|Photo via @drephoto3|
It's no secret that many single women desire marriage. We daydream about our future husbands and create lists about our non-negotiables. We fill our Pinterest boards with wedding decor and ring styles and gown designs. But we still may not be ready for the kind of relationship that leads to a healthy marriage. We can get ready, though. Obviously, I'm no expert--I've never been married. In fact, I gave up dating for a year. That year is up and while I'm still not quite dating, I felt inspired to write about the wisdom about relationships and marriage I've acquired. I'll call it Journey to a Husband. This is the first installment.
This may come as a surprise, but husbands are men. They're not just objects of our affection to hold hands, pose in selfies and smooch with. We are called into relationship with them first as sisters. Do we honor and respect the men in our lives? Or do we bad mouth them? Are we speaking life into their dreams and visions? Do they even feel comfortable enough to share their dreams and visions with us? Can they be open with us about their struggles, shortcomings and insecurities? As imperfect humans, are we capable of accepting and loving them as the same? Proverbs 31:11 says of a woman to her husband: "She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." Is this true? Do the men in our lives trust us to bring them good and not harm? They should.
I want to always honor, respect and encourage the men in my life. With three older brothers and a father, I have ample opportunities to. Not to mention my cousins, uncles and grandfather, guy friends, pastors and other men in my community. I learn so much from them. I enjoy being around them. They have helped me to grow into the woman I am today. But how often do I acknowledge that? When am I vocal with my honor? How good of a sister am I? How often do I tell my brothers to shut up? Call them dumb (even jokingly)? Roll my eyes at their dreams? Obviously, I support them, but do I show it? That's what they need. If we don't support and encourage them--if we don't have their backs--who will?
No matter who or where you are and no matter your background, there's likely a man in your life who needs your encouragement and your prayers. He needs to know that you are for and not against him. It won't always be easy. There will be many times that we think a man doesn't deserve our respect. Give it anyway. I know what you may be thinking. Well, how about these men show they respect and honor me? Don't worry about that. You do your part. Now, this isn't to say we follow immoral leadership, silence our opinions or take any form of abuse. This journey to honoring the men in our lives is centered on the following question: Do men feel respected in our presence? Not lusted after or puffed up, but seen, heard and understood? Do we pray for them, even when they get on our last nerves? If our answer is anything but a strong yes, then we have a lot of growing to do before we'll be ready for a marriage that lasts a lifetime. After all, love does not dishonor others (1 Corinthians 13:5).
I believe that as more women commit to honoring the men in their lives, the more that men will commit to loving us; and the better our relationships will be and the stronger our communities will grow. Honor is what makes life deleesh.