Hello my beloved readers!! I hope that you have all had such an amazing weekend and week so far! I am so glad to be back to the blog and with you today after some much needed stomach-flu-recovery, family-bonding, therapeutic-cleaning, and much-needed-rest time.
Today, let's talk about respect; something I am far from expert in, but learning daily [with copious amounts of grace] what it looks like to be a wife that respects her husband. As wives, the Bible clearly calls us to respect our husbands:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." (Eph 5:22-24)
"'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." (Eph 5:31-32)
"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands" (1 Peter 3:1-6)
Can I be completely honest with you? This did not come naturally for me, or even remotely easily. In a culture that tells us that that the primary goal of our relationships is to get what we want out of it and be selfish, the words 'respect' and 'submit' are the exact opposites of what I was prepared to get myself into. Before being married, I thought I knew a little bit about true respect, but it turns out I had only dipped my little toes in that big sea. With that, here are a few of the ways I have learned how to intentionally respect Miles over the last year:
Respect him with your words
+ What is your tone like when you talk to your husband? Sometimes I respond to Miles and while the words are coming out of my mouth, I can see the hurt on his face. In that moment, I know that my tone communicated something that was disrespectful, even though that wasn't my intention. I especially try to watch my tone when we are with others because usually I can't privately explain and fully apologize right in that moment. Instead I have to wait which usually results in bitterness.
+ If you haven't picked up on it yet, I tend to be quite sarcastic. So does Miles. But sometimes, sarcasm is simply not nice. Quite often, I find sarcasm is used to communicate a frustration or dissatisfaction without using healthy, constructive communication skills. Am I saying that sarcasm is entirely bad and has no place in a healthy conversation? No. But there is a difference between playful, humorous sarcasm and the kind that hurts. I just advise you to use it wisely because one demeaning phrase can break down all of his confidence in you (recall the power of the tongue found in James). Just to encourage you, I think Jesus used sarcasm in a healthy manner, but he was far from the madman of Proverbs 26.
+ Sometimes I unintentionally bad mouth my husband when he is not around. When I'm with my friends, I try to disguise my gossip as venting, but ultimately, I am belittling my leader and my lover. Ladies, this is sin, plain and simple. We should be building our husbands up, not tearing them down. When I put down my husband--or anyone for that matter, I am definitely not glorifying Jesus, but just looking like a big hypocrite that doesn't practice what she preaches.
Respect him as your leader
+ Miles is my leader (Eph 5:22-24). Your husband is yours. We know the truth of the Bible, but sometimes it's hard for us to accept. Whether it is my pride or a control issue (probably both), sometimes I find that I want to be the leader of the home. I am thankful for the ways that Miles has been gracious in forgiving my controlling tendencies in our first year of marriage and also, moreso, how God has blessed me with an amazing leader. Because of that, this isn't a huge issue in our marriage, however I know that among some of my friends, it is. Here are some ways that you can let your husband take the reigns when you are having a hard time letting go of them: encourage instead of nag; ask him questions and talk about things regularly to let him know you value his opinion; ask him how you can help him (Gen 2:18); pray for him and with him.
*I would love to share examples with you of how to put these suggestions into action; if you are struggling with letting go of the reigns, send me an email and I would love to bounce you ideas as well as pray for you and your marriage!
So ultimately why do we want to respect our spouses?
+ For God's glory
+ Because God commands we do so
+ Out of a desire to love God and our husbands well
+ To be a reflection of the grace we have received from Jesus
+ To be easier to love
There are so many ways that we can respect our husbands and although I have only shared a few, I hope that my words have encouraged you, motivated you, and maybe even convicted you and lead you to repentance.
What are some ways that YOU are intentionally respecting your spouse? I'd love for you to share via email or in the comments below!
Did you miss the last post of the series? Check it out here and then come back next Wednesday as I talk about the long journey of communication in my marriage!
(ps. have you watched our wedding video, yet??)
Liked this post? Check out the rest of the series:
(Linking up with Jack of All Trades this week)