When a man is not a valuable asset to his family, his worth depreciates, even when his wife so gladly or grudgingly wants to obey God to respect and honour her husband, it can be quite difficult and challenging. This is an area of challenge in many marriages. Couples need to grow and develop with the help of the holy spirit. We have no trouble loving our spouses at all times, but when couples engage in respect eroding actions; it becomes a very real struggle to continue to hold each other in high esteem and honour.
A respectable man must not lose it, a honourable man must guard his honour. That is why earthly kings do not do dirty jobs by themselves. A man must maintain honour and have self-respect if he wants to continue to be respected. When a new leader gets in a position of authority, people honour and respect them for that position, Their words and promises are held in high esteem, for leaders who go on to stay true to their words and fulfil all their promises or are even seen trying if not meeting all, the respect and admiration grow and continue to grow. Some of those leaders become icons and people want to be like them, they are forgiven if they err once or twice but when a pattern of failure starts to surface, the respect begins to erode.
The more people get to know a leader, the less their words weigh, and the more their actions weigh. In a marriage, it is the same for respect and honour, husbands are automatically given a position of honour and respect when they become married. All the sweet words and promises made during courtship to win over his wife has earned him respect and honour, such that the woman left other suitors to cling to her husband. That is the highest respect and honour a woman can give a man; ‘to allow you to be my head and that I will submit my body, my intellect, my money, my worth and my all to you as my husband is the highest honour, women give to men’. That is why the bible says, if you find a wife, you find a good thing and have found favour in the sight of God.
As a husband, you did somethings to earn your wife’s respect and honour before marriage and those were mostly done with words and promises, maybe a few acts too. Once you are married, empty words will no longer cut it, some men feel they can trick and trap women into marriage, and once they are captured. They turn 180 degrees and feel they have no more responsibility to continue to behave in honourable manner, provide and protect the wife and be a man of value. Instead, they sit on the throne of marriage as the head and expect to be respected whether they are doing a good job or not. I have once heard a story of a man, who said to his wife, “you have to respect me, even when I am behaving very bad and not nice to you”. If he is wise to give this counsel, I think such a man should be wiser to counsel himself to behave well, rather than continue to behave badly and expect respect.
When you sit an examination, you cannot deliberately write the wrong answers and expect to come out with good results and expect people to congratulate and celebrate you. This is Ludacris yet, these are some of the unhealthy beliefs held by some men in marriage, especially those who demand respect because they cannot command respect by their actions. Ironically, not just men behaving poorly demands respect, women also encourage and cheer them on.
It is your job as a woman to clean up the man, love him, feed him, and respect him still. The bible says in Colossians 3:18, ‘Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord’. The bible also says this about husbands in Ephesians 5:25-33 ‘Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church’. Husbands are expressly told to clean up their wives in the bible, yet if a woman is behaving badly, the society condemns the woman, they blame the woman for her actions and does not saddle the man with the responsibility of cleaning her up and loving her irrespective. Yet this is what the Lord commanded.
Man, you have a responsibility to God to make your marriage work as much as the woman. While a woman must and should submit to her husband out of reverence to the Lord, even when her husband is behaving badly, it does not give the man, licence to continue to do evil and demand respect. Man, you are the leader of your marriage, you are the head and when a leader claims success and refuses to take responsibility for failure, then he is not a true leader. When you rise as a man to take responsibility and provide value that increases your respect, you will not need to demand or force your wife to respect you.
As a husband and head of the home, by position you are honourable and respected. Please do not allow the enemy, tradition or lack of wise counsel rob you of your honour. Act in ways that increases your value and significance in your marriage.
It is even worse in the Christian circle, men choose to ignore this admonition by Timothy: “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. ‘Wives submit to your husbands as unto the Lord’, has been used as an excuse by many men who claim to know God, to escape their responsibilities, and commitment to making their marriage work, someone recently calls this – Spiritual Abuse. Spiritual abuse is the use of biblical references to forcefully make someone do what they do not want to do.
A wife deserves respect from her husband. Respect is reciprocal, you cannot continue to devalue your wife, and expect her to hold you in high esteem. Some women against their wish, sometimes disrespect their husbands out of the need for self-respect. If a wife is not valued, respected, and being treated like a nonentity, but she knows her worth as a woman God created, there will come a time, she may need to respect herself. And that is often seen as disrespect, disobedience, or refusal to submit to her husband. If the condition a woman finds herself is derogatory, abusive, and impractical.
The bible speaks about mutual submission, husbands and wives must respect each other, submission is not one way and I want to correct the notion that respect is more important for the man. If a man wants respect, then he should be a able to give respect. Do unto others what you want others to do to you. A man deserves respect as the head of the house, as the husband, therefore if this is your greatest need, you must also be very careful to give respect to your wife, your children, and other people.
Society and church alike, do not like to talk about men respecting women, it sounds unheard of that a man should respect his woman. Respect is linked to value; a wife is a valuable asset in the life of the husband. She does what he cannot do (give birth) or what he does not want to do. As your helpmeet, does she not deserve to be thanked, appreciated, honoured, and respected? Godly man, you need to respect the woman in your life.
Parents teach your male children as you teach females to respect each other. Everybody deserves respect and there is dignity in labour. ln 1 peter 3:7 “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” The bible refers to women as weaker vessels not because they are weak in character or strength, but because they are delicate. God wants a man to deal with his wife in a gentle and honourable manner.
I wonder why a man of noble character will be out of control and raises his hand to beat a woman. This is one of the fastest ways to erode your respect and honour as a man. Most times women are smaller in stature and probably in physical strength, of course, there are exceptions. Why would a man of honour and respect descend so low, to lose self-control and disciplines his wife, the mother of his children, the one who feeds him, gives her body to satisfy his sexual needs, and will bend over backward to ensure the household is looked after, Why?
Man, you should evaluate and understand how valuable your wife is to you, if you do, you will hold her in high esteem. There is no state of anger or annoyance that should make you raise your hand to beat a woman. It is the greatest sin against yourself and a very disrespectful act. Please never engage in such if you want to remain honourable and highly esteemed by your wife.
Hebrews 13:4 says, let marriage be held in honour among all. A married woman and married man are honourable and must treat each other with respect.
If you feel disrespected in your marriage and you have been fighting to be respected, you can make a change by renewing your mind, act respectfully, change disrespecting behaviours and see yourself becoming a person of honour and adored by all. After all, you are a king in your marriage castle. As a man you are honoured in your marriage, please be careful to maintain that position.