The apostle Peter writes,
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. (1 Peter 3:7)
This is strange at first glance. How does caring for your wife connect to having unhindered prayers?
Here’s Wayne Grudem’s challenging commentary:
So concerned is God that Christian husbands live in an understanding and loving way with their wives, that he “interrupts” his relationship with them when they are not doing so. No Christian husband should presume to think that any spiritual good will be accomplished by his life without an effective ministry of prayer. And no husband may expect an effective prayer life unless he lives with his wife “in an understanding way, bestowing honour” on her. To take the time to develop and maintain a good marriage is God’s will; it is serving God; it is a spiritual activity pleasing in his sight.” (1 Peter, 146)
Christian husbands shouldn’t feel that time given to their wives is “time away from the real ministry.” Time invested with our wives is time well spent. It’s God’s will—“a spiritual activity pleasing in his sight.”
So I encourage all who read this blog to spend some extra time with your wife. I know exactly what he means by saying that husbands may "feel that time given to their wives is 'time away from the real ministry.'” Soon after getting married, I started a new ministry and occasionally felt like this. When I became overwhelmed and realized I wasn't accomplishing much actual ministry without her by my side I realized how important this issue was. Remember that your family is your FIRST ministry, that why not having a good family life excludes one from eldership.