Have you ever had this thought…”I don’t respect my husband”? Honestly, I had that thought quite often in my first marriage, and because I didn’t FEEL respect, I didn’t ACT particularly respectful. Unfortunately, I just went with how I felt. I rolled my eyes at his ideas. I took control of most everything in our family because I didn’t think he was capable. I corrected him a lot. And…..after quite a few years, he turned to other women for validation.
I learned many lessons after that failed marriage. One of them is that a man desperately needs the respect of his wife. He needs to know that she believes in him and is FOR him. Now, this doesn’t mean she is supposed to ignore destructive and sinful choices in his life. No, she needs to gently, but firmly, confront him if he is caught in a pattern of sin. But, even then, she can be loving and kind and respectful!
In my 2nd marriage to Raul, I began pressing into this Biblical command (Ephesians 5:33) for wives to respect their husbands. And oh my, what a difference it made! He told me many times that he wouldn’t be able to tackle the things he was doing in life and for God if it weren’t for me being FOR him. In fact, he often got tears in his eyes when I treated him respectfully because it was a new thing for him as well…and he desperately craved my respect. All men do. Try it and see what happens in your marriage. Have you already tried it? How has it impacted your marriage?
I am filled with righteous indignation today, and frankly, I’m on the war path! I keep on discovering more and more marriages that are slowly being destroyed due to pornography. The stories women tell me often reveal very similar downward spirals. Their husband’s use of porn has evolved into online sex chat rooms, actual encounters with other women, or even sex crimes. Then there’s a whole other group of women who feel unloved because their husbands rarely, if ever, want to make love to them anymore. The reason? Their husbands are busy satisfying their sexual needs with pornography and masturbation.
I say ENOUGH! It’s time that women everywhere step up with courage and dignity and declare war on pornography! Ephesians 5, verse 3 says “among you there must not even be hint of sexual immorality” and in verse 11, God instructs us “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” It’s time that all women adopt a zero tolerance standard for pornography use by their men (and themselves as well). I’m NOT saying to declare war on your husband. He is not the enemy. However, we can no longer wring our hands in defeat and stand by helplessly as our marriages and families crumble.
What should you do if your husband is viewing pornography? Respectfully, but firmly, tell him you will not tolerate that anymore. Ask him if he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stop. If he says yes, then work with him to find help. There are some great programs out there. For instance, in the Bellingham, WA area, men are being helped at Band of Brothers For Christ and another group called Prodigals. If your husband refuses to sincerely seek help or continues looking at porn, then you may have to establish a firm boundary in the relationship. You may even have to separate for a time. Take a stand, ladies! If you don’t, you and your marriage will likely end up being destroyed.
I realized the most interesting thing one day several years ago in my marriage! I was having one of those super frustrating days, where everything seems to be going wrong. It was the kind of frustrating day where you desperately want the cathartic release of smashing china dishes against the wall! Am I the only one who has ever felt that way? 🙂
Anyway, my husband walked into the house to discover a wife who was steaming from everything that had gone wrong that day. Then something strange happened. He got visibly agitated over my state of frustration. It really bothered him that I was upset. My bad mood became contagious!! He could not be at peace because I was not at peace. It reminded me that our husbands really do want their wives to be content and at peace. In fact, 1 Peter 3 tells wives to strive for the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit”. Hmmm. Interesting. So, how do we get this peacefulness, even in frustrating circumstances? The Bible tells us contentment comes when we trust in God, lean into God, and ask for His power to carry us! Philippians 4:13 says ” I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
So, I began refusing to allow the frustrating moments of life to sour my mood. I began laughing off Satan’s attempts to goad me into being irritable and sharp with everyone around me. I pivoted to God in those challenging moments and asked Him to strengthen me, equip me, and give me His peace. Interestingly, when I started choosing to trust God to carry me during those frustrating moments in life, not only did I become peaceful and content, but I enjoyed the unexpected benefit of my husband and kids becoming more peaceful too!