Recently I had a wonderful victory in the area of reverencing my husband. I am sure you will laugh at it because it seems such a small thing. To me it was monumental even though I have been growing greatly in reverencing and submitting to my husband, particularly through the last five years.
My parents were coming over with my ninety-one-year-old grandmother. They were treating our family to ordered-in pizza. We had set a time for them to come and for the pizza to arrive. So, exactly what was my victory in the midst of this small celebration? It was pretty simple. I didn’t remind Steve to call early for the pizza to arrive at the designated time! Doesn’t that sound silly? Why would this be a victory for me? It is because I think Steve won’t remember such things unless I remind him.
This victory did not come without a battle. I thought about reminding him. I even considered how I might do this without it seeming like I was. As it neared time for our guests to arrive, I so wanted to ask him if he had ordered the pizza. When this thought popped up into my mind, I had to take it to the Lord. 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” I prayed that the Lord would help me hold my tongue and that reverencing Steve would be more important than having the pizza arrive on time.
I realized that even if Steve did forget to order the pizza, the worst that would happen is he would realize this when my folks arrived, order it, and we would wait a while for dinner. Guess what? He didn’t forget! Not only did he not forget, I didn’t have to remind him!
Do you realize what small victories like this do for my future in reverencing my husband? Each one grows my faith in my Lord and my husband. Next time I will not have such a battle with my thoughts over whether to remind or not. It will be easier to rest, having the meek and quiet spirit I so desire (1 Peter 3:4)!
What if Steve had forgotten to order the pizza? I would still have had the peace in my heart that reverencing my husband was more important than when the food arrived. What a petty issue to be concerned about–timing of food delivery! In this particular case, it would have been just fine for the pizza to be late. My parents, due to a small emergency before they left home, were not able to arrive at the agreed-upon time. It could have been the Lord’s plan not to have the timing for the pizza arrival be our timing.
I wonder if you have begun thinking about the reverencing of your husband. Ephesians 5:33 ends with, “and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” I have always thought of reverencing as respecting. However, no matter how I turned the definition of reverencing around, it came back to me as a much deeper relationship than just respect. Respect takes us a long way, but where do we go with reverencing?
I have become aware, through the Holy Spirit’s promptings in my life, of ways I don’t reverence or even respect my husband. Much of it comes from me wanting to control and conform Steve to what I think he should be. This would not be overt to an outside observer. Nor do I feel like I purpose to do this; it just seems to be ingrained in my nature! It is so important that I see and evaluate these controlling behaviors realistically. I am talking about things like this: reminding so that he doesn’t forget something important, having a better idea when he brings up a suggestion, giving him “direction” for what he should or should not do or say, always asking where he is going and what he is doing, requesting the details of his phone conversations. I can put on a sweet voice and a smile thinking that will make my controlling ways acceptable. The truth is it doesn’t. Part of reverencing Steve is being under his authority without trying to manipulate him to my wishes.
Please understand this doesn’t mean I never do any of these things. They just aren’t the overriding characteristics of our relationship. As Steve and I have discussed these issues, he has decided that he would like me to ask if he wants reminders about certain areas that need addressing. We freely discuss, as husband and wife, what is going on in our lives. This gives the proper platform for me to give “wifely” input. How much better in our private discussion of a problem concerning the children to offer a suggestion than to raise my eyebrows at him in front of the children or speak a critical word to him! Usually Steve tells me where he is going, what he is doing, and shares details of phone conversations I would be interested in. So what does it matter if, on occasion, he doesn’t do this? Do I need to jump on it and ask him? Can I rest in the Lord knowing that if I need to know the Lord will prompt Steve to tell me?
To be honest with you, this is a struggle for me. I don’t want to have to watch my words or tone of voice with my husband. I don’t care for needing to wait on him to ask for my opinion or counsel on a subject. I want to know all about his phone conversation with a mutual friend. These limitations frustrate me.
1 Peter 3:4 says in relation to wives, “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” I am learning that the Lord is more concerned about the meek and quiet spirit He desires of me than that everything is the way I want it. When I consider it, do I truly want to be a controlling, nagging, “always have a better idea” wife?
The Lord has been giving me another thought in this area. How can I possibly know that what I believe is right in a given situation is actually the way to go? After all, Scripture does say, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). I am convinced that Christ, as the head of the church, is always right! While my husband is a fallible, sinful human, this word picture in Ephesians puts him in the same position in relation to me as that of Christ and the church. It is something for me to seriously consider when everything within me wants to have a situation go “my way”! Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Perhaps God has a purpose for the times Steve fails that is greater than if he did exactly what I thought he should!
I see that a part of reverencing my husband is truly trusting in his decisions, not only when they match my own. Choosing to do this puts him in a position of being responsible to the Lord, not to me. Obviously, there will be times of failure on my husband’s part. For some husbands it may be a whole lifetime of failure. Will I compound this by my own discontent, nagging, and controlling? Will I choose to reverence my husband, trusting and obeying my Lord’s command?
What about you? I expect there are areas in your relationship with your husband where you can begin to pray about and learn to let go of controlling. Will you be more concerned with following the Lord, in obedience to His Word to you as a wife, than you are about having things go the way you think they should? May the Lord encourage our hearts as we seek Him in our quest to be the wives He has called us to be.