Learning To Respect My Husband
by Lisa Benefield
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22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.a 28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
I read the above passage and then I start to ask myself hard questions. Am I a good wife? Do I respect my husband? After I ask myself these hard questions I realize the answers are negative. Then I have to ask God how I can change this and how can He be glorified in my marriage? What can I do that would cause my husband to stop and be in awe of our amazing God?
I used to think respect was earned. I did not have to respect my husband if he was not being my idea of a good husband. God is teaching me through trials that respect for my husband is not conditional. God has placed my husband as the head of our household. I should respect my husband because God has given him that authority. In Romans thirteen, we are told to respect our leaders. In the first book of Timothy in the second chapter, we are told to pray for our leaders. My husband is the leader in our home and as such is due not only my respect but also my prayers.
When my husband and I argue, I need to show him God’s grace by not yelling back and trying to defend myself. This is not so easily done. My sinful human nature tells me to yell back and fight. God reminds me of all He has done for me. When I did not know Jesus as my Savior, I would mistreat God. I had a great disdain for Him. But God did not treat me the same way I treated Him. He loved me and pursued me even more. That is how I am to love my husband, relentlessly. In Proverbs, we are told “ a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” When my husband gets mad at me, I need to remember yelling back does not respect him, but more importantly, it does not respect God. I can disagree with my husband but with respect and not at the top of my lungs. As a Christian, my main goal in my marriage and in all of my relationships needs to be to glorify God. When I tell my husband I am a Christian, I need to act like Christ.
My efforts in being a graceful wife showing my husband respect and God’s love to my husband are tested frequently. I am embarrassed to say that I am stubborn and learning this new behavior is one of the hardest things I am doing. I am so thankful God is faithful and merciful. When things are not right in our marriage, I need to ask God what I have done or am doing to make it that way. Then I need to ask God to show me how I can make our marriage better.
When I fight with my husband, I can show him respect by not using sarcasm, not putting him down and not calling him names. When we fight, I can show my husband respect by not giving him a cold shoulder and a deaf ear after my feelings are hurt. When I get mad at my husband, I need to understand it honors neither him or God if I talk about his perceived wrongdoings to everyone with a listening ear. I greatly disrespect my husband when I am critical of him and tell others what a horrible person he is. I need to remember I am a horrible person too. We are both selfish sinners. I bear as much responsibility for our problems and for making them better. God cherishes us both. He is no respector of persons.
Forgiveness is an important part of me showing my husband respect. God is so quick to forgive us and cover us with His grace. I need to be just as quick to ask forgiveness when I have done something to hurt my husband. I need to be just as quick to offer forgiveness when he realizes he has done something to hurt me.
I can respect my husband by praying for him to walk close with God. I can pray that I might have a willing heart to follow my husband’s leadership as we seek to serve God together. Through the strength and example of Christ, I can learn to respect and honor my husband. I can learn to be a grace filled wife. I can learn to be more precious to my husband than jewels (Proverbs 31:10).
Lord, thank you for my husband. Help me to love him and respect him and do good to him all the days of my life.
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This is a wonderful yet convicting article. Thank you for thee reminder of the numerous ways I fall short and the powerful suggestions you offered for me to also walk in the role which God has placed me in as a wife who respects her husband!