In the book, A Guide to Biblical Manhood, Randy Stinson writes the following about what it means for husbands to honor their wives as the weaker vessel:
Peter tells men to show honor to their wives as the weaker vessel (1Peter 3:7). What’s he saying? What he’s not saying is that your wife is of lesser value – because he clearly says to show her honor. She isn’t of lesser value and she isn’t morally or spiritually weaker than you. What we believe Peter has in mind here is just sheer physical weakness compared to the strength of a man.
So, how do you honor her as a weaker vessel? Well, you don’t take advantage of your strength. You treat her with care. You don’t lay hands on her to hurt her. You might be stronger physically, but Peter says treat her with honor.
In my house, we have two kinds of plates. We have some very durable plates that the kids eat on. They cost 20 cents at Wal-mart and I don’t care what you do to them. You can stomp on them, you can throw them across the kitchen, you can use them as a frisbee in the yard. It doesn’t matter to me. If we lose or break one, we just throw it away and get another one.
We have some other plates in our house that if the kids even look at them, they’re in trouble. Those plates are from great grandmothers and they’re fragile. They’re not as durable. They’re weak and we treat them with care. We don’t put them in the dishwasher. It’s a rare and major event when we eat on them. And it’s not because they’re of lesser value, it’s because they are of greater value. We treat these plates with more care, not less. We honor their value by treating them with special care and not being negligent.
Too many men treat their wives as one of the boys – durable and able to handle a lot of wear and tear. But your wife is not one of the boys. You honor her by treating her as a weaker vessel – by not taking advantage of your greater physical strength, but giving her special care and attention.