Thursday, August 10, 2017

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Eight)

Building Block of Respect

In previous sections we have already stated that women respond to love and men respond to respect. But does that mean that husbands should not respect their wives? Of course not! Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us of the attitude all believers should display saying, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” This would include husbands and wives to one another! Speaking to wives, Paul’s said, “Let the wife see that she respects her husband (Eph. 5:33). Peter told wives to be submissive to their husbands and even to pattern their behavior after Sara, who spoke to Abraham with respect (1 Pet. 3:1, 5-6). But Peter also goes on in verse 7 to tell the husband that ought to respect their wives as well. He gave three instructions:

1. Husbands are to dwell with their wives with understanding. Husband should know their wives well and respect her feelings. Every husband should make this a personal, he should know what pleases, comforts, hurts and angers his wife. This special understanding shows her that he loves and respects her.

2. Husbands are to give her honor. When a husband gives honor to his wife he is setting the thermostat in the home, setting the emotional and spiritual temperature! The wife is often the thermometer letting him know what the temperature is!

3. When a husband does not respect and honor his wife it will affect the spiritual side of the home! If communication is not right between the husband and wife, communication with the Lord will be affect as well, prayers will be hindered!

Mutual respect is a very simple concept. It means that you treat your spouse or partner in a thoughtful and courteous way. It means that you avoid treating each other in rude and disrespectful ways! We should never engage in name calling, and do not insult or demean your spouse or partner. It also means that you do not talk sarcastically to, or ignore or avoid your partner. How we treat our partner in public, will affect how she/he treats you in private!

Here are a few questions to ponder over in this matter of mutual respect:

1. Are you a partner or a competitor with your spouse?
2. Are you helping your spouse in their walk with the Lord?
3. Are you occupied with the outward shell or the inward person?
4. Do you seek to understand your spouse?
5. Are you sensitive to the way you speak to one another?
6. Do you pray together?
7. Do you enrich your mates life or do you rob one another of God’s blessings?

Tim Hadley Sr.

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