And let the wife see that she respects her husband. That’s what Paul wrote in the second half of Ephesians 5:33. Respect is something that I believe has diminished throughout the years. So many marriages begin well and end poorly because men and women are not properly trained in how to treat one another. God has specific roles for the husband and the wife and when we stay within those roles we have happy marriages and good family lives. Respect is something that should be mutual between all members of the family, but for this article I want to give some helpful hints for wives on how to respect their husbands. (For a related article read “How to Love Your Wife: 7 Helpful Tips”)
Respect His Leadership
God gave you your husband as the leader in your home. This means that he is not only the Spiritual leader; he is the one who make decisions. Women are ill-equipped to make large decisions; we are far too emotional for that big responsibility. Your part in the decision process could be to help him be the leader by providing him with information that will aid in decision-making. And remember that just because you provided information, this does not mean that your husband will consider that information. He chooses what to use in the decision process; a wise husband will ask for his wife’s advice. When he chooses not to consider your information and/or advice let him take responsibility for the decision, be it good or bad. Never, ever say “I told you so” or words to that effect when a decision has gone bad. When he makes good decisions thank him for taking that burden. Remember to avoid getting leadership and advice from other males in your life such as your pastor, friend or even your brother. Take a look at what the Bible says about your husband’s role as leader and head of the wife:
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Respect His Provision
This is a Biblical principle that has been overlooked in our modern world. In the day of the two-income family, we have come to depend upon the wife’s income to provide for the needs of the family. This ought not to be. Don’t misunderstand; I realize that sometimes it is necessary for a woman to work outside of the home, in the case where the husband is physically unable. However, when your husband is able to provide for the family – let him do it! Here is the Biblical standard on the husband as the provider:
Genesis 3:17-20 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Respect His Maleness
Accept the fact that God made you the weaker vessel. This is one of those things that have taken me many years to do. I am a strong willed woman and many times I have tried to do things that I needed not to do. I now am thankful that my husband carries the heavy packages and opens the doors for me. He is being what God has made him to be, my protector – not only for safely sake but for my own health and well-being. You were created for him, as his helper. Let your husband be the strong one and when he is, praise him for it and thank God for him. Let him open that pickle jar; even if you loosened it for him. Here are some Bible verses for this hint:
Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
1 Corinthians 11:9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Respect as an Attitude
There are times when the husband is not respectful to the wife. This does not give you license to be disrespectful. You cannot control his actions, but you can control your reactions. You see, respect is not only seen in your actions (as a verb) but it is also seen in your attitude (as a noun). When you show an attitude of respect toward your husband he will think twice about the way that he is treating you. Love him, even when he is unlovely. Serve him, even when he seems not to appreciate your service. Listen to him, even when you may not understand what he is talking about. Be attentive to his physical needs, even when you are tired. God will bless you and your marriage when you remember to have a respectful attitude. Bible guidelines for this are:
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Philippians 2:3-4 (KJV) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Philippians 4:13 (KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives
Respect His Reputation
Don’t air your dirty laundry. When you are in the company of others you should never be saying things that tear your husband down. Instead you should be saying only good about him. Brag on him! Be faithful to him in thought, word and deed. This includes what you say and do in front of the children. Teach them to respect their Daddy, he is their protector too and they should see him as a hero. The Bible is loaded with this concept, here are a few verses:
Proverbs 12:7 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
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.
Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Respect His Home
Make your house a home, no matter what the living circumstance. Make it comfortable and clean. Make the bed. Clean up the dirty dishes. Keep up with the laundry. Your husband works hard and he deserves a cozy home after a hard day. Get up before your husband and the children – set the tone for the day. When you have things in order your day will run smoother for your entire household. Teach the children to clean up after themselves and how to do daily and weekly chores. All this should be done without grumbling or complaining.
Proverbs 14:1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.
Proverbs 31:15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
Proverbs 31:27 she looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning
Titus 2:4-5 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Respect Yourself; Work on Being The Best Wife
Being a wife doesn’t just happen. I am thankful that many years ago I had a group of very godly wives praying for me when I was a career-bound wife and mom. I believe to this day that they “prayed” me home! They were not perfect women, nor am I. The thing that I want to encourage you in is that there are other women out there that have been where you are. They are the women who successfully manage a home and may even have a bushel of children that they are raising as well. Learn from them. Ask them how they do it. See if there is a lady’s Bible study group in your church that you can join. Get some Christian girlfriends if you haven’t already done that. Above all, get daily in the Word. Pull your resources together so that you are able to have an organized time with the Lord each day. Personal Spiritual growth is essential for your relationship with God and ultimately with your husband. Redeem the time, spend time doing things that you know will please the Lord.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Ephesians 5:15-16 (KJV) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Colossians 4:5 (KJV) Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
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Resources – The Holy Bible, King James Version, The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Image: bigjom / FreeDigitalPhotos.net