What is the Meaning of Ephesians 5.33

“How to Respect Your Husband”

Ephesians 5:33

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 5.33

Ephesians chapter 5. I debated whether to follow the order of the text in Ephesians 5 and proceed to husbands, or to give a last message to the wives. So I decided to skip to verse 33 of Ephesians 5 and discuss a wife’s respect for her husband and then conclude our discussion of the wife.

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I consider us as having had 2 main messages on the wife, submission and this morning, respect. The previous messages dealt with companionship and completion, which is really both husband and wife.

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But this concept of respect is foreign to us, as a society or culture. We do not live in a respect dominated society, but rather a love dominated society. As members of our own society we say “ I love you” we get married because of love and when the people in our society no longer want to be married, it’s because they no longer love each other.

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Plus, typically in our day and age, we would say love is unconditional. We are okay with that and we should be. But when it comes to respect, that’s a different issue. Both men and women think of respect as being earned. Let’s consider that for a moment.

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Let’s say a wife comes in for marriage counseling and she’s by herself and the marriage counselor asks her, “do you love your husband?” And her answer is …. What would you say … ? Her answer is, “of course!” Then the question comes, “do you respect your husband?” And she hesitates.

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Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

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There is no “if” statement here. This is no matter what. So a wife is to respect her husband, she must respect her husband … period. That is not a conditional statement. In other words it’s not that you must respect your husband but only if he expresses his love to you. That’s not it.

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But our culture seems to allow the wife to choose whether or not she respects her husband based on …. Whether he deserves it, or whether he loves her, or whatever. But the husband is required to love his wife unconditionally at all times no matter what. This is generally our culture I’m saying.

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But think about that then. If love from the husband is unconditional and respect to the husband is earned, then the entire pressure of the relationship is put on who… the husband!

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We’ll get more into that in a minute, but ladies let me ask two questions as we begin. These questions are not meant to harm you, but to show you your need.

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First question, what are you actively doing to communicate respect? I’m not asking do you feel respect for your husband, but how do you express that… Every day, actively what are you doing to show this?

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In your communication to him, not just the house work, but in your communication to him in both verbal and non-verbal ways, what are you doing to actively positively show respect? I’ve read several things in preparation for this message, and I’ll share later in the message summary a couple of lists I read. And these lists were ways in which wives tend to disrespect their husbands. And well over 90% of them, as I look at it, were ways in which wives disrespect their husbands in their communication to them. In both verbal and nonverbal ways.

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What are you doing, ladies, to actively show respect?

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Second question, ladies, have you witnessed another wife showing respect to her husband? What did that look like? Are you drawing a blank?

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You’re not alone, if so. I’d like to preach this morning to wives on “How to Respect Your Husband.”

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Exposition of Respect

So what are we talking about? What is respect? The word translated respect in Ephesians 5:33 is the Greek word translated elsewhere “fear.” Many times, the object of this verb is God. We talk about fearing God….In fact in Ephesians 5, back up in verse 21, this same word is used as we relate to one another. We are to submit to one another in the fear of Christ.

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Fear is the same word translated respect in verse 33. But we tend to water down the wife’s relationship to her husband in our society. For example, and we’ll turn there in a minute, but 1 Peter 3, we tend not to apply Sarah’s relationship to her husband … When she calls him “lord.” And that’s the same word …. Kurios …. That is used as a title for God!

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Now, don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that the husband is a kind of god to his wife. That’s not the point. But the concept works both ways. Proverbs 31:28, it says that a husband praises his wife … And that word praise is the same word that we use toward God! So works both ways.

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And my point is that we have watered down the loving and respectful responses that we are to have as husbands and wives. The Scriptures use words for the husband and wife that we tend to view as reserved only for God. My point is that we need a higher view of marriage. And the words used in Scripture carry that point.

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So now, this word respect is the word for fear. That’s not in the sense of being afraid or of terror. But it is in the sense of Sarah showing reverence for her husband calling him lord, or master, because he is her head, her authority. So this word is stronger than the idea of merely respect. Keep that in mind as I use the word respect this morning. Respect here carries the idea of awe, reverence. Ephesians 5:21 says that we are to fear Christ and we do that when some submit to others.

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And fearing Christ is not just a “tip of the hat” to respecting his character from a distance and not coming underneath his authority. No, fearing Christ is respecting his character and coming underneath his authority.

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And so it is with the wife. She is to respect her husband and to come underneath his authority. So, when we talk about respect this morning, it is reverential and it comes underneath his authority. A wife who respects her husband is one who reverences him and comes underneath his authority.

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Out of Fear of Christ

And keep in mind, too, that this is all done in the fear of Christ and under the control the Holy Spirit. A wife’s motivation and power for this is to be found in her relationship to Christ, His Word, and the filling of the Holy Spirit. It is easier to respect a husband who is loving, but not every wife has that luxury.

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The fact is, verse 21, a wife is to submit herself to her husband out of the fear of Christ and Ephesians 5:22, she is to do this as to the Lord….

And we saw last time, that the wife is to do this because God has given to her … her husband, who is her authority. Her human authority is her husband. She is to come underneath her husband’s authority. And that is because God has done this. God has brought you together. Because God has brought you together, you’re to come underneath your husband’s authority. This is all done in the fear of Christ and under the control the Holy Spirit, as verse 18 tells us.

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Respect is Unconditional

And this respect or this reverence… is unconditional, as I said. It is unconditional. 1 Peter 2, you can turn over there. Respect is unconditional. This is proven when Peter discusses the relationship between slaves and masters. Now, I’m not saying that the wife is a slave. That’s not my point … My point is to prove that the Bible teaches unconditional respect….

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1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.

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This submission or respect on the part of servants toward masters is required. It is required not only for those who are good and gentle but also for those who are unreasonable. And yes it would be easier to submit and to respect the master who is good and gentle. But not every servant has that luxury.

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And so Peter’s point here is that coming underneath an authority and respecting that authority is required no matter what. There are no conditions. No strings attached.

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Just like love is unconditional for the wife, then, respect is unconditional for the husband. Wives, do you earn your love from your husband? Does God require you to earn your husband’s love?

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No, of course not. No matter what, the husband is to love his wife. It’s the same way with the husband. Just like love is not earned, respect is not earned. If it’s the other way around and respect must be earned, the man’s heart is going to fail because he knows he tends to have character flaws, believe it or not!

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And what tends to happen is the wife raises or lowers her respect based on her perception of those flaws.

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And so ladies, you want your husband to love you no matter what, right? You want him to look past all of your character flaws, right? It’s the same way. Love is not earned and respect is not earned… A wife can do nothing more to earn her husband’s love. A husband he can nothing more to earn your respect, ladies.

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It is enough that he is your husband… It is enough that God has placed him in your home as your husband …. That is enough for you to reverence your husband.

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Whether or not you feel like he deserves it

And this is the case no matter if you feel he deserves it. 1 Peter 3 you can turn over there. You are to reverence him even if you feel he does not deserve it. 1 Peter 3:1-2 1 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, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

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Now, in the context you can see in verse one the husband is not righteous. He may not be saved or he may be acting like he’s not saved at least … But nevertheless, it would be easy for a wife not to respect him because of his character in this situation. But nevertheless verse one says these men can be won over by their wives without a word, it says …. In other words, not through critiquing him and criticizing him … by your behavior…your, verse 2, respectful behavior.

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So no matter what, respect your husband. The husband does not have to do certain things or even love you like Christ loved the church in order for you to respect him. Yes, again, it would be easier for you to respect him if he did, but you may not have that luxury. And I am getting to his side of things … But my point is that you have to respect him no matter what.

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Back to Ephesians 5:33 …the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

It is required. What are you going to do to fulfill this command? There will be some help a little later, but are you sold on doing this no matter what?

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Your marriage is not beyond this. Your troubles in your marriage are due at least in part to your problem with this. Yes he’s got his problems. But I think that this concept of respect is greatly missing in godly marriages.

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For that reason, some of you are thinking you have no idea what I’m even talking about what to do about it.

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This is why the wife is usually the one who wants to begin marriage counseling. She feels unloved and doesn’t know what to do about it and she comes to the counselor and says all of the things that her husband has been doing to be unloving.

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And the average counselor is thinking to himself how lost her husband must be … that he can be so unloving …. And the counselor comes away with “Man if I could just shake some sense into that guy … I can’t believe this…”

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All the while, what’s happened is that, yes, he’s been unloving, but she’s been disrespectful and that’s why we’ve got a big issue here.

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And the fact is the wife is part of the problem, believe it or not! … even if she doesn’t feel like she is…it just seems like it’s all his fault, but little does she know, she’s playing a huge role in this, too!

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So yes, ladies, your husband may be unloving. But what are you going to do … What are you going to do to be respectful? This is what he needs!

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He Needs Your Respect!

I have greatly appreciated Emerson Eggersichs’ book Love and Respect. … I picked the book up in the last couple of weeks and it has taught me some me some things and has also emphasized other points that I had already been using and teaching.

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One of the things he points out of the book is a man’s need to be respected. Ephesians 5:33 tells us that a woman needs love and a man needs respect.

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We’ll get to the man in a later message, but ladies without respect, he will be more tempted to act unloving toward you…without respect, he will be more tempted to act unloving toward you. And men, without love, she will be tempted to act disrespectful toward you.

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This is what Eggerich calls the Crazy Cycle.

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ILL: Ladies, your husband can give verbal and nonverbal communication that will give an indication that you have failed to respect him in some way.

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Ladies, your husband needs respect in marriage just like he needs air to live. [*point out*] If you do or say certain things and [*both hands back*] he hears it as being disrespectful even though you don’t mean to be disrespectful, he may give certain verbal and nonverbal communication that will give you the indication that you have disrespected him.

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And he may say certain things in a certain way and you will then feel unloved…. And when you feel unloved you say disrespectful things and this is a vicious cycle. We’ve got to break that cycle …and since this is a message for wives, you must learn to respect him.

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And when the cycle continues, what is actually being discussed at the moment is really not the issue. The real issue is that the husband has failed to be loving and the wife has failed to be respectful.

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And since we’re dealing with the ladies, I’d like to read some verses of Scripture and makes some comments to let you know why your husband is the way he is sometimes. The husband is a responder; he’s responding to you!

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For example, Proverbs 21:19 It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and vexing woman.

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Contentious has the idea of argumentative and the wife who does not come underneath her husband’s authority. Vexing has the idea of making her husband feel annoyed or frustrated and angry.

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Ladies, if you’re not coming underneath his authority or failing to show respect to him as your authority and husband, this is how he feels…. It would be better to live in the desert than with you!

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In other words, his soul is parched and he is crying out for you to respect him. That’s many times why the husband is angry, because his wife is vexing him. You are actually playing a role in his anger …not making him, but you are a source of temptation for him in his anger … and you can be a source of temptation by not coming underneath his authority and by failing to positively show respect.

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Proverbs 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.

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There are some women who speak disrespectful of their husbands, either to him or behind his back, and they shame him. And this is how he feels: it’s like rottenness in his bones. And a man who feels rottenness in his bones … Oftentimes, that will come out in the marriage. And I can explain why he is the way that he is…. It could be because you have shamed him; you have disrespected him.

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Proverbs 21:9 It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

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A woman can be a certain way in the home and the man’s response is that he would rather live on the roof! And so, in some … in some situations, it’s no wonder that he’s never at home!

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I pointed these verses out to give you an example of how a husband can feel sometimes when his wife is disrespectful, contentious, argumentative, and provoking him to anger …. Shaming him…

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Ladies, it very well could be that your husband is the way that he is because you are the way that you are toward him. If a man feels rottenness in his bones and he would rather live in the desert, and he feels like living on the roof, but he actually lives inside of the house … those feelings are, more than likely, going to come out of him and he will be angry… And then you will say to him or think … “I can’t believe how unloving you are!” …. Or you’ll say certain things that make it clear you’re not coming underneath his authority.”

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So ladies if you are observing that one week or one month he seems fine and the next is a disaster and you don’t know why it could be that he’s feeling disrespected by his wife. It’s hard for him himself to know what that means or to express that to you and to teach you these things. It’s hard for him to tell you…. He knows he feels rottenness in his bones and it has something to do with you, and it ends up coming out in an unloving way.

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And men, this is why you need to teach your wives what is respectful towards you and what isn’t as best you can. And men there is no excuse for acting unloving toward your wife, no matter what.

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TRANS: But ladies, you say, I feel clueless!

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Clueless

My wife and I naturally have been talking about our own marriage more lately, because of the messages. We’ve been discussing this issue of respect. And she said that women generally are clueless on this point!

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So when I asked the question at the beginning of the message, “what are you doing to actively communicate respect to your husband” … More than likely, if you had a thought on it, you probably answered in a way that your husband would not have answered!

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TRANS: So now here is where the rubber meets the road. The last two points of the message are not showing disrespect and showing respect.

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So first, not showing disrespect … How do you not show disrespect?

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Not Showing Disrespect

No matter what you think you’re saying, it’s what he hears that counts. I’m going to say that again … it works both way, too … no matter what you think you’re saying to him, it’s what he (or she) hears that counts. You say, “My husband just seems like he’s overly sensitive to feeling disrespected. Yes, … just like you are overly sensitive to feeling unloved.

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Most men are highly sensitive to hearing disrespect from their wives. It’s not that he needs to be less sensitive about what you say and to quit being so uptight, but it’s that you need to be more sensitive to the way your husband feels.

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So, first, in order not to show disrespect, first you need to get in the habit of asking yourself whether or not what you’re about to say or do will be received by him as disrespectful.

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“Is what I’m about to say or do going to sound disrespectful to my husband?”

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Now you will ask yourself that question at times and if you are growing in this area of respecting your husband, you’ll grow in answering that question and you’ll hold your tongue. But get in the habit now.

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If you know what is disrespectful to your husband, and then you ask yourself whether or not what you are about to say or do is going to sound disrespectful, you’ll be able to hold your tongue easier. So get in the habit of asking yourself that question and acting on it.

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Second, you need to know what is and is not respectful to your husband. And as he listens to this message and as he honors your desire to respect him, he himself will grow in his ability to know whether or not you are doing something disrespectful. But as you grow in this area he will grow in his ability to communicate this to you.

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I’m going to give some ideas as to what could be disrespectful to her husband and men, listen up and take some notes and communicate some of these things back to your wife in a very loving, gentle way to help her through this. She desires to respect you. And she is generally clueless, you need to assume….assume she really doesn’t understand what is disrespectful to you.

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Men there is no excuse for being angry with your wife, no matter how much she disrespects or does not come underneath your authority. But ladies, if your husband is responding in anger at times in your marriage as you relate to one another … at the proper time, you need to pursue him right there…. in other words, let’s say you have a conversation that didn’t go so well, to say the least. When you make things right as Christians do and ask forgiveness, say, “Did I do/say something disrespectful? I’m sorry if I did.” Ask him what that was.

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And ladies, don’t be defensive when he tells you what it was that irked him. If he feels disrespected when you did or said such and such, own it.

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ILL: This kind of thing is going on all the time with people, even in our home with young children. Just yesterday, I’m in my office and I hear Hudson crying and he says to Haddie “You’re being so angry with me!” And Haddie quickly replies, “No I’m not! I’m not angry!”

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Sounds like some husbands and wives! So I call them in my office and I said to Haddie, “Was what you said helpful? What you need to say is…. I’m not trying to be angry. I’m sorry you felt I was angry. I’ll try not to be so excited next time.”

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Haddie should not have gotten defensive, should own it. She came across as angry… that’s how Hudson received it and that’s what matters.

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So ladies, the way you speak and what you say and don’t say communicates respect or disrespect to your husband and that’s how he receives it. And how he receives it is what really matters. Your job is to do your best to accommodate him on this. It will be the same way with the husband as he relates to his wife.

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And if you’re thinking … “Oh no, I have to walk on eggshells and have to use a thesaurus to make sure I use the right words….” And you’re being defensive now ….Grow … That’s the point, grow in this. And if you grow in this and your husband is growing, you’ll find that you won’t ever have to use a thesaurus. You will have already empowered your husband to love you more.

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Now, every man is different.[1],[2] but as I read around for ideas and thought of some on my own, here are some that I came up with….

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Let’s deal with specific things that husbands can find disrespectful. What can be received as disrespectful to a husband? Be sure to discuss these; some of these may not be true for your husband.

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Now I’m gonna go kind of fast through this…

  • It can be disrespectful if you ask him to do something and then do it yourself.
  • Also, giving him too much help. You’re just trying to be helpful, but sometimes it can come across like you do not believe in him and in his abilities.
  • You fail to give him attention when he’s at home. In his mind, he’s coming home to his maiden in distress and he’s your knight in shining armor. He wants you to feel like you need him. He feels disrespected when you fail to give him attention.
  • Allowing the kids to interrupt your conversation.
  • Too distracted with TV, internet, phone, to pay attention to him.
  • Being distracted and not really listening to him and appreciating what he’s saying

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ILL: Story time … last Monday I changed 3 light fixtures in the home. And by the third one, my arms were getting tired and men you know what I’m talking about and as I finished part of the job with my arms in the air… I gave off a primal grunt. And my wife, out of sincere appreciation my work, said “thanks for struggling through this!” and we commend her for that … and so do I, btw… but Monday is pastor hangover day … and I was in a grumpy mood, and I was trying to fight that, and if I was not in a grumpy mood I would not said this but I said “I’m not struggling!” And she politely in a Christlike way responded and said, “okay, thank you for working hard.” I said, “You’re welcome!”

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But my point is that words matter. When I used to give these primal grunts, she would come running and want to know if I was okay or not … if I was hurt in some way … Is nothing more manly than a primal grunt … and for someone to come running to make sure I’m okay, takes a man back a little bit … “Are you kidding, this is the best I’ve been!”

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Keeping going here … what is received as disrespect …

  • When he gives his ideas and has thoughts on a matter, she immediately rejects his idea …. saying “Oh, no no that’s not a good idea.”
  • When he makes a leadership decision, don’t second guess him. You can do and say certain things when he is expressing leadership that will cause him to retract and shrink and then he doesn’t lead. And then you begin to wonder why he doesn’t lead you and the family. It could be because you express a lack of confidence in him and or his leadership.
  • Some ladies have a complaining spirit, either directly or indirectly toward their husbands.
  • Men feel disrespected when their wives speak negatively of them, and especially when it’s in front of others.
  • If your arms are crossed, and toe is tapping, and your have a scowl on your face, he feels disrespected. Body language is important.
  • Don’t answer for him when he’s asked a question, don’t interrupt him when he’s speaking, and don’t tell him what to do like he’s one of the kids. Sometimes when you’re used to ordering the kids around, issuing commands, … then your husband walks in the door and you issue him a command…that’s spells disrespect to him.
  • Undermining his authority as a father. When a wife tells the kids not to do what he just asked them to do or disagreeing with him in front of the kids.
  • Being critical of him, like criticizing his driving or other abilities. Assuming negative things about your husband will come out in your words.
  • Last one here … not appreciating his hobbies or encouraging him in his dreams and pursuits in the way I feel like I should. If you show lack of appreciation in his hobby or you don’t encourage him in his dreams, you’ll shut him down and he’ll not want to open up to you.

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So ladies, be on the lookout for ways that you might be disrespecting him. And ask him if there are ways that you are disrespecting him. And if he gets angry, ask him if you were disrespectful.

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Men instead of getting angry and failing to love your wife as Christ loved the church, don’t get all over her case in anger, instead politely, lovingly inform her of what she has said or done that was disrespectful. And if she says that you are being unloving when you do this, apologize for any unloving tone and word choice and try again.

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TRANS: Don’t show disrespect and now, positively show respect.

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Showing Respect:

Ladies, your husband knows you respect him, deep inside. He just wants you to show it. Just like with love, you know he loves you, you want him to show it.

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Show respect for his knowledge and opinions

First, actively show respect and appreciation for his knowledge, opinions, and decisions. Don’t argue with him about these things. And don’t be passive, but express your opinions respectfully. And honor him when he chooses not to take your advice. If you’re playing the devil’s advocate all the time, it can make it seem like he’s under attack from the devil! Constant disagreement will show respect.

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There are many men who feel respected in every way, except at home. At work where he’s respected, he somehow finds patience. If your man is well respected at work from his coworkers or from his customers, but he’s not respected at home, he’ll be more tempted to spend more time at work. Then, when he is at home in body, in spirit he’s often still at work.

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Other workers obey him at his job but when he comes home, if it seems like you are bossing him around, he’ll want to make his own house on the corner of the roof.

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So, give voice to your respect for his knowledge, opinions, and decisions. Verbally appreciate his thoughts; see the good in what he’s saying and tell him this.

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Now…

Show respect for his abilities

Show respect for his knowledge and opinions, now, show respect for his abilities. Men will spend hours trying to figure something out. Instead of asking to help him or her to tell him to ask your dad…. I mean, he feels like he’s out to conquer the world and to him you may be telling him in your nice kind and helpful way that he can’t do it and to him, you’re saying “I don’t trust you, I can’t depend on you, I can’t follow you” …

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So when, he’s trying to figure something out encourage him. Make the choice to respect him [*hands to mouth and out*] by putting words to your appreciation of his abilities. This is a decision, not a feeling. Choose to respect him in his abilities.

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And you say, “I don’t understand these things. If I ask if he needs help, I’m just trying to be helpful. Why doesn’t he see it that way?” And the answer to that is, “because he is your man and he needs you to need him not the other guy who you think can do it better.

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Small statements piled on top of other small disrespectful statements… Can demoralize him and collapse spirit over time. Ladies, instead you could choose to show respect with your words for him, his knowledge opinions, and decisions and his abilities and if you do, you will have in your hands a very encouraged man.

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ILL: He needs you to believe in him. He needs to feel like you believe in him. I read part of a book by Shaunti Feldhahn called For Women Only … and Haddie asked me why I had that book…. But anyway, in the book she mentions a scene from a movie….

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I’m usually not about movie illustrations, but this one I could not resist. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t recommend it as being good, but I looked up one of the scenes on YouTube. It’s about a great baseball player… And in the scene, he’s in a deep, humiliating slump. Unusual. He couldn’t get a hit for nothing and the fans were booing him. Whereas they would normally be standing and cheering him on, they’re sitting down. Everyone and everything seems against him.

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Through all the crowd of people in the stands, the camera focuses in on this lady in white … and she stands up …as if to support him and to believe in him. And she’s holding her the game’s program all wrapped up in her hands as if to hold a baseball bat… as if to hold that bat with him … And from home plate, the ballplayer notices the lady, and with two strikes against him the pitch comes and … he hits a homerun.

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The scene is very striking. And it demonstrates the point that behind every great man is a great woman. She’s behind him…she believes in him 100% even in his slumps.

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And ladies, you are the main person in his baseball stadium … his lady in white… everyone else fills up space. He needs you to cheer him on.

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He wants to have the confidence in his heart that you are always encouraging and cheering him on … even in his slumps…ladies always be behind your man 100%.

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A test question on this is this question you could ask him, “do you feel like you can share your shortcomings and failures with me?” Or is he hiding his failures from you because you have not established a track record of successful, respectful encouragement?

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Reverence him as your leader as he provides, tell him specifics on how you see evidence of God working through his life … express trust in his leadership … ask him for his advice and counsel, spiritually or otherwise.

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Your husband has a deep drive to provide; play to that, encourage him in that; don’t neglect that. Thank him for his work; tell him he’s doing a great job. Honor your husband’s labor. Regularly express thanks and appreciate him for your husband’s work. You need him in this way. Express that to him. Seriously, what would you do if the Lord took him and you were by yourself with the kids? How would you put food on the table … Express your appreciation for his work that puts food on your table.

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I believe that many if not most husbands today have gone through a certain length of time where they have felt starved for respect from their wives…and they themselves don’t even know it. Men, I hope you’re learning about yourself this morning. Again, ladies, he needs this. He needs to know you appreciate him for his abilities, his work, and his knowledge and opinions and decisions.

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And no he’s not an egotistical, narcissistic, self-centred, self-respect-mongering arrogant, big headed husband. No, he’s just as proud as you are. But when he’s with you, his guard is down and he relaxes. His protective shield is down and so it’s way too easy to thrust words into him that hurt. His heart is easily wounded by the woman he loves and he feels like lashing out in anger when his fragile heart is smashed. His feelings of whether or not he’s adequate in any given situation are in your hands, many times. And you’re sensitive to feelings, right? Be sensitive to your husband’s feelings. This is him.

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Again, believe in him. It’s as if your husband intercepted the football in the closing seconds of the Super Bowl and won the game with tens of thousands of screaming fans in the stadium with millions watching on TV. And with the confetti flying and the streamers falling, he stops … in the middle of the football field he stops …. And looks out into the stands to find you. All of those screaming fans do not matter, if he looks at his wife and she gives him a thumbs down.

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He will be tempted to go elsewhere to find his thumbs up; and at home he’ll be angry. Be your husband’s main source of encouragement, respect, trust, and give him words that say to him “I believe in you,” “I trust you,” “I have confidence in you.”

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He is not self-sufficient in this area; he must have your help with this.

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Ladies, ask him to forgive you if you’ve been disrespectful. Tell him you’re sorry for doing things that are disrespectful and reaffirm your trust in him. Tell him you want to work on it, to study it, and to pray about it.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 5.33

Now, as I wrap this up, let me give this piece of very specific application. Ladies, try to communicate one respectful statement every day. If you did that for the rest of your marriage whether it’s things like, “I think you can do this.” Or “Thank you for working so hard for us.” Or “I know the men honor you for your abilities.” He may not acknowledge that you even said it, but it’s having a deep effect on his heart.

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When he is expressing his dreams, encourage him. When he is giving voice to his thoughts or opinions on the matter, tell him with your words that you’re listening to him and appreciating his thoughts and leadership…. When he expresses joy in something that can be good, don’t crush his spirit, but be careful to lift him up.

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Husbands, be patient with your wives as they soak this in. Take them aside and gently and lovingly teach them some of these things more specifically. If this is new for your wife, it might sound a little awkward at first… But ladies, he’s waiting. If you need help with this, ask him about it.

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  1. http://peacefulwife.com/2012/09/19/husbands-share-what-is-disrespectful-to-them/

  2. http://peacefulwife.com/what-is-disrespectful-to-men/

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