Recently me and my wife were driving home from a sort of “mini-vacation”. As we were headed back to beautiful Alabama, I noticed something a short distance off of the interstate – it was a very racy billboard for a local sports bar. It had a giant picture of a college-age girl wearing cutoff blue jean shorts and a skimpy top. As I looked at it, I made some comment to my wife sarcastically pointing out how classy the ad was. She kind of laughed it off, and we both moved onto something else. In the time after that I started to wonder what my wife thought when she saw me looking at that sign.
As a man I am a visual creature, that’s how God created me. Whoever put that billboard up there knows that those type of ads work. Something like that may catch my eye, but what I do with it after that is up to me. It’s a good example of the never ending struggle between the flesh and the Spirit that Paul talks about in Romans, chapter 7. To be the husband that Christ wants me to be this is a conflict I must win.
I love my wife with all of my heart, and something I strive to do is honor her. If you’re married, one thing you may remember are your wedding vows. There’s a good chance that one of the things you pledged to do at that time was to honor each other. Honor may be something that you associate with a service position or the military, but it’s so important in a healthy marriage.
For men, what does honor look like in a marriage? Does it mean holding hands in public with your wife? Does it mean putting your arm around her in church? Those are great things, but I think it goes a little deeper than that. When you’re alone at home browsing the internet, and that over-sexualized ad pops up on your screen, how do you react? When you get that Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in the mail, even though you have the subscription just for the Alabama articles, what do you do? What dawned on me when I saw that billboard I mentioned earlier is that honoring my wife extends into every minute of every day. It only takes a split second within a bad decision to sin against the holy matrimony that God has brought into my life.
There’s even some men out there who will say their wives don’t mind them browsing through that Victoria’s Secret catalog after they get done with it. I hate to break it to you but she does care – she really cares. Your wife wants to be the only object of affection in your heart. Don’t make her battle some airbrushed and photo-shopped computer generated model for your attention. Your wife is the one who sees you on your worst days. She puts up with your terrible, annoying habits. She cooks for you and does your laundry. She does all of these things because she loves you. She’s committed to you. Men, I implore you to honor your wife during every minute of every day.
For women, what does honor look like? If I asked you what was the most important things to a male in a relationship, what would you say? Many respondents would probably say that the priority would be the physical relationship which is far from the truth. In a recent survey, the thing men said were the most important thing to have from their wives was their respect… respect.
What does a wife’s respect look like? Let me make it easier – I’ll tell what it doesn’t look like. It doesn’t look like a 50 Shades of Grey book club or a Magic Mike viewing party. Ladies, those two things have been so greatly detrimental to the marriages of those who choose to participate in them. I’ve heard devoted church going women talk about their anticipation for the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey movie. I’ve also seen pictures of women’s Sunday School classes filling up multiple rows of theater seats for Magic Mike when it was in theaters. I’ve even heard them talking about how their husbands didn’t care if they partook in this type of entertainment.
Let me be completely honest with you for a second: if your husband doesn’t care for you doing those things something is wrong, something is very wrong. A man who loves his wife the way he should doesn’t want her corrupting herself with those kind of things. He doesn’t want to risk her lusting after another man in a book or movie. I’ll even take it a step further: if your husband is okay with these things he either doesn’t love you or he’s let something else take your place in his heart. That may sound ridiculous to you, but it’s the truth. Trust me, I’m a guy, I know how our mind works.
True honor in a marriage is a beautiful, Christ-centered picture on both sides. Think about that older couple you know, possibly your parents or grandparents. How beautiful is that? A man who only has love and respect for his wife. A woman who has given her life to honor and respect her husband. It’s one of the most wonderful sights you’ll ever see in this world. I’m not talking about that fictitious Nicholas Sparks stuff, I’m talking about real life examples. That’s what all of us in marriage relationships now should strive to achieve; but it can only be done if we take close care to honor each other in every situation.
Christian Living Writer at Geeks Under Grace. Follower of Christ. Husband. Father of 1 with another on the way. Founder of Doulos Evangelism & Outreach Ministries. Writer of Regular Christian Guy @ regularchristianguy.com. Proponent of radical, countercultural Christianity.
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