“Nevertheless let each husband in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). Husbands are commanded to love their wives, but wives are commanded to respect their husbands. Learn why there are two different commands, and what this difference means for men and women. Can a wife love her husband without respecting him? Also learn what it means for a wife to respect her husband and what it means for a wife to disrespect her husband.
- This is the fifth message I deliver at Marriage God’s Way Conferences.
- Receive a FREE copy of my book, Seven Biblical Insights for Healthy, Joyful, Christ-Centered Marriages.
- Visit my speaking page for conference and speaking information, including testimonies, endorsements, and contact info.
- Have a Marriage God’s Way Conference in the privacy of your own home. Download and print the handout that’s given to attendees.
Table of Contents
- Message Lessons for Wife See that She Respects Her Husband
- Discussion Questions for Wife See that She Respects Her Husband
- Message Notes for Wife See that She Respects Her Husband
- Lesson 1: husbands must feel like their wives respect them
- Lesson 2: wives can love their husbands without respecting them
- Lesson 3: disrespect can change a husband’s feelings toward his wife
- Lesson 4: husbands can make respecting them easier
- Lesson 5: wives respect their husbands by making their spiritual leadership easier
Message Lessons for Wife See that She Respects Her Husband
- Lesson 1: Husbands must feel like their wives ______________ ________ (Ephesians 5:33; Proverbs 31:11–12, 23).
- Lesson 2: Wives can ________ their husbands without ____________________ them (1 Samuel 18:20; 1 Peter 3:5; 2 Samuel 6:16, 20–22).
- Lesson 3: Disrespect can ____________ a husband’s ________________ toward his wife (2 Samuel 6:23, 3:12-13).
- Lesson 4: Husbands can make respecting ________ ____________.
- Lesson 5: Wives respect their husbands by making their _________________ _____________________ easier.
Discussion Questions for Wife See that She Respects Her Husband
- Husband asks wife:
- Do you feel like my feelings toward you have changed in a positive way from you respecting me, or in a negative way from you disrespecting me?
- What do I do that makes it easier for you to respect me?
- What do I do that makes it harder for you to respect me?
- Do you feel like I withhold affection from you like David did with Michal?
- Wife asks husband:
- Do you feel like I respect you?
- What do I do that makes you feel respected?
- What do I do that makes you feel disrespected?
- Do you feel like I talk down to you like Michal did with David?
Message Notes for Wife See that She Respects Her Husband
Let’s look at Ephesians 5:33…
33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Because most of us are pretty familiar w/ this verse, we lose some of the impact of what it’s saying. So let me try to establish what we would EXPECT it to say if we weren’t so familiar w/ it…
Since Paul just finished commanding husbands to love their wives, so you would expect verse 33 to say…
Let each one of you in particular love his own wife as himself, and LET THE WIFE LOVE HER HUSBAND AS HERSELF.
That’s what you’d expect the verse to say, but notice it doesn’t say anything about wives loving their husbands. Even though husbands are commanded to love their wives, wives are not commanded to love their husbands.
Now before we go any further, let me make an important point…
I’m not saying men don’t want to be loved and I’m not saying women don’t want to be respected. Men want to be loved and women want to be respected, and there are verses in the NT commanding wives to love their husbands and commanding husbands to honor or respect their wives:
- In Titus 2:3-5 Older women are commanded to teach younger women to LOVE THEIR HUSBANDS. It’s important for husbands to be loved by their wives.
- 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with [your wives] with understanding, GIVING HONOR TO [THEM]. Some Bibles translate honor as respect. It’s important for wives to be respected.
So the point is not that husbands don’t want to be loved and wives don’t want to be respected. The point is between the two:
- Respect is more important to husbands. Husbands want to be loved, but more than that they want to be respected.
- And love is more important to wives. Wives want to be respected, but more than that they want to be loved.
And this brings us to Lesson 1…
Lesson 1: husbands must feel like their wives respect them
Back in verse 22 Paul commanded wives to submit to their husbands. Now he commands wives to respect their husbands. Is there a difference? Yes there is!
- Submission deals w/ the way a wife responds to her husband when she disagrees w/ him.
- Respect deals w/ the way a wife feels toward her husband in general and treats him as a result of those feelings.
I need you to notice how this lesson is worded. It doesn’t say…
- Wives MUST respect their husbands…
- Or, “Husbands must BE respected.”
I worded it this way for a reason.
- If I say, “Wives must respect their husbands” a wife can say, “I do respect him!” but the husband might disagree; he might not feel respected.
- But if I say, “A husband must FEEL like his wife respects him,” it’s about how her husband FEELS and not about what the wife thinks.
We can all imagine situations…
- Where a husband says: “I don’t feel like my wife respects me.”
- But the wife says, “Of course I respect my husband.”
The truth is this:
- It’s much easier for a wife to say, “I love you” than it is for her to show that through respect.
- It wouldn’t be too much to say a woman expresses her love for her husband by respecting him.
- If a wife says she loves her husband but doesn’t respect him, he won’t feel loved.
- Most wives like cards or phone calls or e-mails or flowers from their husbands communicating their love for them.
- BUT while most husbands might appreciate a phone call or card or e-mail from their wives saying how much they love them, what they desire even more is their wives’ respect.
- I don’t need my wife to buy me flowers. I don’t need her to call me during the day and tell me she loves me. I don’t need her to write me poetry. But I need her to support me, trust me, and respect me.
If you think of wives’ frustration toward their husbands, it usually sounds like:
- “I don’t feel like my husband loves me.”
- “I wish my husband loved me more.”
- “He never tells me he loves me.”
But if you think of husbands’ frustrations w/ their wives, it usually sounds like:
- “I wish my wife respected me more.”
- “I wish my wife followed my lead.”
- “I wish my wife supported my decisions.”
Just as important as it is for wives to be loved, it’s equally important for husbands to be respected. A good perspective for husbands and wives to keep in mind is this:
- As painful as it is for a woman to feel unloved is how painful it is for a man to feel disrespected.
- As painful as it is for a man to feel disrespected is how painful it is for women to feel unloved.
And research supports all this, which is really to say research supports what God’s Word says…
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (pr: egg-uh-rich) wrote a well-known book called Love and Respect. In my mind he seems to be the foremost researcher on the subject and I’m going to share some of the statistics he found about husbands and wives:
- He asked 400 men: “If you were forced to choose, would you prefer to feel alone and unloved or disrespected and inadequate?” 74% of men said they would rather feel alone and unloved than disrespected and inadequate (p. 49). In other words, 74% of men said respect was more important to them than love.
- He conducted the same test on woman and found a similar percentage of women who said they would rather feel disrespected and inadequate than alone and unloved. In other words, women said it was more important to feel loved than respected.
- Dr. Eggerichs said based on this data, “[A wife] needs love just as she needs air to breathe [and a husband] needs respect just as he needs air to breathe” (p. 37).
- In another survey they asked 7,000 people: “When you are in a conflict with your spouse, do you feel unloved or disrespected?”
- 83% of the men said, “disrespected.”
- 72% of the women said, “unloved.”
- The point is during marriage conflicts husbands often react when they feel disrespected and wives react when they feel unloved.
Now let me remind all of us of something…
If God is going to command wives to respect their husbands, what is the world going to do?
- It’s going to do everything it can to make men look like they shouldn’t be respected.
- It’s going to do everything it can to encourage wives to disrespect their husbands
And the world does this very well. Whether it’s commercials or television shows or books or general counsel from women:
- Husbands are regularly made to look incompetent and inept.
- Husbands are made to look bumbling and foolish.
- A common theme is women have to take matters into their own hands, b/c there’s no way they could trust their husbands to do what needs to be done.
So wives need to remember when they disrespect their husbands they’re supporting the world’s agenda instead of God’s agenda.
Now the obvious question is, “What does it look like for wives to respect their husbands?” I want to answer this two ways:
- I’d like to discuss what it looks like for wives to respect their husbands.
- And I’d like to discuss what it looks like for wives to disrespect their husbands.
Respecting your husband means…
- Admiring your husband.
- Looking up to your husband.
- Holding your husband in high regard.
- Supporting him and being his biggest encourager.
A wife respects her husband by:
- Considering how hard he works to take care of his family.
- Considering the sacrifices he makes to be a good father and husband.
Conversely, a wife disrespects her husband when she’s regularly discontent w/ her life, her home, her family; a wife who’s regularly unsatisfied makes her husband feel like a failure…b/c he’s the one providing these things for his family:
- Few attitudes communicate respect more than thankfulness
- And few attitudes communicate disrespect more than a lack of thankfulness and appreciation.
A wife also disrespects her husband by:
- Talking down to him.
- Treating him like a child; making him feel like he’s a little boy that’s in trouble.
- Interrupting him and talking over him.
- Rolling her eyes, huffing and puffing, wagging her finger at him.
- Hiding things from him. Two become one and hiding things breaks the union God intended, but it also communicates a wife has no respect for her husband’s position as the head of the household.
Wives respect their husbands by being wives their husbands can trust. Let me share a few verses w/ you from Proverbs 31 about the virtuous wife:
- Proverbs 31:11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her. He trusts her b/c:
- He knows she respects him.
- He knows she won’t hide anything from him.
- Proverbs 31:12 [the virtuous wife] does him good and not evil all the days of her life. This she protects his name and reputation:
- This means she doesn’t slander him or talk bad about him behind his back.
- This also means when her husband is away she acts in a way that would please him as if he was there.
- Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is [respected] in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. Does it seem odd that it’s praising the husband in the virtuous wife passage? What does him being respected in the gates and sitting among the elders have to do w/ her being a virtuous wife? I think the point is:
- There’s no way he’d be respected and sitting among the elders if he had a wife who was talking bad about him behind his back.
- A wife who slanders her husband will never have a husband who’s a leader in the church or the community, b/c she’ll have a husband nobody respects b/c of the way she’s torn him down.
- It’s a credit to the virtuous wife that her husband is respected and sits among the elders b/c he wouldn’t be there w/o her!
A wife also disrespects her husband by telling “funny” stories about his inability to do things or she shares how many times it took him to fix something.
I’m not handy. At church workdays they don’t let me near power tools. What is insignificant to some men, such as fixing the sink, is very significant to me—think on par with building a house. The gate in our fence was old and so messed up it wouldn’t shut. I fixed it, went in the house and told Katie that it was done. She could’ve said, “Wow, that’s great. Only took you a few months. Most guys would’ve done that a while ago. When are you going to fix the other things around here?” Instead she said, “Oh wow, wonderful. Let’s go look at it.” She walked outside, stood next to me while looking at the fence, and said I did a great job.
A wife terribly disrespects her husband when she talks bad about him to the children:
- It’s especially important for wives to know they destroy their husband’s credibility w/ their children when they disagree w/ him, correct him, talk down to him or belittle him in front of the children.
- Ladies, when you disagree with your husband – which will understandably happen – talk to him about it in private. There’s absolutely nothing wrong w/ disagreeing w/ your husband, but there can be something w/ how you respond when you disagree.
Ladies, let me say it like this…
Your husband is not going to have any trouble living up or down to how you see him and treat him:
- Treat him w/ respect, and praise him, and watch him raise to that bar.
- Ridicule him, and disrespect him, and watch him lower to that bar.
What wives should strive to do is let others – especially their children – hear about their husband’s best qualities. And here’s the truth: as a wife does this…
- As a wife looks for her husbands’ best qualities…
- As a wife focuses on her husbands’ strengths…
- As a wife speaks well of her husband to others…
- As a wife praises her husband to her children…
Guess what will happen? She will find her respect for her husband growing!
But if she talks bad about her husband to others or to the children she will find her respect for her husband disappearing. There’s a time and place for wives to share their concerns and frustrations about their husbands and that’s in the context of biblical counseling.
Ladies, your husband is going to have no trouble living up or down to whatever bar you set for him:
- If you disrespect your husband and talk to him like he’s a child, don’t be surprised if he lives down to that standard.
- If you respect your husband and praise him and encourage, you’ll see him strive to live up to being the guy you think he is.
Before I make this next point I first want to say what I’m not saying…
- I’m not saying wives can’t disagree w/ their husbands.
- I’m not saying wives can’t question their husbands.
This is part of how wives are their husband’s helper.
But sometimes, even when wives respect their husbands, they send the opposite message when they:
- Question EVERY decision he makes.
- Second-guess EVERYTHING he says
- Offer all the reasons he’s wrong.
- Constantly correct him.
- Chop him off at the knees when he makes a decision.
Sometimes when wives think they’re being helpful, when they think they’re offering a more fitting solution:
- Sometimes they really are being helpful.
- Sometimes they really are offering a more fitting solution.
- But other times their actions scream:
- I don’t trust you.
- You don’t know what you’re doing.
- I could do this better.
- It usually sounds like:
- Why are you doing it that way?
- What were you thinking?
- Didn’t I tell you to do this instead?
- Did you really think that was going to work?
Sometimes, “I’m just trying to help” doesn’t actually help…it just makes husbands feel disrespected.
Ladies, you’re going to have to learn your husbands:
- There are some things Katie knows I find very disrespectful that some men might find helpful.
- Similarly, there are some things Katie does that I find very helpful that some men might find disrespectful:
- For example, during sermons Katie will signal for me to slow down or not say certain things.
- I appreciate this, while some men might think it’s disrespectful.
Lesson 2: wives can love their husbands without respecting them
Now unfortunately there are plenty of men walking around feeling loved by their wives, but not respected by them. I can’t think of a husband I’ve ever spoken w/ who said he felt like his wife didn’t love him, but I’ve spoken w/ plenty of husbands who felt like their wives didn’t respect them.
Now there is a PERFECT PICTURE in Scripture of a woman who loved her husband but didn’t respect him. The picture is SO PERFECT, listen to this:
- She is the ONLY woman in Scripture said to love her husband!
- And amazingly, she also put on what I consider to be the strongest display of disrespect in Scripture toward a husband.
Please listen to this verse: 1 Samuel 18:20 Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David.
There you have it: under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit you’re told Michal loved David. Michal has the unique distinction of being the ONLY woman in Scripture having a verse saying she loved her husband.
Now it’s not to say other wives didn’t love their husbands – I’m sure there were plenty of wives in Scripture who loved their husbands – but it’s never emphasized. And why is that? I admit I’m being a little speculative, but I think b/c Scripture commands wives to respect their husbands, that’s what it chooses to emphasize.
In the New Testament, who is the woman set down as the example for wives? We know this from a previous message: Sarah.
There are more verses about Sarah than any other woman in Scripture, and none of those verses mention her loving Abraham.
My point is she clearly isn’t set down in Scripture as the example for wives to learn from b/c of her love for her husband. Instead, it was Sarah’s submission and respect that made her the example.
Now even though Michal is the wife who loved her husband, why isn’t she praised? Please turn to 2 Samuel 6 and I’ll show you.
Here’s the context…
David has recently become king, and one of his first actions was bringing the ark into Jerusalem, his capital. The first time he tried, it was a disaster: Uzzah touched the ark and died. David tried to bring the ark in a second time and was successful. It was probably the most joyful moment of David’s life. I say that b/c there’s no other recorded instance of him celebrating like he did when the ark was successfully transported.
But unfortunately David’s joy was ruined…and it was ruined by his wife…
16 Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; (See, I told you he was happy: he was leaping and whirling. That’s excited! But now listen to this…) and she (this is Michal) despised him in her heart.
Michal didn’t like David, the king of Israel, doing what she considered to be very embarrassing. She’s the king’s wife, so she becomes furious w/ him for acting like this. Remember she’s Saul’s daughter, so she grew up w/ a father that would never do this! Saul was all about appearances and not substance, and unfortunately that rubbed off on Michal. She thought it was WAY below a king to act like this, even if David was acting this way for the Lord.
Now skip to verse 20…
20a Then David returned to bless his household.
David was happy and he wanted to return home and share some of that joy w/ his family, but…
20b And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David,
She couldn’t even wait until he got in the house; she had to run out and confront him, that’s how mad she was.
You almost picture a mother coming out to discipline a child and give him some lecture about his behavior.
So ladies, are any of you like this?
- Do you pounce on your husband when he does something wrong?
- Do you make him feel like a little boy who’s in trouble?
- Do you chastise him like Michal is about to do?
20c and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!”
Michal mocked David. She ridiculed him. You can hear the scorn and disrespect in her words.
21 So David said to Michal, “I know you love me because 1 Sam 18:20 says so…so it’s okay when you treat me like this. It really doesn’t bother me, because I know how much you love me. I don’t really need your respect, I just need your love.”
Now just to let you know before we read what David actually said, Michal wasn’t the only person wrong in this situation. David is not going to respond loving or gently toward his wife!
21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, (now notice this…) who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. (David even made sure to point out that God chose him over her father Saul!!!) Therefore I will play music before the Lord. 22a And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight (Basically he says, “You think this is bad? I’ll act way worse than this!”) But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”
You can circle the words held in honor and write the word “respect.” This is probably one of the simplest and clearest definitions of respect in the Bible: holding in honor.
David said that even if Michal doesn’t respect him, she can be sure plenty of other women do. That’s like saying, “You might not like what I did, but there are plenty of other women who were impressed.”
Sadly, how many men have been disrespected by their wives and then looked to other women they thought would respect them?
Now here are the 3 reasons we’re looking at this:
- First, ladies, this gives you an example of how not to treat your husbands.
- Second, gentlemen, this gives you an example of how not to treat your wives.
- Third, this shows that women can love their husbands w/o respecting them.
The fact is wives love their husbands BY respecting them. A husband who isn’t respected won’t feel loved.
If we take 2 Samuel 6 as an example, I can tell you Michal might have loved David at this moment, but he sure didn’t feel loved b/c of the the way she was disrespecting him.
Now here’s something else I want you to see too. Please look at verse 23…
23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
Lesson 3: disrespect can change a husband’s feelings toward his wife
I take verse 23 to mean David no longer had relations w/ Michal. Now let me be clear about a few things:
- I am not defending David’s actions.
- I think he was at fault too.
- This was as much a low point for him as it was for Michal.
- I’ve said husbands are supposed to love their wives unconditionally – that’s what agapaō means – and David definitely didn’t do that.
- When a husband wants to be cruel to his wife, all he really needs to do is neglect her:
- In fact, that’s how some men CHOOSE to be cruel to their wives, and that’s what David did w/ Michal.
- It’s as bad for husbands to punish their wives like David punished Michal as it is for wives to disrespect their husbands like Michal disrespected David.
So hopefully I’m perfectly clear that I’m not defending David’s behavior…but I want you to see how dramatically this one event changed David’s relationship w/ Michal.
I don’t want to throw out too many names, so I’m going to ask you to please listen carefully as I show you something important…
Michal was Saul’s daughter. When Saul became jealous of David, he took Michal and gave her to another man.
Saul had a general named Abner that defected and wanted to join David. David told Abner he could join him under one condition: he had to get his wife Michal back for him. Look at 2 Samuel 3:12…
2 Sam 3:12 Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to David, saying, “Whose is the land?” saying also, “Make your covenant with me, and indeed my hand shall be with you to bring all Israel to you.”
David isn’t king over Israel yet, and Abner offers to help make him king over all Israel. That would be a pretty wonderful offer for David to hear after waiting almost 20 yrs to be king.
13 And David said, “Good, I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you: you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see my face.” So David said, “You can’t join me unless you bring me Michal!”
Now here’s why I’m telling you this…
David wants nothing to do w/ Michal at the end of 2 Sam 6, but there was a time when David really wanted Michal; there was a time he really missed having her as his wife…and it was only a few chapters earlier! He loved her so much he said the only way Abner could join him was if he got Michal back for him.
But when Michal disrespected David like this, he lost all interest in her! He resented her. It wasn’t right, but it’s true.
And I’ll tell you this: when husbands are strongly disrespected by their wives…
- They begin to resent their wives.
- They begin to distance themselves from them.
- They begin to want nothing to do w/ them.
It’s not right, but it’s true.
A wife can be so disrespectful to her husband, it can change the way he feels about her. We’ve talked extensively about husbands loving their wives, and wives can treat their husbands in such a disrespectful way, that the husband will start to feel like David did toward Michal.
Last thing I’d like to say to the wives…
Your husband is commanded to love you unconditionally. It doesn’t say, “Husbands, love your wives IF…”
But the same is true for you regarding respecting your husband. It doesn’t say, “Wives, respect your husband IF…”
Wives, you want your husband to love you even when he doesn’t feel like it, and he wants you to respect him even when you don’t feel like it.
For husbands and wives, we all need to remember the moment any marriage becomes conditional
- The moment the husband says, “I’m not going to love my wife b/c she…”
- And the moment the wife says, “I’m not going to respect my husband b/c he…”
That’s the moment the marriage goes south; that’s the moment marriage becomes miserable.
Now our last lesson is for husbands…
Lesson 4: husbands can make respecting them easier
In our second message we discussed wives making it easier for their husbands to love them. The corresponding point is husbands can make it easier for their wives to respect them.
Generally wives have trouble submitting to husbands who are not spiritual men. If a man doesn’t pray or read the Word, a wife has trouble trusting him.
Respect is different though! Wives generally have trouble respecting their husbands if there’s sin in their lives.
Gentlemen, I want to be honest – I don’t know if this will apply to you or not – but there might be a few of you in here right now and your wives want to respect you…they really do. But you’re making it hard for them. They’ve been listening this whole time thinking:
- I really want to respect my husband…
- I really want to be able to look up to him…
- I really want him to be my hero…
- But there’s this sin in his life…
- I see the way he treats our children…
- I hear the way he talks to me…
- I know some of the things he looks at…
- He doesn’t work hard to take care of our family.
When a wife says these things, a husband is making it very difficult for her to trust him!
So Gentlemen, yes, your wife is commanded to respect you, but you can definitely make that easier for her or harder for her! Part of loving your wife as Christ loves the church is making it easier for her!
And our final lesson for the conference that I hope can tie together much of what we discussed today…
Lesson 5: wives respect their husbands by making their spiritual leadership easier
We’ve talked a lot about men being spiritual leaders, but let me ask the wives a question…
Can you make your husband’s spiritual leadership over his home easier? Yes!
Many husbands are terrified to pray in front of their wives, b/c they don’t think they’re going to sound like pastors or guys you hear on the radio.
So ladies, let me give you some encouragements and some discouragements…
Here are the encouragements:
- Your husband might fumble every word he says when he prays or reads the bible, but you still praise him for being such a godly man and you recognize you’re in the top whatever tiny percent of wives it is that actually have husbands that pray and read the Bible w/ them.
- Hold his hand when you pray in front of him thank God for giving you such a godly man.
- When he reads the bible w/ you, become the most interested, attentive woman in history. Whatever passage he’s reading, that’s your favorite passage of Scripture.
- Support your husband by helping round up the kids, so they know you’re one w/ him regarding devotional times.
Here are two discouragements…
First, this is tough, b/c I don’t want to discourage wives from asking their husbands questions or disagreeing w/ them if they say something wrong, but if your husband thinks he’s going to have to argue w/ you or debate w/ you every time you open the Bible together you’re going to have a husband who doesn’t open the Bible w/ you. For every withdrawal you make during a devotional time, you need to make sure you make a number of deposits.
Second, do not under any circumstances ever compare your husband to another husband or some pastor or Bible teacher you’ve heard. This is you’re husband. Don’t compare him to other men. Be thankful for him.
Teaching is a gift which means it’s something some men have and others don’t. Ladies, your husband might not have the gift of teaching, which means he’s probably already nervous about reading or praying with his family, so the last thing he needs is to be criticized by you.
Don’t expect a sermon or Billy Graham Crusade every time you open the Bible together. The power is in God’s Word and not in the husband’s teaching ability. If your husband is reading the Bible and it’s going out and washing over the family it will do its work.
Wives: encourage your husbands. Be their biggest supporters.
When Katie and I got together, I really wanted to impress her. So, during one of our first Bible studies as a couple I decided to look at the Assyrians sieging Jerusalem to show her the relationship between three passages of Scripture: Isaiah 36, 2 Kings 18, and 2 Chronicles 32. It was probably the most confusing Bible study ever taught. Let’s just say that by the time we finished three hours later, I did not look impressive—I simply looked weird. Later that day, however, I overheard Katie on the phone telling a friend: “I am so thankful to have met a man who will read the Bible with me.”
You can imagine what an encouragement that was to hear. Sadly, I have met husbands who are reluctant to read the Bible or pray in front of their wives because they are afraid of the wife’s reaction if they do not measure up to a pastor or Bible teacher on the radio. Wives, let me give you some encouragements as well as some discouragements to make your husband’s spiritual leadership easier.
Let me ask you to picture something…
Imagine there’s a man who’s really feeling convicted about reading the Bible with his family. He knows he should, but he hasn’t been and he’s really nervous about trying to for the first time. He doesn’t know how they’re going to respond. He’s got all these questions:
- What if I don’t know what to say?
- What if they ask me a question I can’t answer?
- What if I don’t sound like that guy on the radio?
But he’s been summoning up all his courage while he’s been at work and he’s decided today is the day! When he gets home from work, he’s going to sit down w/ his family at dinner and as soon as dinner is over he’s going to ask everyone to grab their bibles.
Fast forward a few hours. They just finished dinner. His heart is racing, and he says, “Tonight, why don’t we do something different. Why don’t we all grab our Bibles and we’ll read a passage together?”
Now imagine his wife. She says:
- Do we have to do this right now? I wanted to get the table picked up.
- Is that the version of the Bible we’re gonna use? Can we use this instead?
- Is this the passage we’re going to read? Why did you pick this one? I don’t know if the kids are going to understand it.
- Is that how you pronounce his name?
- When I was listening to John MacArthur, that’s not what he said about this verse.
- I don’t think that’s right.
- Why don’t you go ask Pastor James.
- I don’t think this is what Pastor Scott said our Bible studies should look like.
- Wow, this first Bible study sure is long!
Do you think that husband will ever want to read the Bible w/ his family again?
Now picture this…
Same man. Same situation. Same nervousness all day. Finishes dinner. Tells everyone to get their Bibles:
- His wife says, “I’m so thankful you’re doing this with me. I know how blessed I am to have a husband who will read the Bible with me. I know many women don’t have a man in their life that will do this w/ them.”
- If there are children the wife says, “Isn’t this great? What a wonderful daddy you have! Let’s go get our bibles.”
At the end of the Bible study, they pray and the wife says, “Lord I am so thankful to have such a godly man. Thank you that he will open the Bible with us. We are so blessed. Please help him lead our family. What a huge responsibility he has. You’ve called me to be his helper, please help me to help him.”
Gentlemen, this is the call that’s on us as husbands. Ladies, as your husband’s helper, this is the call that’s on you to support him.
Thank you for the privilege of sharing God’s Word w/ you! If I could pray for you in any way, I’d consider it a privilege.