Leave and Cleave : Respect – Heart matters

Respect begins in the heart.

Proverbs 4:23

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

The thoughts we have about our husband overflow into our “real life” and into our actions, our words and our relationships. Respect for our husbands is no different. If we don’t respect him in our hearts, we’re not going to be able to fool anyone into believing that we respect him either.

What if he hasn’t done anything worthy of respect? I can hear the indignant questions from angry wives everywhere. My husband doesn’t deserve my respect. My first question to those women is “what have you done worthy of his love?” I hate to tell you ladies (and myself sometimes) that nowhere does it say to “wait until he deserves it to show him respect” We’re supposed to do it right out of the shoot. Our husbands will answer to God for their actions and choices, we don’t get to say when he’s “good enough”.

Second, I would suggest that we should respect our husbands not because he is *worthy* of our respect, but because we are commanded by God to respect him. Who is your master? Whom are you serving when you’re respectful and obedient to your husband (I’ll give you a clue…it’s not your husband).

Very few human beings aren’t worthy of at least some respect.

I would also encourage you to examine by whose standard are you judging your husband and his worthiness? Are you looking to the world to tell you how a many “earns” respect or are you looking at the biblical standard of what a husband is to be?

One of the first ways we can begin to show respect and be respectful in our hearts is to stop trying to control our husbands. Stop trying to make him fit into a mold that the world tells us he should fit in to. Stop trying to “reform” him.

Many ladies I know seem to think that the man they were dating will magically change to the man they want them to be after the wedding. You know what? Same guy. The best we can do is to grow with our husbands, mature with them. And we can help him grow, we can share our ideas and thoughts with him, but we shouldn’t be critical of his every move and decision.

Our hearts are where respect for our husbands begin. It’s like planting a seed. If we can plant one or two seeds of respect there and nurture them they will spill over into the other areas of our lives.

I encourage you this week to find one or two things you can respect about your husband. You don’t have to say anything to him about those things if you don’t want to. But begin and end each day praising him in your heart. Praise God for those things about your husband. When you want to just smack your man upside the head or roll your eyes at him or say something hurtful…stop. Think about your “respect seeds” start cultivating that attitude towards him from the roots up.

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