Ephesians 5:33 33However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
In the world we live in today, we can so often become very focused on our culture and the norms that we have adopted. Whether they are biblical or not. Most of the time not realizing that when we read and study scripture that our default bias is to filter scripture through a corrupted narrative that is this modern fallen world. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to repent from my forcing worldly presuppositions of what God has said into His Word.
Scripture is God breathed, it is the same, yesterday, today and forever. And with that in mind we must remember that imposing our biases on scripture, is sin. That saying things like “well, God wouldn’t want me to respect my husband, if he has hasn’t earned my respect” or “God wouldn’t expect me to respect my husband because he does not love me the way I should be loved” or “God wouldn’t want men to respect my husband because he is not being a godly husband” And I have heard these very sentences more than I want to admit. In our culture dating back 100 years ago, these responses would not have dared been uttered by a Christian wife, because the teaching was very clear in churches that held fidelity to scripture. That a woman was to respect her husband. No ifs, ands or buts.
The culture we live in tells us that men are oppressive that they are men are stupid and need to be told to do, every, little thing, and they cannot make their way in this world. That men have messed everything up and women must come behind them and clean up their mess. Like children that must be trained and scolded.This is ridiculous, of course. But feminism has been very effective in pushing this narrative. As highlighted in all mediums such as television, radio and print, men are not to be respected…. unless they earn it. Unless they prove that they are worthy of respect …. by women.
Hmmm …. but God’s Word tells us that “Let the wife see that she respects her husband” No qualifiers, or disclaimers. Not a word about how a wife’s discretion determines her respecting her husband. No qualifier “if” or “when”. Nope, that would be the culture speaking, not God’s Word. Not surprising either, you will find respected Christian bloggers that will interject this wording “unless a husband earns it” into their articles concerning this verse. Ironic, their being “respected” for teaching what isn’t in scripture.
I will be brutally honest here. When I read a male Christian Pastor blogger, or female for that matter, well known and respected for his/her prose on the worldwide webs and I come to an interpretation of this verse and others that teach women to act contrary to what God has commanded. I won’t read them again. I am done with their counsel. I won’t tolerate it. This world is so full of obvious wolves and devils, charlatan and snake oil salesman in the visible church. They are easy to spot and mark and avoid.
But what is really scary are these perfectly respectable, celebrity reformed Pastors, desired by every conference and quoted oodles on social media, that use their platform to bend and twist what God has said. Ever so slightly, but they concede to the world, in doing so. I no longer have the patience or time to read someone that thinks so lowly of Holy Scripture. They appeal to what the world has already established, in doing so.They surely have read the same commentaries and know the intention of the author but will still bow to this feminist culture as seemingly, not to be called out for supposedly “enabling abusers”. They surely know more than this Grandma that desires to honor God through teaching younger women to love their husbands and children. So, they surely know better.
This is the irony.
The church is bowing to the feminists, because the feminists are controlling the conversation in calling scripture misogynist and that it is enabling abuse. As the serpent whispers “Did God really say”?
These are the whispers of the feminists in the church. They can be 20 years or 80 years old. And all the ages in between. They many times sit in the women’s bible studies and they do exactly the opposite of a Titus 2 woman. They tear down marriages, and husbands. They sit in judgment of Christ’s Church, complaining and constantly putting down Christ’s Church.
They can support abortion, divorce for any reason, and help you find fault in your husband that you never saw before. Oh, they are waiting for the chance to convince you that your husband is all manner of wicked. If they see an opening, they will be your best friend to see your home destroyed. I have watched it over and over again.
Please reject what the bible calls these “busybodies” and “gossips” they don’t seek your good, because they say things they ought not to say. They cause division and strife. They evidence their disdain of scripture by their constant comments that run completely contrary to scripture. You may decide to rebuke them gently, if they stiffen their necks. Mark them and avoid them.
Ladies, we are to respect our husband. We are not to respect them “if” or “when” but respect them because they are our husbands. Tall order in this society. Very peculiar commandment in the context this culture. But that is the beauty of God’s Word. We live our lives in context of God’s Word, not this culture. He prepares us for a different culture. A heavenly culture, that is our everlasting home. That is the home that we prepare for, in our earthy homes. With the mind of Christ.
In some commentaries it is referenced as “we are to reverence our husbands”- Benson commentary:That she entertain a high esteem for him, be desirous of pleasing him in all things lawful, reasonable, and proper, and fear to give him unnecessarily any just offence in anything, persuaded that it is the will of God, and the law of the relation in which she stands to him, that she should thus conduct herself toward him.
Pulpit Commentary: Not, of course, with the slavish fear of one terrified and trembling because of a stronger being, but with the holy respect due to one to whom, by the will of God, she stands in a subordinate relation. The relation of Sarah to Abraham may again be referred to as indicating the true ideal of the relation of the wife to the husband.
Reverence, respect, and subordination, those words are words we might well bristle at, and it’s not because they are not worthy and good words, given to help us understand the intent of what God desires of us, but because culture has so tainted our minds, our very minds and attitudes. We are so corrupted by this world that wants to destroy God’s order in the family that even as blood bought women of God, we very well may have a difficult time with these words, in respect to our husbands.
As are evidenced in the past time will continue and more and more scripture will be less valued. As an example we can see this by the divorce rate in the church. So many would like to push the false narrative that the reason for the divorces is “patriarchy and abuse”. We are fools to believe this, and a little research will put that lie to rest. Abuse in the home has escalated at the same rate as feminism. This abuse includes the mother abusing her children (at a much higher rate than fathers) and women abusing men (yes, and this one is rising fast).
Remember, with obedience to God comes blessing. When we love our husbands and our children and manage our homes well, we promote and encourage growth and love. Nurturing peace.We cultivate a home that values and prospers, spiritually. When we disobey God, and seek our own way, we always see strife, turmoil and pain.
Our obedience to God and His Word is never contingent on our husbands perceived obedience to God. God never calls us to follow our husbands into sin, but in all other matters that are not sin, we are to have unity with our husbands. As we are one flesh. One flesh cannot fight against itself, but rather loves and cares for that union.
Wives, I prayerfully encourage you to respect your husbands. To love him and encourage him. Don’t expect anything in return for what God has commanded you to do. Love him, respect him, build him up. Never underestimate the power of a kindly word of encouragement and tender affection.
Let him know that you respect him and his judgements, and that you are thankful for him. These things mean so much to husbands. They need to know that you are in their corner, praying for them and needing them. And ladies, you do need him. Show him. He needs you too.
“We are women, and my plea is Let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.”
― Elisabeth Elliot