There's an old Spanish proverb that says, "He who does not honor his wife dishonors himself." God chose to put it this way in Ephesians: No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church.
Here is my challenge guys. While you are thinking about new year's resolutions like eating right and exercising more, how about adding in another one that is far more important...treat your wives with respect.
Now, before you back off and think I am preaching, I'm not. Did you hear me? I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to us. One of the things I'm learning about myself is that I can start to take this gift from God (Lisa) for granted. I forget that she has needs, that she's different from me, that she deserves my very best. It's easy to turn the focus on myself and even fall into the trap of a "pity-party" because I don't think she is treating me fairly.
The relationship that God designed for men and women is one of mutual respect and submission. Yes, I believe that God desires for men to lead their families. But I don't believe that means you have any extra rights or special privileges. Rather, it means you have added responsibilities as the leader of your wife and children.
I've heard for years how Christianity is a male-dominated faith and that it keeps women suppressed. NOTHING could be further from the truth. From the moment Jesus' ministry began, He started the long process of elevating women to a place of honor and respect. He battled the cultural norms of his day to establish women as something of major worth in the eyes of their Creator.
What that means for us guys is this...if we are going to follow Christ, we must do the same. Your wife is not a "ball-and-chain," she's your partner, your mate and friend. Women are not objects to be desired, subjects to be controlled or servants to take care of your needs. They are--as all people are--precious people created in the image of God.
As a dad in the 21st century, I have to work hard to monitor my attitude towards Lisa and all women. I have to be careful what I teach my son and challenge him to be Christ-like in his treatment of women. Let me tell you, it's not an easy battle. But it's the right thing to do if I am going to be found as a true Christ follower and ask him to do the same.
Ask yourself today, how can I better focus on my wife and her needs? How can I give her the respect that she deserves and God desires? This is a resolution you will not regret.