Woman of Noble Character > A Prudent Wife > The "Good Works" God Prepared for Wives > Part 2 - A Wife's Sacrificial Love - Honors
The "Good Works" God Prepared for Wives - Continued
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Part 2 - A Wife's Sacrificial Love - Honors
To honor someone means you have great respect and admiration for them. When I first started dating Steve he was seventeen years old and just about to begin his senior year in High School. He was planning to go to college, get a degree in finance, and get a position with General Motors (GM). GM was the same company his father had a long career with as an engineer. I admired Steve’s ambition and believed he was going to achieve his goals.
But that very ambition that made Steve a dedicated employee and willing to work hard to achieve his goals became a stumbling block for me. What I did not understand, was that Steve’s commitment and dedication to GM was ingrained in him since he was a young boy watching his father. It was a commitment and dedication to GM that existed long before we met. Eventually, I began to resent Steve’s dedication and willingness to work long hours. An ugly pattern began to emerge from me. I would scream at Steve whenever he called to say he would be home late. I wanted to change Steve and I no longer respected his dedication to GM. The screaming became almost involuntary. Even after becoming a Christian and knowing that God commands wives to respect their husbands, I still was not able to change.
However, each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself,
and the wife must respect her husband.
I shared my story in the article Grace for My Husband, how after several years of praying for change the Lord finally changed me. It was while I was writing that article that God showed me that it was only once I stopped trying, stopped trying to change Steve, and stopped trying to change myself that God was able to work in me through the power of the Holy Spirit.
You’ve heard the phrase, “let go and let God!” Letting go isn’t always easy, but it is necessary so that God will work in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are given the Holy Spirit as a deposit once we believe in Jesus’ work on the cross and repent of our sins. Repentance is a turning away from our life of sin. Letting go of control is part of the ongoing process of trusting God with our lives and loved ones. Obey God’s command to respect your husband and watch your husband become more loving toward you.
Honor the commitments and sacrifices your husband has made to his career. Seek to understand his career and find out how you can be supportive. Our husbands are often at work 30% to over 50% of their waking hours each week. Talk with him about his work. If you do not understand his business start asking questions, read up on his company and the industry in which he works. Take an interest in what he is concerned or excited about at work. What a blessing it will be for you to understand what is going on during his day.
Has your husband given up a dream to provide a stable income for your family? Even if he has become resentful of that decision you can still honor him. Tell him how much it has meant to you to have the stability. Perhaps there are ways you can support him as he pursues his dream in some way. Never belittle his dreams. Even if his dream is something that you both know can’t be pursued right now still dream with him.
In addition to honoring your husband’s career, there are many other ways you can honor your husband and treat him with respect. Below are a few suggestions on how you can honor your husband, but I am sure you can think of many others that would be meaningful to your husband. Don’t discount the small areas of your relationship. All areas matter when seeking to build a strong marriage foundation for your family.
Stop Nagging – Be Grateful: Stop nagging about the things he doesn’t do and start thanking him for the things he does. Giving thanks for our husbands and praying that God will give us grateful hearts helps us focus on his good qualities. Look for reasons to respect him, and then tell him how you respect him with genuine compliments and not flattery.
If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m here to tell you you-can-not achieve the results you want by nagging. If your nagging does cause your husband to change it will most likely be temporary and/or will result in resentment. Nagging is disrespectful and it works against you, creating greater distance to the love you desire.
Stop Complaining: Break the habit of complaining to friends and family about your husband. Limit your time with the women who regularly complain about their husbands and encourage your complaining.
Do not be deceived bad company corrupts good character.
1 Corinthians 15:33
Spend time with women who are willing to encourage one another in a shared desire to honor their husbands.
Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another.
Find mature women whom you can seek advice from who have successful marriages and are willing to give you guidance and be honest about the work it takes to honor your husband.
Honor His Ways: What are the ways that seem extreme, quirky, or even obsessive. Is he frugal or even stingy, is he a neat freak or perhaps a tad obsessive about the way he wants the garage.
Steve’s a finance guy and he started a budget when we first were married twenty years ago. I had several thousand dollars in debt and we were able to quickly pay that off. Family and friends have called him controlling. I have learned to live differently because of his frugal ways. We have never had to worry about money. We have always lived well within our means. For the first time in our marriage we have not had to make a car loan or lease payment for my vehicle. That means we are not wasting money on interest payments or paying into a lease (or as Dave Ramsey calls it a Flease) and we can put more money toward paying off our mortgage. It may not sound exciting to you, but I am thrilled at the idea of not having a mortgage payment sooner than most.
Honor Your Husband’s Need For Intimacy: Typically a man’s need for physical intimacy is greater than that of his wives. For me the exhaustion of caring for children made my drive even less than before. Some of that drive has returned with the return of time and energy. However, it is still an important component of any marriage. Recognizing and honoring our husbands’ God given need for physical intimacy is important to a healthy relationship. A husband whose needs are not being fulfilled within his marriage is going to endure a greater level of temptation. Get the rest you need. Nap when the kids are napping. Take pride in your appearance and select an outfit that makes you feel beautiful. Plan a date night that is romantic and helps you connect with your husband emotionally so you’re both on the same page.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 7 Paul writes about the importance of meeting one another’s physical needs for intimacy, and how when these needs are not met it causes unnecessary temptation.
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time,
so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again
so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Corinthians 7: 3, 5
Unfortunately women are not immune to the temptations of sexual sin. If you are battling a sexual sin please seek help. Dealing with an addiction to pornography or the sin of adultery will most likely require support and encouragement from others. Professional help is available to support woman struggling with sexual sin. Contact a local Christian or Biblical counselling center. There are also internet ministries available to offer support. Depending upon the size of your church they may also be equipped to assist.
Beware of using social media to fulfill an emotional need that is lacking in your marriage. Facebook has been sighted as a contributing factor for problems in marriages in an alarming number of divorce cases.
Modeling How to Honor: When you choose to honor your husband you are providing a good role model for your children. Honoring your husband is also one of the ways you communicate to your children, especially your sons, that they deserve to be respected. Your children are commanded to honor their father and you are the best person in their lives to teach them what that looks like. The media inundates our children with examples of children treating their parents disrespectfully. Dads are often portrayed as men stuck in perpetual adolescence and undeserving of their children’s respect. Our child’s obedience to the command to honor their father and mother has a price (Deuteronomy 5:6). In Ephesians 6 this command is restated and we are reminded that our children’s longevity is dependent upon their obedience.
“Honor your father and Mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise –
so that it will go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on this earth.”
Pray & Read God’s Word: Pray for humility and the ability to see the ways you disrespect your husband. Don’t pray for God to change your husband. Pray for God to change you. I am convinced that lasting change does not happen in our own strength it only happens through the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Admit that you are powerless to change yourself and that you have chosen to honor your husband. Also, allowing God to transform the way you think about marriage is so important to lasting change. For this transformation to take place we must be discovering what the bible says about marriage and learning from our teacher, the Holy Spirit.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Experiencing the power of God’s grace and being aware that God is transforming you and teaching you to be a woman of Grace is awesome! You will be a work in progress, but you will be filled with hope. Ask God to give you discernment to know how to show your husband respect in meaningful ways.
Pray for protection for your marriage. Now that you’ve begun the journey to improve your marriage you are a target. Do not be deceived and think that spiritual warfare is not real.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
The good work a wife is called to is to sacrificially love her husband by honoring, serving and forgiving him. Next we will look at what it means to sacrificially love our husbands by serving him.
Part 1 - Introduction: The "Good Works" God Prepared For Wives
Part 2 - A Wife's Sacrificial Love - Honors
Part 3 - A Wife's Sacrificial Love - Serves
Part 4 - A Wife's Sacrificial Love - Forgives
Part 5 - Conclusion: What About Our Beauty?
By: Kathy Dork
March 20, 2014
March 20, 2014