(Another excerpt from my new blog.)
“You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered” (NASB).
Feminists avoid the passage because it comes at the end of one of those dreaded submit passages, and often equally because it says women are weaker. But anyone interested in fighting the oppression of women should embrace this passage. When Peter talks of women being weaker he is referencing the comparative physical weakness of women when contrasted to men.
In a society where women were often seen as property and were not protected by laws from physical domination by their husbands, Peter basically says that the failure to honor your wife as a complete person, an heir, can cut you off from God.
What do I mean? Prayer is the spiritual organ by which we breathe God’s Holy Spirit, our spiritual breath of life. This is why Paul says, “pray without ceasing.” To “hinder” your prayers is to cut off your spiritual breathing–the source of your spiritual life. A man who dominates, oppresses, misuses, pressures, abuses, or subjugates his wife is in serious danger of spiritual suffocation.