by Cyndie Hamley
With downcast eyes, Kathryn confided, “I have a hard time respecting my husband. I want to be obedient to God’s command, but I don’t want to be dishonest to my feelings.”
God doesn’t command a wife to feel respectful toward her husband. She is to be respectful. Her responsibility is to obey God; not her feelings.
A wise woman once told me, “If you want a truly fine husband, respect him at the level at which you want him to reach. A man will usually not rise above the level at which his wife respects him.” This is a general principle, not a hard and fast rule because God does not put accountability or responsibility for a man’s character on his wife. Nevertheless, strong evidence indicates a woman holds great power to make or break a man. In his book His Needs, Her Needs, Willard Harley amends the saying “Behind every great man is a great woman” to “Behind every great man is an admiring wife.”
Something in a man needs the respect of his wife. He thrives and grows toward godliness when his need is fulfilled. This explains why God emphatically says, “The wife must see to it that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33 NASB).
10 Steps Towards Respecting Your Husband
- Pray for him daily and trust God to answer your requests.
- Pray for his well-being, wisdom, protection, blessings, guidance, knowledge, spiritual maturity, success, purity, strength in temptation, etc.
- Look for God’s answers to your prayers.
- Thank God for working in your family.
- Thank God for your husband.
- Pray for your attitude.
- Remember that God has put your husband in a position of leadership, and He will lead you through your husband.
- Make a list of your husband’s qualities that you appreciate. Review and add to your list regularly.
- Tell your husband what you appreciate about him. Tell others what you appreciate about him.
- Don’t criticize your husband to others – especially your children.
- Look for the positive side of things that you may find irritating. If you find it boring when he spends time telling you about his bad day, remember that at least he is talking to you, spending time with you, sharing his concerns with you, bringing you into his confidence, and giving you the chance to be an encourager and helper.
- Respond to his loving advances with enthusiasm.
- If you are concerned about a decision your husband has made, ask him the following:
- “I’m confused about _________. Can you explain it to me?”
- “Can we talk about _____? I feel uncomfortable about ______.”
Don’t ask: “WHY in the world would you do it that way?” or ask “Why?” in any way that implies you think he is foolish.
- If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about your husband, stop and choose to think of something else – especially things from your positive quality list.
- Respect his likes and dislikes. If he likes a particular food, make a point of serving that regularly. If he hates the color purple, don’t wear purple in his presence. If he likes you to wear perfume, do it.
Remember, God is working on you and your husband. You can both learn from your failures as well as your successes. Give God the freedom to teach your husband through failure. In the same way, give God the freedom to teach you to trust Him through your husband’s failure.
Courtesy of ChristianWomenToday.com