So, I’ll apologize right here that I don’t have some creative acronym to share with you that would help you better remember each point I plan on discussing these next five weeks. Unfortunately, the letters don’t really spell out much besides but a word that although, kinda funny, felt weird to use as the acronym here: S.T.R.I.P. Yeah, didn’t think so. lol
I’ve been feeling pretty strongly on this subject, convicted personally regarding my own life, and desiring to share that conviction with other women who seek to grow in this area. Let’s face it. Loving our husband is a wonderful idea that we hold close to our hearts, but living it out is not always the easiest.
Have I lost my honeymoon love? No way. Have I become hardened to marriage? I pray I never do. The reason loving my husband can be hard sometimes comes back to one simple but complex concept: sin. Sin in my own life—my own pride, expectations, selfishness, and laziness—keeps me from loving this wonderful man that God has placed in my life as He has not only calls me to but enables me. Therefore, I find it necessary to dig deep into the Word, which is here to lead us towards the heart of God, in order to better learn how to take my marriage and turn it into the beautiful picture of Christ and His bride the Church.
You see, glorifying God is not just about singing in church, bringing my Bible to services, or taking arduous notes when the pastor teaches. Glorifying God is what we—what I— do in the every-day situations. It’s the attitude with which I mop the dining room floor. It’s the heart with which I wash and fold the never-ending piles of laundry. It’s the mentality that guides my hand with every recipe I make within my kitchen, every task I set about to do, every word I open my mouth to speak.
Loving my husband is no different.
Today, I want to talk about the first of the five ways we can love our husbands. Although there are so many practical applications and specificities (yeah…cool word. 🙂 ), I want to focus on the spirit behind our actions. I want to focus on the heart of us as women.
Someone once told me that a man’s love for his wife is directly related to a woman’s respect for her husband. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but I think that this concept is worth both discussing and seriously considering.
Respect–defined: (This definition is taken from an online Webster’s Dictionary.)
|v. t.||1||To take notice of; to regard with special attention; to regard as worthy of special consideration; hence, to care for; to heed.|
|n.||1||The act of noticing with attention; the giving particular consideration to; hence, care; caution.|
|2||Esteem; regard; consideration; honor|
I want you to note a few things about this definition. There are key words that stand out to me: regard, attention, esteem, and honor. More important than a definition from Webster’s though, let’s look at what the Bible says about respect in relation to the husband-wife relationship.
“… the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
Simple enough, right? Not really. In the original language in which this verse was written, the word “respect” actually means something a lot more detailed and a lot deeper than most of us would like to admit. The Greek word “phobeo” means “to fear”. Of course, let me stop and say this: we are not being called to fear our husbands like we would fear danger or harm. Like multiple words in the American language, this Greek word also has another definition other than to “tremble with fear”. It is this: “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience.”
So, here are some simple definitions of what those key words (reverence, venerate, deference, obedience) mean:
(Again, these are taking from the Webster’s Dictionary)
Reverence: Profound respect and esteem mingled with fear and affection, as for a holy being or place
Venerate: To regard with reverential respect; to honor with mingled respect and awe
Deference: A yielding of judgement or preference to the wishes or opinion of another; submission in opinion
Obedience: Words or actions denoting submission to authority; dutifulness
Okay, so that’s a lot to process. Let me once again say that I’m not for male chauvinism and womanly servitude. I am, however, for Biblical womanhood.
Let me remind you of the purpose of marriage. Marriage is to be the perfect picture of Christ and the Church. Therefore, the concept of respect is in that realm. We are to honor and respect our husbands the way the Church is to honor and respect Christ. And how is that? Is that full of phobias (fears)? Is that driven by selfishness? Is that motivated by a desire to receive instead of give?
When the Church is in a healthy relationship with Christ, the motivation is not fear nor selfishness. It is love and adoration. We know it’s not fear because of 1 Peter 4:16-18:
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Therefore, we know that relationship with our own husbands should not be based on a terror or trembling fear. It should be based on love and motivated to honor, respect, and adore him.
We also know that the Church, when functioning as it should, does not relate to Christ in a selfish manner. We know this because of verses like Mark 8:34-37:
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
and 2 Corinthians 5:14-15:
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
As a result of these passages, we know that our relationship with our husbands shouldn’t be selfish either. So, now we’ve looked at how our relationship with our husbands should model the relationship with Christ and how that concept plays itself out.
Now, how do we practically apply these truths. First of all, let’s look at a list of ways that we, as believers, can encourage others to respect Christ and a list of things we should never, ever do.
- Talk about Him with respectful language
- Demonstrate your love for Him by how you serve Him
- Demonstrate your respect for Him by how you obey Him and His Word
- Show dedication to what He teaches through His Word
- Show love and care for His Name and show appreciation for His Love for you
- Share with others the details of and treasure within yourself His Character
- Value His Word
Things to avoid when desiring to show respect to Christ:
- Bad-mouth His Name, Character, and Word
- Treat His Word like it’s unimportant
- Show no care or desire to hear from Him
- Discount His Word to other people
- Show apathy towards His Word
- Show no care or appreciation for all that He’s done for you
How can we take those principles and relay them to our relationships with our husbands? If we are to model a marriage relationship between Christ and the Church, we can take those do’s and don’t’s and apply them to our earthly marriage.
- Talk about him with respectful language
- Demonstrate your love for him by how you serve him
- Demonstrate your respect for him by how you obey him
- Show dedication to what he says
- Show love and care for his reputation and show appreciation for his love for you
- Share with others the details of and treasure within yourself His Characterr
- Value His opinion
- Bad-mouth his name, character, and opinion
- Treat his word or opinion like it’s unimportant
- Show no care or desire to hear from him
- Discount his word or opinion to other people
- Show apathy towards his opinion
- Show no care or appreciation for all that he’s done for you
Does that give us some practical things to work on? I know it’s a challenge to my heart!
How will you show your love to your husband today? How will you respect him?
6 thoughts on “Talk about It Tuesdays: Five Ways to Love Your Husband (pt 1)”
Great article! If you haven’t already read “Created to be his helpmeet” by Debbie Pearl, I’m sure you would love it. I read it a few years ago and have just started re-reading it with a friend recently. I have been so blessed, convicted, and encouraged as to my role in a heavenly marriage. Keep up the good work!
I have heard of that book and have even read a little bit of it. I guess my biggest issue with that book is Debbie’s lack of grace in her delivery.
Definitely, its a very straight forward book! I have found it worth reading, taking the good and leaving the strong 🙂 There are a lot of good books on this topic circulating right now and I’m glad, it has been overlooked for a few decades 🙂
That’s a good point. 🙂
As my mom has always said, “Eat the fish; spit out the bones.”
Some really great books that are very biblically balanced in concern to this topic are:
-A Wife After God’s Own Heart
-The God Empowered Wife
I would highly recommend any and all of these books for anyone who wants to continue learning. I also find that even though it’s a subject I have come to be very familiar with, reading a 5 minutes a day on this topic, or 1 chapter a week (whatever works for you) seems to help me continually keep track of my thinking on marriage as a wife.
Thanks for the recommendations!