Monday, May 23, 2016

Honor in Marriage (Part 2)

Last time, Laura discussed wives honoring husbands, so I think it’s appropriate for me to discuss husbands honoring wives. Ha! I bet you thought I was going to say “husbands loving wives.” Well, that’s part of it, a big part actually. As men, there are several ways in which we are to honor our wives.

In Ephesians 5: 25-27, Paul lays out basic instructions for loving your wife. He says to love your wife as Christ loves the Church and to love your wife as you love yourself. 

How do we do that? Well, Laura and I are big believers in the Five Love Languages for starters. She is a quality time person, so one way that I show her love is by spending time with her. I believe we have such a great marriage because we spend a lot of quality time together. This doesn’t always have to be a date, but dates are nice now and then.

Today, we worked in our house for five hours…right after we took a walk together. That’s what quality time looks like, and for Laura that’s what love looks like. Your wife may be a gifts person or something else like physical touch.

Now the fun part, humbling yourself. “What!? Did he say fun!?” Yes, I said fun. You will be amazed at how much better your marriage is when you give yourself the freedom to be wrong now and then. This sounds like crazy talk, but it’s true… I’m living it. Andy Stanley says it this way:

  • When I discover that I’m wrong, I’ll admit it.
  • When you say I’m wrong, I’ll honestly consider it.
  • When God says I’m wrong, I’ll immediately embrace it.

Although I do believe God has specific roles for husbands and wives, I also believe God created men and women equally. Despite the historical, social, cultural, or even religious perspectives of men and women, husbands can lead their wives without an attitude of being the dominating ruler of the house. I see Laura as an equal partner—capable of hearing from God and of offering great insight. (A woman’s intuition is a real thing, so pay attention to her gut!)

So what does that have to do with humility? Well, we honor our wives by being open to the possibility that they may be right or have an equally as good opinion as we do. Being open to this possibility honors her by seeing yourself on the same level with her. And when your wife knows you consider her this way, you make it easier for her to submit to your leadership. In my experience, the best decisions are the ones we both have a peace about.

Lastly, you can honor your wife by praying for her and with her. This is one of the hardest things a husband can do with his wife, but it may be the most rewarding. I know sex is awesome, but follow me here. Praying in front of someone who really has a vested interest in knowing that you pray well and for the right things can be daunting. I’m telling you, though, she really just wants you to pray out loud with her. It doesn’t have to bring down angels from the clouds. I’ve discovered that this is one example of practice makes perfect. 

You may be thinking this seems like a less important way to honor your wife, but this stat will amaze you: David McGlaughling reported in “The Role of the Father in the Family” that while one in two marriages ends in divorce, only one in ten thousand marriages ends in divorce when the couple prays together out loud regularly. ‘Nuff said.

So, love your wife as Christ loved the Church and as you love yourself; consider your wife’s opinion and humble yourself if you’re wrong; and pray with and for your wife—out loud. All of these points hopefully give you some new perspective and practical tips for honoring your wife. We pray that this helps lead you to a wonderful marriage.


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