Loving Your Man Honorably (Part II)
Hello readers, last week I published part one of Loving Your Man Honorably. Today’s post is a continuation of the topic. It is my hope and prayer that the first piece was insightful, and I seek to build on it by diving deeper into how women are charged by God and the Holy Spirit to love their husbands and godly men with honor and utmost respect. In part one, I covered how the temptation of disrespect could seep into a marriage or godly relationship, and loving your man honorably with your head- primarily with your thoughts and decisions.
Today, I will tackle how to love him honorably with your heart (affection and emotions), with your hands (actions and deeper connections), disagreeing respectfully with him, offering him sound advice in a very respectful manner, encouraging him in a respectful way, and finally submitting to his headship in a manner that commands the Heavens to pour out its blessings on women.
Loving Your Man Honorably with Your Heart (Affection and Emotions)
What does it mean to love your man with your heart? The Bible states in Matthew 12:34 that “out of abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Therefore, if the heart is filled with pure respect, it will reflect in the choice of words that come forth when a person speaks. The same can be said in a case where disrespect brews in the heart and emotions of an individual. Women have the tendency to either hold back or be charged up in terms of the choice of words that spew out of their mouths, which is fueled by their emotions. What the previous statement means in the simplest terms is that women respond to their husbands with either criticism or with silence.
This could lead women to either heap praise or completely tear down their husbands or godly men when they talk about them with others. Ladies, do you freely discuss issues you have with your men or gossip about them when you meet up with your circle of friends? Women sometimes form Bible study and prayer, or accountability groups, which could easily turn out into a “gossip fest”, to the point of totally disrespecting their husbands or men in the name of ministry or not forsaking the gathering of saints. According to Proverbs 31:26, a respectful woman “opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Ladies, are your words to your men inspired by wisdom and kindness? Or do your words seek to be controlling of your husbands as a form of rebellion and stubbornness. This is how bitterness takes root in the heart and leads to very unhealthy relationships between a couple (man and woman). It is very fair to treat your husbands with patience and kindness, just as would be expected of them. In a case where husband or men show weaknesses in particular aspects of their respective characters, it is always imperative to keep in mind that only the the Holy Spirit can change them for the better and not words or actions!
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
Ephesians 4:29 NKJV
Ladies, see to it that you do not unhealthily criticize, or even blatantly tear down your husbands or men. Do not belittle or “joke” about his areas of weakness or his way of doing things. If you have kids, make sure you don’t disrespect him in front of them because kids learn from what the see, and in some sense serve as a cloud of witnesses in the marriage. Instead, use your words to pray for your husbands and men and help them instead of joking about or belittling them. Do not allow what you see in the media- reality television or negative publications- to seep into your marriages or relations and destroy the beautiful union you share with your men. Sometimes all it takes is to ask a neutral party we have so much respect for to assess our words and actions. Ladies, reach out to your husbands or other godly women or men, and ask them how respectful your words are. Have the willingness to listen without making excuses or playing the blame game. Be open to positive feedback and admonition.
Loving Your Man Honorably with Your Hands (Actions)
In Genesis 2:18, God stated that “it is not good for man to be alone” so He created a helper for Adam. God created women to be helpers and that is a direct reflection of who God is. In biblical terms the word “helper” denotes a good thing because even God is referred to as our helper. Women, be empowered by the fact that God created you to be helpers, after all, what would the world be like, without your special touch and input?
“But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.”
Psalms 10:14 NKJV
“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.”
Psalms 118:6-7 NKJV
“So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?””
Hebrews 13:6 NKJV
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.”
I Corinthians 11:7-12 NKJV
God’s natural design was for women to be helpers of men to make the world a much better place. When a man is joined to his wife in the instutition of marriage, their lives become so much better because they complement each other and are made complete as a unit in Christ. Ladies let’s consider some ways you can respect your husbands or men with your actions.
Respect Through Prayer and Reading the Bible
Prayer is our primary form of communication with God. It helps us to be humble and drives out bitterness that reside in our hearts. Ladies, when you intercede for your men in prayer, see to it that you don’t ask God to change them alone, otherwise you would be excusing your very own sins too. Prayer strengthens our connection with God and others. When you intercede for your men, discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit and what He lays on your heart. Commit everything about your men in prayer- their relationships, jobs, fear, worries, strengths, weaknesses, and anything else that comes to mind. Men feel respected and loved when ladies take the initiative to pray for them.
Make time to nourish your spirit through reading the Bible, praying and forgiving each other ceaselessly. The Bible teaches us wisdom, knowledge and understanding, and it also helps us build deeper connections with other believers. Staying connected with the Savior through His Word teaches us to stay in fellowship with one another. Ask God to help you make time as a couple to read and study His word, pray and intercede for each other as well as others on a daily basis. Ladies, learn to first be godly women, then wives, then mothers, before being friends with others once you get married. Never reverse the order, as it would lead to negative implications.
Respect Through Touch
Physical affection cannot be overlooked in marriages because it is the door to sharing the deepest bond or intimacy. It prevents temptations and does not allow the enemy to get a foothold in a holy union. Ladies, if your husbands enjoy your physical touch, you really can’t miss out on this one- go all out for them! If your man tends to be a little laid back in relation to touch, still be intentional about holding his hands, massage him, rub his neck, kiss him. Be very intentional about sex in marriage.
Sex doesn’t just happen like magic. It is something that must be worked on and adequately prepared for spiritually, mentally and physically- that is how oneness and unbreakable bonds and godly soul ties are formed. Be very playful with your husband by touching him all the time. Schedule lunch dates, greet him with hugs and kisses at the door instead of nagging him as soon as he walks in through the door. Send him text messages throughout the day to let him know you are thinking about him.
Respect Through Provision (Cooking)
Take some time to plan a weekly or monthly menu filled with very healthy choices and dishes. Ladies, planning ahead of time allows not just you but your husbands to go grocery shopping together, put recipes together, watch cooking channels as a couple, or even read cookery books. There are very helpful cooking websites such as www.foodnetwork.com and www.allrecipes.com, which teach you how to put together very healthy meals. Invite your husbands over to the kitchen to help you cook sometimes. Allow him to fix you meals as well, as much as he can. The most important thing is being very mindful of your nutrition, and being intentional about enjoying meals together without any distractions. This is the key to building a very healthy bond with your man.
Respect Through Activities
Learn to enjoy doing activities that you know your man likes even if you’re not so much into them. If it means watching sports together or attending games, ladies makes sure you enjoy every bit of the experience. In the same way, if your man knows that you enjoy his company while shopping, he will return the favor. If he doesn’t know how to cook or do laundry, respectfully teach him how to do it. On the other hand, have the willingness to learn from him as well- be teachable as well. Watch your favorites shows with him as well, as it will strengthen your friendship.
Disagreeing and Offering counsel Respectfully
Every healthy relationship has its fair share of disagreements. Ladies, when you find yourselves in relationships in which you never fight, that should serve as big cause for concern, as it may point out to dishonesty to each other as friends or lovers. There will be many instances where you will be faced with situations in which both of you do not see eye-to-eye in your marriage or relationship. Use such instances as an opportunity to learn about your differences and similarities.
Whenever an argument sets in take a moment to yourself to assess if your actions and reactions are fair to one another. Make a mental note or jot down what in particular hurt your feelings or struck the wrong chord. When both of you have had time to cool down after the rollercoaster of emotions, discuss in a heathy manner what you both didn’t like and how you can collectively prevent that from happening again. Your choice of words in such a case is very important- make sure you don’t use words that you can’t take back and do not insult each other’s intelligence. Both of you came together for a reason so do not allow disrespect to get a stronghold of the very beautiful bond you share. Let your words to one another be seasoned and always remember:
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Proverbs 18:21 NKJV
As far as offering advice, ladies make sure it always comes from a good place. Never act like you know better, or you are smarter than your husbands or godly men. Refrain from using words or actions that imply you would have done things better or differently when an argument arises. If your man comes to you for advice, know that he trusts you and values your opinion- use that as an avenue to offer him very sound advice as the decisions both of you make may have very direct or indirect implications in your marriage or relationship.
In conclusion of the second piece of Loving Your Man Honorably, I urge you all as ladies to uphold God’s perfect design of submitting to the headship of your husbands just as Christ is the ruler of the church. Honoring God and His Word, and allowing it to translate to your marriage opens up the Heavens to pour its unending blessings on your lives. With God in the center of your marriages or godly relationships, both the man and woman will flourish by honoring and submitting to each other and they will always be covered by God’s umbrella. Have a blessed week everyone!
God loves you all!