A man’s greatest need is to be honored, especially by his wife. Almost any woman is willing to honor a man who succeeds and is doing well. What separates a mature wife from the rest is how she responds when her husband fails.
This is the test of true honor.
During a marriage, every husband is bound to do something wrong. He will fail in some capacity. If a wife cannot still honor him at those times, she may have end up with a wounded and dishonored husband.
I’ll never forget the Sunday I asked an older couple in our church to share their testimony about marriage. After 30 years of marriage, they were madly in love. I just knew everyone would benefit from their story.
The woman began by saying something that stunned me. With her loving, sacrificial, distinguished husband right next to her, she detailed how, at the beginning of their marriage, he was such a lousy husband!
He didn’t know how to manage money. He never spent any time at home. They were broke, and he worked all the time. He was insensitive to her needs. He never prayed or led the family spiritually.
She said even more than that, letting loose all those negative comments with her husband right there by her side. And he was smiling the whole time! I couldn’t believe it.
As she concluded her remarks, this godly woman said something every woman needs to hear: “When my husband and I began to have all our trouble early in our marriage, I knew I had a choice to make. I could nag him and try to change him, or I could even leave him. But in my heart, I knew none of those things were right.”
She continued: “So I finally decided to let him fail and let God correct him as I honored and loved him. After a period of time of praying for him and letting him fail, I saw God begin to change my husband right before my eyes. Today, I have a righteous husband who loves me and meets my needs.”
The man she was standing with was not the man she married. He was much, much better. He didn’t get that way because she nagged him or demanded that he change. He got that way because his wife treated him with respect.
What a powerful testimony! Seldom will we make progress in a relationship by dishonoring a person or trying to force them to change. The only way to do it is through prayer and treating them better than they deserve.
Ladies, don’t get me wrong: You should absolutely feel free to express your disagreement to your husband at any time and about anything. The last thing you should become is a doormat or an emotionless robot.
But when you tell him how you feel, do it with kindness and respect. Treat him the way you want to be treated. Honor him and pray for him.
Don’t nag. Don’t become manipulative. Don’t become irritable. You may win a few battles with those tactics, but you’ll always lose the war.
Let your husband fail. If you honor him even when he knows he doesn’t deserve it, God will use it in a powerful way. He will deepen your husband’s love for you as He changes your husband’s heart.