“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10-12
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” 1 Peter 3:7
For me, although there are a bunch of different interactions and scenarios within which we interact with women, the most real aspect of that topic is how it pertains to my relationship with my wife.
I started dating my wife when I was 15 years old. Man could I go on and on about all the ways our relationship has changed over the years. Now married for almost 8 years, have 2 boys, and in our second house, suffice it to say that dynamic changes and the work that it requires to adapt to that…it’s a lot to say the least.
Shifting into this newest role as a newer father, provider, leader…I found myself early on forming a mindset. I knew that I wanted respect, what man doesn’t? But I realized this past year, I had grown to use that respect almost as a currency, as if I expected it as payment for whatever it is that I did and then I could serve her because she has shown respect for what I am doing. And if I didn’t get it first, I was this servant, taking orders.
This type of transactional setup of respect traded for service…it’s not how we were designed to interact. I finally realized that this mindset was really just my insecurity cloaked and masqueraded as principle and manliness. I’m not perfect and neither is she. But 1 Peter says “we are both heirs to the gracious gift of life”. When one of us messes up, that’s when the other has to step in and show him or her respect and grace more than ever. The elements of my responsibility of what I am supposed to provide as a husband are not mine to hand out as I see fit. They were delineated and ordered long before I existed. It is a great fallacy to think I have the ability and more importantly, the authority, to determine how and when these elements are to be utilized.
I still have to remind myself and continue to learn how to do this. It’s easy to show respect when we receive what we want. But it’s much harder and I still have to work very hard, when she does or says something I don’t like, I have to serve and respect her even more. I have to fill the gap instead of withholding my service and respect just because I didn’t feel it was given at that moment.
Find an opportunity this week to show consideration for the woman in your life. Find a moment where maybe she doesn’t give you what you are looking for and double down on that service anyway. Every time is a win and the transformation possible, as those times stack up, is a game changer.