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  • Dr. Donna Renfro

Change The World

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

God's way is not our way (Isaiah 55: 8-9), but His way brings life, peace, love, and joy. Understanding God will increase your ability to know Him intimately so you may walk in unity with His will (Mark 14:36), which yields peace.

Women who are married have the ability to change the world, or at least their world. Respect begins in the home, and one very specific type of respect is from a wife to her husband. This respect will yield love – wives are instructed to respect their husbands and husbands are to love their wives (Ephesians 5:33). Men are required to deeply love their wives, "For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her." (Ephesians 5:25) Respect will yield love.

It is also important to note, God does not say your husband “deserves” respect and it is not based on feelings. Respecting your husband is commanded by Ephesians 5:33, and it will be a choice to obey God in respecting him; yet, it will bring order, peace, and love into your home, and have a ripple effect. When a wife respects her husband, the children will respect the parents, and this family will respect people within their community. It all begins at home.

Strife is the evidence of lack of respect. Strife is defined as conflict, discord, antagonism, quarrel, or struggle. And scripture tells us, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:16) If your home has strife, respect is the key to bringing order, peace, and love back into your family.

To gain knowledge and understanding of the type of respect God desires a wife to have for her husband, let us look at the original Greek text to expand our ability to obey God and see His perspective. The Greek word phobētai, φοβῆται, is used in Ephesians 5:33. Phobētai literally means to be struck with fear, reverence, venerate, regard, to treat with deference, humble submission, or reverential obedience. Phobētai is the present form of the Greek word phobéō which means to frighten, fear, afraid, and reverence. In biblical text this is a specific type of respect.

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)

This scripture could be rewritten when we take out the word respect or φοβῆτα, and replace it with its definition:

"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must be struck with fear, reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverentially obey her husband."

This type of deep respect requires the wife, helpmate, to know the deepest desires and wishes of her husband and help bring them to pass. It is a holy respect and when given from a genuine heart will reap love. Marriage is a covenant agreement between a man, woman, and God. Respect is a key ingredient in every marriage and will strength the bond between a wife and her husband.

Practical Suggestion: Words are powerful and respect begins with tone and inflection along with facial expressions. “It's not what you say, it’s how you say it.” is a famous proverb and fits perfectly when considering treating any individual with respect. Pay attention to your words and tone when you are speaking to your husband. Ask yourself if you are considering his desires, communicating with kindness, and deferring to his wisdom. When a man feels your respect in communication, love will grow in your marriage.

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