Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, knew what married couples for countless generations would need to remember. Husbands are told to sacrificially love their wives, a love that doesn’t come naturally. Wives are told to respect our husbands, and we have to admit, that doesn’t come naturally either.
Have you ever been around a couple and been amazed at how the wife talks to her husband? She may tease, embarrass, nag, or belittle him. Or, have you been with girlfriends and been amazed at how quickly the conversation can take a turn towards complaining about what our husbands don’t do, how much they don’t earn, or what they don’t know?
Ladies, we can be different. Let’s make a commitment to respect our husbands. How can you show your husband respect?
By your words. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” We are told to only speak words that build up. We build up our husbands in the way we talk to them and talk about them. I started this discipline years ago when my husband became a pastor. I tried to be very conscience about the fact that everything I said about my husband I was saying about my pastor. My husband is transparent and honest about his sins and struggles, but he doesn’t need me talking about them to church members behind his back. Whether or not your husband is a pastor, you can remember that your words should give grace to those who hear.
By your actions. Although Peter mentions unbelieving husbands in his instructions to wives, the lesson applies to us all, “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” (1 Pet. 3:1-2). You don’t just show respect with your words, but also your actions. Don’t roll your eyes. Don’t make faces. Don’t grab the dashboard in the car when you think he’s driving crazy. (What? You don’t do that? Ok, that one is just for me!) Do little things that show that you respect him, like cooking meals he likes or folding his laundry the way he likes it folded.
By your thoughts. Philippians 4:8, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Deeper than our words, our thoughts should also show our husbands respect. I’m sure you can relate to the following slippery slope—my husband calls and says he’s running late. I start to think a downward spiral of negative thoughts—he loves his job more than he loves me, he doesn’t appreciate the meal I’ve cooked for him, he doesn’t know how hard it is to be home with the boys. . . and on and on. But these thoughts aren’t true. Even if they feel true, they aren’t true. To show my husband respect, I need to be respectful in my thoughts.
Paul writes that wives are supposed to see that they respect their husbands. He doesn’t say when you feel like it, when he deserves it, or even when he shows you love (as he is commanded to do). Because we ultimately answer to God, we choose to honor Him regardless of our situations.