I Can’t Believe My Husband Feels Dishonored
Renee Swope

“Then when the king's edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest." Esther 1:20 (NIV)

My son Andrew was having a rough afternoon; he was tired, he’d been disappointed by a friend and he had homework. He tried to hide the tears dripping down his cheeks as he gritted his teeth and completed his worksheet.

My husband JJ was sitting across the room watching football, occasionally glancing over at our son and me. I thought about something fun JJ could do with Andrew to cheer him up. Then I thought about how it would encourage Andrew if his dad recognized he was upset and "engaged" with him.

That wasn't happening. So, I invited JJ into the situation by suggesting he turn off the TV and come talk with Andrew. At this point, I was not thinking very honoring thoughts towards my husband. It got messy. JJ felt insulted. I felt frustrated. Finally JJ said, "Tell me what you want me to do."

So I did. Andrew loved my idea to go do something fun with his dad. In minutes, his homework was done. His tears were gone, and so was my husband. JJ was very frustrated. It wasn’t because he had to miss football. It wasn’t even what I said. It was how I said it. He felt dishonored by the timing and tone of my words. I couldn’t believe he felt dishonored. I felt so misunderstood!

I calmed down and thought more about what had happened. I remembered that JJ’s preference is for me to call him into another room away from our kids when I don’t agree with him. He’s also asked me to share my thoughts in a non-critical tone. It was very hard to admit, but I knew God wanted me to honor my husband's perspective and preferences.

Just a few months ago God had taught me the importance of honoring my husband through the story of Esther. Esther was chosen by the king to be his new wife because his first wife, Vashti, dishonored him. The king’s advisers insisted the king remove the queen from her throne because they were afraid her decision to dishonor the king would influence other wives to dishonor their husbands.

That passage reminded me that, although I may not influence a whole kingdom, my daily decisions are far-reaching. As wives, our words, actions and attitudes towards our husbands influence many. We influence the kind of women our sons will marry. We influence how our daughters will speak to their husbands. We influence how our friends might talk to their husbands after hearing how we talk to ours.

So, now I had the opportunity to apply this truth to my marriage. I have to admit it wasn’t easy. My pride insisted that I had the best of intentions. I thought so highly of my husband that I wanted him to be the one to speak into Andrew's hurts and right whatever was wrong.

Maybe Vashti had good intentions. Maybe she was trying to prove what seemed like a good point, but it lead to her downfall. Whatever the case, a bigger point was proven: a wife’s influence is far reaching when she dishonors her husband. I couldn’t change what I’d done that day. But I could change how it was impacting my little kingdom. With God’s help I told JJ, "I'm sorry for dishonoring you," and I said it in front of my sons. My pride was hard to swallow, but it went down a little easier knowing that honoring my husband honors God, and also influences my sons who I hope will one day look for wives who will honor them, too.

Dear Lord, I want to be a woman who honors my husband, but it’s hard when that means giving up my desire to be right. Help me to honor You, my husband and others in my thoughts, actions, words and decisions. I pray that my life would have a Godly influence on those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

30 Days to Taming Your Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues

Visit Renee’s Blog for practical ways to honor your husband and strengthen your marriage.

Application Steps:
Ask God if you need to adjust the timing or tone of your words to honor your husband, your parents, your kids, your friends, or someone else.

Talk to your husband about what makes him feel most honored.

Do I need to apologize for any thing I’ve done or said that dishonored my husband, or someone else in my life?

Power Verses:
Romans 15:5, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement, give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus …” (NIV)

© 2008 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, this one cut to the quick!! I have been doing the exact same thing, and just like you I have no desire to hurt my husband! Thanks for the encouragement and Godly direction.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, wow. This was a great but painful reminder of what I have recently learned and what my husband has complained about but which I really could not see that I was doing. I am so glad that you shared this. I hear so many wives complaining today that it seems like the thing to do. But God has shown me the correct attitude and I pray that I will be obedient instead of right.

Blogger Becky said...

Thank you for this encouragement. I will be coming back to your blog daily for a devotion!

Blogger Ida said...

THANK YOU! I have to agree with you all and say that I too can relate to your statemens. My husband has said this on many occassions, but until now, I haven't really been able to "hear" what he was saying. Using the book of Esther makes it all the more great since I enjoy reading her story and I love the movie "One Night With the King" - AWESOME!
Thank you for your obedience to God in following His guidance and thanks be to God for leading me to this website!


Blogger Donna said...

Och! this hurts my children often have to bring this same thing to my attention when I snap at their dad for no reason at times. Thanks for this devotion and the reminder of how we are to honor our husbands.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read Power of a Praying Wife cover to cover, prayed, prayed, and prayed some more, but I've lost hope for ever being able to please my husband. I have no desire to hurt or dishonor my husband, but when he has a personality disorder, nothing I do is right. And he makes sure I know he ain't happy. Every day is a struggle to not pack up and walk out.

I get really tired of reading my Christian sisters' blog/comment/devotion article posts about their wonderful husbands who actually do things around the house, help/spend time with the kids, and actually treat their wives lovingly. There are some women who have to deal with different husbands-controlling, mean-spirited, abusive, addicted, or narcissitic men who think of nothing but themselves.

Please don't get me wrong-maybe I haven't lost hope-because I pray for a miracle every day. And I'm not wearing a halo, either. But I get tired once in a while. Sometimes I feel like the only blog/devotion reader/writer that has this crappy marriage, and sometimes I have to take a break from reading, or skip the parts where a great hubby is mentioned. Some days I'd rather die than spend another seemingly hopeless day with my spouse.

There is another type of marriage out there, and we need to remember that.

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