Respecting the Marriage Bed, Part 2
From last week’s post, Respecting the Marriage Bed, Part 1
Your husband thrives on respect. Men need to feel and know that they are respected. That’s the way they are hardwired. Ephesians 5:33 says, “…let the wife see also that she respects her husband.” As a wife, you are created to be his helpmeet, his ezer kenegdo, his ‘sustainer-beside-him,’ but you can’t really be helpful and sustain the marriage if you don’t respect your husband. When you disrespect your husband, you forget your specifically and uniquely designed role in a marriage.
Men are also incredibly physical. They enjoy working with their hands whether it be working under the hood of the car or playing an Xbox game, whether it is building something or tearing something apart to see how it works. I call it “tinkering” when my husband is working on something to understand it better. Men were created to work. Men like to fix things. But they also deeply appreciate and admire physical beauty and crave physical intimacy. When a man is unable to work or can’t fix something, he feels defeated, and he desperately needs to be respected and uplifted. On the other hand, when a man can’t have sex or feels physically and emotionally insecure with his wife on the marriage bed, he perceives disrespect.
Disrespect starts in your thoughts. You may be thinking, “Well that was a dumb thing to do so I must punish him,” or “I deserve better.” Wrong. It is not your place to punish him when he’s hurt your feelings or made you angry. It is not a matter of what you deserve but a matter of what he deserves – your respect and submission.
Disrespect seeps into your heart. Women are emotional beings. We tend to think and act from our hearts. Matthew 12:34 says, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” If your heart is filled with disrespect, you aren’t protecting your husband, nor are will you satisfy your husband’s sexual needs.
Disrespect soils your action, and lack of action. This is an important point. You may do something that intentionally hurts your husband, but it is often, your lack of intention that hurts him more.
When we were first married, I refused to get up in the morning to help my husband get ready for work because I was too tired because I had stayed up too late the night before. Note the “I.” I was thinking only of myself. Adam wasn’t angry with me and he never forced me to get up, but I knew he was disappointed.
Now it is a joy and a privilege to serve my husband by helping him get ready for work first thing in the mornings. When you are consumed with your own selfish desires, you cannot possibly respect your husband the way he deserves.
Bringing R.E.S.P.E.C.T to the Marriage Bed
When you disrespect your husband, you ultimately disrespect God because He has placed your husband in a position of physical, emotional, and spiritual leadership over you and because your husband is a son of God, valued and loved.
How do you show your husband respect on the marriage bed?
R. Reflect on the good things about your husband, focusing on the positives rather than the negatives.
Don’t focus on his weakness and shortcomings. Start with this question: What is one good thing that your husband does for you sexually?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
E. Examine your thought life.
Are you overly judgmental or critical of your husband in your mind? Confess your sin of disrespect before God. Ask Him to examine your heart and uproot any sin within you. Allow the Holy Spirit to mold your mind, heart, and being into a wife who honors her husband with her thoughts.
“So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” Acts 24:16
S. Satisfy his physical needs.
Don’t withhold physical affection even if you don’t feel like giving him a hug or kiss. The key to forgiveness is selflessness. Even if you don’t feel loving, be present physically. Sex is one of the most amazing outlets of healing in a marriage. A habit my husband and I’ve developed is asking each other, “What do you need?” and “How can I love on you?”
“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
P. Protect your marriage.
Without a hedge of protection around your marriage, you are leaving yourself wide open to attack from the Evil One.
Erin Prater from Focus on the Family calls a hedge “a mutually protective investment that will allow your marriage to flourish.”
This hedge starts with prayer. Regularly and passionately pray for your husband, including for his sexuality and your own sexuality.
Secondly, don’t gossip about your husband and don’t share issues from your marriage with your friends.
Thirdly, know you areas of weakness and temptation, draw a line, and stay far away from them. This means, ladies, don’t go looking for emotional support elsewhere, especially from a male friend, co-worker, or acquaintance. When your husband fails you, it’s easy to give up and search for satisfaction elsewhere because we women are emotional beings – but this is incredibly dangerous and can lead to an emotional and potentially physical affair!
Do whatever it takes to protect your marriage, even if it means offending someone other than your husband. Respect your husband by not going anywhere near the line or giving him any reason to doubt your loyalty, love, or respect.
“Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14
E. Encourage his leadership.
One of the greatest ways to show a man respect is to tell him you respect him. Allow him to lead you physically, as well as spiritually. This doesn’t mean don’t speak up and tell him what you desire and need. According to my husband, there’s nothing sexier than when I let him know that he’s pleasing me. Communicate your desires respectfully to prevent sexual disillusionment and frustration, and don’t be afraid to let him know he’s doing a good job!
“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” Colossians 3:18
“…sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11
C. Cut the criticism.
A critical, callous word cuts to the heart of a man. Instead of snapping at him when he makes a bad decision, uplift him when he makes a good decision by telling him how proud you are of him. Instead of withholding your love or complaining to your friends when he fails to please you sexually, respect him by keeping your mouth shut, privately addressing your concerns with him, and complimenting him when he does please you.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
T. Take action.
Think of the things you appreciate about your husband, and make sure he knows it. Keep a list of the reasons you are thankful for your spouse. I’d encourage you to keep a journal of the things your husband does to please you and refer back to it when you’re feeling irritated or bitter. Communicate lovingly with your words. Take initiative with sex to affirm him. Let him know just how “sexy” and attractive you think he is.
Do little things for him to make it easier to find time to make love. If he forgot to take out the trash, don’t nag him about it. Do it for him to eliminate one more chore he needs to do when he gets home. See that the kids are already fed and bathed if he’s going to be late in getting home. Take an extra five minutes before he arrives and freshen up (i.e. comb hair, brush teeth, spritz on some perfume, throw on something sexy, etc).
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I’d love to hear from you…
How do you show your husband respect? What little things can you do to show your husband your respect?
To see other related posts in the Let’s Talk Sex series, click here.