Many family issues are discussed during counseling. One of the major underlying issues I have witnessed is the lack of peace in the home. There is almost always some kind of underlying tension within the home.
Many years ago I heard the term “shalom bayit.” I asked myself, “What does it mean? How does it apply to me as a husband and parent?” Shalom means “peaceful nature,” and bayit means “home.” So shalom bayit means peaceful home. Shalom bayit is the responsibility of every member of the household. It is an ideal that every home should strive to attain. There are two ways we can begin applying shalom bayit to our homes. First, husbands and wives are to submit to one another, and second, husbands can honor their wives. Submit to your spouse: “Submit to one another out of reverence for each other.” (Ephesians 5:22)
Time out for your mate, and then come back together in order to re-establish peace in the home. An important step to building a strong marriage is to consistently set aside time with your mate. I encourage both husbands and wives to spend time together apart from the children, and the hustle and bustle of life’s daily chores. You can plan a date night. Honoring your wife: “And grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life.” (1 Peter 3:7) Husbands can lead the way toward a peaceful home through honoring their wives. I have watched numerous marriages disintegrate because of the simple lack of respect for each other.
The world can lure your husband or your wife with glittery, false promises of fulfillment and false significance. If we fail to honor each other, it’s just a matter of time before our spouses will begin to wear down and look elsewhere for worth. On the other hand, I have seen both marriage partners honor each other.
Here are a few techniques to honor your spouse. Learn the art of putting your wife or husband on a pedestal. Capture your wife’s or your husband’s heart by treating your spouse with respect, tenderness and highest esteem. Recognize accomplishments. Frequently look into each other’s eyes and verbally express your wonder at all the other does. Husbands, remember your wives wear many hats and are amazingly hard workers. Wives, remember that your husbands also work hard. Also encourage each other to have a steady walk with God. Speak with respect. Without careful attention, your tongue can become caustic, searing and accusing. Work hard to honor one another. You may not always be as successful as you would like to be, but know that honor begins with an attitude. As you respect one another, you will also set the example for your children, and they, too, will learn to respect one another, even their parents.
Honor each other by extending common courtesies. You may think these little amenities were only worthwhile during dating, but actually they are great ways to demonstrate respect and distinction over the long haul. Common courtesy is at the heart of servant hood. It says, “My life for yours.” It bows before another to show esteem and dignity. Peace in the home is every family member’s responsibility. As a husband, a wife, a father, or a mother, you should be an example to your children and others, by your speech and actions.
Scott Fluegel is a Nationally Certified Counselor at Cornerstone Wellness Center. He has both a Masters of Divinity and a Master’s of Sciences degree in Counseling. He is in the process of becoming a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional through International Association of Trauma Professionals.