Thursday, August 8, 2013

Celebrate Your Mate - Magnify (Part III)

Let’s discuss another way we can celebrate our mate and that is to magnify him or her. Isn’t magnify a big word? Not in the pronunciation sense, but in its meaning. When we magnify something we make it bigger. Let us resolve to make our spouse feel like the BIGGEST part of our life. After God. The formal definition of magnify is to cause to be held in greater esteem or respect and to increase in significance.

Scripture says:
Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. (Romans 12:10 God’s Word Translation)
The bible gives us specific instructions on how we should treat our spouse. We can celebrate them by showing them the utmost respect. What does respect look like? Well listen up ladies because us wives are called to respect our husbands in Ephesians 5:33 which says “let the wife see that she respects her husband”.

Here are some examples:
1. Tell him you respect him. Be specific about what you respect. I tell my husband I respect the way he stands by his godly convictions and he doesn’t let anything or anyone sway him from his belief in God.
2. Apologize when you’re wrong.
3. Ask his opinion. Include him in your decisions and thoughts.
4. Be aware of the power of the tongue: ladies, we can be passive aggressive, snippy, sarcastic, and make snide remarks and criticize.
5. Speak kindly and lovingly of your husband in front of family, kids, and friends.
If we do these 5 things consistently, we are well on the way to exceling in respecting our husband.
In Ephesians 5:33 it also says, “each man must love his wife as he loves himself”. So, primarily God requires a husband to love his wife, but he is not off the hook for respecting her as well. A husband can respect his wife by:
1. Don't show her even the mildest forms of contempt. Contempt is poison in a relationship. You don't have to act like you like what she said or did, but do not take on an attitude of superiority, such as momentary smirking, sighs of disgust or eye-rolling. Such gestures, though seemingly insignificant, deeply show a lack of support, respect and trust, especially over a period of time.
2. Treat her as an equal. Even though you as the head of the household make the final decision, be sure to consult your wife and consider her feelings and insight.

The world often says you have to give respect in order to get respect. But in the Kingdom of God we are called to go higher, be better. We give respect, period. I’m not saying it will be easy sometimes, but I am saying it is possible with Jesus Christ.

Looking back at the definition of magnify it said to hold in greater esteem. Esteem means “high regard”. If we want our mate to feel celebrated we need to put him or her before ourselves. Being married successfully requires sacrifice. NEWS FLASH: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!! Philippians 2:3 says, “Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
What a great verse for marriages. In a God-centered marriage you should feel secure enough to not worry about getting your needs met first. God’s got you! Spend your time meeting your mate’s needs! The return on doing that is huge! Imagine a marriage where the husband or wife is doing their best to meet the needs of their spouse. That’s celebrating your mate!

Let me talk to the wives again and I am going to read Ephesians 5:33 from the Amplified Bible:
“let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]."

Whew! What a high-calling! But again, it’s in the Bible and God didn’t put anything in there that we can’t do with His power living on the inside of us. Don’t hear that scripture with a heavy burden, NO hear it as a way to celebrate the man God gave you!

When we encourage, praise, and admire our husbands, when we value their opinions and trust their leadership, we esteem them.  Because God has created men with a great need to be respected and admired by their women, it is especially important that we as wives esteem our husbands.  If we don't, they will be vulnerable to other women who do show them esteem.

Many times women think, "My husband has such a huge ego now, why should I esteem him and admire him and build him up even more??"  However, the wise woman will realize that the male ego is a fragile thing, and men often act "big" to cover up how small and inadequate they really feel on the inside.  They are torn down every day when they go out into the dog-eat-dog world, and it is our job to build them up each evening when they come home.

When we treat our husbands with respect, letting them know how much we admire them and how we value their leadership and their wisdom, it boosts their confidence and helps them lead more wisely.  It also reassures them of our commitment to letting them be the head of the household.

Increase in significance. That’s the second part to the definition of magnify. When something is important to us it’s significant. So, now we are being asked to INCREASE in significance. Well I believe one way to illustrate this is to continue to show your spouse they are number one in your life. No earthly human being should come before your husband or wife. And yes, that includes your children. God, spouse, children. That is the divine order of the family. Over time and as the trials of life come and go our mate can feel their position in your life is becoming less and less important. But no, live in a way that demonstrates nothing and no one will come before him or her. How you might ask? Using the word no. You can’t work from sun up to sun down 7 days a week, you can’t hang out every weekend with the girls or the fellas. Telling people no and valuing your spouse over friends and family members shows your spouse they come first, celebrates who they are in your life by magnifying their position. God’s Word says it best, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.

Well we have come to the end of “Celebrate Your Mate” series and I want to leave you with one final thought. It is a wonderful blessing to be married. It’s not God’s plan for every person. So, if you have been blessed with a mate, take time daily to celebrate them. God loves your husband or wife dearly and has given them to you as a gift. Bless, praise and magnify them in private and in public. This is your partner for your life! Celebrate and let the world see that indeed marriage is something to celebrate beyond the wedding day!