May 06, 2008

Husbands and Wives (1)

1 Peter 3:7-12

Husbands … treat [your wives] with respect.
1 Peter 3:7
The wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33


Some years ago a professor at a Christian college stated that the main reasons for the high rate of divorce in our culture are not adultery or incompatibility, but selfishness and a lack of respect. I’m sure he had it right. Throughout my ministry I’ve met many couples who did not respect each other.

On one occasion, while meeting with a married couple, the wife stormed out of the room while shouting at her husband, “You don’t respect me and you never have. You always put me down, even in front of other people. I can’t take it anymore!”

Mutual respect between husband and wife is a must. Unless we respect each other, we cannot have the marriage God has in mind for us or love each other the way we should. According to Peter, disrespect for our spouse will hinder our prayers and drive a wedge between us.

Husbands and wives must learn to accept each other as they are, encourage each other to use the gifts God has given them, and build each other up. To do so requires respect.

Ask yourself this question: “Do I live in such a way as to earn respect? Am I showing respect to my spouse by my words and actions?” And if you are dating, ask, “Is our relationship marked by respect?” If not, that’s a big problem, and you many need to look elsewhere.

Lord, please help us to respect each other and accept each other. Forgive us for not always showing one another the respect you ask of us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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