Excerpt from An online Course: Where God puts two hearts in a home
If your wife has a trusting heart, it is a great gift for you, her husband. It keeps her believing the best about you! A part of a woman‘s beauty and vulnerability is her willingness to trust, quickness to believe. A man who loves a woman has a natural desire to protect her. But his call to protection needs to extend to more than just physical safety. His wife‘s heart and mind are far more often at risk than her body.
Husband, if your wife has a natural trusting heart, you can help protect it so as to keep it beautiful. Here are eight ways that a husband may protect and enhance his wife’s beauty.
Protect Her From Cleaving to Others…From Genesis 2:24, we know that a man and his wife are supposed to cleave to one another like glue. This is the only relationship described in this way in God‘s Word. But in reality, sometimes people cleave to people other than their spouses, especially if the marriage relationship is unhappy or they might fail to loosen the connection with their father, mother, siblings or re-establish too intimate a connection later. A wife may turn to a good friend and begin to invest in that relationship with the intimacy that belongs only in the marriage. In the extreme, she may develop a close friendship with another person that turns into an adulterous affair. You can help her to avoid these things by making her your intimate friend, your trusted advisor, and, of course, your only sexual partner.
Protect Her from Disrespect and Dishonor…In 1 Peter 3:7, Peter instructs a husband to grant his wife honor. He must honor her both in private and in public. When he honors her in private, just between the two of them, it shows her his sincerity. When he honors her in public, all will understand that he intends for them to honor her too. If anyone, even among his relatives, speaks disrespectfully about or to his wife, a husband is alert and lets people know that he will not tolerate this. His parents must learn that if they wish to have a close relationship with their son, they must speak respectfully of their son‘s wife. If children speak rudely to their mother, they must quickly learn that their father will exercise discipline.
Be Trustworthy…Never take advantage of your wife‘s natural desire to trust you by trying to deceive her in any area. For instance, never tell her that you are at your brother‘s house while you are really doing something of which she doesn‘t approve. Trust is precious more so in a marital relationship.
Protect Her From Conflicting Responsibilities…Because of her nature as ezer in many areas, a woman often has difficulty setting priorities. For instance, if her boss wants her to stay at work late, but her children need her to take them to a soccer meet, and the house looks like a typhoon blew through it, and she hasn‘t had time to fix her hair properly in days, she may feel that she is a total failure. In these situations, a husband can not only help her sort out the priorities but can also help take his wife off the hook.
Please read Numbers 30:13-15. In this passage, if a wife makes a promise that her husband feels is unwise, even a vow to God, he may release her from it, as long as he acts immediately. If he waits, the vow stands. In a modern context, a husband can take the time to notice that his wife has overburdened her schedule or her heart and is trying to be a Super Woman. He can share with her that God doesn‘t expect her to be more than what she is, and he can try to take some of the responsibilities on himself, or talk with her to see if some of her responsibilities may go to others. Most important, a husband can pray with his wife about her responsibilities.
Protect Her From Toxic People…A husband can help to limit the effect of toxic people in his wife‘s life, even if it means limiting the amount of time she spends with her own family, his family, or others whom they might normally spend much time with. It might mean that a husband refuses to move in together with a relative that is critical of his wife, even if it would be financially advantageous. Paul, acting as Christ‘s messenger to the bride, exemplified this when he told the church to cut off relationship with certain leaders (Tit 3:10-11).
Protect Her From Wrong Responsibilities…Women often feel responsible for others’ well-being. Our friend Virginia was getting increasingly distressed at the relationship between her mother and sister. After a particularly frustrating conversation, Virginia was very upset at the way her sister was behaving to their mother. But Virginia‘s husband, Wallace, helped her let go of a false sense of responsibility. If her sister had been acting this way for thirty years, he pointed out, Virginia should not be shocked when her sister acted this way once again. He helped her to set appropriate boundaries and not to feel totally responsible for the behavior of other adults. Now she is better able to be a genuine help to her sister and her mother, without feeling overwhelmed. When a woman tries to control a situation that is not in her control, it leads to physical and emotional turmoil and physical illness. A husband can help her to let go of false responsibility.
Protect Her From Deceitful Teachers…A husband has a special role in protecting his wife from deceit, according to 1 Timothy 2:11-14. If she has come to new understanding of truth, talk with her about the Scriptures and all the ramifications of what she has learned. Challenge her to think critically. But humility also requires a skeptical husband to be open to seriously consider her argument. When Mary Magdalene saw the resurrected Lord, she quickly believed and was allowed the privilege of carrying this message to the disciples. But the men didn‘t believe her (Lk 24:10-11). Pilate‘s wife, in Matthew 27:19, gave her husband good advice, but he didn‘t believe her either. In both cases, the men were deceived and the women were not.
Protect Her From Evil…Please read Ruth 3:9. Here we see Ruth, the Moabite widow, asking Boaz to spread his garment over her, i.e., to take her as his bride. The garment she references is his talith, a fringed shawl that Jewish men wore to symbolize their devotion to God (Deut 22:12). A Jewish man spread it over his head whenever he prayed. The talith symbolized the tabernacle in the wilderness where God met with men. When a man spread it over his head, it became his own private meeting place with God, just as the tabernacle was for the nation. He wrapped himself in it at night when he slept. When he married, it became the couple‘s bedspread. Only a wife had the right to cover herself with her husband‘s talith, so Ruth‘s literal request spread your garment over me was easily understood as a marriage proposal. But the talith served more than these practical purposes.
A talith had great meanings for spiritual authority as well. A talith had thirty-nine windings of fringe. Later, Jesus took thirty-nine lashes for His bride (Isa 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24). When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus’ fringe and was healed, it was probably the fringe on his talith that she touched (Lk 8:43). Another expression used for the talith was a wing,or shadow. So when God says in Ezekiel 16:8 that he would spread his wing over Israel, it looked very much like Boaz spreading his talith over Ruth. Several Psalms mention seeking refuge in the shadow of God‘s wings (Ps 17:8). When Mary was covered by the Holy Spirit in order to conceive Jesus, the angel said she would be overshadowed (Lk 1:35). When Peter walked by, his overshadowing delivered the sick from their illnesses (Acts 5:15). So we see in the literal piece of talith cloth, a spiritual truth of overshadowing, or of giving deliverance and protection to someone. For Ruth to be brought under Boaz‘s talith was to rest safely under his authority and power as her husband.
Even though Gentile men do not wear a talith, Christian husbands spread their spiritual wings over their wives in fervent and frequent prayer for them. This is the most important kind of protection that a husband can give. If the enemy is prowling about your house like a roaring lion and gnawing on your wife‘s spirit with lies and insinuations, you as her husband may intercede for her with great power. So pray with great authority to stop Satan‘s schemes against your wife and spread your covering of protection over her.