic way in which, all Christians “bear one anothers’ burdens,” but this is not a command at odds with the way God made the world with men and women and their respective glories.
We must not miss the fact that when a man honors a woman’s weakness with understanding this is precisely how he remembers that she is an heir of grace together with him (1 Pet. 3:8). Many people think Peter was busy leaning in two different directions: on the one hand there’s some kind of inequality and on the other hand there is this equality. But actually Peter was showing men how to do both at the same time. When a man honors and guards his wife and gladly sacrifices for her and bears her weakness, he is at that very point treating her as a co-heir of life together.
In other words, God requires men and women to treat one another differently. Some think this is sexist. But we call it glory.