You’ve read this blog title and felt intrigued. Good for you! I wish we could actually be sitting across from one another, in a Starbucks, on some comfy chairs, sipping on a caramel mocha. Not very realistic. I know, I know. But maybe we could pretend. Lets just sit back, relax, and chat for a few minutes…
One of the biggest obstacles I face as a Christian woman is honoring my husband when he’s not acting very honorable.
Now don’t get me wrong… I love my husband. After 23 years of marriage I still find him incredibly sexy. We laugh A LOT and the guy brings out the best in me. He’s my BFF and I believe that of all the husbands in world, I got the best one.
But he’s not perfect. He’s a man.
And sometimes he lets me down.
And sometimes he hurts my feelings.
And sometimes he doesn’t act very honorable.
We can all agree it’s easy to show honor, love and respect towards a man that’s acting like Jesus. It’s MUCH more difficult to honor your husband when he is moody, neglecting you or your kids, spending all his time at the office, lying to you or looking at porn. I’ve been leading marriage ministry for over a decade, I know there are many ways a husband can dishonor his wife. Too many to list. Sigh.
Truthfully, when my husband isn’t acting very honorable, all I want to do is lash out at him. And I’m not talking about just using a snotty sarcastic tone of voice. I’m talking about spewing some serious venom.
Ummm. Yeah. My man brings out the best in me… but he can also bring out the worst in me!
And once my thoughts start running, I can easily deceive myself into thinking I don’t care that I am a pastor’s wife. I don’t care that I lead the marriage ministry at my church. In the moment, I don’t care about any of that.
All I want to do is hurt him.
And that is a dangerous place to be.
It’s that kind of an attitude that will leave you with a big stinking pile of Damage Control to clean up. I hate when I have to do damage control. I hate when I have to tell someone I was wrong and I’m sorry for pain I caused them. I hate it because it makes me feel like a failure. It reminds me that I’m not perfect. It reminds me that I have a long way to go in this journey called Life.
And, in case you’re wondering, I don’t like to remember that I have a long way to go. It makes me feel defective.
So, what are we supposed to do when our husband isn’t acting very honorable?
Well, according to the Bible, we honor him anyway.
Ugh. Honor him anyway? Yes. Honor. Him. Anyway.
Here’s the Biblical definition of HONOR according to the Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology:
“The root of kabod [d/b’K] literally means heavy or weighty. The figurative meaning, however, is far more common: “to give weight to someone.” To honor someone, then, is to give weight or to grant a person a position of respect and even authority in one’s life.
While honor is an internal attitude of respect, courtesy, and reverence, it should be accompanied by appropriate attention or even obedience. Honor without such action is incomplete. The granting of honor to others is an essential experience in the believer’s life.”
We honor our husband because he is the head of the household.
Let’s look at it another way, God says we are supposed to love and pray for our enemies. Even though I *feel* like my husband is, at times, an enemy of mine… he’s really not. Hmmm. If we’re supposed be praying for our enemies, how much more should we be praying for our husbands?
And if we aren’t praying for them, then who is?
The good thing is God doesn’t leave us like babies in a blizzard! He helps us do all the things He calls us to do. One of my favorite verses is:
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” Philippians 2:13
God will actually give me the power to do the right thing?? Gotta love Christianity. Yaaaay! WooHoo! Yippee!
10 Ways To Honor Your Husband When He’s Not Acting Honorable:
1. Don’t lash out.
This will be hard if you’re really angry. But the Bible is pretty clear:
“Don’t repay evil for evil.”
1 Peter 3:9
This never solves anything anyway and all you’ll end up with is Damage Control. And who needs that on top of being hurt and angry? In fact, I’m going to challenge you a bit more…
2. Be still.
Some of my most significant Christian growth spurt’s happened when I sat still. When I forced myself to sit still until I could control my emotions. When I asked God to defend me and fight my battles for me. My husband knows when he’s acting dishonorable… I don’t always need to state the obvious. I’ve recited the following verse over and over. In fact, here’s the plaque we keep on the mantle of our fireplace:
“Be still and know I am God.”
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT suggesting on any level that we are to ignore blatant sin… especially sexual sin. Guard the Heart Ministries teaches the science behind the sin of sexual immorality! We’ve been teaching about the spiritual and emotional consequences of sexual sin for years. It is extremely destructive. I’m simply suggesting we follow Biblical protocol when we confront sin…
3. Confront him with GENTLENESS and HUMILITY.
Okay. I agree there are those times when we do need to state the obvious. I don’t have the space to expound in detail here. An insightful resource for knowing the when’s, why’s and how’s of approaching hurtful behavior is: Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. It will teach you how to confront your spouse in a calm, healthy way. God does give us a protocol when we confront someone’s sin:
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin,
you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.
But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
*** NOTE: Here’s a post where I go waaaay deeper about this exact topic of Biblical Confrontation: ARE YOU CONFRONTING PEOPLE THE RIGHT WAY. 4 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW. Click on the title and check it out!
4. Make a list of 20 things that are admirable about your husband.
(This one will be hard.)
5. Make a list of 20 things that you need to personally work on.
(This one may be harder.)
6. Pray for him.
Pray that he would have the strength to choose holiness. Pray that he would resist temptation. Pray, Pray, Pray! (A great resource is: The Power Of A Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian.)
7. Have a little compassion.
Remember: Hurting people hurt other people. Hurting people will often hurt other people because of their inner pain. Sinful behavior is almost always rooted in brokenness. I try to embrace the Golden Rule and think about how I would like to be treated when I’m acting dishonorable. We aren’t called to condone sinful behavior but (after making a lot of relational mistakes!) I’ve learned…
I can treat someone honorably even when I don’t condone their behavior.
This doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be consequences for sinful behavior, this simply means I really really try to have compassion for someone’s broken behavior. Perhaps if I lived in their shoes, with their life experiences, I’d be making the same sinful choices. Probably not, but who knows?
8. Serve him.
Yep. I said it. Serve him. Do something nice. That’s my personal ‘go to’ behavior whenever I feel like I despise someone. I serve them. If forces me to get into a different frame of mind. And honestly, I don’t serve the person because they deserve it… I serve them as a living sacrifice to my wonderful God. The One I love with all my heart. I serve them to recalibrate my thinking and behavior. It humbles me and I need humility. It has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with me.
9. If you can’t do any of the above, minimally you can choose NOT to speak bad of him.
Let’s be super mindful when confessing our husbands sins! Sometimes we need to seek counsel from a spiritually mature mentor. That’s cool. But sharing your husbands sins with all your co-workers, your small group, etc. is not cool. Be especially mindful in front of your children. Talking about anyone’s father will always back fire. Let’s just agree to stay away from this one.
10. If you find that you can’t do any of the items on this list perhaps you can pray that God will give you the desire to honor your husband.
If you can’t do anything else, that’s a good place to start!
TRUE CONFESSION TIME: What does honoring my husband look like for Nicole on a typical day?
First, I start by losing the authoritative voice. You know what I’m talking about… that condescending tone that comes across as parental instead of spousal.
Men find that authoritative voice repulsive. And honestly, when my husband looks at me,
I don’t want him repulsed… I want him to see a Spirit-filled, super attractive, smokin’ hot wife.
Second, I stop the “I’m better than you” mindset. This is hard. But we are all SINNERS and in times of conflict, I wonder if God is just as concerned with my reaction.
Third, I take a good long look at my heart. I’m usually not as innocent as I think I am 😉