Love, Respect, and Nightmare Soup

I got these verses and wisdom from Paul Washer in a sermon entitled “Recovering Biblical Womanhood”.  If you read what I write and then listen to the sermon you will find much that is verbatim what he is saying.  He says it much better than I could, so why should I try to put my own spin on it?  I’m typing it out because I know people are more likely to read this than listen to an hour long sermon!  Thanks Paul :)

Ephesians 5:33
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

What’s amazing about this passage is that it only really tells the woman, be submissive to your husband and respect him.  But, the whole chapter is about men and how they are supposed to die to themselves and love their wives as Christ loves the church.  Again, that greater responsibility is upon the man.
I find it very interesting that it doesn’t say wives are supposed to love their husbands.  It says they are supposed to submit to them and respect them.  It doesn’t say that husbands are supposed to submit and respect their wives, but they are to love their wives.  Now this doesn’t mean that that wives aren’t to love their husbands and husbands aren’t to respect their wives.  It does tell us something very interesting though.

I don’t need my wife to call me three times a day to tell me that she loves me, or for her to send me flowers.  I need my wife to respect me.  If I feel like my wife doesn’t respect me, it kills me.  It takes all my strength away.  If you want your husband to be strong, respect him, honor him.  Now, it does say that the husband should love his wife.  What does the wife need?  Constant reminders that she is loved.  You say, well I’m just not the kind of guy that says that stuff.  I know, repent!  Here’s our problem, we don’t need reminders, so we think our wives don’t either.  

Now I’m not saying I constantly buy my wife flowers or cards, because I just don’t do that.  I don’t call her during the day just to tell her I love her.  I have before, but only a few times per year.  She may work really hard all day cleaning one part of the house and I’ll stroll in from work and don't always notice.  I try to compliment her on whatever I do notice.  Like when she looks prettier than usual, and I’m not really sure why.  Maybe she got a haircut or put on makeup.  I usually can’t put my finger on it, but I know something is different.  I’ll tell her how pretty she looks and flirt with her.  I always walk up behind her in the kitchen and give her backrubs and hugs.  I don’t have to say anything.  I always thank her for her meals.  I compliment her on her cooking and tell her what I like about it.  

Now not everyone can cook and I dig that.  I can’t cook, that’s for sure!  When she was first learning to cook she cooked a few things that weren’t that great.  I know that’s hard to believe, but I always gave her positive encouragement.  Because those meals were still way better than anything I could do.  She put a lot of work and love into them, so who am I to take that away from her?  I always build her up.  If your wife is not so great at cooking, but she is trying to learn, never say “that meal was ok, but the Aunt Sookies was better”.  Even though it may be completely true, it will really discourage her.  Always build your wife up.  

Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
Proverbs 31:31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
 and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

One reason why my wife can cook so well is because I always praise her and she loves to be praised by me.  So she strives to cook bigger and better things.  She has definitely been blessed by God with her cooking ability.  I believe that’s what he wanted her to do with her life.  That’s her ministry and I’m a very lucky man to be able to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of her labor!  Now she’s a great cook and she knows that because I’ve told her a million times.  At first I would always tell her things were good.  But as her confidence grew in her cooking ability, I could start making suggestions.  Like “that was really good, but I think it could use such and such.”  I don’t argue with her, because she obviously knows much more about cooking than me!  

Every once in a blue moon she will still cook something that’s not so great.  Truthfully, it’s only happened two or three times since I’ve known her.  Earlier this year she cooked this soup that was terrible.  I mean it was a nightmare!  I tried so hard to choke it down, but she could see my face.  I looked like I wanted to vomit!  It had some Mexican mystery vegetable that tainted the whole soup.  We were at a point in our relationship where I could say, “That was quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever tasted in my life!”  Were big jokers and have a dry sense of humor.  So we say stuff like that in a very serious tone of voice, then we look at each other and just bust out laughing!  I was secretly looking in the pot for any weird ingredients like ‘eye of newt’ or ‘toe of lizard.’ 

People learning to cook, don’t get discouraged!  Even the best mess up once in a while.  Just don’t tell your wife, “This primordial ooze you’ve concocted gives a physical embodiment to Montezuma’s Revenge” the first time she cooks a meal; unless you want that meal to be your last!


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