Respect Your Husband
The other day I was talking to a friend that was recently married. She was talking about the gifts they had received for their wedding. The things that they wanted to keep, things they really didn’t need, and so on. One thing that was really bothering her was a pot and pan set that they received. Her husband saw no need for it; “we have enough odds and ends from before we were married to do fine with.” She saw every reason to keep it, “I’m the one cooking the meals; nothing has lids and I have to use other pans as lids,” and so on. In her mind there was no reason to return the pot and pan set and her husband was just being silly not listening to her. As we talked more, she said that she would find herself grumbling at her husband while she was cooking. Why was she letting a silly non-important issue cause her to disrespect her husband?
As a married woman, I know how easy it is to grumble about my husband, and as a fallen human being I know how easy it is to complain about everything and not go to the Lord. I also know how easy it is to continuously nag my husband to get what I want (Praise God for an awareness and an ever ongoing sanctification process!). My behavior is not what God wants and it shouldn’t be something that I want either. I know how I should be behaving. Ephesians 5:24,33 says “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband…I know that a quarrelsome wife is like a continual dripping of rain (Proverbs 19: 13).
So why do I, and so many other wives, continually not give my husband respect and submit to him? When I say submit I am not talking about letting my husband walk all over me because the marriage relationship calls for the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5: 25). There is nothing wrong with being a submissive wife, because it is what God calls us to (which is a huge topic and can be more thoroughly addressed at a different time). It seems as if every direction in which I go, I am chipping away at my husband and making him feel as if he is not leading our household in a manner that lives up to my standards (as if that was the end-all, be-all of how things should be run!). If not verbally, than in my head, “why didn’t you do this, you could have done it this way, if he really loved me he would…” and so on. It seems like there is always something. Sometimes I’m not even aware that I am thinking anything negative and before I know it I am knee deep in husband angst. Over time, if I don’t catch myself, I have an underlying anger and lack of respect for my husband that is spilling out in the way I treat and talk to him and others about him. And over what?? Him not squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube?! Or in my friend’s case, him not letting me keep a pot and pan set? I am self-consciously telling myself lies and undermining my husband and it comes out in the way I speak to my husband and treat him throughout the day. I am not respecting my husband.
So how do we give our husbands the respect and love that they deserve and give God the glory that He deserves and demands? Before my friend left that day, I had a few bits of information that I thought I should pass her way.
- Talk to your husband, ONCE, and let his decision be final. In this case tell your husband why you want the pot and pan set and tell him that the decision he makes will be the end of the matter. Remember that he is head of the household and loves you.
- Be mindful of what you are thinking. Even if you are not vocalizing outwardly your irritation towards your husband, your thoughts are doing just as much damage. If you don’t reign in your thoughts, they are going to be spilling out of your mouth before you know what’s going on. James 3:9 (talking about taming the tongue) says “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”
- Most important, PRAY!!! Pray that God would help you to love your husband, to respect him, and to love that he is head of the household as Christ is head of the church. Pray that God would fill you with the Spirit and that you would live your life showing the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23). Pray that you would submit to your husband as you submit to the Lord, and pray that you would remember how Christ loves the church. How can we know how our husbands love us if we don’t know how Christ loves the church? Ephesians 5: 25-27 says “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so 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.”
Wives, let us remember how big of a responsibility our husbands have on their shoulders for leading their family. And let us constantly respect, love and encourage them through the strength of the Lord Jesus. Let us be slow to voice our displeasures and quick to go to the Lord in prayer.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).