My mind is reeling and I can’t stop thinking about Matt Walsh’s blog post on how a wife should respect her husband. Some of my readers commented or reposted the blog post on Facebook, and I should have known better than to read it at 12:30am.
I do respect my husband. I have been married, by God’s good grace and favor, to my husband David for almost 21 years. We have 15 children together. We are the happiest married couple you could ever hope to meet.
I agree with what Matt says. But as I try to shut my brain off and head to sweet sleep, I am bothered by something I feel needs to be said. An angle that maybe some men need to understand.
I got engaged at 19 only ten days after David and I met. Married at 20 and first baby by 21. I had been sent to an all girls boarding school where they taught us young women that to be independent, we should question everything and everyone. I had a fairly distant relationship with my own father and much of my experience with young men was not…the best. So when I met my tall, dark haired handsome prince, I was ready to be swept off my feet. But I had my doubts about men…in leadership. In relationship.
Bless his heart, David had more than a handful with me those first few years of marriage. We were happy, we were in love, but I was questioning all the time. If he made a decision, I would go along with him, but I wouldn’t say I was the most respectful, trusting, encouraging young gal you ever came across. In fact, I know if we were to watch a video of some seemingly unimportant normal every day conversation David and I had back then, I would shudder to hear my tone of voice and my constant questioning spirit.
I am so glad David never retorted back angrily, “YOU NEED TO RESPECT ME!” Although, he probably had every right to do just that. He never even brought it up. He just loved on me. He encouraged me. He answered my questions and my questioning spirit with solid reassurance…
And over the course of those first 5-10 years, as I watched him work hard, steadily plod along in his career, come home to help me raise the children, teach and train our young ones to enjoy sports, and faithfully love and serve our family and even me when I was LEAST LOVABLE…I grew to respect him. When couples we had looked up to early in our marriage as role models, divorced…he was faithful and reassuring. When I was postpartum, he was willing to go without sleep for a night or two every once in a while so I could rest. When the bottom fell out financially, he never gave up. When the child was in the hospital, he held our household together so I could travel the country with sick child in tow to find the right medical answer. When I cried, he never lost patience, he just did what he could to make it better. When I gained weight through pregnancy after pregnancy, he enjoyed my curves. When I wanted to lose weight, he would make time in his schedule so I could exercise. He has never bad mouthed me to anyone. He has been the staunchest supporter of my dreams and has become the most amazing father and man of God I have ever known. Period. Hands down. Ain’t nobody tops my man. No one.
But all that respect comes with years of action. Love. Patience. Kindness. Not seeking his own, but always seeking what’s best for US. David EMBODIES 1st Corinthians chapter 13. And in writing this I guess I just wanted to conclude this:
I believe that a wife should respect her husband. The Bible clearly teaches that. But if we read Ephesians 5, we see that the Lord says a lot more in that section about how a man is to love his wife than that she should just simply respect her husband. And how David loved me is what got my ultimate respect. I didn’t even realize for those first few years that I was constantly asking David to prove himself. I wish I would have come into the marriage taught all the things my children have been taught. I would have loved to come into my marriage with the kind of marital example my kids will have…and hopefully your children are seeing in your marriage, and Matt Walsh’s kids will see in his…
But as for our generation gentlemen…as for your wife…if you love her, continue praying for her, continue encouraging her…over time…as she sees how other marriages falter, as she sees your trustworthiness, you pray and the Holy Spirit works in and through her…that respect will come. It will grow. It may not be overnight…20-30 years of distrust in men, failures of their fathers, abuse or mistreatment in past relationships will not be undone by the time you get down the end of the aisle after saying “I do.” But as with anything, love is the answer.