The Struggle to Honor Our Husbands
It always amazes me that the Lord loves me and puts up with me! Looking back over the course of several years, I can see how He has changed my heart in my attitude toward my husband. Shamefully, I confess that previously my attitude really stank! The astonishing thing to me now was how blinded to my stinky attitude I was back then!
Tragically, my attitude of the past was similar to the vast majority of Christian women I know. I grew up in church, and almost all the people I know and interact with are Christians! Yet, I held a deep believe that I knew better than my husband, that I saw things more clearly! After all, I was the one who spent time in the word every day! I was the one who went to the Bible studies! What I was missing was that the attitude of “I” was PRIDE!
A few years ago, I was challenged by Yahweh (God’s name, see: His Holy Name) to take a good hard look at some areas of my life. I did NOT do this willingly! He made known to me that the areas which were chafing me were there to get my attention! For DAYS I went round and round with the Lord! “Lord, change HIM! WHY does it always have to be ME??? WHY can’t you just work on HIM for a change!!!” Sound familiar? Have you made similar statements to the Lord about your situation?
During those days, each time I would go through my routine, Yahweh would speak just one thing to me, “First, wives,” “First, wives,” “First wives.” (Based upon 1 Peter 3) It was with the sweet, loving gentleness of the Lord that this was said, but that is, literally, ALL He said to me for days! Finally, in utter frustration, I replied, “All RIGHT!! I’ll DO IT!!” Our Father is so wonderful. He didn’t scold me for the disrespectful way in which I responded to Him. He just took me at my word and began to work in my heart to bring about the changes He desired.
Our wonderful Father began to reveal some things to me which I had never heard before. He showed me that Eve was created to be a HELP-mate. We were not created to dominate, though the curse tells us that we will have the desire to rule over our husbands. (Genesis 3:16) However, that was not God’s plan. He planned for Eve to come along side Adam, (perhaps that’s why God made us from Adam’s rib??) to help him bear the load of responsibility which God had given him. Do you think God has changed His plan? Or have we just ignored what He said?
My Bible has some interesting verses in it. “For I, Yahweh, do not change;” Malachi 3:6. Hebrews 13:8, “Yeshua the Messiah, the same yesterday, today and forever.” I think WE are the ones who think God has changed, not God!
In Proverbs 31, we see the industriousness of the famous Proverbs 31 woman. What DOESN’T she do? Well, she doesn’t criticize her husband, she doesn’t shame him in front of his peers, she doesn’t degrade him, she doesn’t list everything he does wrong to him, she doesn’t constantly bring up what she considers his faults…get the picture?
What does she do? She works hard to do the best she can for her household and her work helps to establish her husband as a leader in the city.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.” (v 23)
Her husband gets the recognition! HE is known among the city leaders (elders). In scripture, the city gates show those who are in leadership in that city. It was a place of authority. What is the result?
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.” (v.28-29)
To whom did God give a fragile ego? To the man. They can be so easily damaged, yet God entrusts them to us with this model; that we are to bless our husbands and do them good.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. (v. 11-12)
Is your husband’s heart able to trust in you? Does he believe that you will only do good for him? Does he know beyond all doubt that you are firmly planted “in his corner”? He needs your support as he battles the world in his work, as he is bombarded by temptation, as he struggles through life. If he doesn’t have this support from you, then you need to repent of your wrong attitude to your husband. Believe me, he’s already aware of it! If you choose to repent to him, you will be amazed at the results!
Do not be the one who divides your household and brings in strife. Proverbs 6:16-19 warns us:
There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
…And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Even before we are one flesh, halves of a whole, we are brethren in Christ with our husbands.
God called us to be a HELP-mate to our husband. Yeshua calls us to lay down our lives to serve Him. It is the only way to be successful, and to be saved in the end. (Matthew 10:38-39) Yet, we have bought the lies of today’s society that we are to advance ourselves, be recognized, get credit for what we do. Where is this ever given in Scripture as a depiction of Godly womanhood or of our role as a wife?
The Bible teaches that the highest calling we can have as a Christian is “ministry.” Just what is the definition of “ministry”? SERVICE!! To whom does God say is our primary earthly service as wives? Our HUSBANDS! So, that means that we are to lay down our lives to SERVE our husbands! Ouch! Did I hear some moans and groans?? The continual theme of the Christian walk is dying to self! Why do we think our marriages are going to be any different? Death is never pleasant and our flesh fights us all the way, yet, this is what the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit say will bring us life, fulfillment and peace.
At times, I have spoken the words of Much Afraid, the central character in one of my all time favorite books, Hind’s Feet on High Places, “Lord, bind me to the altar.” I know that it has to be done, but I also know that I am capable of taking myself off that altar and stalling the work of God in my life and the life of my family.
It requires this kind of death to walk out God’s command to us in 1 Peter 3:1-4.
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
And let not your adornment be external only – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, and putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
God says that a gentle and quiet spirit is precious in HIS sight! So even if you don’t think you can do it for your husband, do it because God LOVES it! Do it to please the Lord!
Did you notice that the above Scripture says that even if they are disobedient to the word that we are to still behave in this manner? What does that tell us? It tells us even if they aren’t living right, this type of action can soften and change a husband’s heart! Did you see HOW this takes place? Is it with our words? Is it by telling them what the preacher or another man said and expecting them to conform? No. Scripture is clear that we are to be subject to our OWN husbands! They are to be the one to whom we look for leadership, advice and counsel. One way to never obtain the peace in your home for which you long is to hold up another man before your husband! How would you feel if your husband admired another woman to you, especially in an area with which you were struggling?! Would this hurt you? Would it damage your feelings and put a wedge between you? Well, it does the same thing for your husband. No man likes to feel that his wife is looking to another man! This is spiritual harlotry, yet we do it all the time and think nothing of it!
Is the way to win them over by showing them how much we’ve learned in our Bible studies and by spouting off what we know? Nope! God clearly said through Peter that it was an action which our husbands could observe! Our chaste and respectful (ooooh! There’s that word, again!) behavior!
So, we are to respect and honor our husbands, yet I hear women say, “But, he’s supposed to love me like Yeshua! He’s supposed to lay down his life for me!” I’d like to submit to you that he does – every day.
As home schooling moma, we live in a unique way compared to the rest of American women; we stay at home with our children. Most American women leave home, leave their children and babies and go to work.
I began to see that, many times, my husband drug himself out of bed after a night of bad or little sleep to go to work. Sometimes he felt bad, yet still got up and went to work. He’d leave me sleeping while he’d get up with the birds. Many times it was cold and/or raining, yet the children and I remained snug in our home while my husband laid down his desires and his comfort to work for us.
I fear that for many years I suffered from ingratitude in my attitude toward my husband. I have heard enough comments from other women to know others have this malady, too.
Since realizing this, there have been times while reading aloud to my children and sipping a cup of tea that I’d look out the window at the hazy, gray, wet day, and thank God for a husband who loves us, who works faithfully and hard so that the children and I might have the privilege to stay at home and home school. If you are in the ranks of those suffering from ingratitude, I urge you to go to your husband and humbly thank him for loving you, for working hard for you and your family. Make a BIG deal out of Daddy coming home! Make sure you look nice, your hair is combed, your face is pretty, you are neatly dressed, and your smile for him is firmly in place. Greet him as Scripture says, “with a holy kiss.” Have the children running to the door making a fuss over Daddy’s return, “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!” Treat him as the most important person to arrive at your door. He is! Try to have the house neat and picked up. If you do this regularly, you’ll be surprised how tolerant he will be for those few times when he comes home to chaos! (and believe me, we do ALL have those days!)
Our homes need to be their havens and they need to KNOW that they are our heroes, even when we may not agree with the road they’ve taken, we still need to let them know that we love and honor them. They aren’t perfect, neither are we. The question is, can we treat them the way we’d like to be treated: believed in even when we make mistakes, loved even when we’ve been unlovable, accepted and not rejected. Isn’t this how Yeshua treats us?
One comment I have made in the past, and which I hear somewhat regularly from women is, “God has told me (thus and so), but my husband just doesn’t GET it!” This causes these women to look down their noses at their husbands and breeds pride within them. Then they can’t figure out what is wrong in their lives! After all, God told THEM didn’t He?? So, shouldn’t they TELL their husbands what they’ve been told by God??
One day, God unlocked this mystery to me. The answer was SO simple, and so Biblical, I was amazed! Let me take you through this the way God showed me.
When Adam was created, God said that it wasn’t good for him to be alone. Even the Father had the Son and the Holy Spirit! So, he created Eve. Where did she come from? From Adam! Adam was complete and totally created in the image of God. So, when Eve was created, that meant that something had to be removed from Adam! That’s why, together, we equal ONE FLESH!
What was removed from Adam? Well, let me ask you this? What is the dominate trait of women? Are we great logical thinkers? No, we are largely emotional and intuitive. Are men largely emotional? No, they are largely logical thinkers. Does this mean that women can’t think logically or that men are emotionless? No. It simply means that men and women have these present within their makeup, but that in each sex, one is more dominate than the other.
So, when God speaks, which dominate trait or “bent” would lend itself to hearing God more easily? The emotional one, right? So then, WHY would God tell us something if we aren’t to lead or direct our husbands, which scripture clearly states we are not to do?
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
So, ladies, what options are we given here to take charge and dictate to our husbands? NONE! In EVERYTHING we are to be subject to them.
This makes some women (in the past including me!) VERY nervous and sometimes downright frightened! What do you MEAN I’m supposed to be subject to him in everything? You don’t know my husband!
Maybe I don’t. But God does! He created him, just as He created you! If you are having a hard time submitting to your husband’s leadership, I want to ask you a few questions. Does submitting to your husband require trusting him? I used to think so, but Yahweh took me to the story of Abraham and Sarah and I found a different view! I found that TWICE Abraham told Sarah to tell a half truth! She was his half-sister which he told her to say, but she was also his wife which he told her to omit! What was the result of this action? Sarah was taken into the harems of TWO rulers! Did she start yelling the whole truth when she was taken off to be another man’s wife? I would have! But, no, Sarah kept her husband’s confidence! To whom did she look to deliver her and in whom did she put her trust? GOD! And scripture records that God was faithful to deliver her! He DID NOT let her down!
Have you ever felt like your husband put you in a similar situation? The answer in this type of situation is to look to GOD to deliver you! This action put Sarah in the Hebrews 11, “Hall of Faith”!!
So back to our dominate emotional makeup. WHY does God reveal His will to us before He tells our husbands if we aren’t to lead or dictate to them? This can be SOOOOOOO frustrating! The answer is amazingly simple. God reveals His will to the wife so that she will PRAY God’s will! Since we are one with our husbands, there is no greater force on this earth to pray on his behalf! Therefore, God reveals His will to us, not for us to dictate to our husbands, but for us to PRAY for them! She is to HELP her husband by praying for God’s will to be revealed to him! Then, (and this is the cool part), in God’s perfect timing, He reveals this information to our husbands! What happens when God reveals His will to our husbands? As the head of the family and the one in authority, when they get the picture they MOVE ON IT! God has all the bases covered! So, you can see why God can’t tell them early. Also, what happens when our husbands come to us, all excited and say, “I think that God wants us to do ______!!!” YOU, helpmate of your husband, can with great confidence and peace, confirm the word of God to your husband and come into perfect agreement with him! I think this is SOOOOO neat because it allows me to be in agreement with God, and to confirm God’s plan to my dear husband with great rejoicing and conviction! God is a God of UNITY and He wants us to dwell in His unity!
Behold, how good and pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edges of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing – life forever. (Psalm133)
How do we begin to bring this unity about? Once again, Proverbs has the answer:
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (v. 26)
If we are faithful to speak kindness to our husbands, we begin the cycle of healing. In Scripture we are told to repay evil with good, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek. If we do this for non-Christians, then how much more should we do for our husbands? Proverbs 15:1 says:
A soft answer turns away wrath:
But grievous words stir up anger.
If you want peace in your home and an intimate relationship with your husband, YOU must be the one to begin by following these scriptural examples and begin to use wisdom in your speech.
This type of walk requires a step of faith. In my past, the lies of the enemy, (to which I had listened), made everything around me look bleak. I felt that there were no answers. After all, I had done all the “right things”, hadn’t I? And all my Christian women friends were saying similar things; that proved I was on the right path, right? Absolutely WRONG!
When Yahweh went round and round with me for days saying, “First wives,” He was telling me that I was going to have to face dying to self in this area. I was going to have to be obedient to what HE was asking of me, whether anyone else did, (including my view of my husband’s actions), or not!
The Scriptural picture of this principle is the story of Mary, Yeshua’s mother. SHE was told by God that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit, yet she was already betrothed to Joseph, who obviously had some say over her and how her future would turn out. Yet, Scripture says that she pondered these things in her heart, and thereby, allowed God to speak to Joseph in HIS timing. Don’t you think it’s interesting that she is told right away, but Joseph isn’t told until later?
I have a friend who is a missionary. How the Lord first told her she would become what she is today is like Mary’s story. One day, Yahweh told her that she was not a citizen of her city, she was not a citizen of the United States, she was not a citizen of the world! She was a citizen of the New Jerusalem and that she was to sell everything (even the very successful business she owned) and move to the mission field. At this point in her life, she had grown children and grandchildren. Yet, her response? “Lord, you’re going to have to tell my husband!” She also requested that the Lord speak through a trusted friend, whom they knew to hear from God, as additional confirmation. Several months went by until one day, her husband came home, sat down on their sofa, looked straight at her and said, “Did you know that we’re supposed to move to the mission field?” To which she responded, “Yes”!
Once again, we are not trusting our husbands in this situation. We are trusting GOD! If God can make Balaam’s ass speak, if he can change the words which Balaam intended to speak from a curse to a blessing as they exited his mouth, if he can spit Jonah out on Ninevah’s shore when Jonah had no intention of going there (indeed, had boarded a boat in the OPPOSITE direction!) then I think He can move on the hearts of our husbands! The question is, are we willing to REALLY trust God in these tough situations?
What has been the result of that choice I made, however disrespectfully it was first stated? The result has been peace in my home, a better relationship with my husband and children, AND a closer walk with God. No longer do I spend my time with God justifying my position. Now, I simply am there to be at His feet and to learn. I can walk in my house with peace in my heart and Yahweh drops things to me as I go. That’s how I got the “revelation” about women hearing from God before their husbands! I didn’t’ have to work for it, God just dropped it my way in conversation on day.
Another blessing I have experienced is the incredible, indescribable peace of God. This avenue of trusting God when your flesh is telling you to step in and take control, allows you to turn the responsibility of your family and it’s leadership back over to your husband. The cool thing is that this takes ALL the pressure off us! I heard one Christian teacher (a man) say that studies had been done on the effects of stress on men and women. Women simply couldn’t stand up to stress, even for short periods of time; it had devastating effects upon the female body. However, men could deal with stress MUCH better! This man stated that God had not created the female body to live under stress; we fall apart. But, God created men to survive stress and in some ways to even thrive under it! (I’m not talking long term stress especially under duress or an unhappy situation. I’m talking challenge! See Wild at Heart by John Eldredge) So, God has it planned in such a way that WE are told information to be the HELP-mate to our husbands by being the confirmation he needs, yet taking us out of the high pressure position of leader, a situation for which He better created men to handle. I hope this excites you! It has me!
So, when things get rough, it’s not my responsibility! I can abdicate that to my husband! If he asks for my input or advice, I’m available to him, but I don‘t have to LIVE under the day to day stress of “What am I going to do?” Instead, I’m going to take it to the Lord, pray for my husband and LEAVE IT THERE! You cannot IMAGINE the peace!! It’s DIVINE. If you haven’t experienced this, I cannot tell you how much I urge you to just take a flying leap of faith and jump right in!!! Your body will thank you, your husband will thank you (you won’t nag him anymore!), your children will thank you if they put the pieces all together. One thing they WILL know – home is where I want to be because it’s peaceful there!
Are you wrestling with “Christian womanhood”? Are you wondering just what God is requiring of you? Do you feel a restlessness in your soul? Do you repeatedly weep for no reason and wonder what is going on with you? Is Yahweh speaking to you things He has yet to reveal to your husband? Are you frustrated and in a place of unrest?
Then I would suggest to you that Yahweh is stirring your heart to prepare to take you to a place of great blessing. As Yeshua told the disciples, the way is narrow; it’s not an easy path. But, the rewards of walking the least traveled path are more than we can ever think or dream.
God is calling you to a great adventure. If you undertake it, you may be the only one you know on this road. You will face some sacrifices, but in return be given a great prize. Are you willing to take a deep breath, step off the cliff, believing God to catch you and keep you safe? Are you willing to take the journey?