Now wives, respect your husbands. Not our favorite command and certainly not one we would write ourselves if we are honest. How can we respect someone who can’t find his wallet, forgets to go by the store, doesn’t help around the house, ignores us, and the list goes on. Yet the command is there. Respect your husband.
We have sons. They were made by God to be respected. It is inherent in who God made them to be. Amazing things can happen as they grow older when we demonstrate the behavior that God has placed in them to want and desire. Respect.
I remember my oldest son coming down the stairs in the kitchen one day. It dawned on me how he was maturing. I was studying biblical counseling at the time and knee deep in what God’s word says to wives. I was grappling with my lack of interest in respecting my husband, but beginning to understand the beauty of following that command. Not only does it please God, but it uplifts my husband in ways that I could never imagine.
Here is a young man in my home. I put 2 + 2 together, which is a miracle right? How long does it take to put things together as parents. This is a young man that God has made to be respected. If I want to connect with him as he becomes a man I need to respect him. Guess what? It works.
It doesn’t mean I gave up my parental duties of teaching and disciplining him, but it means respecting the man he was and is becoming. It means respecting his space, his likes, his dislikes, his opinions, his ideas, the way he does things, who he is, and how he wants to live his life.
It meant giving him space to develop as a person and freedom to make decisions. As he went through high school I let go more and more. I let go of telling him to quit playing questionable video games, listened to his opinions and respected his music style including liking Marilyn Manson, and honored his decision to go to a different church than I did. I respected him.
Our sons have responded well to respect. Respect builds them up, gives them confidence, and the room they need to make mistakes and figure things out. They respond by actively seeking our advice, connecting with us on a continual basis, and building a relationship of trust.
Respecting is not approving, but it’s honoring who they are. It’s what we are supposed to do. Respecting our sons gives us practice in respecting our husbands and helps us to see the beauty that God established in this act of love.
May you consider ways you can show your growing sons respect and ready them for what they should receive as husbands. May your relationship be defined by the honor you show them as men.