“Each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
When a husband treats his wife in an unloving way, her automatic response is to treat him without respect. But instead of withholding respect until he “deserves it,” God commands wives to respect their husbands regardless of what they feel the score is. Practically, how does one respect her husband?
- Respect his dreams. Men are risk takers which means that they will make mistakes. Mistakes aren’t failures but they make men feel like one. Instead of reminding your husband of his mistakes, encourage him to get back up and dream again. Every mistake is an opportunity from God to grow in character. Believe in your man. Men like to win and they hate to fail, so if you make them feel like they can’t win in your marriage, they will stop trying.
- Respect his needs. Men are fairly simple and have two main needs: 1) Space. Women often relax by venting how they feel while men relax by withdrawing. It’s not that he won’t talk, he just doesn’t want to talk right now. It’s not because he’s mad, it’s because he is stressed, so he needs room. 2) Sex. For whatever reason a man’s sex drive is usually stronger than a woman’s in his 20’s and 30’s so he will want to make love more often than she will. If you are going to be the exclusive woman in his life (which you deserve to be – and that includes him refraining from all pornography), then you sometimes need to be willing even when there hasn’t been a highly romantic lead up to it. There is something called, “maintenance sex.”
- Respect his position. God has made men responsible for the home which is not a right for a husband to claim, but a responsibility he needs to accept. Men often abdicate their place if a woman wants to take it or if he thinks she can do it better than he can. He needs your encouragement to step up even if he isn’t as spiritual as you may be. Do this as an honoring wife; not sounding like his mother.