I don’t know about you but when I am tired (which seems to be all the time?), I can be selfish, thoughtless and irritable, and my words and actions aren’t necessarily building up my husband. And yet Scripture says, “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (Eph 5:17) My role at work is to support our office and do whatever needs to be done to keep things running like a well-oiled machine. Shouldn’t that also be what I should do at home? So what does the Lord want me to do? “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord…So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Eph 5:21-22, 33) First let me say that I am writing about this because the Lord has shown me that I have a lot of work to do in this area. A.Lot! I found an article by Mark Gungor and I am sharing some of his writings below (his are in blue).
If there ever was one who had the right to disrespect men based on their performance, it would be God. God is intimately aware of every flaw and defect in a man’s character. Yet look at how God dealt with men throughout the bible.
Abram was so cowardly that he denied Sarah was his wife so that a king would not kill him in order to get her. Yet God did not respond to the obvious coward, He looked deep within and saw a man of great faith. Even though Abram was not able to have a child at the time, God called Abram “Abraham,” meaning “father of a multitude.” God gave Abraham the respect due a father and a patriarch long before he became one.
The Lord called Gideon a “Mighty Man of Valor” despite the fact that, at the time, Gideon was a chicken and was hiding so no one could hurt him. But God looked deep inside Gideon, saw what he was capable of, and treated him with the respect due a great warrior long before he was worthy of such honor. Gideon went on to achieve one of the most lopsided military victories in history.
Look at Simon. The guy was flip-flopping, not-sure-of-himself, run-when-the-heat-is-on kind of a guy. This is the one who told Jesus he would willingly die with him, yet fled when Jesus was arrested and three times denied that he even knew Jesus. But when Jesus first met him He said, “Simon, from now on you will be called Peter—the rock!” And sure enough, Peter went on to be a bold and compelling witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God knows that the key to unlocking the potential in a man is to treat that man with unconditional respect, long before he deserves it.
So what is it that men want? In a word, men want respect. That means a man wants to be held in esteem and to be shown consideration and appreciation—even when he makes mistakes. He wants to be seen as a hero, especially in the eyes of his bride. He needs someone to believe in him when the odds are stacked against him.
Respect is too great a need for a man to have it come and go based on performance. If a woman will learn to risk respecting her man when he is not perfect, he will open his heart to her and will become pliable to change. A man needs respect to feel safe enough to open up. When he feels he is being looked up to as the ‘head” in a relationship, he will automatically allow his wife to become the “neck”—she will be able to point her man in the right direction. Women generally have no idea how much sway they have over a man. The book of Proverbs says, “The wise woman builds her house,” but “a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones”. A wife is either building up or tearing down her husband.
A man’s home should be the one place in his life where those voices of criticism are silenced; where he is assured he is wonderful and competent. When you disrespect your man by being unappreciative, corrective, demeaning, ridiculing, ignoring, or discounting, it will hurt him. Instead we are told: “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the Word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:1-4) We were created by God to be man’s helper. The word “helper” is not a subserviant role. After all, “The Lord is my helper”. If the Lord, who created everything, can be a helper, I can certainly learn (by the Lord’s grace and power) to be my husband’s helper. Please keep me in your prayers!