Ephesians 5:33 “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Could you imagine your husband debating whether or not to love you? (especially out loud with other guys or his mom.) I can’t pretend I’m always loveable, but my husband’s love is something I expect.
But I shouldn’t. It isn’t a given–at least since the Bible has to tell us that husbands need to love their wives and wives need to respect their husbands. My grandmother once told me that the reason the Bible says this is: a man wouldn’t marry a woman he didn’t respect, and a woman wouldn’t stay with a man she didn’t love. However, his love and her respect are not automatic.
In our core group we’re discussing the role of a wife. One of the women wanted to know how to show respect. It doesn’t seem to me that there is any quick way to show respect–but I could think of ways I could show disrespect.
Contradicting him in front of others
Demeaning him in his abilities, occupation or pay–or just planting seeds of doubt
Telling him where he fails you
Letting the kids know his sins
Belittle or nullify his parenting in front of the kids
I don’t think you can force yourself to feel respect–but I know from experience that practicing disrespect brews more.One thing our core group notes claimed is that a husband who feels disrespected will usually respond in one of two ways–angry: to prove his manhood, or meek and henpecked. Both make it difficult for him to feel or express love, and then it starts a cycle.
Men have a big role. We watched Courageous the other night. After the film, I went for a drive with my 17-year-old. He commented about the burden men have, to be the kind of father and husband they need to be. He felt the gravity of manhood.
No man can do it perfectly all of the time. (If you think your husband will–wait until you meet him!) Of course, the whole point is that we cannot be who we are called (as parents, spouses or Christ-followers) without the help of Christ. A woman’s role is just as big–and as difficult–when attempted without Christ’s help.
Men are accountable to God to fulfill their role–but disrespect works against him. A wise woman will build instead of tear down. Proverbs 14:1.
Girls, your turn. Leave a comment of an action that would make you feel unloved.