Yes, the Bible says that. Our wife is commanded by God, the Creator of marriage, to respect us. As Pharaoh (Yul Brenner) said in the classic movie The Ten Commandments – “so let it be written, so let it be done”.
Our response to this command to our wives can take one of two directions:
1. God said it, so woman you need to do it. It should not matter how I live my life, how I treat you, respond to you, provide for you or protect you – you are just supposed to respect me. I am the man of the house, and that is just how things are going to be around here.
2. God said it, so I need to live my life in such a way as to warrant her respect and admiration. I need to make it as easy as possible for her to obey the commandment.
I have known many men on each side of this fence. Some who seemingly don’t give a care about living an honorable/respectable lifestyle – yet, desire/expect/demand that their “little woman” love and respect them, and provide for their physical and emotional needs – without any complaining, whining or nagging. “So let it be written – so let it be done”.
While the previously mentioned “men” completely take God’s command out of context and use it for their own gratification – the other men I know (and try to be myself) are fully aware of the reciprocal command to husbands to “love your wife – as Christ loved the church (His bride) and gave himself up for her” in Ephesians 5.
We are commanded by God to love our wife, and give our life up on her behalf, irregardless of her response or obedience to her own command. Christ’s love for His bride did not (and does not) require/demand any action, reaction or response from her. He loved her anyway. He gave his very life for her. He voluntarily laid down his agenda, his rights, his life – in order that she might live life to the fullest.
Since God created marriage, He knows better than anyone that a wife will more naturally and willingly respect a husband who is laying down his life, in love, for her. The marriage cycle God created was “Husband loves wife unconditionally – Wife responds with love and respect for husband – Husband responds with love for wife”.
Since husbands are commanded to “love our wives and give ourselves up for them” – we cannot afford to sit back, point fingers and demand respect without first taking the initiative to obey God and do what He says. He says we (husbands) are the “head” of the home, and are responsible for initiating and maintaining His marriage cycle.
How do you do that? What can I do to earn her respect?
Stay tuned for Parts 2 & 3.
Making progress daily,