Today, I want to address a matter that has become a growing concern for me regarding the many wives that I meet. My concern is how we are treating and speaking to and about our husbands. I am always amazed at how disrespectful some women use their words to tear down and diminish the men they swore their very lives to… and usually they are complaining about mundane and unimportant issues that in the grand scheme of eternal life will not even matter.
I want to be clear about this. Our role as wives is to be a help to our husbands. We are to look out for them... to offer our instincts and give advice to them... in essence, to love them as ourselves and care for their spiritual growth. We are to treat them as we would our own self. After which, we are to trust their headship (which is an enormous responsibility for them).
The Bible teaches in Ephesians 5 that we are to submit to our husbands. This is a tall order, especially when we usually feel that we know better. However, this is how God designed marriage to function in a healthy and productive way. Later in Ephesians 5 (verse 33) it clearly tells us that “the wife must respect her husband.” This is key. When we respect our husbands, we are holding them up with esteem and honor in the important position God has given them. We are standing firmly by their side, praying for them - while trusting and motivating them to do what is right. We are their cheerleaders and best confidants! Unfortunately, this does not mean they will always do what is right…. but let’s be honest - neither do we. That is why we are to help and love each other in Christ.
In summary, I thought it important to remind and encourage Christian wives to really start thinking about how they are speaking and treating their husbands. What do your words and actions about him say about your love, faithfulness and character towards God’s intended design? This is your testimony, and if this is an issue for you, I encourage you to ask God and your husband for forgiveness. With Jesus in your marriage, together you can exhibit God’s love by being a living testimony of what “healthy” should look like. Let’s strive for that!
Note: If you are in an abusive/dangerous relationship that is distorted with ongoing, intentional sin that could physically harm you or your children, there is much more to be addressed than the form of "respect and submission" I am speaking about in this article. In such circumstances, immediate separation from the threat with intercession and counseling from your pastor and/or designated church leaders, along with possible police involvement, is recommended for wives trapped in situations under serious duress. Please note: Physical violence is illegal and should not be tolerated by anyone. No one should have to live in an unsafe environment. Physical abuse is against the law, and the proper authorities should be the first ones contacted if this occurs.