If you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance that you may sound too much like a “mother” instead of a wife when talking to your husband, at least from time to time. I still remember the time a few years ago that I caught myself sounding like my husband’s mother. He was heading out the door and for some reason, I felt compelled to say, “Don’t forget to eat some breakfast before you go”. Really? Did I need to say that?! Did my husband really need me to point out that he should remember to feed himself? What? Is he 3 years old or something? Oh brother.
When we remind our husbands about things that would be obvious to any adult, we’re actually being disrespectful. Ouch. It’s as if we’re telling our husbands that we don’t think they’re capable of making basic, reasonable decisions. We sound like we’re talking to a toddler! “Don’t forget to take a coat.”…”Be careful that you don’t hurt yourself with that hammer”…”Let me explain to you how to do _________.”
Let’s keep in mind the Bible’s instruction to wives in Ephesians 5:33, where God says “the wife must respect her husband”. Men crave the respect of their wives just like women desire to be deeply cherished. Don’t communicate disrespect to your husband by talking to him like he’s an ignorant or helpless child who needs a mother to guide him.
You might recall the opening theme to the original Superman TV series. The announcer proclaims that Superman is “faster than a speeding bullet”. Well, God has been showing me how a part of me is also faster than a speeding bullet….and can cause as much damage as a live round of ammunition. That part of me is my mouth!
You may have the same challenge as I did in my marriage to Raul. Do you often get impatient when your husband is trying to express himself and end up finishing his sentences? I did. Do you interrupt your husband when he pauses mid-sentence? I did. Do you sometimes jump in and tell him how he should handle something as he’s trying to explain a challenging situation? I did. Do you get frustrated with him and react with harsh, disrespectful words that you can’t take back? Hmmm.
Let’s pray that God would give us the ability to be good listeners, patient talkers, and respectful communicators! This is definitely God’s will for us, as revealed in James 1:19: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” The first step is to coach yourself at the beginning of a conversation with your husband. Remind your soul…”I will honor the Lord and my husband by listening quietly and responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…(repeat as necessary!!).
If you’re a wife and a mom….life can get pretty busy! If you’re a wife and mom and you work outside the home, well then life can be pretty chaotic and crazy!!
Sometimes in that busyness, a wife can get so caught up in work, and chores and children that she unintentionally ignores her husband! So, here’s something I did very intentionally as a wife over the years. When my husband entered the house after work, I tried to remember to actually pivot toward him and make eye contact. I even threw in a smile as an extra bonus! Sometimes, I even took the 3 extra seconds to run over and give him a little kiss. J
I know this isn’t rocket science, but a wife is often so intent on her children or cooking or cleaning, that she doesn’t even glance her husband’s way. That leaves him feeling unimportant and disrespected. Remember, respect is a really big deal to men. That’s why God instructs us in Ephesians 5:33, “The wife must respect her husband.”
So, give it a try. Make eye contact with your husband when he comes home from work, and actually, any time he enters a room you’re in. Smile. Make him feel happy to be in the same room you. He will feel more honored and respected. You will draw his heart to you and strengthen the bond between you. J
Have you ever had this thought…”I don’t respect my husband”? Honestly, I had that thought quite often in my first marriage, and because I didn’t FEEL respect, I didn’t ACT particularly respectful. Unfortunately, I just went with how I felt. I rolled my eyes at his ideas. I took control of most everything in our family because I didn’t think he was capable. I corrected him a lot. And…..after quite a few years, he turned to other women for validation.
I learned many lessons after that failed marriage. One of them is that a man desperately needs the respect of his wife. He needs to know that she believes in him and is FOR him. Now, this doesn’t mean she is supposed to ignore destructive and sinful choices in his life. No, she needs to gently, but firmly, confront him if he is caught in a pattern of sin. But, even then, she can be loving and kind and respectful!
In my 2nd marriage to Raul, I began pressing into this Biblical command (Ephesians 5:33) for wives to respect their husbands. And oh my, what a difference it made! He told me many times that he wouldn’t be able to tackle the things he was doing in life and for God if it weren’t for me being FOR him. In fact, he often got tears in his eyes when I treated him respectfully because it was a new thing for him as well…and he desperately craved my respect. All men do. Try it and see what happens in your marriage. Have you already tried it? How has it impacted your marriage?
You want a quick and easy way to show respect to your husband and improve your marriage? Just notice a few small things your husband seems to appreciate and then…..do them! What a concept! I mean, why wouldn’t a wife want to please her husband? Why wouldn’t a wife want to be kind and thoughtful? Colossians 3:12 tells us “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” So, if you could do just a couple things differently, in a way that your husband prefers, why wouldn’t you extend that kindness to him?
Let me give you some examples. My husband always insisted that if we loaded the dishwasher in a certain way, it cleaned the silverware better. (I didn’t think it made any difference!). But, I did it the way he liked…because it pleased him. I knew my husband loved it when I left a little note of encouragement for him on the kitchen counter at least once a week. So I intentionally did that every week. I knew my husband really appreciated a clean kitchen counter, so I tried to keep the counters tidy. Why wouldn’t I want to please him in such a small way? I’m not saying a wife should have no opinion and should simply be a doormat for her husband. But I think God would be pleased if we stopped only thinking of ourselves and started thinking a little more about blessing others…in this case, your husband!
How about you? Could you intentionally take note of a few things your husband really appreciates, and then actually do some of those things? It would make him feel respected. It would draw his heart to you. It would likely improve your marriage. Sometimes, it’s the little things…
I have taught women for a decade about the Bible instruction for wives to display a respectful attitude toward their husbands (Ephesians 5:33), but apparently, I have had problems over the years perfecting this myself! I still vividly remember an occasion about 5 years ago that underscored the problem. I was in the process of texting back and forth with two different women about a need within the Squadron of Sisters wives’ ministry…when my husband came into the room and stood in front of me for at least a minute. I didn’t look up right away because I just wanted to finish my text and be done with that task. My husband turned around and left the room, obviously a bit irritated. My thought was…”huh? What just happened?”
Later, I asked my husband why he was upset. In a nutshell, it turns out that he felt as if he didn’t matter to me. He felt that other things came before him. He had wanted to talk with me about something important and I didn’t even look up when he stood in front of me. He felt disrespected. Oops.
I spent some quiet, reflective time with God afterward, and I believe he showed me that respecting your husband means treating him with great honor. In fact, the original Greek translation of that word “respect” in Ephesians 5:33 means “to have reverence for” or “to be in awe of”. Wow! Those words seem applicable to how a servant would treat a king! Hmmm. Maybe God wants a wife to treat her husband as if he is as important as a king or prince. What if you tried an experiment this week? Would you be willing to attempt to honor your husband, and pay attention to your husband, as if he were a top official or a prince (without making it too goofy or weird!!). Are you willing to try this “respect experiment”? I can’t wait to hear how husbands will be impacted and how marriages may be changed for the better!
Did you know a huge majority of men struggle with feeling inadequate on almost every level? It’s true. Since God designed men to be leaders in revealing the nature of God, it’s to be expected that Satan would try to destroy that mission by making men feel like they’re not up to that challenge! Satan is constantly whispering to your man that he is a failure, that he’s not good enough, that he’s not smart enough, and that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a godly leader, husband, father or provider. These are all lies! Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that Satan is “the father of lies“.
Unfortunately, when a husband starts believing these lies, he often decides to either give up trying to be a good husband or he may numb out by using pornography or alcohol, or by becoming a workaholic.
However, a man’s wife has the ability to counteract the voice of Satan! Ladies, why don’t you start telling your husband that you believe in him? Tell him that he CAN do it. Let him know that you see good qualities in him. Remind him about his unique talents and spiritual gifts. Show him the respect that God commands wives to display in Ephesians 5:33. As you affirm him and esteem him, you may likely find that your man becomes more confident and becomes an even better man than he is now.
All men crave respect, and husbands especially crave the respect of their wives. In fact, the Bible even commands wives to respect their husbands! You can find this instruction in Ephesians 5:33. The question is: How can you offer respect to your husband in a meaningful way?
Here is one way to show your husband honor and respect. Ask his opinion about how he would like things to go in your home and in your marriage relationship, listen attentively, and actually carry out his requests that are within reason. When you do this, you are showing him that he matters! You are also carrying out another instruction to wives found in Ephesians 5:22 where God says “Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord”.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about. Have you asked your husband how he likes you to dress or fix your hair? Why not honor him by doing these things the way he likes? Have you asked your husband what’s most important to him when he walks through the door at the end of his workday? Would he like you and the kids to greet him at the door with kisses, or would he prefer to have 10 minutes of peace and quiet to unwind? Have you asked your husband how many activities he thinks is ideal for the children?
Ask him, listen to his opinion, and begin incorporating his desires into your routine. This will communicate respect, and when he feels your respect, your whole marriage relationship will likely improve!
Here’s something to ponder. The Bible instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33 to respect their husbands. But what does that really mean? Well, when I looked up the original Greek word for respect, it means “to be in awe of” or “to revere”. Oh my! I love my husband, but I confess I don’t usually treat him as if I “revere” him!
I wonder how my marriage would be impacted if I really sought to revere my husband? Hmmm. Well, first we need to better understand the word “revere”. Webster’s dictionary says revere means to treat with deferential honor or regard as worthy of great honor. Ok, I’m starting to get the picture.
Here’s how I’m going to try to press into this Bible instruction this week. I am going to strive to treat my husband as if everything he says is really worth my complete attention. Yes, I’m going to actually pay attention when he speaks and treat his thoughts, feelings and ideas as very important. That’s how a person should respond if they think someone is worthy of great honor. Are you doing this with your husband?
I wonder how your marriage and my marriage would be impacted if we started showing respect to our husbands (whether we FEEL like it or not)? I have a sneaking suspicion that our men would stand a little taller, feel more confident, enjoy emotional intimacy with us much more, and maybe even be more courageous in seeking to honor God!
You want to know a sure-fire way to soften your husband’s heart toward you? Be humble and quick to apologize when you have been disrespectful toward him! I say “when” instead of “if” you are disrespectful because ALL wives gravitate toward being disrespectful from time to time! Much of the time, we don’t even recognize that we’re being disrespectful.
Let me give some examples. You roll your eyes when he forgets to do something. You sigh dramatically and shake your head about his “cluelessness” when he doesn’t meet your expectations. You ask his opinion about something but then point out the flaws in his thinking. You might even be disrespectful by giving him the silent treatment when he fails to eagerly pitch in to help with the household chores.
When a wife acts disrespectfully toward her husband, he often hardens his heart toward her as a means of self-protection. So, if you would like to soften your husband’s heart toward you, ask God to help you catch yourself the minute you say or do something that communicates disrespect. Then, be quick to sincerely and humbly apologize. A powerful apology contains these words: “I was wrong to ….” and “please forgive me”. Your humility will go a long way in softening your man’s heart. Humility is a virtue we need to intentionally put on every morning. Colossians 3:12 puts it this way, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”