Ephesians 5:33 says “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself and the wife must respect her husband.”
This can be a difficult verse to apply because some women have husbands who are not doing the first half of this verse. Their husbands are not loving them as themselves BUT my blog is not written for men so I have to move on to the second part of this verse.
God’s command to wives is to respect our husbands – unconditionally. Our men are not boy scouts trying to earn badges of honor. God does not say – respect the husband who is “worthy” of respect. It is simply their position of husband that we are to respect.
Dr. Emerson Eggerich says in his book “Love and Respect” that if you asked women if they’d rather their friends love or respect them – the majority would say love. But if you asked men if they’d rather their friends love or respect them – the men would answer respect. We are hard wired this way – God created men with the need to feel respected and adequate.
Think of what men will do for honor. They will take bullet shots from an enemy. While everyone is running out of a burning building, men will run up 20 flights of stairs to save lives. They will shoot the bear and laugh about it later. They are just wired this way – and isn’t it glorious that they are!
Sometimes we women “mock” the male “ego” – but it truly is tender. Deep down – there’s insecurity and they need to know that indeed they are adequate, they are enough, they are worthy of our respect.
Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what it is that makes your husband feel disrespected. Sometimes the strangest comment I make will make my husband angry. I don’t see it disrespectful at all – and it baffles me – yet he is clearly offended. It has taken time for me to learn what it is that makes him feel disrespected. But I can tell you a few things that all men disdain.
1. The wife rolling her eyes at him.
2. The wife criticizing him.
3. The wife complaining to hrt mother or girlfriends about his flaws.
4. The wife not respecting his knowledge, opinions or decisions.
5. The wife nagging him or assuming the worst in his actions.
6. The wife using sarcasm to communicate bitterness.
7. The wife disrespecting his work, protection, provision or leadership.
8. The wife disrespecting his need for physical intimacy or his “manhood” (wink wink).
This week – take some time to assess your husband’s respect-o-meter. Ask him what sort of things you do that make him feel disrespected and respected. Work on weeding out disrespectful thoughts and attitudes and exchanging them for respectful ones.
If this is a very troubled spot in your marriage specifically because you don’t feel your husband is respectable read the post I wrote a while back titled:
Respecting Your Husband’s Weaknesses
And remember you respect your husband because of who God is and his commands. You respect your husband because of who you are and your character. You respect your husband because you have been given grace and you freely give it. You respect your husband because of your vows at the marriage altar. And you respect your husband because you do indeed love him and desire to please him.