“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12
You’ve heard them, or you’ve said them yourself…
“I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith.”
When we say them, we truly mean each and every word, and we secretly pledge together to show the world that our love will withstand the tests of time, money, and life in general.
And then life hits.
Real life hits.
Bills come due. That part of his personality you originally fell in love with and thought was charming now irks you to no end. One of you becomes ill- physically or in another manner. You miss your freedom. Children join your family and, because of the natural order of things, add to your stress financially, physically, and emotionally. (This list does not include infidelity, which would necessitate the use of a good, professional biblical counselor and the advice of a well loved and trusted pastor. Please don’t try to tackle this issue on your own.)
We are faced with two choices: continue to love and cherish and honor the man God has given you, or don’t.
Bring him good
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Ephesians 5:22 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Ephesians 5:25
Our Creator so wisely added into Ephesians the best way for women and men to demonstrate love and respect to each other, so we could better serve each other. As women we tend to equate love with what our men are willing to do for us- that date night he went out of his way to plan, bringing home your favorite flavored coffee creamer (or that might just be me!), or sending flowers to our place of work. Men see love differently. They view love as being respected.
(Remember, my purpose here is to encourage women. Dennis Rainey at Family Life has a wonderful article titled 30 Ways to Love Your Wife.)
Another phrase we hear repeatedly is, “Respect in not given, it’s earned.”
Yet, God has a different approach to that phrase. Ephesians 5:33 says, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
God tells husbands to love their wives the way they love and care for themselves, and He tells wives to respect their husbands.
What does that look like in practical terms? This is my short list.
- Thank him for working to support your family.
- Teach your children to appreciate him for all that he does for your family.
- Thank him for taking you out to eat.
- If you are both full-time workers, thank him for being on your team and for sharing the responsibilities in your home.
- Don’t ridicule or make fun of him… especially in public.
- Subtly praise him before others for being the best husband for you.
- Don’t put down his hobbies or interests.
- Don’t share his faults for laughs with others.
- Don’t shame him on social media.
Please remember, in the case of needing professional help, you must be able to share your struggles for council sake. It is not being disrespectful in this instance.
All the days of her life
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed,” Psalm 37:3.
Each day, a choice is required of us. Will we do good to the man God has blessed us with, or will we do what will make us feel better temporarily?
Will we get up and decide to be good to him today, or will we let our emotions (or that time of the month) determine our responses to him?
Will we think of ways to give him respect, or will we remember his infractions from yesterday and serve him with attitude today?
Giving our husbands respect, doing good to him, and doing this for the rest of our lives is a promise we made on our wedding day but must be lived out daily. Some days are easier than others, but I’m sure we can agree that living with us is not always easy on them either.
This week, as we memorize Proverbs 31:12, pull out your wedding video or album, relive the moment you made your vows, and determine to be good to him today when he gets home from work. You may be surprised at how quickly the love is returned in your direction.
You can read the rest of the posts in this series here.