The first several years of my married life I worked full time. I enjoyed the work and my co-workers, but one uncomfortable theme kept surfacing in their conversations: the continual demeaning of their husbands. In time, four of my six co-workers’ marriages ended in divorce and I’m convinced that critical attitudes they’d fostered had not helped their already struggling marriages.
Children’s books and TV programs often make dads look irrelevant and out of touch. Many churches try to soften the roles God gives men and husbands because they feel it sounds too power-hungry; too politically incorrect. We might even find ourselves sharing faux pas our husbands have made with regard to our children, household chores, etc. when we get together with friends, but then find that translating into disrespecting our husbands as we continually do this. Though putting down men in our society is widely accepted today as our culture has become increasingly hostile to Christ, it goes against everything the Bible teaches.
As Christian wives and moms, respecting our husbands is not just a good idea; it’s a mandate from God and, therefore, the mark of an obedient woman. Respecting your husband will not only benefit your relationship with your husband and with God, it’s also one of the most precious gifts you can give your children.
Maybe you’ve found yourself caught up in making your husband the brunt of jokes with your friends. Maybe you’ve not esteemed your husband in front of your children. Maybe you’ve not respected your husband as instructed in Scripture. Or maybe you are married to a man who really is hard to respect because he is harsh or overbearing. How can you turn things around?
First of all, pray. Pray that God will help you change your attitude toward your husband. Pray that He will help you to realize that most of what our culture tells us about men is in direct opposition to what the Word teaches.
Study what the Bible has to say about biblical roles of husbands. Realize the incredible responsibility your husband has before God to lead you and your children. Some passages that speak of this are Ephesians 5:22-32 and I Peter 3:1-9.
Honor your husband before others by affirming him before your children, your family and your friends whether in his presence or in his absence. Resist the urge to criticize him before others. Come to his defense when your children or others are critical. Remember that as your children see your respect for your husband, they will most likely follow suit.
Lastly, pray that your husband will have the strength each day as he goes to work to provide for your family and to provide spiritual leadership for your home. If your husband is not a believer, ask God to help you respect and honor him out of respect and obedience to Christ.
We are in good company when we submit to and respect our husbands. Jesus willingly submitted to God the Father as we read in Philippians 2:5-8:
“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of man. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.
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