I think the idea of respecting our husbands needs to be redeemed. For too long, we have felt that in order to be strong women, that meant we wouldn’t let anyone have control over us. However, God never intended for women to rule over the home. To run the home – yes! But, as wives, I feel like it is still our calling – and a high one at that! – to respect our husbands.
First of all, respect is different from love. Respect is more than the butterfly feeling in our stomach when our husband walks in the room. God commands respect of our husbands, even when the flutter of butterfly wings has changed. I love how Courtney, from Women Living Well , said in her book (also called Women Living Well) ” Respect is an attitude of the heart that will be displayed in our actions.” Ladies, actions do speak louder than words. When I am struggling in the area of respect of my husband (and I admit- I am human, and I do), the first way that it manifest itself is in my actions. The second place I see it is in the action of my kids. I believe I am teaching my children to respect their daddy by the way I respect him. I am also modeling marriage for them. They will respect their dad – and their future spouse – the way that it was modeled for them in our home. This has a generational impact! If I am sarcastic in my tone, slow and lagging in my acts of service, the tone of my home quickly changes into that similar tone. My respect is often related to the amount of time I spend in God’s Word.
We need to remember that men are created differently then women. Their needs are different. My husband knows my needs are often for him to listen to me (which can take awhile- I am kind of chatty!) in the afternoons. I have spent HOURS with little people all day, and so I need adult conversation. He knows I need emotional connection and to be reminded that I am thought of when he isn’t with me. My hubby does a great job of meeting my needs – yet it is not because he can read my mind, or because they are similar. His needs are different. I know he needs time with the kids in the evening. I know he needs time with me – unplugged. I know he needs to unwind and unplug. I know he is in need of intimacy. I need to respect these areas as needs in his life. I need to do my best to be a helper by making sure his needs are met. When we understand the differences in our husbands needs, we can respect them, and joyfully meet those needs.
I also understand that sometimes, respect isn’t easy to give. God never told us it would be easy. However, all of us have areas that are hard, that we need to work on. We have married men that are still human. We are still human. We are both going to fail. However, to many wives put their complete fulfillment in their husbands- and that should be put on Christ alone. When we seek to be fulfilled in anything beside Christ ,we always come up missing. Areas where it is harder for us to respect, are areas in which we can grow and mature – and a new area where we can trust God more. We need to learn to pray for our husbands, our marriages, and our attitudes, daily.
There was a time when God had to work on this area of respect for my husband in my life. Where God tested it through the fire. There was a decision that I felt needed to be made for our family, however, my husband didn’t think the timing was right. I cried and prayed daily over the issue, and still, Scott didn’t budge. I felt like I was crumbling on the inside, but knew it was an area that needed to be left in trusting God and my husband to do the right thing. It was an area that if I choose to disobey, our house would be a divided front, and I was not going to have that. (Note- this is not an area of sin being discussed.) The Lord just kept repeating over and over, “Child, I have this. I have you. I have him. I have this.” So I trusted. Soon, through much prayer – my husband realized what needed to be done. It was hard – and it wasn’t the road others in our lives thought was best. However, it has brought us to a place of such peace and grace. I know that if I would have nagged and pestered him, his heart would have been made hard, and we would not be in the abundant place we are today. Sweet sister, I promise, submission and respect are worth it. To God AND your husband. You will be a jewel of great price.
Yes, maybe this makes me sound a little “Time Warp Wife”-ish, like Courtney talked about in her book. However, that is a title that I can wear. When I said my wedding vows, I made a promise full of Biblical truths to God and my husband. Not for a title. Not even to make Scott happy (although I know he is pleased!), yet it is all for the glory of God. God’s glory matters that much to me. I want God to be able to say of me “Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:29-30)
Oh sweet sister, to live a life of worship before God in my marriage isn’t always easy. Respect isn’t always easy – and I have a wonderful husband! Yet, it is always WORTH it. God’s glory is always worth it.
Worshiping with my Life,