Monday, April 11, 2011

Respecting Your Husband: Biblical Marriage (Part 5)

When discussing a biblical view on marriage, we need to consider what scripture says to wives.

“Let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
“Even if any of them [husbands] are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your… respectful behavior.” (1 Peter 3:1-2)

Wives need to know about a husband’s need for respect. Today, more than ever, we need to think biblically and not just culturally. Emerson Eggerich talks of this in his “Love and Respect” seminar and materials…

“In this culture, a love-dominated society, a woman tends to talk far more about her need for love than her husband talks about his need for respect. Biblically there are two sides to the marital coin: love AND respect…. Only the husband is commanded to agape-love his wife (Eph. 5:25,28,33). Both Peter and Paul reveal that the secret for a wife is to show unconditional respect (1 Peter 3:1-2; Ephesians 5:33). Unconditional respect is as powerful to a husband as unconditional love is to a wife. This truth needs to be put back on the marital radar screen.”

There are many ways a wife can tear down their home by not relating with her husband in a respectful manner:
  • Resist his physical affection
  • Refuse to do fun things with him
  • Take the leadership role
  • Stop attempting to be attractive for him
  • Neglect your home
  • Ridicule him
  • Remind him of past mistakes
  • Don’t understand his desire to apply himself to his career (He needs to conquer out there!)
  • Complain often (Criticism causes a person to become defensive, withdrawn and insecure.)

But what if a husband doesn’t “deserve” respect? Recall that God called the prophet Hosea to unconditionally love his undeserving, adulterous wife. Peter instructed wives to win over their disobedient husband through their respectful behavior (1 Pet. 3:1-2). Eggerich explains this more…

“A disobedient husband is not respectable and DOES NOT DESERVE respect. But such a husband, like all husbands, needs respect that only his wife can give. However, the culture teaches that respect must be earned whereas love is to be unconditional. Further, the culture has given a wife license to express, ‘I love him but don’t respect him.’ However, this is equal to a husband saying, ‘I respect her but do not love her.’”

Expressing the biblical marital value of unconditional love and unconditional respect will certainly strengthen a marriage. For a woman, this can begin by understanding God’s call to respect her husband. The husband needs to know that you trust his leadership.

How is this respect to be expressed? A simple first step is for the wife to ask her husband. A few suggestions might also include:
  • Be loyal to his leadership
  • Dress for him
  • Play with him
  • Express desire for him
  • Prayer to God on his behalf and with thanksgiving
  • Express admiration
Both wives and husbands need to realize that praise isn't praise until it's spoken. Affection isn't affection until it's shown. Express sincere words of praise and appreciation for these awaken tender feelings and a romantic love. It also promotes self-confidence, security and an atmosphere of safety where you can be more vulnerable with each other.

May you be encouraged to find some way every day to communicate genuine affection and appreciation toward your spouse.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks John, for this. It's very helpful and well put! I'm motivated by your encouragement! Keep it up, please. :)