Thursday, January 11, 2018

5 Ways You Can Honor Your Husband

Please note that this blog post is for healthy, thriving marriages. It is not intended for those in abusive, manipulative relationships. What works in healthy marriages where both partners are trying their best does NOT work in an abusive relationship. Under no circumstances is a woman to enable sin in the name of submission, endure physical or emotional abuse, or follow man instead of following the Lord.

I must thank all of you who contributed to this post, 5 Ways Your Can Honor Your Husband. There were quite a few ideas on how to honor a husband, which is great. It really shows how each marriage is different and how different spouses see honor differently. 

I came up with a few ideas of my own, some of which y'all also mentioned. Writing this post (as with many posts) is difficult, because it requires me to take a step back and evaluate how I'm doing. It's convicting and encouraging, because I can see where God has grown me and is continuing to grow me in these areas. I imagine each of us can look at these 5 points and see both our strengths and our weaknesses in each one. 

1. Praise Him To Others

I love this one. I think it's a good rule of thumb to praise people way more than we criticize them anyway. And it's really important to praise your husband. After all, you're one with him. And when you build up your spouse, you're building up your own marriage. 

So praise him, not only to his face, but also to others. Make no secret of how much you adore him. Make no secret of how proud you are of his hard work ethic, his awesome wood working skills, the way he helps around the house, or anything else that you are super grateful for and love about him. It's okay to be proud of him. Some Christians worry that they shouldn't praise their spouse, but I really think that it's okay. If it's even possible to err in this matter, be comforted that it's far better to err on the side of too much praise than too much criticism.

Don't do the opposite! If you're going through marital difficulty, see a trusted counselor. Don't post negative things about your spouse on social media, talk poorly about him with your girlfriends, and definitely don't call home about your latest spat. Marital issues are only to be taken a unbiased, godly counselor. 

2. Allow Him To Be The Spiritual Leader

There's only about a thousand books out there defining what a man is supposed to do to be the spiritual leader of his home. But, in all reality, it's going to look differently in every marriage. Scripture makes it clear the man is supposed to be the leader, but there's room for unique circumstances, personalities, etc. There is no cookie cutter formula for how exactly it is supposed to be. So give the guy some space to be the spiritual leader the Lord wants him to be, using his own unique character, disposition, and abilities. 

Does your husband want to pray with you before bed? Roll with it! Does he prefer reading the Bible together? Talk with him about how you can make that work in a practical way for you both. Does he have a certain verse he wants on the walls of your home? Figure out how to frame the print-out attractively and make it fit your decorating scheme. 

It's going to look different for each couple. That's okay. Maybe you don't have the hour long devotional session other families have. Focus on the ways he is a spiritual leader and be thankful for them--then don't fight him. (Yeah. Sometimes that means staying up to read that spiritual theological book when you really, really don't feel like it.)

(By the way, we as women are still responsible for our own walk with the Lord. And, as heirs together of the grace of life with our husbands, we definitely have a say in what spiritual leading looks like.)

Don't harp on what the books say spiritual leadership is supposed to look like. What works for that author's family may not work for yours. Focus on helping him shape his ideas to work for your family rather than concentrate on the seemingly perfect formula others have.

3. Ask His Advice And Opinions

Even if it's just to get to know him better, ask your husband for advice in tricky situations and for his opinions--even on the small stuff! How would he handle asking for a raise at work? Does he suggest having that conversation with your sister or does he think you should wait for another time? What did he think of the meatloaf? Was your eye shadow too bright? Does he like it when you wear yellow?

Even if you end up disagreeing (there's room for different opinions in a healthy marriage!), it's very wise to get your husband's second opinion on things. And it's good to know his preferences. 

Don't make the cauliflower pizza crust again if it makes him sick to his stomach. If he hates the sticky lipstick, you can still wear it for you, but maybe not when he's home or for that hot date you two have planned. Unless you want him wearing that tattered, filthy old baseball cap to Thanksgiving dinner with the family, consider not wearing that lime green blouse he hates.

4. Support His Profession

Support him. Support his job. Support his calling. This doesn't mean that you're a doormat who always keeps your mouth shut if he becomes a workaholic or is turning his job into an idol. But, unless that is happening, really, truly try to support his profession. 

Does his job require flexibility? Try to work around it. If you are able to, get to know his boss, co-workers, secretary, etc. Rejoice at his promotion or pay raise. Ask questions about his work day. Brag on his hard work ethic. 

I know some wives who don't get to see their husbands a lot due to his work schedule. They make no secret that they miss him (which is TOTALLY fine--it'd be weird if they liked going to events alone, sleeping alone while he works night shifts, etc.), but you know that they still support him. I think all wives get lonely when work is demanding. And that's okay. It's just important that your husband knows you support what he does and are proud of him. Occupation is very important to men and it makes them feel blessed when they know their wives are behind them 100%. 

The Honest Company

5. Let Him Be Human

Some of us have high expectations. That's awesome. High expectations (notice I didn't say unreasonable expectations) is a wonderful thing in a marriage. It promotes accountability and helping each other become more like Jesus. 

But nobody is perfect.

I've never been a wife in these exact same circumstances at this exact same age before. Every single day is a learning experience for me. It always will be. 

If every single day is a learning experience for me, it's exactly the same for my husband. We're all just learning. And, when we're learning, we make mistakes. Obviously, there are things that are not mistakes--there are things that are in direct defiance of God's Word. (Adultery, abuse, drunkenness, etc. These are things that must be corrected.)

But what about a traffic ticket because hubby was running late for work? That mistake he made on the bills because he's never handled that particular financial situation before? The joke he made that he thought was innocent, but you thought was embarrassing?

Life happens. We're human. If we want our hubby to show us grace, we should show him some, too. Not everything is a crisis that provokes deeply wounded feelings or requires a two hour conversation.

Thank you for everyone who contributed to this post! What would you add?



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