Revive Our Hearts Radio

Love, Honor, and Respect

Leslie Basham: Sharon Jaynes had some good advice for a group of women who had just been on a meaningful spiritual retreat.

Sharon Jaynes: You go home, and if you want to serve God today, if you want to walk out everything you've learned this weekend, you go home and love your husband because our marriages are set-up to be living examples of Christ in the church. And when you love your husbands, you're loving Christ.

Leslie Basham: Happy Independence Day! This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We're talking this week with Sharon Jaynes who's the vice-president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Sharon is a kindred spirit, and I love the burden that God has put on her heart for women to live out Biblical principles of what it looks like to be a woman of God. Sharon, welcome back to Revive Our Hearts.

Sharon: Thank you Nancy; it's great to be here.

Nancy: Sharon, you've written a number of books, such as a book called Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids. I know a lot of our listeners will be interested in knowing more about that. But also, you're a speaker, you're a conference speaker, you have a daily radio program, and the Lord is using you in such significant ways to get this message out. I'm so grateful for that.

We've been talking about seven principles that you've drawn out of Proverbs chapter 31, that great Old Testament passage on what a virtuous wife looks like. You've reduced it to 7 principles which form the basis for your entire Proverbs 31 Ministries.

In our last conversation we talked about the first principle which is so foundational. It has to do with having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Now tell us what the second principle is.

Sharon: The second principle is that the Proverbs 31 woman loves, honors, and respects her husband as leader of the home.

Nancy: So we move from our relationship with Christ, which is so important, so foundational, the starting place. Then the next place is we look at Proverbs 31. We move this to the relationship of marriage.

Sharon: You know the order of that is no accident. We really believe that first and foremost we have to have our relationship with Jesus Christ at the top. Then second is our relationship with our husband, above all other people in our lives, even above our children. That relationship with our husband has to be second in importance.

Nancy: That means that if you're having problems in your marriage, the place to start tackling those problems is probably not with the marriage, it's with your relationship with Jesus Christ. Make sure that that relationship is right if you want to deal with the issues in your marriage.

Sharon: Exactly.

Nancy: So help us understand from a Biblical standpoint, because that's our authority, why we ought to view the husband as the leader of the home.

Sharon: Let me tell you what one lady said. She said she browsed our website and she came across those 7 principles. She said, "I was just wondering that in this day and age, don't you think it's a little silly to promote antiquated ideas such as the Proverbs 31 woman loves, honors, and respects her husband as leader of the home? You know women have made a huge transformation over the past 100 years, in case you weren't paying attention. And of course in our society, men are not always the head of the household."

Well, she went on to give many popular ideas that are out today that men aren't necessarily to be the head of the home. I think it might be fun for me to read the response that we wrote back to her. We assured her that these weren't just antiquated ideas, that it goes back further than that. It goes all the way back to the beginning of time, to the principles that God set up for a husband and a wife.

Lysa TerKeurst, my radio partner, also wrote back to her and she said, "As far as me personally, I wish I had more time in the kitchen . . . " (because she made some references about women always being in the kitchen). She said, ". . . but I'm too busy at this point in my life. I've done everything I've ever dreamed of doing. I've traveled the world speaking to thousands, written books, and met every professional goal I ever aspired to meet. But I've got to tell you, nothing has brought my life more fulfillment than serving God, being a wife who respects her husband as leader of the home, and raising three godly children. That's my story and the story of thousands of other women we've encouraged."

Nancy: Now some women would say, "Well Sharon and Lisa, your partner, must have godly husbands." You both do, and that's a great blessing. If I had a godly husband who was worthy of being the leader of our home, then I could love, honor, and respect him--but you don't know my husband."

Sharon, I have to tell you, we get a lot of heartbreaking letters and emails here at Revive Our Hearts from women who are pouring out their hearts about their husband's alcoholism, violence, the lack of a heart for the Lord. Is she still supposed to love, honor, and respect her husband as the leader of her home? And how does she do that?

Sharon: Well, I'm not going to say it's easy. I'm sure it's very difficult. Scripture does give us some promises though. Scripture encourages us that when we are godly women around our unbelieving husbands, that many husbands will come to Christ because of that.

In the book that we've been talking about that's based on the 7 principles, I have an example of a woman. She wrote us and talked about how difficult it was to live with this man who was not a godly man. When she got our newsletter each month, she read all the articles except the ones on marriage. She said, "I cannot deal with articles talking about how to love this man when he's so unlovable."

Well Nancy, they ended up in divorce court. She started to eventually read these articles and what she saw was not necessarily that the problem was with him, but the problem was with her. She wasn't being a godly woman, a woman who would serve this man no matter what. So she made a commitment that she was going to go back and ask her husband to come back home.

She started taking the articles from the newsletter and pasting them around her home and in her van to remind her what a godly woman was supposed to be like. Well, the man did come back home, and then she wrote us another letter. The man did come to Christ, and they were both baptized together.

Now,that's not going to happen at every point, but you know there are other verses in the Bible. When Jesus was at the Last Supper, He took off His outer garment; He wrapped that towel around His waist, and He began to wash His disciples' feet--the mud and the dust and the muck and the mire off of their feet. Then He said, "I'm doing this for you because I want you to serve one another" (John 13:15 – paraphrased).

God's telling us to be servants, to serve one another. I know of no other person I'd rather serve more than that man that God has placed in my life. Sometimes we feel like, "I just cannot love him today. I cannot love this man today." Jesus would whisper to us, "But can you love Me? You know what? If you love him today, you will be loving Me by serving him." What a picture that is for me.

I remember one time I was speaking at a retreat and I finished and I sat down. It had been a retreat so I had been there all weekend. I felt like I'd said everything I needed to say, and what God showed me is that these women had been falling in love with Jesus all weekend. They were going to go home, and there were many of them who were going home to husbands who didn't believe, and what man can compete with Jesus Christ? I mean that would have been very difficult; it is very difficult for unbelieving husbands to feel like they're so far on the backburner when they have a woman who is so passionate about her relationship with God.

But I told them, "You go home, and if you want to serve God today, if you want to walk out everything you've learned this weekend, you go home and love your husband because our marriages are set-up to be living examples of Christ in the church. When you love your husbands, you're loving Christ.

Nancy: Sharon, have you ever found that it's easier to love at times, the people you're ministering to, the people outside your home, the people you meet at conferences, people in your workplace? Sometimes it's harder to go back into your own home and be a lover and a server and a giver to your own husband.

Sharon: It is. I read verses like, "Bear one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2), or I might read another verse about loving someone and serving someone and a friend's face will come to mind. Isn't that incredible that it's not our husbands' faces that are coming to mind.

Nancy: Sharon, you've written about this principle of a godly woman loving, honoring, and respecting her husband as the head of the home. You've quoted a verse, Ephesians 5:33, that's very familiar to many women. But you quoted it in the amplified, paraphrased version of the Bible which makes it read just a little differently. I want to ask you to read that verse, and as you do, I want to encourage our listeners to be asking themselves, "Is this the way that I treat my husband?" Why don't you read that verse, Ephesians 5:33.

Sharon: "And let the wife see that she respects and reveres her husband, that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him, and that she defers to him and praises him and loves him and admires him exceedingly."

Nancy: Wow.

Sharon: You know I went back, and I wrote down all those words. Then I thought, "Do I respect, or do I show contempt to my husband? Do I notice my husband, or do I ignore my husband? Do I admire him, or do I ridicule him?"

Nancy: I want to encourage those of our listeners who are married, why don't you take some moments and hold up your marriage, your relationship with your husband to the mirror of God's word that we've just seen. For some it may seem impossible to apply those words, but I want to tell you if God has commanded you to reverence your husband, God can give you by the power of His Holy Spirit, the grace to do what seems impossible. It may be, as Peter says in 1 Peter chapter 3, that spirit that you have toward your mate that actually draws his heart to want to know Christ (verse 1).

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss talking with Sharon Jaynes about how important it is for us to love our husbands. Whenever we do a program like this, we get so many letters from wives who are in bleak situations. If that's you, Nancy will pray with you in just a minute.

A team in our ministry will pray for you too if you write us with your request. You can send your letter to our new address. You might want to write this new address down. It's Revive Our Hearts, P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120. You can also send us an email when you visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

A listener from New Jersey recently did that. We don't gear our program to men, but many do listen, including Rocco. He emailed and said, "Thank you for your radio ministry. Even though it's intended for women, God's universal truths shine through your teaching. Not only do I get convicted of my own sin, but also more importantly, I get an opportunity to learn about the spiritual aspects of my wife's walk."

"The Lord has used your teaching to show me how to be a better spiritual leader in my marriage. Thank you for keeping your hands at the plow and staying focused on Him. P.S. I finally figured out after hearing the song at our church for the first time that your theme song is actually the old hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Have a laugh on me. I'm a slow learner."

You can email about marriage, conviction, or our theme music by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com. You can donate online as well. Donations from our listeners allow us to get in the cars and homes of people like Rocco.

Tomorrow Sharon Jaynes will inspire moms to accept their roles as a high and holy calling. Now, let's pray with Nancy.

Nancy: Father, I want to pray for every one of our listeners who is married, and I know some of them are happily married, married to godly men, and I pray that they would appreciate what it is that You've given them; and that they would look for even more opportunities to love and honor and respect the men that You have given to them.

Then I want to pray for what I know is true of many of our listeners who have husbands who are not walking with You, who are disobedient to You in some way. Lord I know for some of these women it is so hard to be faithful to Your Word, to love and honor and respect the husband that You have given to them. So I pray that You would encourage and strengthen their hearts, that You would show them that there is grace available to be true to Your Word.

I pray that they will be willing to obey You regardless of the cost and that they will be willing to demonstrate to their husband the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Lord, I know that this is not easy. It's impossible to love that way apart from Your love. But by the power of Your indwelling spirit it really is possible, and we pray that it would be true in every marriage. I pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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