Follow the link to read Part Three of Pastor Steve Carr’s series, How Can a Wife Support and Help Her Husband.
7. Respect your husband. When Paul the apostle summarized his commands to husbands and wives he declared: “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” (Eph. 5:33). Respect for your husband is vital if you truly desire to be your husband’s helper.
How do you show this respect? Respecting your husband is first something that must be rendered simply because of his position in the family. He is your head and therefore should be acknowledged as such. You should show respect for your husband’s position just as you show respect for the position of anyone in authority. For instance, you have no personal knowledge of a policeman that stops you on the highway, but you show respect to this individual. Why? You show respect for the position of authority the policeman holds. Likewise you should do the same for your husband because he is the head of your family. Your respect will also cause you to defer to him in decision making, cause you to speak respectfully to him in public, and enable you to be encouraging to him in private as you verbally support his leadership. To fail in these areas is to be disrespectful.
Now you may be thinking, But, I have a non-Christian or a spiritually carnal man as my husband. I can’t respect and defer to him. Notice what Peter teaches in such cases: “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear” (1 Peter 3:1-2). The word fear in this context means to show respect and reverence to your husband. This reverence is shown by your speech and conduct as you submit to his leadership. Are you attempting to win your husband by your respectful conduct? If you want to be a helpmate that will encourage your husband’s spiritual development then show respect for him. Berating, scolding, and shouting at him will do nothing to encourage his leadership in the home. Rather, listen to his ideas first and then explain yours. If you truly want to give good counsel to your husband use reason and encouragement as you share your ideas. Speak gently and respectfully without demanding or commanding him. Remember, it is not unsubmissive to disagree or voice your opinion, just do it in a respectful way.
8. Meet his sexual needs. Many times in marriage counseling I have found that wives attempt to control and manipulate their husbands by withholding sexual relations. I have seen some wives use sex in such a way as to control their husbands in order that they can become the head of their homes. This reasoning and behavior is unchristian and unbiblical. Why? If you use sex in this manner you have taken what God intended to be an expression of love and affection and made it a weapon of control. Behavior like this will only cause your husband to lose respect for you and will drive him away.
Notice what Paul taught concerning your responsibility in the bedroom: “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Cor. 7:3-5). God’s Word is clear. Sex is to be a means of expressing the affection that is in your heart and the love that is due your husband. Do you realize that you do not have the right to refuse your husband access to your body? You gave him the right to your body the day you got married. Husbands and wives can only refuse one another when the other spouse consents or agrees to the refusal. This is the meaning of the word consent in this passage, which means agreement. Therefore, you must find an agreement over this very intimate issue. In addition, Paul warns that if you deny your husband sexually you are actually exposing him to greater temptation by Satan.
Now some of you are thinking I can’t meet his sexual needs because his drive is so much higher than mine. How can you address this issue? Love will always find an agreement on frequency of sexual relations. Note that Paul taught in the above passage that husbands and wives could not dictate to each other but must find a loving compromise. If you truly love each other you will always find a way to give – which is always the solution. Love will help one partner to restrain their desires, and love motivates the other to initiate when there is no desire. Therefore, meet one another’s needs.
You may also struggle in your mind with meeting his needs because you do not think that he meets your needs emotionally or sexually. How can you resolve this issue? If you refuse to meet his sexual needs what will happen? Your relationship will only worsen because of the tension and his sense of rejection. Instead, you should meet his sexual needs and then lovingly discuss how he can meet your needs as well. The biblical principle here is simply the Golden Rule: “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matt. 7:12). When Jesus said whatever that means no matter what the issue might be. You must do for your husband the very thing you want him to do for you. Therefore, how do you want your spouse to treat you emotionally or sexually? Are you treating him this way? If not, do not expect much to change in your relationship. In fact, why not use the Golden Rule in all the areas I have discussed with you in this publication? If you do then you will become the best support and helpmate you could possibly be to him.