Wives, Please Don’t Give Your Husbands the Respect They DESERVE.

Ephesians 5:22-24

Earlier this week, I spoke to Husbands about how they should love their wives. You can read that post HERE. Today I want to talk to wives about respecting their husbands.

Let’s face it ladies, men are not perfect. This includes your husband. Sometimes I am lazy. When it comes to my wife and kids I tend to speak before I think. I tend to get caught up in my own projects and miss things that probably are more important. I truly don’t notice that the kitchen sink is full of dirty dishes. AND the only time I think about laundry is when I am getting ready for work and don’t have a clean uniform. There are a lot of reasons NOT to respect your husband, BUT if you are a Christian woman, this is not an option.

Ephesians 5:22-24 says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

I know that this is not a very popular verse these days, especially in America.  Ladies, before you start to attack me, please read the entire post. This verse is not about equal rights. This is not an antifeminist post. This is simply a post about what the Bible says about how wives should behave towards their husbands. As I mentioned above, men are not perfect. If, somehow, you have married a perfect man and do not struggle at all with this verse, then you are free to go. You can stop reading right now. However, if you, like all the other women out there, have an imperfect husband, then I would ask that you continue reading.

First let me make some things clear. This verse does no say that your husband is “the boss”. It does not say that you are his slave. What is says is that you are to follow him. You see as husband and wife you are a team. Even with the best of teams, someone has to take the lead. Now, if that leader is smart he will work closely with those that follow him so that the entire team prospers. The truth is the vast majority of the time decisions need to be made jointly. BUT, there will occasionally be times when the two of you simply can’t come to an agreement. On these rare occasions, as the head of the family, it is the husbands duty to make these decisions. Is he going to make some bad decisions? Yes. Is he going to make the wrong choice sometimes? Yes. Is he going to make decisions that you would not make? I can almost guarantee it. As a Christian woman your job is to let him make these decisions and not to punish him if he makes the wrong one, or the one you don’t like. He will make bad choices, but he will learn from them and will make better decisions as he is given more opportunities.

Trust me when I say that your husband feels the pressure to lead your family. He feels the pressure to provide for your family. He feels the pressure of past mistakes and bad decisions made my himself and the family in general. With a few exceptions, your husband WANTS to lead your family and he wants to do it well. No matter how much he wants to lead your family, or how much potential he may have to do this well; he can not lead if you will not follow.

I have worked with women long enough to know what many of you are already thinking, “But you don’t know my husband.” I may not personally know all of your husbands, buy I AM a husband and I know how men think. When I spoke to husbands about loving you, I told them that it wasn’t about how you behaved or what you did. Likewise, respecting your husband is not about HIM or how HE behaves. Your job is to respect him and follow him. And don’t worry, I have some words for husbands about their role in this as well.

Matt Norman

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Wives, Be Easy to Love.

Yesterday I spoke to husbands about how they should LOVE their wives, sacrificially. I said that how a husband loves his wife is not dependent on how the wife behaves. I stand by this. The Bible says that we should love our wives sacrificially. It does not give us a free pass if our wives behave a certain way or if they do, or don’t do, certain things. While I firmly stand by what I’ve said, wives, you could help us out. Don’t be difficult to love. Here are a few things that he wants you to know that might just help you both.
Most of the time he really doesn’t notice the sink full of dirty dishes. It’s not that he is lazy, stupid or just doesn’t care. It just doesn’t register in his mind. We are different, we think differently, and we see different things.

No matter how attractive a woman may be no real man wants his wife to act like the real housewives of New Jersey. This idea that in order to be a strong woman means that you have be rude, crude, have a foul mouth or be generally disrespectful is not only wrong, but make you harder to love.

I’m not suggesting that you can’t speak your mind. I’m not saying that you have to become June Cleaver, or Carol Brady. Just remember that this is the man you love and chose to spend the rest of you life with. Remember that to be that man and husband that the Bible says he should be, he must love you UNCONDITIONALLY, and SACRIFICIALLY. Remember that he loves you and his desire is to be the man and husband that the Bible tells him to be. Remember all of this and help him out.

I have spent the last 17 years working in the hospital setting. This means that I have had mostly female coworkers for most of my adult life. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard women talk about their husbands and thought that it was no wonder their husband failed in loving them as the Bible instructs them to. I am not saying that a wives behavior gives the husband a free pass. If you think that is what I am saying, then go back and read yesterday’s post. But, I am saying that the way that many wives behave and the way they treat their husbands do not line up with the kind of love they expect their husbands to give them.

Bottom Line

Husbands: There is no excuse for not loving your wife as Christ loved the church.

Wives: You can help your husband with this.

Matt Norman

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Husbands, You Gotta LOVE Your Wives!

There is a story that my pastor used to tell. It is of a local preacher who chose to take the message to the streets, literally. He set up a PA system on the side of the road and would preach to anyone that might be able to hear him. The one message that he was known for preaching came from Ephesians 5:25. In the NIV it says;

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

The only thing that my pastor remembered about this guy was that he would, with much enthusiasm, yell “Husbands, you gotta LOVE your wives.” This is the bottom line of this particular passage, but it does not end there.

Most husbands would say that they love their wives. They would say that they got this passage down. IF it stopped with a simple command to love your wife, then they might be right. BUT, it goes on to tell us how we should love them;

“As Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her”

So this leads us to the question, “how did Jesus give himself up for the church.”

  • He left the glory of heaven: He walked away from splendor unlike anything that we can ever imagine. He left a world where pain, sorrow, hunger, thirst, betrayal and tears did not exist. He did this knowing that he would personally experience ALL of these things, even death.
  • He allowed himself to be beaten: He could have called a legion of angels to come and rescue him, but he allowed himself to be beaten and mocked, and then hung on a cross until he died.

This is the example that has been set before us as to how we, as husbands, should love our wives. This example is one of self sacrifice. This example is one of setting your own needs and desires aside for the sake of your wife. That is what it means to “love your wife as Chist loved the church.” It means to be willing to set aside what you want of her sake. It means being willing to suffer, for her sake. You may never have to face death for her sake, but it means being willing to.

What does this have to do with Children’s Ministry?

Well, I firmly believe that children’s ministry starts in the home. Whether you are a children’s ministry leader, another leader in the church, a church member, or don’t even attend church. Regardless, the first and best ministry potential in YOUR child’s life happens in YOUR house. In the Bible being a husband comes before being a father. If you want to be the best father possible, start by being the best husband possible.

As a father one of the best gifts you can give your children is to love their mother.

You see, your son will learn from YOU how a woman should be treated. If you want your son to be a great husband, show him how. If you want your son to respect women, show him how. If you I want your son to respect his mother, show him how.

Likewise, your daughter will learn from YOU how a man should treat her. If you want your daughter to end up with a husband that treasures her as much, or more, than you do show her what that looks like. If you want your daughter to accept nothing less than the type of love that Christ showed the church, show her what that looks like.

I understand that this is not easy. It goes against our nature as sinful creatures. Not to mention that sometimes our wives don’t make it easy. (Don’t tell my wife I said that.) I didn’t mean you honey.

Anyway, this verse is not about our wives, it is about us. Paul is not speaking to our wives here, he is speaking to us. There is no loop hole that says if our wife is mean, if she likes to nag, or if she doesn’t cook well that we don’t have to love her SACRIFICIALLY.   This verse is not about our wives or how they should behave ( I’ll talk to them tomorrow), this is about us. We can not use them as an excuse. When we face God he will not accept, “but she…” as a reason that you didn’t love your wife. So,

Husbands, you gotta LOVE your wives.

Matt Norman

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Is Jesus Calling You? Will You Follow?

In my reading recently I read Luke 9:57-62. In this passage three different men express interest in following Jesus. To the first one Jesus points out the hardships that often come with following Him. The second one says he will follow Jesus, BUT FIRST he has to bury his father. The third expresses a desire to say goodbye to his family before following Jesus. I think that these men represent where many of us are in our desire/willingness to follow Jesus.

The Bible also gives us good examples of following Jesus when called. In Matthew chapter 4 we read about when Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John. When Peter and Andrew were called, “the straightaway left their nets, and followed him.” (1) When James and John were called, “they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”(2)

Most of us express a desire to follow Jesus, BUT there is often this thing that we have to take care of. As I look into my future there are many things that I need to take care of. There are repairs around my house. There are financial things. Not to mention that if we are to move I would like to wait till the end of the school year to do it. BUT, if Jesus calls me tomorrow, I will go.

I understand that as I sit here with no instructions from Jesus, this is easy for me to say. My heart is truly to follow Jesus when and where He leads, but this is not being tested just yet. Stay tuned and see just how this plays out.

The question for you is which story represents you. Have you answered Jesus call on your life? Are you putting Jesus off while you take care of this one thing? If Jesus called you tomorrow would you follow, or would you feel the need to take care of this last thing before following?

As Christian Jesus has already placed one call on our lives, to salvation. However, this is just the beginning. If Jesus had called you to salvation, then He has called you to so much more. Maybe He has even called you to ministry.

If you feel that Jesus is calling you to salvation and have questions email me using the email link above to contact me.

If you have already accepted Jesus Christ as your savior and want to know what comes next, email me using the email link at the top of the page.

1.) Matthew 4:20
2.) Matthew 4:22

Matt Norman

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Why I’m Discouraged About My Future and What I’m Doing About It.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my future, especially over the past few weeks. At times I have been very high and encouraged by the possibilities and the chance for new adventure. At other times I have been very discouraged.

Why am I discouraged?

You see, I have not been to seminary, I don’t have a masters degree, and I have never worked full-time in ministry. These thoughts come to me ever so often. The devil then uses them to discourage me, to try to convince me that I HAVE NO FUTURE. You see, based on these measures alone he would be right. However, MY future is not based on these measures.

Certainly there are churches that will look for these measures and, finding them absent from my resume, will set me aside and move on to the next person. I believe that this is the reason that I will not even get so much as a phone call from MOST of the churches that I send my resume to. In fact most of these churches will not even send me an email letting me know that I have been declined. This is sad, but it is true. The Devil often reminds me of this.

Then, as Casting Crowns puts it, “But the voice of truth tells me a different story.”

Man I love the words of that song. When I start to doubt my future, the voice of truth (the Holy Spirit) reminds me that these measures DO NOT DETERMINE MY FUTURE. The voice of truth reminds me that God has a plan for my life and that HE WILL CARRY IT OUT. The voice of truth reminds me of Peter who did not have a formal education but was one of the founding fathers of the Christian Church.

How could Peter, without an education, do such powerful things for Christ? Easy! God gave him what he needed. God called Peter. Peter answered and obeyed, and God blessed his ministry in a mighty way.

I am not discounting the value of education. In fact, if I had the money I would sign up for Liberty University’s Online M.Div RIGHT NOW. Someday I will do just that. However, I DON’T believe that education is the only measure of someones ability to minister or to lead within the church. I think to discount someones potential simply based on this is foolish and short sighted.

So, what am I doing about it? NOTHING!!

Ok, that’s not entirely true, but as far as what I am changing I am changing nothing. You see at this point in my life going back to school (I already have a Bachelor’s degree) would mean taking out student loans. While I know that the education would be valuable I don’t believe that going into further debt to get it would be God honoring. So, I have given that to God. If God wants me to go back to school He will have to make the funds available. If He wants me to go to my next ministry without this education, then He will have to open those doors too. You see, as I talked about yesterday I am giving it to God. I have done, and will continue to do, all I can to get ready and I am trusting God to do the rest.

Matt Norman

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