I found this on Pinterest today, and while I accept that some people have what they refer to as biblical marriages, I feel this one goes very over the top and frightens me in 2012. I bolded her words for emphasis, and added my own sassy comments in italics.
“Actions speak louder than words. You can say you respect your husband, but he’ll have a hard time believing that unless your behavior backs it up.
What does respectful living look like? Here are 25 ways you can communicate respect to your spouse without uttering a word. If you’ll make it your habit to do these things, the next time you tell your husband how much you respect him, he won’t have to wonder if you really mean it.
It’s true: A happy wife makes a happy life. Please don’t use moodiness as an attempt to manipulate your man, but in all things rejoice, because that’s the right thing to do. (1 Thessaonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4)
Honor His Wishes
Give weight to what your husband thinks is important. Make those things a priority that matter most to him, whether it’s having dinner ready when he gets home from work or keeping the house tidy or limiting computer time. Don’t make him ask twice. (Philippians 2:4) Lest he needs to tell you with the back of his hand next time.
Give Him Your Undivided Attention
Yes, I know that women are masters of multi-tasking, but when your husband is speaking to you, make a point to lay other tasks aside, look into his eyes, and listen to what he is saying with the goal of understanding and remembering his words.
Have you ever been around a person who won’t let you finish a sentence? That gets old fast. Even if you think you already know what your husband is going to say, allowing him to say it without cutting him off mid-sentence shows both respect and common courtesy.
Emphasize His Good Points
Sure, he has his faults (as do you), but dwelling on them will only make you (both) miserable. Choose instead to focus on those qualities in your husband that you most admire. (Philippians 4:8)
Pray for Him
Ruth Graham advises wives to “tell your mate the positive, and tell God the negative.” Take your concerns to God. Faithfully lift up your husband in prayer every day, and you will likely notice a transformation not only in him, but in yourself, as well. (Philipians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17) Why would you tell your most trusted partner your troubles? That will only make him less happy, and you exist solely for his happiness.
Your husband is a grown man, so don’t treat him like a two-year-old. Leave room for God to work. You are not the Holy Spirit, so do not try to do His job. But make sure you’re serving him and anticipating his whims, though he’s a grown man and not a two-year-old. See number 2.
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Don’t take your husband for granted. Be appreciative for everything he does for you, whether big or small. Always say thank you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20)
Smile at Him
Smiles spread happiness. Smiles have even been shown to create happiness. Smiles are contagious. And a smile makes any woman more beautiful. And you exist to be beautiful for your husband.
Did you know that the way you respond (or don’t respond) to your husband’s romantic overtures has a profound effect on his self-confidence? Don’t slap him away when he tries to hug you or make excuses when he’s in the mood. Your enthusiastic cooperation and reciprocation will not only assure him of your love, but will make him feel well-respected, too. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) This entire entry is a vomitrocious mess. It’s so bad I made up a word. You are essentially a human fleshlight, and you are here to bolster his masculinity. However, you should not think YOU are permitted to ask him for sex. If you ask and he’s not in, guess what you did? You hurt his masculinity again. Please lie there and happily take it, Talking-Hole-In-His-Mattress.
Eyes Only for Him
Don’t compare your husband unfavorably to other men, real or imaginary. It is neither fair nor respectful and will only breed trouble and discontent. Avoid watching movies or reading books that might cause you to stumble in this area, as well. (Psalm 19:14; Proverbs 4:23) Read: You’re not allowed to read Fifty Shades of Grey. Here, we agree.
Kiss Him Goodbye
I once read about a study done in Germany which found that men whose wives kissed them goodbye every morning were more successful than those who weren’t kissed. Success and respect often go hand-in-hand, so be sure to send him off right, and don’t forget to greet him with a kiss when he returns home, for good measure. (2 Corinthians 13:12)
Prepare His Favorite Foods
Although the rest of the family is not overly-fond of spaghetti, my husband loves it, so I try to make it at least two or three times a month as a way to honor him. Next time you’re planning meals, give special consideration to your husband’s preferences. (Proverbs 31:14-15) I mean, this just makes sense when you cook for other people to take their likes into consideration. But to “honor” him? “Here, honey. I made you these beanie weanies TO HONOR YOU. You make me think of canned beans, mystery meat, and farts. I love you.”
I love to sit near my husband, whether at home or away. Our church shares potluck dinners every Sunday afternoon, and although the men and women normally sit separately to visit, I like to position myself close enough to my husband that I can listen to the conversation, as I think everything he says is so interesting. At home, I’ll take my book or handwork to whatever room in the house he’s working in, just to be close to him, because I enjoy his company, even when neither of us is talking. Because he’s working on something on his evenings at home, not just fucking around on the computer like a normal person, and you’re doing “handwork,” because you’re Ma Ingalls.
Nobody wants to be around a whiner or complainer. It is grating on the nerves. Remember the serenity prayer: accept the things you can’t change, courageously change the things you can, seek wisdom to know the difference. (Philippians 2:14) You don’t get feelings. Feelings and desires and whims are for men. You have an extra set of ribs instead. Aren’t you happy?
Resist the Urge to Correct
I know one wife whose spouse can’t tell a story without her stopping him fifteen times to correct inconsequential details: “It wasn’t Monday evening, it was Monday afternoon…. It wasn’t blue, it was turquoise…. He didn’t ride the bus, he took a shuttle.” Please. Please. Please. Don’t ever do that to your husband — or to anyone else, for that matter! (Proverbs 17:28) Well, yeah. Just try not to be an asshole?
Dress to Please Him
Take care of your appearance. Choose clothes your husband finds flattering, both in public and around the house. Vom, vom, vom. You mean my torn shirt with bleach stains I wear around the house doesn’t do it for Ryan? Why the fuck not?
Keep the House Tidy
To the best of your abilities, try to maintain a clean and orderly home. Seek to make it a haven of rest for your entire family. (Proverbs 31:27) I would, but that would get in the way of my lying around time.
Do not pressure your husband to keep up with the Jonses. Take satisfaction in the lifestyle he is able to provide for you. (1 Timothy 6:6-10; Hebrews 13:5) Make no mistake, you will not provide anything for yourself, and if you do, you are a devil woman to be burned as a witch, because you know, we don’t have to suffer a witch to live and all.
Take His Advice
Do not dismiss his opinions lightly, especially when you’ve asked for his counsel in the first place. Make every effort to follow your husband’s advice.
Voiced compliments and heartfelt praise are always welcome, but you should also make it your habit to just look at your husband in a respectful, appreciative way. Think kind thoughts toward him. He’ll be able to see the admiration in your eyes. (Luke 6:45) Like a dog.
Protect His Name
Honor your husband in the way you speak of him to family and friends. Guard his reputation and do not let minor disagreements at home cause you to speak ill of him in public. Live in such a way that it will be obvious to others why your husband married you in the first place. (Proverbs 12:4; 22:1) These things are private. So what he punched you in the neck? You burned the pot roast! And now you know what to do next time, don’t you?
Forgive His Shortcomings
In the words of Ruth Bell Graham, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” Please do not hold grudges against your husband. Do not allow a root of bitterness or resentment find a home in your heart. Forgive your husband freely, as Christ has forgiven you. (Mark 11:25; Matthew 18:21-35) What is this? I don’t even. I’ve been with my husband 10 years, and I have absolutely no grudges against him. Why the fuck would I? I’m a grown ass woman, not a 12-year-old girl. I’m allowed to share my feelings with him, though, so there’s that.
You are not always right, and you do not always have to have the last word. Be the first to say, “I’m sorry.” Be willing to accept the blame. It takes two to argue, so “abandon a quarrel before it breaks out.” (Proverbs 17:14; 21:19; 25:24) Be willing to accept the blame…always. We already told you your feelings are not valid. Ever.
Follow His Lead
If you want your husband to lead, you must be willing to follow. Neither a body nor a family can function well with two heads. Learn to defer to your husband’s wishes and let final decisions rest with him. (Ephesians 5:22-24)” Vom vom vom vom vom. You aren’t a real adult. You don’t get to make decisions.
So in short, I hate this. A lot. I don’t understand why this is appealing to anyone. I accept people are allowed to live this way, but my foremothers fought too long and too hard for me to have equality and the right to determine the course of my own life for this. I married a partner, not an authoritarian. We are a team of equals. We love one another with full respect. One of us is not greater than the other.
This really grosses me out. This is one of those things that makes me unsure of whether I want a boy or a girl child first so that I can best combat this kind of thinking as I instill values in my child.
And let’s not forget the real root of biblical marriage. It’s pretty gross and complicated, so here’s a graphical representation.