“Husbands, love your wives.” I love that part of Ephesians 5:25.
What wife doesn’t want to be loved? What wife isn’t seeking love?
The problem is that command is to husbands and I’m a wife!
The Lord called out to me (not the first time in my 22+ years of marriage, I might add) this week to focus on verse 33 of Ephesians 5.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV)(emphasis mine!)
Yes, okay, I must respect my husband.
Then the Lord asked me, “Is lack of respect, the reason why your husband isn’t willing to listen to you when you have something to say?”
Thankfully, I did not tune out the Holy Spirit and ignore His gentle question to me. I got quiet before the Lord and did not know what to say.
However, God’s timing is always perfect. Since we here at The Imperfect Wives are in the midst of the 16 Day Love Challenge, I had much truth being put before me, through the Word of 1 Corinthians 13, to help me answer this question from the Lord.
Honestly, I haven’t been dwelling on some negative aspect of my relationship with my husband but the Lord did see that there was a hint of frustration in the area of communication between the two of us. I know from past experiences of our marriage that a “hint” of a frustration can give birth to “full-blown” frustration and discontent if not addressed and put behind us.
The issue, you see, did not really have to do with a disconnect in our communication. Instead, I believe it had to do with the underlying issue of respect.
I am a military wife and as such I have a tenacious streak that will support my husband in the call of duty and service, even when that seems to test the limits of our family. I am his biggest supporter. Respect is more than just being your husband’s cheerleader, though that is a part of it.
“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” (NIV)
I do want to be my husband’s crown and not an agent that tears down and brings decay to my husband’s very life! So how does respect tie into this and correlate to my husband being willing to listen to me?
I am called, as my husband’s wife, to believe in him when no one else around him does. To hold my tongue from speaking harshly or rudely to him and to NEVER embarrass or belittle him (especially to others, including our children).
In fact, the Lord did not call me out on any of these things. No, He gently reminded me that my sighs and my quick roll of the eyes was where the change needed to occur. He revealed that my husband was not feeling respected when I did that, and as a result of my actions, I was blocking my husband from being willing to listen to me when I had something to say.
Respect, in every part of my being (including sighs, moans, eye rolling, facial expressions) needs to be under the control of the Holy Spirit and not done on my own.
As you can see, being on my own in this area was not working!
I am reminded that I need to come before the Lord every day to submit my whole being to Him, including my body and its reactions. We are made in such wonderful ways to be able to communicate with others and body language is a powerful communicator and we must be intentional and not reactive when it comes to our body language.
I am choosing today to submit all of myself to my Lord so that I might respect my husband.
How about you?
Respect is power for your communication — unleash it today!