Be Strong in Christ

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” ~ John 15:1-5

“As I’ve studied what the Bible says about honor, and as I’ve become more intentional about honoring my husband, I’ve come face to face with an important realization. Honoring my husband demands way more from me than mere submission. 

Please understand; I’m not anti-submission with regard to the biblical framework of love and respect. It’s just that to truly honor my husband, I have to set the bar much higher.

Honor requires self-sacrifice and humility. It challenges me to bridle not just my words, but my thoughts as well. It makes me bite my tongue. Honor confronts me with my sin. Honor, even more than submission, is an imposing benchmark. It’s a sublimely powerful target. For if I take aim and hit the bullseye of honor, I am probably covering all the other virtues that make for a good marriage. 

Finally, if I want to honor David, I have to become honorable myself. So honor conforms me to the image of Christ. In short, honor requires a strong walk with the Lord. To truly honor my husband, I must first become strong.

To explore the biblical concept of honor, let’s go back to the first marriage—between Adam and Eve. If you want to understand God’s blueprint for marriage, it helps to look through the lens of what theologians call “original intent.” What did God originally intend for marriage to look like before the fall?

In Genesis 2:18-22, we see that God’s purpose for creating marriage was to provide companionship. Everything which God had made up to that point was good. But when he looked at Adam, he said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (NIV). Something was missing. The Genesis account explains that there was no “suitable helper” for Adam, so God plans his next step: “I will make a helper suitable for him.” God goes to work to create a woman from the very stuff of man, his same substance. 

Being a helper is not for the weak. Being a wife means being your husband’s rock of support when everything around him feels like it’s crashing down. When you grasp what it means to be a support, you begin to get an image of your role as being more like a rock than a doormat. Your challenge is to become strong so that you’re a source of strength for your husband at all times.

• Marilynn says that honor requires self-sacrifice and humility. Why do you think this is the case?

• As we abide in Christ (see John 15:1-5), we’re enabled in our role as our husband’s helper. What are some practical ways you can make abiding in Christ a daily reality?

• Every husband is different. What are some specific ways you could help your husband?

• There are many ways that today’s culture encourages women to dishonor their husbands. What are some examples of this? What are some ways Christian wives can counter this?”