For a woman, respecting her husband, especially when she feels he doesn’t deserve it, can be a really difficult thing to do. As his wife, she has to be intentional about giving him respect when her emotions are running high and her marriage hits a rough patch. If she is a woman of faith, she shows him respect as a matter of obedience to God’s word. However, this becomes even more challenging when society, often times in the form of her besties, says she should treat him otherwise.
In the early days of her marriage, a wife is usually unaware of what showing her husband respect actually looks like. Often times, there is a gradual shift as she drops some disrespectful habits and works her way through to obeying her half of Ephesians 5:33. This scripture, which says in part “the wife must respect her husband,” can help the couple eliminate friction that builds as a result of a lack of respect.
Now, wives, I need you to keep yourselves in check. I’m pretty sure that some of you might get sidetracked by the first part of that scripture which asks a husband to “love his wife as he loves himself.” Your marriage only works when each of you does your part. As such, here are some ways you can show respect to your husband Aretha Franklin style:
Don’t nag, condemn or unjustly criticize him.
At any point in your marriage that you notice that you react rather than respond to your husband, you need to check it. If you have respect for him, you will never nag or speak in an unruly manner to him. You should speak loving and encouraging words into his life, or better still, not speak at all when your emotion is high. Catch yourself before you are seen or heard arguing with him or making condescending comments. If you disagree or have questions, try asking them in a polite manner for clarification, rather than bursting out in anger. No matter how angry you might feel, refrain from haphazardly raising your voice and losing control. When communicating with him, the point is to communicate so choose your words wisely to ensure that they express your message respectfully.
Avoid treating him like a child.
There is nothing a man hates more than to be treated like a child. If you respect him, don’t attempt to rescue him from the repercussions of his poor decisions. Allow him to take charge like the adult he is and offer constructive advice if he asks you. Many times, when communicating with you about the challenges he is going through, he really needs a listening ear more than a smart mouth.
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Don’t interrupt him when he is talking.
Biblically speaking, a great way to show respect is to “be quick to listen,” and “slow to speak,” especially when you are not expected to speak. When your husband is sharing his thoughts and feelings with you, your attention gives him the feeling that his thoughts matter and his feelings are relevant. As such, your ability to refrain from interrupting him when he’s speaking his peace shows not only your interest in the conversation but your respect for his manhood.
Let the final decision stand.
Okay, real talk. There are times in a marriage when your opinion on a matter completely opposes his line of thought. It is okay to disagree with him since you undoubtedly see things differently at times. However, unless you have serious reservations on any topic – your safety, your family, your finances or anything else, you should support the decision the two of you arrive at together, even though you may not fully agree. This can be extremely tough to do, but there are lessons to learn for both of you in this process. Your husband needs to feel the weight of being the head of the household. As for you, well, playing a supportive role is a way to show him respect.
Speak good of him to others.
Irrespective of any misunderstanding between you two, don’t bad mouth your man to a third party, be it family members, friends or acquaintances. You should always guard your husband’s reputation even when he does things that you don’t like, or that hurts.
Rather than vent your frustrations and disappointment about him or your marriage to other people, you should compliment and praise him whenever possible. Don’t fall into the trap of exposing his weaknesses or faults to friends on social media, or in public. If you have to speak in public about him, it should be something nice, not an underhanded praise, but honest and true encouraging words. This is one of the most powerful ways to validate the respect you have for your husband.
Marriage without respect cannot thrive, and showing respect can be very challenging sometimes. But if you take the time to “find out what it means” to your husband, then giving him his r-e-s-p-e-c-t won’t be as tough as you think.
BMWK wives, how do you give your husbands r-e-s-p-e-c-t?