Do You Honor Your Spouse?

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” – 1 Peter 3:7

As we wrap up this marriage series, it’s vitally important that we discuss the value and need for honor within the marriage relationship. All of 1 Peter 2-3 speaks on how to honor those who are under your authority and those who are in authority. This issue of honor is one of the most important things that is required for a marriage to be happy and sustainable. 

John Gottman, one of the leading researchers on the earth in marriage, did a very comprehensive clinical study over the course of many years looking at couples in a controlled environment and tried to determine if there are certain variables or factors that contribute to divorce. He wanted to learn which couples make it and which couples don’t. From his research, he identified what he calls the “four horsemen.” He says that these are four things that, when present in a marriage, almost guarantee the failure of that marriage. Using these “horsemen,” he’s able to predict divorce with a 93% success rate! 

One of those four horsemen is contempt. Contempt is when someone has no regard for you. They don’t respect you. They have no honor for you, and they don’t appreciate you. We’ve all been around people that have contempt for us. It shows in their body language, their vocal intonation, and their responses to us. It’s like they’re disgusted by us. When that is present in a marriage, it’s in the process of dying. 

In 1 Peter 3, he talks about honor. If you respect, honor, regard, and cherish someone, it actually enables you to fight against contempt, which can destroy the marriage. Contempt is when you are criticizing the worst things about your spouse, but honor is where you’re encouraging the best things in your spouse. Honor is calling them to the fullness of who they could be and the kind of relationship that you could have if both of you would honor God by honoring one another.

So how do you show honor in marriage? One way is to simply ask your spouse, “How do you feel loved? What do you need? How could I bless you? What would be honoring to you?” Every person is different and what one person finds honoring will not be honoring to another. Seek to find out what makes your spouse feel honored. Another way is during conflict/disagreements, remain as respectful and calm as possible. If you aren’t able to do so in that moment, let your spouse know you need a moment to process then go talk with the Lord. This is honoring to both the Lord and your spouse. By honoring the Lord and honoring your spouse, you get out of the way and allow the Lord deal with them. The goal is not to win the argument, but the goal is to win your spouse.

Above all, the most important thing for your marriage and family is the anointing of God. When God created Adam and Eve, before they did anything, it says, “God blessed them.” (Genesis 1:28) God wants to bless you and He wants to bless your marriage too. In 1 Peter 3, Peter is talking about the anointing of God residing on the home so that God will help those who seek to do what He commands. Then he speaks to the men saying that if they don’t honor their wives, their prayers will be hindered. Every man who knows the Lord knows that he needs the help of the Lord. If you’re a man, remember that your wife is God’s daughter and if you will bless His daughter, He will hear your prayers and help you. But, if you’re not going to bless His daughter, He’s not going to hear your prayers nor help you. This is a hard word, but it’s a very important word. 

I thank God that He has shown us the way of honor, and if husbands and wives will obey the Bible, they have a 100% guaranteed opportunity for an amazing, wonderful, and enjoyable marriage. It’s a lot of work and a lot of investment, but it is a gift that God has given and when we do it His way, there’s nothing like it!

What is one way that you can show honor to your spouse today?

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