Monday, March 13, 2023

She Called Him Lord (Proverbs 31)

"She does him good and not evil all the days of her life" (Prov. 31:12).

Just as man must exercise his role of headship in love, a woman must submit to his authority with respect. Paul’s directive does not exclude the wife’s responsibility to love her husband or the husband’s responsibility to respect his wife. The focus in Ephesians 5 bears direct relation to the roles God has ordained for the marriage relationship. For a man to rule over his home in a godly fashion, it must be done with love. And for a woman to submit to her husband as to the Lord, she must do so with respect.

The Greek word for respect used in Ephesians 5:33 denotes a deep reverence. It can be likened to the kind of reverence a Christian gives to the Lord. Such reverence calls for a wife not only to recognize her husband’s authority but to humble herself before it. First Peter 3 touches on this theme in describing Sarah, who called her husband lord. Such a designation confesses a superiority (not in inherent value, but economic position), and Sarah submits to it accordingly.

This calling him lord says, “I recognize your authority and your right to my obedience. I willingly humble myself before you and submit to your will.” While, for many women, this may seem like too much to swallow, remember that wives are to submit to their husbands as to the Lord. If you deny your husband the respect he is due, you are refusing to humble yourself before the Lord, itself a command as Christ said we all must come to Him as little children, clothed in humility (Matt. 18:3–4). Some might say that humility before Christ is one thing, but such humility before a mere man is quite another. Yet, God has set husbands as this authority over wives. Man did not assume this position of his own will, but God established it to be this way according to His wisdom.

The woman who shows respect to her husband ultimately brings honor to God. A wife who respects her husband brings others into her circle of honor. Others who see a wife honoring her husband will themselves show more respect to him than if she treated him in a demeaning fashion. Just as Christians do all they can to bring honor upon the name of Christ, let wives bring honor to their husbands by respecting them out of love as to the Lord.

Write a letter to your husband and tell him what you respect about him. Confess specific ways you have dishonored him. Husbands, pray for your wife and gently tell her ways she doesn’t respect you. Do not approach her in pride, but out of concern for her. Tell her you thank God for her in the ways she does show respect.