Ephesians 5 v33b. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
This verse. These words! There has been a lot of contention amongst women desiring to live in intimacy with God over this verse. Mostly because; MEN.
..and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
After long conversations, plenty discourse, over whether or not to invest in a small venture in our household, my very own Mr moneybags decided to forge ahead despite my hesitations.
I had a long chat with the Holy Spirit about why. Why could he not see the potential pitfalls that were glaring, in my opinion? Why did memories of previous situations where my intuition/gut had lead us down the right path not seem to matter? Why did it seem like because the words were spoken in my voice, they were being challenged with this man? Is he not my partner? Are we not supposed to ‘DO’ life together?
Holy Spirit seemed to be quietening me. Hushing me almost. But why? Was I the one being stubborn in this case?
Then the investment went pear shaped. The company made a massive loss and had to file for bankruptcy. I just stared. Stared at him as he was talking. He had been very reluctant to share this information with me. We had grown apart in a lot of areas through this time because he chose not to discuss any of it with me. I was a dissenting voice. My negativity about the venture would surely reap a harvest of failure. Or so I imagined his thoughts to be, so I stayed away.
And the Holy Spirit said Ephesians 5 v33. I actually laughed out LOUDDD!! But He chose to talk me through the verse.
1) See that….. how I respect him is visible but it doesn’t start there. I can see it. It is the product of an attitude or choice that is visible. And as I see it, others see it too. When it is present or absent.
2) The amplified bible did what it does best- and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband;
- a) that she notices him…(is he a baby?)
- b) regards him… (I can do that)
- c) honours him..(there’s that word again)
- d) prefers him… ( so chatting with bff while he is trying to get my attention is not good?)
- e) venerates and esteems him… (seriously?)
- f) defers to him… (here we go…)
- g) praises him… (I am laughing at this point)
- h) and loves and admires him exceedingly…. RIGHT!
So I choked a bit and laughed a lot reading through this list. What did God create? Why do they need this much validation from one woman? And why from me after his clever decision and actions brought us here? I laughed again. Even on my BEST day, I can manage with all of my will power to do one but the whole list? All the time? And it has to be visible to me and others? I told the Holy Spirit He had to let up a bit. Our intimacy cannot be based on my scoring well here because I WILL fail. And He whispered it, so softly I almost missed it.
EXACTLY. Exactly? You agree? Hunh? And He explained that I will always be unable to fulfil this as a merit thing. The same way I couldn’t provide the sacrifice for my own atonement. The same way I seek him for faith to believe and grace to live is the same way I ought to seek Him as often as necessary to work respect for my husband in me and through me. Any other way, I will try, and succeed; for a time but then fail again and start the cycle of resentment and disrespect all over again.
So now I ask. Daily. As the situation arises. Weekly. Whenever. Holy Spirit, let me respect my husband. Let me see it. Because I desire true intimacy with Father God.