3:7 the weaker vessel. “Weaker” refers to physical strength, not to the moral, spiritual, or mental ability of the wife. The discrepancy in physical strength provides one reason for the special consideration the husband is to show his wife.
heirs with you of the grace of life. Fellowship in the faith adds another reason for showing respect. Here Peter assumes that both husband and wife in this situation are Christians (cf. v. 1). Women enjoy full spiritual equality with men (Gal. 3:28).
your prayers . . . hindered. Estrangement from others often affects our relationship with God (Matt. 5:23, 24). In particular, the failure to observe God’s will for the marriage relationship can disrupt our spiritual relationship with God. The importance of healthy family relationships is apparent from the typological comparison of Christ and church with husband and wife (Eph. 5:23, 24), and by the persistent New Testament characterization of the church as the family of God (1:14–17; Rom. 8:14–17; 1 Tim. 3:14, 15; 5:1, 2).