How many wives out there LOVE the scripture from Ephesians 5 that talks about men laying their lives down for their wives, just as Christ would for the church? (If you’re going to look it up, go ahead and read all of Chap 5.) Wives love being referenced as the church, the faithful, loving body who lives and breathes for her husband.
But, just like so many other wives, I over looked the part about respecting my husband. Overlook might be a little too harsh. I didn’t overlook. I THOUGHT I knew what it was. I THOUGHT I was doing it. I thought wrong.
As wives, we are inundated with images of husbands who can hardly function let alone deserve respect. Men are stupid, aloof, and basically children in a man’s body.
This post won’t even BEGIN to touch on all the different aspects of respect. I’ll put some resources at the bottom if you’re interested.
No, what I want to talk to you about is how I learned respect. As a young wife, I gobbled up resources on marriage, and sought the advice of my dad and sister who are both in ministry fields. I read and applied. But nothing hit me so hard as this concept:
I needed to respect my husband. And not because he earned it by any worldly standard. He deserved my respect because God commanded that I do it. (It’s in that same chapter of Ephesians I mentioned before,)
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I have to give respect to someone who has done nothing to earn it?
Yup. And you know what that is? It’s grace. Beautiful, life-giving, wonderful, freeing grace.
Wow. I had no idea that it worked like that. So I started doing more research, looking into more things. And I found great resources on actively changing my attitude about respect. I completed a devotional on respect as a 1st anniversary gift to my husband. And I was satisfied.
For a minute.
After we had our baby, I wanted to communicate to my child(ren) the correct and beautiful action of respect as a model of marriage.So I looked more, and researched more.
Now, I’m at a point where all of my friends are married off and I’ve already heard rumblings of divorce. What?!? So now I want to encourage others and be in community of respecting wives.
Truthfully, I’ve learned the most about respecting my husband in the last 3 months as I have become his business partner. I don’t know anything about business and yet he chose me to be his partner. Whoa. Is it easy? No. It’s hard. Like marriage. Because someone has to be in charge even if it is a 50/50 partnership, and guess who’s in charge? Yup, the head of our household. Do I always like it when he picks apart my work or does something differently than teacher-me would? No. But it has taught me to hold my tongue about issues that aren’t all that important to begin with and to trust his leadership. I respect him and his choices for our business.
Respect comes in a lot of ways and it’s important to learn those ways and to communicate them to your husband the best you can. And if something doesn’t work, keep moving forward. I have failed more times than I care to admit when I thought I was showing respect but Hubs didn’t feel respected. Ok. So I try something else. It’s a lot of sweat and tears, but why wouldn’t I want to put this work in now and enjoy the fruits of my toil later in marriage, instead of looking back and wondering where everything went wrong?
Respect has been on my heart lately because I’m joining with 1500 other women to complete a study of a new book on the foundations of respect. I read her devotional – it’s the one I did as an anniversary gift – and just am so excited that her call is for respect in marriage.
I pray that if respect is on your heart, that you will take a look at some of the things that have really impacted me.
Love and Respect – Emerson Eggerichs
The Respect Dare – Nina Roesner
Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage Seminar – Mark Gungor
Current Respect Journey – Follow Nina’s Blog at http://ninaroesner.com/2012/09/05/the-respect-dare-foundations-for-wives/