From a Wife’s Perspective

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A word of clarification:  At this point in time (2013), now divorced from the man I describe here, I feel a need to explain the inconsistency of this post.  In the best way he knew, Phat cherished me.  And, in the best way I knew, I worked to see all his giving as good.  Now I see things a bit differently.  Yes, he did a wonderful job taking care of me.  He always provided well, and I am thankful for his sacrificial giving.  However, underlying currents of feeling insignificant and many issues from childhood abuse skewed what we felt was good.  Life is so much more complicated than we see on the surface.  Giving is good, and in that way, I had a good marriage.  But, obviously, something evil was lying under the surface.  With that said, please don’t take this post to be “a lie.”  It is not.  It’s the perspective I was trying hard to keep…at a time I needed to be looking much deeper. 
A good book to help clarify: Beyond Ordinary by Justin and Trisha Davis

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For all you men out there, married or single, wondering how to treat your woman, or any woman, for that matter…

Cherish her.

I am a cherished woman.

My husband has determined to live in a manner which is contrary to this world’s thinking.  He does not live for self, but for me…and his children…but, it all started with me.

I know this is an unusual thing to say or hear these days, but it is a biblical thought.

Phat began to understand “servant leadership” as a young college student.  I’m not really sure if he learned it on his own, or as a result of a class while studying to be a minister.  However he learned it, it stuck!  As long as I have known him, he has determined to follow Jesus’ example of servant leadership.

He washes others’ feet, in the workplace, and he washes my feet, at home.  Every. Day.

Scripture tells us women are “fine china,” not everyday pottery.  Women are described as the “weaker vessel,”* a description not many women want to hear.

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. ~1 Peter 3:7, NKJV

In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard.  (The Message)

The word “vessel” is used for many household goods as in a jar, or a piece of pottery.  Obviously, a weaker jar would be one which needed to be handled carefully.

I don’t have a problem with this description, as many women do.  Although I know, in many aspects, I may be strong.  In comparison to my husband’s abilities, I am weak.  He was created to be the stronger one.  A man’s physique bears witness to this truth.  Women may be physically strong, but a man is stronger still.  Traditionally the man is the protector and provider of the home.

Phat has taken this command seriously.  Through his study of scripture, along with good and bad role-models he’s witnessed, Phat has learned to cherish me — to honor me with his life.  I’ve always known his steadfast, sacrificial love.  And I’m amazed at the amount of women who are not treated with such respect.  I am equally appalled at the men who do not understand this command to love, honor, and cherish, the one given to them by God.

What has happened to this teaching?  Why is it so hard to implement?  Do you believe this is the way we are to live with one another?  How would this look if you could see it?

*weaker — asthenes — 1) weak, infirm, feeble

 *vessel — skeuos — …b) household goods, a container,…a jar…5) a husband and wife, 1Pe. 3:7; of the wife, probably, 1Th. 4:4; while the exhortation to each one “to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor” is regarded by some as referring to the believer’s body [cp. Ro. 6:13; 1Co. 9:27; see No. (4)], the view that the “vessel” signifies the wife, and that the reference is to the sanctified maintenance of the married state, is supported by the facts that in 1Pe. 3:7 the same word time, “honor,” is used with regard to the wife; again in Heb. 13:4, timios, “honorable” (RV, “in honor”) is used in regard to marriage; further, the preceding command in 1Th. 4 is against fornication, and the succeeding one ( 1Th. 4:6) is against adultery. In Ru. 4:10, Sept., ktaomai, “to possess,” is used of a wife.

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24 responses »

  1. To be honest, my husband is the closest thing I experience in the flesh to what the love of Christ is like. Someone whose love is unconditional, who sees me and believes and wants the best for me. Whose love is demonstrated in so many ways, and who makes me feel cherished and honored. And like you mention about the china, treats me with such care (but doesn’t treat me like I’m helpless). Who protects me, yet also says, “You can do it, I believe in you.”

    As I have watched our relationship deepen over the years, I’m reminded all over again of how perfect God’s ways are. He took two unsaved teenagers, very different people, and brought them together. It fill us with praise and wonder and we’re like, “Who are we to doubt You about anything??”

    Praising God with you, Michelle, for our Godly husbands, that we can so easily respect and love. It ain’t luck.

  2. Now wouldn’t that be a testimony, Noblese, if all couples could have this type of love…amazing.

    Hey, Lisa. I’ve often felt the same about Phat. I really don’t know if I would ever have come to the understanding of God’s love, if He had not allowed me to experience it through my husband. I heard about it all my life, and would even tell others that I know Jesus loves me, but I hadn’t experienced the tenderness of such love until him. When the experience became undeniable and I realized God’s love was even greater…it all fell into place for me. God is so good to us.

    It sure ain’t luck. 😉

  3. A hearty AMEN!! I concur with all of it. And yes, it does fly in the face of ideas purported by the women’s lib movement … but the Truth of the world will stand as true in spite of wildly popular UNtrue ideas. I need my husband. Pure and simple. I need him to cherish me. It’s not a want. It’s a need. I want it too! And I like it! But at the core, I really do need it. I am a garden. I need to be tenderly cherished and protected. I am strong too. By the way – that word I mentioned yesterday from Zachariah – chayil – strength or valor, as of a fighting man? That is the word used in Proverbs 31: “A woman of noble character, who can find? For her worth is far above rubies.” Women are strong – and were designed to be. But not to stand alone. We need covering, shelter, nurture, esteem, worth … things which we instinctively look to the men in our lives to supply for us. We mirror the church – we need these things from God. As He is our covering, so are our husbands. As He cherishes us, so do our husbands. As He is faithful to value us, and communicate to us our worth in His eyes – so should our husbands. And God is FAITHFUL! Even when the natural man fails us, God will not.

    Good stuff, Michelle.

  4. Amen, Annie! I love what you’ve shared. I need it, too. We all do.

    Marriage is a beautiful picture of the people of God when it’s done well. I love the emphasis in Ephesians of the husband and wife being paralleled to Christ and the church. Phat has always taught a man is to lay down his life for his wife, just as Christ did the church. Unfortunately, as much as women don’t like the teaching in this day and age, men don’t either. It does seem many have chosen to abdicate their place of strength for a weak, passive substitute. I’m not advocating harshness or heavy-handedness…NOT AT ALL…but manliness…OH YES!!!

  5. My wife could seriously kick my butt, and I am one fit dude! (But I hear what you’re saying.) Thanks for the excellent post.

  6. I do understand, Tim, tough women exist. I’m just not one of them. I’m strong in many ways, just not in the way I need from Phat.

  7. Hi Michelle, this was really good. A truly Godly man who cherishes his wife in this way is a great gift from God, you are very blessed. And yes I do think a glimpse of an example of our heavenly Bridegroom- if a human being can love like this, how much more the Creator of Love.

  8. Thanks, Rain. “how much more the Creator of Love”…perfect.

    I like that too, Heidi. Phat tells me that lots, “You are fine china, let me treat you carefully…tenderly.” It kind of melts my heart, you know?

  9. My hubs is very adoring to me, and would give me anything at times things he doesn’t even have…but this is a two way street. Although I could just lavish in his attention, and gentle spirit, I am to be his helpmate, and be submissive to him. If there are times when he is not as i think he should be, it almost always is something that I am not doing, not only him. do you know what i mean? I love that my man is too love me like Christ loves the church enough to die for me, but the reading goes on..I am to love and respect my husband, reverence him. sometimes I am not as good at my end. just me thinking out loud..

  10. Amen, Darla. I do know what you mean. I’ve needed to be reminded many times that respect, reverence for my husband, is what he desires…is what he needs. Just as I need to be loved and cherished, he needs to be respected, as the scripture states.

    Thank you for the balance.

  11. beautiful, sis!

    our pastor is going through a “sex” series. oh how we love these messages! anyhoo…when he was talking about women being created form the rib in the mans side and how we, men and women, are drawn toward one another, made for intimate fellowship…i got to wondering…. having given a piece of their (mans) body, the rib, could it be the woman longs for a man because she is drawn to be back at (in) his side?

    follow? dont know how accurate this idea is. just thought id throw it out.

    love you sis!!

  12. The Lord so blessed me with just the right (in the words of Justin Wilson) female lady woman. My congregation has heard me say this so many times, and it is meant to be a complement “I’m so glad the Lord invented women.” Thank you, ladies, for being who you are.

    BTW, my wife brings the scriptures you quoted to discussions all the time (it’s a conspiracy). It troubles me to see how some men treat their wives. God never intended the man to lord over his wife, but does intend for the two of them to work together, to love together, to pursue Christ together.

    Thanks for a thoughtful post.

  13. I understand that desire to be back “in” his side. I feel it…makes sense to me, Tammy Jo! 😉

    You’re welcome, Preacher,…

    “God never intended the man to lord over his wife, but does intend for the two of them to work together, to love together, to pursue Christ together.”

    …and thank you. 🙂

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