What is your husband’s greatest need?
I was asked this question during our pre-marital counseling, and actually, I answered it wrong! What my pastor gently pointed out was that all husbands need ADMIRATION and RESPECT, first and foremost.
The apostle Paul states it pretty clearly in both Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18. The role of the wife, as it says, is to submit to her husband. (The husband’s job is to love his wife. Strangely, it doesn’t say that the wife is to love her husband!)
Submit. Women tend to cringe away from that word, like it’s dirty or something. Submission, however, is the ultimate form of respect for your husband! Believe it or not, it empowers him to be able to do his job.
How do we give RESPECT or SUBMIT TO our husband? Through WILLINGNESS to follow his leadership!
Here are some key things to remember about submission…
- It is voluntary. You have the privilege of placing yourself under your husband. No one can put you there - it is YOUR CHOICE! By volunteering to submit, you are swallowing your pride, obeying God, and showing love and respect for your husband’s leadership role.
- You are playing a supporting role to your husband! That means you should be his biggest cheerleader and encourager! It is the key to his success (or failure!)
I need to spend a bit of time on #2… I’ve seen many wives who belittle their husbands (in front of other people!), and this cannot be! I’ve seen the crestfallen look on a husband’s face when a wife mocked him for something. It breaks a man. If a man’s wife - his help-meet, best friend, soulmate, and other half - won’t show him respect, who will? Does it even matter? YOUR opinion is the one that counts!
We show our love to our husband through our respect for him. Strive your hardest to always give words of encouragement, and watch your husband soar to new heights because of it!
One other thing I feel the need to mention, only because I’ve heard it said so many times… Submission does not occur in response to your husband’s love toward you or exemplary leadership in the home. Submission and respect for your husband needs to happen regardless of his behavior. In 1 Peter 3:1-6 talks about this result of fulfilling your role in marriage:
1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
1 Peter 3:1-2
How is the wife of an unbelieving (or straying) husband supposed to win him over if she is belittling her husband, putting him down, or rebelling from his leadership? We are to be examples through living a life of faith and love, striving to be a wife after God’s own heart.
Here’s the key to being able to submit to your husband’s authority, giving him the respect and admiration he requires: (I wrote this more than 2 years ago, at the end of a premarital counseling session, and it’s still true today)
“The more of a lover of God I am, the more it will carry over into love, respect, and admiration for my husband, where it will then enable him to fulfill his role in marriage.”