Love and Respect

In the eyes of my husband and myself, the ultimate professor is God. My husband and I are both Christians and when it comes to marriage we definitely try our best to make the word of God our textbook for how we are to conduct ourselves in marriage. My husband and I had the pleasure of doing almost 7 months of Christian premarital counseling with the minister that married us. I’m going share some of the principles he taught us as well as some material adapted from Tony Evans author of A Man’s Role in the Home and A Woman’s Role in the Home. This is what we believe and what we try to apply to our own marriage. I hope it blesses you.

The Role of A Wife

Many women who are now wives were raised in single-parent homes and in a matriarchal environment over which they had no control. The problem is that they have come to think this is how things are supposed to be. A woman who tries to take charge of her marriage is trampling on the respect that she owes to her husband and that God commands her to give to her husband.

A husband’s primary need from his wife is respect/submission. Yeah, I know that the word submission raises a lot of red flags for women but the problems is that many women don’t understand exactly what God had in mind when he asked us to be submissive to our husbands. The biblical word submission means “to line up underneath” and its a voluntary word, an act 0f the will. This means that submission is a choice, but one we should make wisely and obediently. You can submit to your husband by respecting him. In fact, God commands a wife to respect her husband (Ephesians 5:22-24), which means to hold him up in high esteem or lift him up. Even if you don’t feel your husband is worthy of your respect, showing respect is not optional, just like his responsibility to love you with Christlike love is not optional.God can command love and respect on the part of the husband and wife because both are an act of will, a matter of obedience.

A wife should submit to her husband as his equal. I bet you didn’t get that impression at the use of the word submission. Proverbs 31: 10-31 tells us that a woman is not to deny who she is and that she can be many things, career driven and family orients. However, the wife does need to know when to hold up her yield sign. Although she may offer equal input a wise husband will listen to a wise wife, but he is charged with responsibility in decision making. “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their own husbands in everything (Eph 5:24). Christian wife, you are equal to your husband in being made in God’s image and being the object of His saving grace. Submission is a voluntary act of obedience to God on your part that does not diminish your worth in any way.

A wife should submit to her husband’s position of headship. Some of the most serious words I read from Tony Evans books were these, “Whenever a believer operates outside of Gods’ standard, God does not respond to that person, because He will not participate in or endorse rebellion. Who wants to be ignored by God, doesn’t it make sense to get submit to God’s will for your life as a wife??? A wife owes her husband respect because he is her head by God’s design. That’s his position. I’ll give you some examples that TonyEvans uses to get this point across to us: Your boss may be a poor leader, but you still do your job and say, “Yes sir, Mr. Jones,” because the company says you mus acknowledge your leader’s position. And the reward comes in the form of your paycheck or possibly that promotion you’re after. It is so important for you to be obedient to God’s call for you to submit to your husbands because wife have a very heavy responsibility: even is a husband is disobedient to the word, he may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives (1 Peter 3:1).  A wife has a lot of influence over her husband and she may not even realize it. Even with God’s call for wives to be submission, look how much power in the form of influence he give you!

The Role of a Husband

It is obvious that people are getting married nowadays with little or no idea of what they’re doing/what God expects of them. It seems that people are marrying sociologically as opposed to theologically, that is, their marriages are based more so on social conventions and family expectations rather than solid biblical foundations. If we choose to be influenced by the theological view we will see that God commands husbands to love their wives (Ephesians 5:25-29) as Christ loved the church. Christ loved his church so much that he gave his life for it!!! A man needs to understand just how Christ loved his church so that he may commit that same love to his wife.

God calls husbands to give themselves up for their wives. This means being willing to nail your desires and agendas to the cross to love your wife and meet her needs. To a husband a wife should have infinite value in his eyes that he would lay aside anything for her well-being (metaphorically, just as Christ laid aside his life for the betterment of his church, so that we would have everlasting life). To love your wife with self-sacrificial love is going to hurt sometimes but you didn’t think that the cross was only for Christ did you? All of us must die to ourselves daily to follow Christ, and for husbands this includes dying to our plans and our preferences in order to love our wives as ourselves. Remember this, Jesus promised to love us despite our flaws. He didn’t promise to love us only when we treat Him right. He promised to love us even when we ignore Him and trample on His love. Husbands should love their wives unconditionally, even when they aren’t performing their God given duties as wives. A husband who puts conditions on his love for his wife take away from the biblical meaning of love. If husbands only loved their wives when they deserve it, where would the expression of God’s grace be? Wives need your love especially when they don’t deserve it. Did you know that if you don’t love your wife, you can hinder your own prayers (1 Peter 3:7)? Now that’s scary.

A man should always be growing in the knowledge of the Word to the point that he can open the Bible at home and guide his wife and family. That is a huge responsibility because essentially you become your wife’s/family’s pastor. God put you in a position to lead your home. When you become the pastor over that home that means you are out in front, showing the way and saying, “Imitate me.” You can’t effectively pastor your wife if you aren’t growing and maturing spiritually. Most men don’t understand and some don’t even want the  authority God has given them over their marriages and their homes. Jesus cleansed his bride (the church) and a husband is responsible for cleansing his bride. This means leading her into a deeper and holier relationship with Christ. A husband should nourish and cherish his wife. Your wife should be blossoming under your care.

I hope that this blog will in some way open your eyes to God’s will for you as husbands and wives. We will tackle some serious topics here but we’ll also have some fun too. Be blessed my friends.

9 Responses to Love and Respect

  1. Leslie Wright says:

    I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog & post!!!

  2. shaolin says:

    More people should read this

  3. Ope says:

    wow! its good to read stuff like these more often

  4. Tonya Prince says:

    Very good post. I am a sexual and domestic violence advocate and this issue can get real sticky but you really broke it down well. Please accept my open invitation to post on one of my two blogs: http://www.comebackwoman.com or http://www.newonrevival.com. I will be letting folks know about your blog. Absolutely a fav.
    My recent post Ditch the Joneses, Discover Your Family

  5. R.J. says:

    Okay, I know that this site is a site that majoring in help women, but I am a man who is almost at my end. I am a Christian man, who is always helping others in relationship, life, religion, whatever; but I’m having a problem with my marriage that I thought would be easy to fix. I’ve talked to my wife time after time, and I can’t seem to get through to her. I do the majority of cooking and cleaning in my house. I grew up from a clean background to a point where its almost like an sickness for me to see things dirty, but my wife is completely different. I don’t know how much I can take! Our sex life is not what is should be, as a matter of fact, its far from where it should be. On our marriage night, I’m thinking that we were going to consummate our married, but she went to sleep. We hadn’t did anything until 3 weeks after we were married. I am dead serious, I have addressed all this to woman and it changes of a day or two then back to the norm. I can’t get her to freely come out an say, “I love you.” She always says, “You didn’t tell me first.” That frustrates me. I need help! What can I do, before I can’t take anymore.

    • The Student says:

      First, let me just take the time to say thanks for stopping by! My blog is not at all about helping women…it's about enlightening dating, engaged and married couples on what the Word of God says about marriage and how we ought to conduct ourselves within. It's not at all gender specific.

      My biggest piece of advice would be for you and your wife to seek out someone in your church who is a part of a marriage ministry or even your pastor directly for counseling. Those issues (while very common in many marriages) are ones that need to be discussed with an unbiased mediator who can encourage you both and give you a safe space to have an open dialogue about your issues. At the same time, it is your job to encourage your wife and pray for her. Do not let smaller issues like cleanliness of the house get mixed with the bigger issues of lack of sex and not feeling loved by your wife. These are separate issues. I'm praying that God gives you both a heart for marriage that seeks to honor God first. While your frustrations are real and valid I encourage you my brother to stay in prayer and do not try to fix these issues on your own.

  6. Kasia says:

    Amazing blog, thank you

    • Jerry Stumpf says:

      Kasia,

      Thank you for your thoughts. Did you know that nowhere in the Bible does it tell wives to love (agape) their husbands? The reason is simple – they are already wired to love. We husbands have to "work" at being loving. We learn that from you wives. My wife of 38 years has taught me so many ways to love her and our children that it spills over to the rest of the world.

      The Best Is Yet To Be!!! — Jerry Stumpf

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