I did not grow up observing a respectful marriage. Unfortunately, he was the complete opposite of respect. I come from a long line of failed marriages, domestic violence, resentment and passivity are the daily lot in my family. When Justin and I were married six years ago, we discussed ways to love and respect one another as the Bible recommends. We wanted to love each other, honoring God, and breaking the sins of the generations I witnessed growing up.
RESPECT, a vocation
Biblically, respect refers to the fear that a person should have for God, a veneration and a way of honoring him.(Luke 1: 5, 18: 2, Acts 10:35, 1 Peter 2:17, Revelation 14: 7, 19: 5). This type of reverence and respect for God must also characterize the relationship between husband and wife in marriage. Ephesians 5:33 specifically calls on women to respect their husbands. “Besides, let every one of you love his wife like himself, and let the wife respect her husband.”
Just as Christ surrendered for the church by sacrificing himself, husbands are called to give their lives for their wives by making their marriage a source of wealth but also a way of serving God by caring for their wives.However, because of sin, in a number of marriages matchmaking and unhealthy dominance sometimes takes over.
Wives have a responsibility to love their husbands by accepting and respecting their role as servant leaders and husbands. This is modeled on how Christ works with the church. There are many temptations regarding the respect of your husband, but the most common is that your behavior demonstrates contempt to the point of sometimes “emasculating.”
RESPECT, a fruit of the Spirit
A Biblical understanding of respect is not fear. It does not mean to be his doormat. Respect is not conditional or deserving. Being a woman who respects her husband is not an insurmountable chore or duty. On the contrary, this “respect” is the fruit of the Spirit. It is easier to respect your husband when he is obedient to Ephesians 5:33 and loves you as he loves himself, but women are called to respect our husbands, even when they do not fulfill Ephesians 5:33.
Respecting your husband does not mean subjecting you to physical, psychological, verbal or sexual violence. To act respectfully in this case would be to call the police and tell the elders of the church. Your husband is under the authority of the Church and the state, and there are consequences to such actions.
RESPECT YOUR BEST FRIEND
Respect translates into the way you interact with your best friend. Men and women were created equal to the image of God, and destined to be co-heirs of the eternal kingdom. We were created with different roles and responsibilities, but both called to respect each other, “submitting to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). For women, having a better understanding of how to respect her husband allows you to live on a daily basis what God is recommending.
HERE ARE 12 PRACTICAL WAYS TO RESPECT YOUR HUSBAND:
1. Tell him that you respect him. Be precise when you express it.
2. Excuse when you are wrong. Expect him to apologize when he is wrong.
3. Ask him for his opinion. Include it in your decisions and your thoughts.
4. Praying fervently for your husband without trying to become his “spiritual mother”. You are his partner
5. Speak kindly and lovingly to your husband in front of the family, children, and your friends.
6. Orally encourage one’s accomplishments both within and outside the family.
7. Listen to him without firing him.
8. Be aware of the power of words: ladies, we can be passive aggressive, snarling, and make sarcastic remarks and criticisms that can be very hurtful.
9. Expect great things from him. Do not diminish it.
10. Let him know what you think and feel. This promotes trust and communication.
11. Ask God to show you how to care and love your husband as he desires and not according to your perception.
12. Be honest and repent to God and your husband if you disrespect him. Ask God to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in your life.
Post from Lindsey Holcomb, deaconess at Ballard Church.