Ephesians 5:33 “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she RESPECTS her husband.”
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can be a better wife to my amazing husband. How I can go out of my way to be encouraging and loving. We read in the Bible that it is important to respect our husbands. But how can you really respect your husband?
This can be very difficult. Especially in marriages where the wife may be willing and wanting to work on things and strive to better the marriage, and the husband does not. Maybe they are lazy, maybe they don’t show you love, maybe they make you feel unwanted, unloved, or unimportant. I will admit I have felt this many times in my marriage. I would get stuck in this very depressed mode where all I could think about is how awful he was and how our marriage lacked in every way possible. Was it me that was making things out to be worse than they actually were? Was I holding on to grudges too firmly? Dwelling on mistakes made by your spouse can be detrimental to your marriage. That’s not something that should even be present in marriage.
- Don’t hold on to past mistakes. Proverbs 17:9 “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”
This verse sums it up pretty well right here. My husband and I made lots of mistakes before we were married. Before we even met actually. We were both very young, living our lives and trying to learn how to grow up. He was not a Christian. I was, and still messed up more than he did! It’s very easy to hold onto things that your spouse has hurt you with in the past. VERY EASY. Any time a disagreement comes up, you can remind him of his past mistakes to further your argument. “You did this. You did that. See how awful you are!” Sure, it’s easy to do. I am extremely guilty of this. But is it right to do that? In the words of our children’s favorite snow queen and probably the most overly used phrase in 2014, “LET IT GO!” No one deserves to have their mistakes thrown back in their face to relive that guilt all over again. If you uttered the words, “I forgive you”, mean it.
- Pray for your husband. Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Who doesn’t want to be prayed for? Doesn’t it feel good knowing someone cares enough to take time out of their day to pray just for you? I go out of my way to pray for my husband every single day. Prayer that he is watched over. Prayer that he is protected. Prayer that he is encouraged at work. Prayer that he has strength to overcome whatever temptations lie ahead. Prayer about everything and anything.
- Don’t talk down to him. Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Guilty as charged. Yet again. We have all been there. He left his crap all over the living room, he doesn’t want to help with the kids, he won’t clean anything. Wherever it may be that he lacks, there’s no need to point it out constantly and put him down just for the sake of it. He will not take it as an encouragement. No, they will take is as nagging and you trying to change them into the man they can never realistically live up to. And why are we trying to change our husbands anyways? We did marry these guys, after all. There must be something good there 😉 Encouraging words are always the way to go. which brings me to my next bullet..
- Speak encouraging words. Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Sure, as stay-at-home moms, we thrive on encouraging words. It’s what gets us through our incredibly stressful, busy, hectic days. But what about our hubbies? They have bad days too. They have hard, stressful, hectic days too. Not just us. We need to get off our high horses and realize sometimes our men need uplifting words too. And we should be the ones giving it to them. “Wow honey, you really are amazing at fixing those lights! You are so unbelievably good with the kids!” They eat that stuff up! And they feel appreciated at the same time.
- Don’t dress like your trying to pick up men. 1 Timothy 2:9 “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments”
This may sound like a strange way to show respect to your husband, but hear me out. This does not mean dress like a nun and cover yourself from your head to your ankles. If you are married, show respect to your husband by dressing modestly. Don’t dress like you are trying to get every man’s eyes on you. He won’t appreciate it. It might even cause him to doubt your devotion. My husband really appreciates me dressing down. I know that sounds weird but it’s true. He doesn’t want every man staring at me. And I don’t either! So keep it casual, save the sexiness for the bedroom!
- Let him take charge of things!
No man likes to be told what to do and HOW to do it. Men appreciate when women have confidence in them and believe that what they are doing is the right way to do it. Show your man that you know he can make decisions on his own once in a while and be confident in him! And relax, it’s not the end of the world if he messes up. I’m talking about small things here. Not huge financial and important decisions we should be making as a couple. (Keep in mind this does not apply to the bedroom. Men seriously need to be told EXACTLY what to do in there!)
- Ask for his opinion.
My husband’s face lights up when I ask for his opinion. I know, simple right?! Something so little and miniscule can mean so much to your husband. Asking his opinion means you value his way of thinking and it is important to see what he thinks. This says loads about how much you respect him. Ask what he thinks of that new haircut you were thinking of getting. Ask him about what you’re wearing. Of course, just because you ask his opinion, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the “right choice” and should be followed.
Here’s where some women interpret scripture a little too literally. Ephesians 5:22-23 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
Respecting them does NOT mean we are to be slaves to our husbands. We do not bow down to them. Some Christian women seem to think this is the case, and I’m here to tell you, it’s not. As Christian women, we are to respect our husbands, to show them love, to help them feel important. That should be something we want to do. BUT, some women take it too far and let their husbands control them. My heart aches for these women. They come from the absolute best place and have the best intentions. They want to give themselves 100% to their husbands and let them take control. As the Bible states, “submit” right? Don’t be one of those women who take these verses literally.
Be respectful to your husband. Be loving to your husband. Show him you care. Show him you love him. Be the best wife you can possibly be. I believe that is what God wants. And let’s try to remember this verse..
Proverbs 25:24 “It is better to live on the corner of the roof, than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.”