I have taught women for over a decade about the Bible instruction for wives to display a respectful attitude toward their husbands (Ephesians 5:33), but apparently, I have had problems over the years perfecting this myself! I still vividly remember an occasion about 10 years ago that underscored the problem. I was in the process of texting back and forth with two different women about a need within the Squadron of Sisters wives’ ministry…when my husband came into the room and stood in front of me for at least a minute. I didn’t look up right away because I just wanted to finish my text and be done with that task. My husband turned around and left the room, obviously a bit irritated. My thought was…”huh? What just happened?”
Later, I asked my husband why he was upset. In a nutshell, it turns out that he felt as if he didn’t matter to me. He felt that other things came before him. He had wanted to talk with me about something important and I didn’t even look up when he stood in front of me. He felt disrespected. Oops.
I spent some quiet, reflective time with God afterward, and I believe he showed me that respecting your husband means treating him with great honor. In fact, the original Greek translation of that word “respect” in Ephesians 5:33 means “to have reverence for” or “to be in awe of”. Wow! Those words seem applicable to how a servant would treat a king! Hmmm. Maybe God wants a wife to treat her husband as if he is as important as a king or prince. What if you tried an experiment this week? Would you be willing to attempt to honor your husband, and pay attention to your husband, as if he were a top official or a prince (without making it too goofy or weird!!). Are you willing to try this “respect experiment”? I can’t wait to hear how husbands will be impacted and how marriages may be changed for the better!
99.9 percent of my Bible-based insights are designed to help women personally and in their marriages. But I know that many husbands also read these messages, so I want to take a moment to give you an important insight about the woman in your life! Ladies, if you’re the one reading this, perhaps you can tell your husband that I’m asking him to read this as well. 😊
God tells husbands in Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” And later, in verses 28-29, God says “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church”.
So, God is calling you to love your wife in a self-sacrificing way…and to cherish her. Please allow me to explain 3 key things that virtually every wife needs from you to feel loved and cherished:
She longs to feel beautiful. That means she needs you to notice her hair, her make-up, her outfit and tell her how beautiful she is…that she looks amazing today. It also means that if she finds out you’ve been looking at pornography, she is deeply scarred. The unspoken message she receives is that she is NOT attractive enough, that she doesn’t measure up, that every time you want to make love, you’re envisioning being with another woman who you view as more beautiful than her. That’s why I’m begging you to get help if you’re addicted to pornography. Every time you look at porn, you’re slicing your wife’s heart.
Every woman craves security. We’re just wired that way. She longs to feel financially secure and relationally-secure. That’s why she gets freaked out when you talk about quitting your job or spending money on a new S-U-V. She desperately needs to feel secure.
She needs you to be loving and gentle and involved with her children (whether those kids are your bio kids or step kids). Nothing will break a wife’s heart quicker than to witness her husband being harsh or disrespectful or critical with her children. That doesn’t mean that you need to be a push-over who doesn’t discipline the children, but she needs you to do so with love. She needs to know that you deeply care about her children.