How to Honor the Man in Your Life

I hope you enjoy this guest post from my friend Jill over at Shaken Together & Running Over.  Jill is a wife, mom, full-time teacher & she still manages to have time to serve at her church, be a guest speaker at events, run a blog & be an all around wonderful person!  She runs her blended family with grace & is a champion for women.  Her biggest desire in life is that everyone would know the simplicity found in Jesus & His desire to know us.  Go check out her blog & follow her on instagram or facebook.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

Honor is a deep, intimate act. Whether you’re showing honor to your spouse or your own father figure, honor is something that is very personal. It is a selfless act, which I believe is why it carries so much power.

Why did God command us to honor our fathers and men in our lives? Well, in my opinion, it’s simple. Honoring our earthly fathers is an act of honoring our heavenly Father. This command appears in BOTH the Old and New Testaments:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

Fathers aren’t perfect; they are going to fall short. They will mess up - some far more than others. Regardless of their shortcomings and imperfections, we are still called to honor them.

As I've aged and gotten almost 15 years of marriage under my belt, God has challenged me to see the men in my life from a different perspective. My dad hasn't been perfect; my husband isn't perfect, his father isn’t perfect. Each of them have done things at some point, that have hurt me, disappointed me, and let me down. 

My husband has experienced deep hurt, yet I've watched him forgive and continue to show honor and respect to his father. Rather than holding onto hurt, he gave his pain to a God that was capable of healing. This release freed him up to live a life that God had planned. His choice to love like Christ changed his trajectory - unlocking happiness, a life free of anger and angst, allowing him to be the dad our kids needed him to be. Letting go and choosing to honor his father doesn't mean it didn't happen; it doesn't make what happened ok. It simply means he has chosen to trust God. And that is enough.

Honor is equally important in regards to our spouses, the fathers of our children. 

"Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." 1 Peter 3:1

This verse has stirred up so much controversy and arguments from women, and within churches, it blows my mind. I really think it’s the word “submit” that sends people over the edge. 

I get it - men can be frustrating . . . I use the term "Seriously?" many times a day in reference to my husband. There are SO many things that my {actually amazing} man will do that I just cannot understand. Clearly, my methods are far superior and unquestionably more efficient, why does everyone not get this? {haha}

At first read, this verse makes women/wives seem meek, more like a handy accessory to their husbands. But, when you really study this verse, and back it with the deep, deep love and purpose that the Father has for us women, this verse is anything but meek. Quite the opposite, actually, this verse is packed with power. 

Men/husbands are considered the head, BUT wait! Women are the neck! Ladies, the head does not function without the neck. We direct, we carry the superhighway of information, we have multiple functions. Make no mistake - God knew what he was doing when he created women.

So maybe your husband isn't the greatest. You must remember that your happiness is not found in your husband, it is found in the Lord. Once you find pure joy in the Lord, you will not seek it from your husband. You can release your spouse of that and serve the Lord.

So, why do women carry this huge responsibility? 

It's simple, ladies . . . Because we are a WARRIORS! We are capable, and we are strong enough! God knew the man was lacking, so He gave him YOU.

In 1 Peter 3:1 the Word says that we have the power actually to change a man's heart and mind WITHOUT WORDS. Our actions alone carry that much power. However, we must FIRST be in a relationship with God. Through Him, and His strength, our actions can actually turn the head {man} towards the Lord.

Ladies ~ that is POWER, not MEEKNESS. What grace, what power, is that? 

Being a woman/wife/mom is hard. We carry so much and endure so many different things. It’s a battle to show honor, much less maintain it, if we are feeling discouraged or let down by our spouse. But, our children NEED us to rally, they need us to be strong when our men cannot. This is where we must press into the Lord and bring our fears and disappointments to HIM. He is our source, our filling station, our portion.

Let's not forget, in our grumblings of "submission," that the Lord also commanded our men :

“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
Ephesians 5:28

It’s a two-way street. Marriages are meant to be a joint venture. We are more powerful together than we are apart, and the enemy knows that. Marriage is a force to be reckoned with. If you don’t think it’s the first point of attack of our enemy, I will point you straight to the divorce statistics of America ~ and this is coming from a woman married to a divorcee. He is after our marriages, and he is out to destroy our power. He will throw everything at us in an attempt to bring us down, and instill doubt and strife. It's so important to come together and not let anything distract you from this. 

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9 

Honoring your spouse or your father is simply an act of obedience to our gracious God. He knows the power that lies in submission and forgiveness and honor. It is in those acts that God shines so bright, and people {including our CHILDREN} are drawn to Him. Being an example to our children sets them up with standards and expectations for their future spouse. 

We face adversity, and we act according to the Word, not the world. Submission is not slavery. Honor is not conditional. They are vital pieces to a best-laid plan. 

We are on mission WITH the men in our lives. We must recognize the place our Heavenly Father has given us ~ a place of strength and power and influence.