Respect is to be in awe of, to revere, to reverence or treat someone special.
Respect in Marriage
In Ephesians 5:33 Paul wrote about respect, stating that “…..the wife (must see to it) that she respects, and delights in her husband (that she notices and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear.)” AMP (Amplified Bible)
The concept of respect within the boundaries of marriage has diminished over the years. Divorce is commonplace and for far too many it is the go-to option when there is marital strife. Many spouses report feeling disrespected by their spouses and just as many say they have also lost respect for their spouse.
Respect is one area in the marriage that both spouses must have for each other. And of course, every member of the family should have mutual respect for each other. However, since my audience is primarily women, I will be focusing on teaching wives how to Biblically treat their husbands with respect.
Acting in a respectful way towards our husband isn’t an option if we are to act in accordance with God’s will. It is imperative, a command that wives must respect their husbands.
So how does a wife who wants to have a heavenly marriage show her husband respect? Below I have listed four ways that a wife can show her husband respect, according to the way Paul wrote about in Ephesians 5:33.
Respect Yourself….by working on becoming an excellent wife.
- Look for a Godly Titus 2 mentor. Titus 2:3-5 states, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Find a mentor that is wise, understanding, and has her feet firmly planted in the Word. A mentor should be able to help you journey together through intentional relationships focused on Him, calling you to a higher vision, a more abundant life, and a deeper relationship with Christ.
- Have a daily quiet time where you immerse yourself in the Word.
- Grow in spiritual wisdom: “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:6-7
- Seek the truth: Meditate on Scripture that is geared towards your role as a keeper of the home and as a wife. Be careful not to seek the ways of the world regarding your role as a wife. You could easily be led astray, stay in the Word.
- Pray constantly about having a humble heart, compassionate and understanding ways, and patient ways pertaining to your relationship with your husband. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Respect as an Attitude
There will be times in your marriage that your husband will be disrespectful. Just because he is disrespectful, rude, or makes you angry does not give you permission to treat him disrespectfully in return. You are not responsible for his sin (when he treats you in any other way than with respect), but instead, you are responsible for your reaction to his sin.
When you are treated unfairly or spoken to harshly by your husband, or he lashes out in anger towards you; it is your responsibility to respond in a kindly. Speak in warm and gracious tones. Try to be understanding and compassionate when responding to your husband.
By treating your husband with respect (even if you don’t feel that he deserves it), does not mean that you are living unrealistically, afraid to express opposition. It means that as a wife that you are choosing to respond with grace and understanding.
Forbearance is being able to treat others with respect, dignity, and humility despite their previous sin(s) against you. It is a Christlike quality. Here are some ways to show respect as an attitude:
- Love him when he is unlovely.
- Serve him when he is in need.
- Listen to him.
- Be attentive to his all of his needs, even in you are tired.
- Give him physical touch.
- Think before you speak.
- Encourage his spiritual direction for his family.
Protect His Reputation
Proverbs 31:11-12, “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”
- Don’t talk bad about your husband. Ever.
- Don’t tear him down.
- Don’t ask for prayer about intimate details of his life.
- Praise him. Tell him how proud you are of him.
- Teach the kids to respect Daddy.
- Let the children see you respecting their father.
- Brag about him.
- Build him up to the children, tell them what you love about their father.
Respect His Home
Proverbs 14:1: The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Proverbs 31:27: She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
- Keep it clean and organized.
- Have meals prepared on time on a regular basis.
- Keep things on hand that he enjoys such as snacks and beverages.
- Teach the kids to tidy up after themselves.
- Allow him to decompress after work, without noise and interruptions.
- Back him up in front of the children
- Show him appreciation for all the hard word he does.
Be prepared to be blessed on this journey as you seek out His ways in how to treat your husband in marriage.
Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home