Thanks for being such a wonderful friend, Eileen!
As I read through the many delightful posts on Becky’s blog, I am filled with great joy that there are so many women across the boundary lines of states and countries, that love the same God that I do. It reminds me, again, that our God is big. He is the God of all creation – of heaven and of earth. Thank you Becky, for asking me to join a fabulous group of ladies who have been blessed with wisdom and knowledge. I pray that this post I write will encourage all of you, as yours have done for me.
Respecting our Husbands
When ladies get together in the kitchen (or anywhere) they like to chat. It is how we get to know one another – how many children we have, where do we attend church, what books we are reading, what our husbands do, and so forth. What we say about our family members is an easy way for others, who may not know them, to get to know them. So what we say about our families (and others), and how we promote them is extremely important. Our words must be chosen carefully. Kindness and love must reign. We do not want to gossip and we do not want to back bite. With this in mind, I would like discuss Respecting Our Husbands.
Two weekends ago, my family and I attended one of the many weddings that will be held this spring. The vows were not surprising, but they were, none the less, very important because through those vows, the world became a witness of the bride and groom’s commitment to each other and to God. The husband was admonished to love his wife and the bride was encouraged to respect her husband. Have you ever thought about the difference in the commands? Husbands are to love; wives are to respect (see Eph. 5).
We all understand that God has wired men and women differently - women enjoy Jane Austin stories, men like explosions. One of the wonderful differences He has created in us, is the fact that men need respect. We know this is true because the Bible tells us to render them respect. But what does respect look like so that it can be rendered? Let us turn to God for our answer.
1 Peter 3:1 says, “Wives, likewise wives, be submissive to your own husbands….” Again, in 1 Peter 3:6 we read, “…As Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord.” Sarah is commended for her obedience to Abraham calling him Lord and master. When we submit to our husband’s authority, that is showing respect. When we praise him to our children, that is showing respect. When we organize our home in a manner that is pleasing to our husbands, that is showing respect. When we defer to him how to educate our children, that is showing respect.
Obedience is one of the outward displays of the respect you have for your husband. And your respect for your husband has greater consequences than you can imagine for in obeying him, you are obeying God. And in obeying God, you are blessed!
When we respect our husbands, others respect our husbands. Look at Psalm 31:23 “Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” Why is her husband able to sit at the gates with the other elders? Because he is respected by the men of the city. The only way that can happen is if he is respected at home. And that begins with us.
Let’s return to chatting in the kitchen. Chatting refers to light, easy conversation. Conversation refers to words, and words can be both a blessing and a curse. These are ways to show respect for our husbands when we speak about them, or to them: Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bone (Pr. 16:24); a gentle answer turns away wrath (Pr.15:1a); the tongue of the wise commends knowledge (Pr. 15:2a); A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones (Pr. 15:30). Therefore, when we respect our husbands with our actions and our words, even to others when our husbands are not around, our attitude will reflect back to us, making us lovely in the eyes of God. Husbands and wives lift each other up with respect and love as God has instructed us to do.
I know there are some husbands out there that many wives feel are not respectable. So, do you only respect them when they deserve it? Is that what God says? No. God gives no qualifiers to his command. He says, “Respect your husbands”. When you don’t, you are telling God that He doesn’t know what He’s talking about. But, how can He not know when he’s God - your Creator, your Savior? Your husband may not be respectable, but I do believe that if you begin to speak to him in a manner that renders respect and act toward him in a manner that brings respect, he will become more respectable than he was. (see 1 Peter 3:1-2). You will be blessed by your obedience.
According to the Apostle Peter, women who submit and obey their husbands are beautiful.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”
(1Pe 3:3-6 NIV)
Submitting and obeying is beautifying because obedience to God can only come from a heart that belongs to God. It is He that has made it beautiful. We know that “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Mat. 12:34) So if our hearts, which belong to God, are filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, and our mouths are praising our husband, what greater blessing can there be?
May you be women loved by God, full of virtue, the greatest admirers of your husbands, and their biggest fans.
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