Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Women, Reverence Your Husbands

This post was originally made in another forum based on a conversation we were having about marriage.  However, I believe it is important enough to post here.  For the purposes of this message, we will be using the Amplified Version of the Scriptures.

"Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands... 

However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]."  Ephesians 5:22-24, 33

Is that not a mouthful or what??  This is the basis for having a Godly marriage.  It is certainly a tall order, but it is indeed possible if we allow the Lord to guide our hearts, minds, and souls.  As our Creator, He knows how He has designed both man and woman, and it is with a purpose in mind.

Marriage is a beautiful, poetic, and symmetrical reflection of the relationship we have with the Lord.  God loves us, and because He does, He gave His life for us. In response to that unselfish love of placing us even before His own life, He deserves our respect and reverence. He is a Father and a Husband to us regarding our relationship with Him.

Similarly, in a marriage, the father and husband (the man) is commanded to love his wife and lay his life down for her as a show of that love. In recognition of that sacrifice, the wife is commanded to reverence her husband. 

How many times do people fight against this?  How often is it that we pretend being "free in Christ" means being free from the commands in God's word?  There no longer being "male nor female" in Christ does not mean there are no longer distinctions, but that there are no longer divisions in Him.  Yet, there still remain roles He has designated for each, and again He does this for a purpose. 

"Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives [be affectionate and sympathetic with them] and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord." Colossians 3:18-20

What God has outlined in the covenant of marriage is what is needed to produce a godly seed (Malachi 2:15).  This not only is true for physical seed, but spiritual seed as well.  The family is a reflection of the Godhead (Ephesians 5:32), so perverting the nature of family by default results in a perversion of God.

Yet as society has walked further and further away from that which is Godly, many have rejected such "traditional roles".  I say that unless we return to the old pathways and follow what God has prescribed, then society will continue to reap what has been sown: rebellion, chaos, and anarchy (Isaiah 3:12). 

A sister in the Lord recently shared some insights that she uses in her desire to reverence her husband. I thought they were right on point and am sharing them here in case they edify you as well.

Things To Keep In Mind About Reverencing Your Husband
  • He is my priority next to God in my life, not other relationships, children or friends.
  • I seek counsel from him first before my pastor or anyone else.
  • I do not interrupt him when he is talking.
  • I do not correct him in front of others. If the error is not life threatening, I wait to talk to him about it when we are alone.
  • I do not make jokes at his expense.
  • I encourage my children to honor him and I do not undermine his authority...either in his presence or in his absence.
  • I do not reference him as one of my children.
  • I try to focus on the things that are important to him and not the things that aren't.  This way, I don't have wonder whether he appreciates what I do.
  • I make him a priority in my day and try to be available & rested for intimacy in our relationship. Being tired all the time is not a good excuse.
  • I do not allow my family members (parents or siblings) to speak disrespectfully of him
These are certainly not laws which we have to obey, but in the light in which they were shared, I do believe it gets to the heart of what it means for a wife to reverence her husband.  I pray that as you seek to see God exalted in your life and in your marriage, that you will ask Him to give you a heart set after His.

"IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him--to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].

Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them]It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you]." I Peter 3:1-6


  1. Hmmmmm, that's interesting, that long list should also apply the other way around, shouldn't it.

    Love, care, respect, honesty, humbleness, faithfulness, gentleness and so on and so forth should apply as a two-way street, not a one-sided effort.

    A relationship between a man and a woman is a beautiful thing to behold so long as it works BOTH ways.

  2. Hi Beauty & Health Editor,

    The list in the article speaks of how wives can reverence their husbands. According to God's word, it is the wives who are commanded to be in subjection to the husbands, not vice versa.

    Such does not mean that marriage is one-sided in the least. But it does acknowledge that there are different responsibilities ordained by God for both the man and woman which are necessary to fulfill in order for God's will to be done.

    Consider this, no where in Scripture does God command the husband to respect his wife. He is instead commanded to love his wife...which is a much higher calling for that requires that he lay down his life for his wife.

    When I was growing up, I was taught that marriage was 50/50. Take all the responsibilities in a marriage and divide them in half because that is the only way it will work and be fair, right? No, that is foolishness. And it is a false basis upon which to build a Godly marriage. It sounds good to the world, but the ways of the world are not God's ways.

    God designed men and women to complement each other. It is like a puzzle. God created man to be strong in the areas where women may be weak and women to be strong in the areas where men may be weak. Together and in order, each completes the other and forms the big picture: a reflection of God Himself.

    What if Jesus refused to submit to the Father? That - as God - He had every right to demand that the Father submit to Him?

    Having a role in submission to the Father did not cheapen or lessen Jesus' role as God, and neither does submission cheapen or lessen the role of the woman in the earthly family. In fact, the beauty of who God created us to be (men and women) is only seen when we are where He has called us to be.

    I am not speaking of faithfulness, honesty, or such things as accompany godliness. Each individual as a Christian is required to bear such spiritual fruit...in a marriage and in every other relationship we may have. The issue at hand is what roles God has ordained for men and women in a marriage.

    I encourage you to examine what God says in His word about the marriage relationship. The husband is the head of the wife. She is not in return the head of the man. If one perceives a "two-way street" to be both being the same for each other and doing the same to each other, then that is not accurate. There can only be a "two-way street" when both are operating in their God-given roles so that the bounds of marriage as defined by God can be blessed and fruitful.

  3. In case it helps, I do believe that a Godly husband will respect his wife, in terms of appreciating the role in which she serves as his help meet.

    However, the word reverence in the biblical sense does not mean to appreciate the value of, but to "to venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience". Men are not called to obey their wives, so they are not commanded to respect or reverence them in that way.

  4. Two way street does not necessairily mean 50/50, agreed.

    A REAL man should know and fulfill his role and a woman hers, these days men want to sit down and do absolutely NOTHING at all, just sponge off women. That is probably why they don't command any respect from women and the whole place is falling apart.

  5. Yes, but that lesson about "50/50" was something I had to learn...the HARD way! LOL A lot of strife in my marriage could have been avoided if I had a Godly understanding of what marriage is.

    I agree that it is rare to find a man who is willing to lay down his life for his wife. I think it also just as rare to find a woman who is ready to be a help meet for that type of man. I am not picking on women here; merely sharing the perspective of a conversation a group of sisters were having, which I thought might encourage others.

    So, if the men are largely messed up and the women are largely messed up, then what is the answer?

    What God showed me was that "I" had to get right in spite of what my husband did or did not do. We must stop looking at and waiting for "the other" (whoever that 'other' is) to get right and WE must do as God says. Someone else's disobedience does not justify us being out of line with God's will for us.

    In the end, we will be accountable for our own obedience...or disobedience. So let's all move forward into His perfect will for our lives. In that we find peace, joy, blessings, and our reward in Him.

  6. Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

    That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

    To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

    Thank you for posting this! As I am in the process of killing my flesh, the Holy Spirit has really been dealing with me in this area. I used to always complain about what my husband wasnt doing and never did I concentrate on what my purpose/role was as a wife. Now that I have been submitting myself daily to the Holy Spirit our marriage has gotten so much better! Changing the way I used to talk to him and about him, my attitude and behavior, its the best thing that I have learned! It proves that God is not a man that he should lie! What He says is the Truth and if you take heed and are obedient your situation will change! Raising up in a house where the woman took the lead role all the time, I knew I didnt want a marriage like that but my flesh and rebellious nature would hold onto what I was taught! Thank God for deliverance... I think you need to pick on us more often:-)


  7. Hi Godsproperty,

    Your story could be my own. :-) I didn't really care about what I was doing because all I could see was what He wasn't doing wrong. I felt like he had to earn my respect, and until he did, I didn't have to get it.

    What a day when God told me that I was completely wrong. LOL My husband deserved respect simply because of the role he was in and not because I felt he earned it.

    That was a rather hard pill for me to swallow. It just didn't seem fair. But I did it because I knew what God had said. I started changing how I interacted with him as the Holy Spirit molded me according to His purposes.

    Many times, I had to almost bite my tongue to keep quiet about what I felt was just plain unfair in how my husband treated me. Here I was trying to submit to him and he didn't even seem to appreciate it. There was some real dieing to the flesh in those days and God showed me that how I felt didn't matter nearly as much as my obedience to Him.

    As you stated, much to my surprise, my husband began to change! While I was complaining inwardly, feeling put upon and wondering why God didn't work on my husband instead of picking on me, God was doing a work to change my husband's heart by noticing the change in me (I Peter 3:1).

    God ALWAYS knows what He is doing! I can only imagine what would have happened if I had resisted God and rejected His commands once He opened my eyes to His truths in this area; if I had insisted that He had to work on my husband first before I would change. My marriage would probably be over.

    I cannot say what the outcome in any person's marriage will be, but I can join you in proclaiming from experience that doing things God's way is always best, even when we don't understand. We spend so much time striving against what He says and coming up with excuses to justify our actions, that we really miss out on what He has for us.

  8. You know there is a lot of torment experienced when the actions of humans is the measuring stick for the word of God. Beauty and Health Editor has been personally hurt by a "man" or "men" and it's bleeding over into a universal depiction of "all men". We can not use personal relationships and the acts of the "majority" of any groups of people to determine the truth or validity of God's Word. Come to Jesus, let Him purify your heart and be freed from bitterness, anger, rejection and teh wounds that come from a world of sin. I betcha Beauty and Health Editor is a beautiful woman that a Godly man would love, honor, respect and pay tribute to as a Godly wife and life partner. Don't let the acts of sinful men destroy your perceptions of "all men". Sin damages both men and women equally. Let the Lord heal your heart. It will do you good!!!!!!

    Pastor Price

  9. This is very good to see women who understand how to be godly wives. God bless you all for your comments. I especially like that list the sister wrote - that was sooo common sense. Be encouraged. God bless the women of God who obey his commandments.

  10. Hi!
    Great article, i was wondering if you could send me more article on this subject and the role of a christian wife if you could please.
    send to: dubkitty@live.co.uk

  11. If the wife is ready to experience the supernatural and seeking to be free from the world but her husband is not will that halt her growth? My husband is saved but he is says he is not ready to deal with demons and supernatural manifestations. He is still thinking that we will have 50 years left here to raise childrean and grandchildren. Am I wrong for wanting to break free from this bondage when he doesn't want to yet?
    How do I keep of dishonring him in this area? Should I not share what I am learning? Should I just keep quiet?

  12. Hi Anonymous,

    We are to submit to our husabnds because this is commanded of God as marriage being a reflection of Christ & the Church; not because the husband is the "way to God" for the wife.

    You were born without a husband when God created you and you will stand before God without a husband when God judges your life. Each person is individually accountable for his/her obedience and service to the Lord.

    So no, a husband's choice in not going further with God will not hinder a wife's journey with the Lord...unless she let's it - and vice versa.

    Go on with God. If someone else doesn't want to go, go on anyway. If others don't want to hear what God is showing you, don't strive with them.

    Before my husband was saved, I learned that it was of little benefit for me to keep telling him about the Lord. He was resistant and merely felt like I was beating him up with the Word. However, when I focused on the Lord and letting Him work on me, well that spoke louder to my husband than anything.

    I don't see why going deeper with the Lord would cause you to disrespect your husband. In fact, I would say that if it is the Lord leading you, then you most certainly will not.

    Don't worry about trying to drag your husband where you feel the Lord is leading you. Just GO. Let the Lord take care of the rest.


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