From the February 5 sermon “The Respectful Wife,” preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll:
A wife is incredibly powerful in the life of her husband. The wife is to respect her husband (Eph. 5:33), which means “to notice, regard, honor, prefer, defer to, encourage, love, and admire” him. A respectful wife has a head of respect (How do you think about your husband?), a heart of respect (How do you feel about your husband? What do you say about him?), and hands of respect (What do you do for your husband?). A disrespectful wife may be silent and compliant, or loud and contentious. Still, it is possible to disagree respectfully. Do you respect your husband?
Grace has a great recommendation for wives, based upon a head of respect and the admonition and instruction of Philippians 4:8–9. Keep a journal. I’m going to give you ladies some really practical things to do. Keep a journal. You can keep it on your phone, or you can keep it in a notebook. Keep it somewhere separate. As you think things about your husband that are, to use these words, “true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise,” write them down. Write them down. And then in that moment, pray and say, “Thank you, Lord, that I’m seeing this in my husband.”
How do you think about your husband? It leads to a heart of respect. How do you feel about your husband? How do you feel about your husband? And you know how you feel about your husband by what you say. Jesus says it this way. Matthew 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” [. . .]
If there is disrespect in your head, it will reside in your heart. If there’s disrespect in how you think of him, there will be disrespect in how you feel about him, and it comes out in your speech. It comes out in your speech. I would say, ladies, this is one of the reasons it’s really important to regularly be praying for your husband, because it conditions you on how to speak about your husband.
Some women go to the Bible, and they see, “Well, okay, Colossians 3, and 1 Peter 3, and Ephesians 5, and 1 Corinthians 7. ‘Wives, submit to your husbands.’” And what she hears is, “He makes all the decisions. He thinks through all the issues. He’s the boss. I just shut up and do what I’m told.” That’s not what it means.
See, Jesus submitted to the Father while he was on the earth. Jesus says, “The Father has sent me. I say what the Father tells me to say. I do what the Father tells me to do.” Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus says, “Here’s what I want; but not my will, your will be done.” He’s submissive, but he’s passionate. He’s submissive, but he’s vocal. He’s not just always silent, passive, without opinion, no conversation, no communication. He’s not that way. And for a wife to submit to her husband is to submit to her husband in a way that Jesus Christ submits to God the Father. [. . .]
There’s a difference between submitting and enabling. Submitting is “he is submitting to the Lord, and I am submitting to him and helping him to honor the Lord.” Enabling is “he is not submitting to the Lord, and I am still helping him to do things or do things in ways that are dishonoring to the Lord.”