"However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]."
I really like the way the Amplified version expands our understanding of what it looks like to respect our husbands. I have been examining each word in the passage one at a time in order to gain a more in-depth understanding. Last week we focused on the word "esteem." This week, we are moving on to the word "defer."
According to the online dictionary:
to defer to means to yield respectfully in judgment or opinion.
I really like that definition, as it clearly explains what it means for a wife to submit to her husband. Submission is a hot-button topic that I have not yet addressed head on! Looks like I'll be sliding it under the door today! ;)
I want to emphasize that a submissive wife is not a "domestic doormat" with no value, no opinions of her own, and no input into decisions. Remember, we are designed by God to be our husbands' helpers. That means we are to use our unique God-given abilities, talents, and areas of expertise to help our husbands be successful as they fulfill the life callings which God has given to them. It actually requires a great deal of skill to be an outstanding wife! (Ever read Proverbs 31:10-31??) ;)
The key is this: after we have respectfully shared our opinions and given our input, we are to defer to our husbands by yielding respectfully to their decisions in a particular matter, even if we disagree with them. I'm talking, even if we know they are wrong! (Refer to 1 Peter 3:1-6.)
Sometimes, we learn down the road that God gave our husbands great wisdom and discernment into a matter and that if they had followed our advice, it would have spelled disaster! At that point, we become very thankful that we deferred to their decisions!
However, other times, our husbands may make unwise decisions. They may ignore our cautions and counsel. We may even have to suffer hardship because of their decisions. This is where you really see the difference between a wise wife and a foolish wife, a wife that respects and esteems and defers to her husband and is willing to follow his leadership, come what may, and a wife that is determined to have things her own way, no matter what the cost.
I recently read a beautiful, true story that illustrates this so well. A particular husband worked hard everyday as a door-to-door salesman, but with little to show for his hard work. One day, his wife discovered that he must not have had enough money to pay the electric bill, for the power was turned off to their house. Instead of being angry, bitter, and defeated, she used all of her creativity and resourcefulness to prepare a meal the best she could. Then, she set the table attractively, lit some candles, and when her weary husband got home, she and the children sat down to a simple, but festive, candlelight dinner! It wasn't until later, in the privacy of their own bedroom, that she shared with her husband the harsh reality of their situation. This gracious woman honored her husband, preserving his dignity in front of the children, and supported him even when he was down. It's no wonder that he shared this story as they celebrated their 50th anniversary many years later.
Proverbs 11:16 -- "A gracious woman retaineth honor . . ."
Proverbs 12:4 -- "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but she that causeth shame is rottenness in his bones."
Which kind of wife will we be to our husbands? One who makes him feel like a king, and crowns him with glory and honor, or one who destroys him from the inside out, eating away at him like a cancer? The choice is totally up to us!
Your Turn to Share:
How do you defer to your husband?? What results have you experienced from your deference? Please share!
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