Did you know that God didn’t call you to change your husband. He did call you to respect your husband.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. ~Ephesians 5:33
Shaunti Feldhahn in her book, For Women Only shared a story from a retreat she was on that was focused on relationships. During the retreat the speaker asked the group to choose between two bad feelings. His question was, “Would you rather feel alone and unloved or inadequate and disrespected?” Every man in that room chose that he would rather feel alone and unloved instead of inadequate and disrespected.
“for women, the highest need in general is to feel loved and cherished. But the highest need for a man is to feel his wife’s respect and trust and admiration and honor.” ~Shaunti Feldhahn
The big question that most women ask is “How do I show respect for my husband when he doesn’t deserve it?” Let me ask you back, “How would you like it if your husband only showed you love when you deserve it?” The reminder is we were not worthy or deserving when Christ came and died for our sins – when I am reminded of that truth and the example Christ was of laying down His rights and putting the needs of others above Himself I am reminded that as a Christian I am called to do the same.
Choose to respect your husband today. When you find your heart and mind focused on what he is doing wrong pray that the Lord would continue to help you focus on what he is doing right. Don’t be critical but praise and encourage him in those areas where he does get it right.
In the Excellent Wife, Martha Peace gives a self-assessement to let us be aware of where we may be showing disrespect to our husbands. Take some time to review the list and pray for the Lord to reveal these areas to you and help you to show respect in areas where you have been showing your husband disrespect.
“Respecting Your Husband…….A Self-Assessment:
1. Do you speak to your husband in a condescending, “put down” manner?
2. Do you treat your husband in private as respectfully as you do your pastor, your neighbor, or your friends in public?
3. Doe your countenance show your disrespect by angry looks, looks of disgust, crossed arms etc.?
4. Do your talk for your husband or interrupt him?
5. Do you try to intimidate or bully your husband by making threats, verbally attacking him, crying, or in some other way manipulating him to have your way?
6. Do you bring up his shortcomings to others?
7. Do you inappropriately contradict him in front of others?
8. Do you compare him unfavorably with other men?
9. Do you listen carefully to your husband’s opinion trying to understand him?
10. Do you respect his position in the home so much that he can depend on you to do as he asks even when he is not at home?
11. Do you respect his requests by trying to do as he asks, even if it doesn’t seem important to you?
12. Would your husband say that you have a meek and quiet spirit? If you do, it will be apparent in how you treat him.
13. Are you obeying God by being respectful to your husband?”
~ excerpt taken from The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
You cannot respect your husband in your own strength (just try it and see how far you get) it is only by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit within you. This is the practical, every day life in the home where our Christianity is lived out. Pray that the Lord would help you today to dwell on the good things you see in your husband. As you continue to be faithful in this area you will begin to see him anew and realize there is much to give thanks to the Lord for in the gift of your husband.
“So marriage is like a metaphor or an image or a picture or parable that stands for something more than a man and a woman becoming one flesh. It stands for the relationship between Christ and the church. That’s the deepest meaning of marriage. It’s meant to be a living drama of how Christ and the church relate to each other. “~John Piper
18 Ways to Be Your Husband’s Helper
30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
25 Ways to Show Respect – Good list to print out and keep handy
The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband by Jennifer Flanders