Most of us men, if asked on the spot, probably couldn’t repeat our entire vows verbatim, especially if we’ve been married for a long time. We may be able to repeat some of them, or borrow a few from some recent weddings we’ve attended, but the entire vow? Probably not.
That’s normal. I can remember the last words I said in mine- “As God is my witness, I give you my promise.” That statement will forever be etched in my brain. I did give her my promise on that warm afternoon, 15 years ago, and I will never go back on it.
As I stood with the couple this past weekend, the line that really hit me was, “Will you honor her?” That’s a biggie. And, much like the rest of the vows, it’s one that tends to get lost as the years pass, storms arise, or trials come about.
Big question, though, husbands- will you honor her? I’ve got 3 fingers pointing back at me as I ask this of you. If you find yourself hanging your head because you’ve lost sight, or trying to figure out how in the world you do this, don’t worry- you’re not alone! We husbands row in the same boat quite often. Out of my continual growth process in marriage, here’s what I’m learning:
I think honor begins with servanthood. In another post, Sex Starts In The Morning, I talked about the power of servanthood in a marriage. I believe in this big time. If you want success in your marriage, choose to put your wife’s needs above your own, always! Choose to serve her. Nothing spells “honor” greater than servanthood.
Listen to her.
Guys, lets be honest- we have a listening problem…most of the time. Factor in a game on TV, or our ultra-distracting iPhones, and we go completely dark. Our wives want to be heard. They want to know we are listening to them. Most of us have spent all day working amongst other adults, and perhaps our wives have too. But if your bride stays at home with your children, she has not had the same interaction with adults as you have.
Put down the phone, turn off the TV, and listen.
Engage with her.
You and I can listen, and still not be engaged. Did you know this? There’s a difference. I can hear my wife’s words and still remain uninvolved or disconnected. It’s an ongoing struggle for me.
Engagement is participation in the conversation. Nodding and saying “uh-huh,” doesn’t cut it. This is not true interaction fellas! I can call you out on this one because I’ve been guilty far too often of doing the same thing. Try this: along with your “uh-huhs” and nods, repeat what she’s saying to you so she knows she is being understood.
Stand with her.
Chances are, one of the reasons she married you was because she knew you would fight for her, and stand with her, through life’s biggest battles. That whole “knight in shining armor” thing? It’s real! She needs that. She needs a soldier who will fight for her honor and stand next to her when she’s down for the count.
Love her publicly.
I’m not talking about extreme displays of affection, like you see sometimes in the mall or at a park. None of us really want to see that. What I’m talking about is a genuine display of the love you have for her. Hold her hand when you walk together. Make sure your children see you hug and kiss her all the time. Make sure they know that she is forever your bride and forever your love.
This will affect how they love their future spouses. Your daughters will seek out a husband based on what they saw in you (Yikes, pressures on!). If you have sons, you can bet they will grow up to respect, love, cherish and honor their wives if they saw that in you. Vise versa, they will treat their wives with disrespect and dishonor if that’s the example they had.
It’s a big question- “Will you honor her?” Sometimes, life gets in the way and we lose sight. Thankfully, we can get back on course. I’ve found these 5 ways to be a great starting point. They’ve helped me tremendously. How about you?
Husbands, what else would you add to this list? Share with us.