Present-day reality is addressed in some way through the Word of God, and specifically through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Peter addresses a reality of marriage: “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them (your wife) with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” I Peter 3:7. How many believing men walk around with empty prayer lives, wearing a religious facade at least in part because they have emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually “divorced” their wife for years? Husbands, consider this. If you have neglected to honor your wife, and have neglected to “dwell with her with understanding” (which could be restated “get to know her and love her”) God tells us that your prayers have been hindered. Now we know that not all prayer is intercessory, so this could affect not only tangible answers to intercessory prayer, but even the communing aspects of prayer that we need so much as believers.
Here is a simple suggestion to you husbands. Carve out two times a month where you and your wife can have some significant, face-to-face time where you ask her about her life, dreams, struggles, fears, and hopes, and where you make a concerted effort to carefully listen. I don't refer to mere communication here; communication is all the rage in marriage books today, but the divorce rate keeps climbing even with communication. We need to seek for a soul connection, a deeper level of communion that is only possible as the Spirit of God works in our lives, and through the twin gifts of time and interest, bathed in love.
Thankfully, conservative Anabaptists have endeavored to obey God's intention for marriage: one man and one woman for life. That said, just because I have a marriage certificate and have been “faithful” to my wife does not mean that I have entered into spiritual communion with her in a way that exemplifies the spiritual union of Christ and the Church. Men, we have some work ahead of us, and you and I need to stop being slackers when it comes to pursuing the wife that God has given. Will your wife have a difficult time submitting to you when she hears this? “Honey, put on your best dress. I've arranged for a babysitter, and we're going on a date tonight.” Or maybe this...“After the children are in bed tonight I would like you to tell me what's been on your mind this week.” Try it this week. You may be surprised. Sure, this might not be for the faint of heart, but your heart fainted for her before, right?