For the first 19 years of marriage, before our storm started, I lived without concern or caution when it came to communication with my husband. I was always in my feelings, emotions, and flesh with NO self-control to get what I wanted. If I didn’t agree with something, I voiced my disagreement loudly, obnoxiously and manipulated or punished until I got my way and felt appeased. 

I lived with  NO fear or worry that I would ever drive a wedge between my husband and I and I had no clue I was suppressing, degrading, and stealing his godly role from him. As God started me through the repentance process, sorry for how I treated him didn’t really mean much becuase I didn’t have a full understanding of what I did wrong. In order to know what I was doing wrong in my behavior, I first had to learn what God created man for, his role, what authority he had, how his character was different from a woman. Then I had to learn about Ephesians 5:33 and why a wife MUST respect her husband. When I went to study this word, I was very confused. 

.“the wife MUST RESPECT her husband.” Ephesians 5:33

MUST RESPECT is one word,
Definition: to put to flight, to terrify, frighten
Usage: I fear, dread, reverence, am afraid, terrified. Strongs concordance

Phobeo is used many times in the Word with its direction to “Do not be afraid (phobeo)” or to “Fear (phobeo) not.

But here He is telling us you MUST phobeo? This really perplexed me. I grew up in absolute terror and fear of my father, so why on earth was God telling me to feel that way about my husband?

The truth and answer came to me a few months later when we visited a small zoo in the panhandle of Florida. It was a zoo, unlike anything I had ever been to. There were no moats or guard rails to stop us from walking RIGHT up to an enclosure and touching the animals if we wanted. And by animals I mean LIONS!

So there I was, pushing our stroller on the path when I came within 6 feet of a lioness. Nothing separated us but a chain-link fence, and she was laying very near it, near me and our baby.

She was lying there looking at me. Peaceful. Fear came, but not fear because I thought she would attack, or get loose. But a different fear.

Phobeo! A “must respect” fear came because I had a real knowledge and understanding of this creature and what it was capable of. I had a knowledge and understanding and respect EVEN thought she was caged. I remember other zoos and the lions being behind glass and I STILL felt phobeo. Why? Because that fear I was feeling was not about being in danger. It was about something else. 

One that came through my understanding and belief, my experiences and knowledge of what was before me. A lion. Even though she was in a cage. she was still a lion. Man had not taken that from her. She was unchanged in who she was. And that got my attention. My respect.  And that brought a fear that I was supposed to have for this godly creation. 

This kind of fear is awe, reverence, and deference. And this is the kind of fear/RESPECT God says we wives MUST have for our husband. 

Even when our husbands are not free to be who they were meant to be, caged by oppressions, fear, or when they themselves have no clue who they really are, we are still to have phobeo. 

God designed man with the power and authority, to be “head of the wife” Eph 5:22 The Word is clear that a wife must honor, respect, submit to her husband and with a godly fear that comes not because he makes her terrified with his behavior. Scares her into being afraid, but we have a godly phobeo of WHO they are and have been created to be. We have the right respect for the power, the authority God has given to man.

But sadly, many things become broken and many wives step into roles that are not created for us. We only have to look at our fallen world and how the identity of men and women is being redesigned by the enemy right before our eyes, to the point where we are being told there is no such thing as specific genders anymore. This is just one of the many reasons why a woman will become a continuous wife.


What is a contentious wife?

 Contentious means quarrelsome, bringing strife and brawling. To always fight in a rough and noisy way!

How do men feel about this?

A constant dripping on a rainy day and a contentious woman are alike— 16 restrainings her is like holding back the wind or grasping oil with one’s right hand. Proverbs 27:15-16

The Christian Standard translation says “16 the one who controls her controls the wind”

And of course, we all have read how it would be better for a man to live in the corner of the roof then dwell in the whole house with a contentious, quarrelsome woman. (Proverbs 25:24)

The Prudent Wife!

 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a PRUDENT wife is from the LORD. Proverbs 19:14

PRU’DENT, a. Cautious; circumspect (unwilling to take risks); practically wise; careful of the consequences of enterprises, measures or actions; cautious not to act when the end is of doubtful utility, or probably impracticable. 

A prudent wife is FROM the Lord? How did she become prudent? Perhaps she was taught by her godly prudent mother and grandmother. Or while her storm came and disrupted her life and she learned by sitting at the feet of Jesus, humbly as He taught her.

Mine was the latter. I now live, as a prudent wife who knows and has seen what her lack of filter could do. I have been made aware of the consequences that being contentious is displeasing to God and disrespectful to my husband and I am unwilling to take that risk and tear down our home.

Proverbs says a woman has the power in her hand which this word hand means “in the power of a tongue; in the care or charge of, entrusted to”  to tear down her home through her folly.

Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1 BSB.

Respect MY lost husband??

Respect comes easy when our husbands love us as Christ loves the church, (Eph 5:25) and when a man loves his wife as his own self, vs 28. 

But what about the man that is unjust? 

As wives, we have to look to the Word and clear direction is found in 1 Peter chapter 2 and the first few verses in chapter 3. Because this very important instruction to wives dealing with an unjust husband is separated by chapters, many are not aware of the full meaning we are called to.  

Chapter 3 starts out with the Words “in the same way”, which tells us that in order to understand this verse, we must read the verses prior. You must go back a chapter and really read and study how Jesus handled Himself.  

In the SAME WAY, In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 1 Peter 3:1

  For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered l for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:21-25

Sheila Hollinger


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(~Marriage Revealed Ministries Inc. is committed to helping bring healing and restoration to couples who are struggling in their marriage. We do this through the revelation of Who God is and His heart and design for marriage which never intends abuse in any form. If you suspect abuse in your relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit them online at