However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. – Ephesians 5:33
Having grown up in a traditional south Indian household, I knew I was expected to respect my husband when I got married. And yet, a part of me didn’t want to do it. I would respect my husband only when I felt he deserved it, or if he had done something nice for me. It was no wonder that our marriage was a struggle.
Being a teacher, I was critical of everything my husband did. He always fell short of my expectations. Whether it was the way he took care of our baby, the way he did the household chores, or the way he handled our finances, it was never good enough for me. I didn’t trust him or respect the decisions he made.
Fast forward a few years, and I learned what it meant to respect my husband unconditionally. And let me tell you, it has completely transformed my married life. I started showing my husband unconditional respect, and he in turn started showing me unconditional love. The change did not happen overnight, of course; it was a gradual process. But it worked! Today I’d like to share with you some pointers on what respecting our husbands really means.
It should start from your heart.
Respecting your husband is a choice you have to make. You need to have the desire to respect and honor your husband from your heart. Ask yourself if you really have that desire. Do you really want to respect your husband?
It should be genuine.
Your respect needs to be genuine. If you fake it, you will not be able to sustain it for a prolonged period of time. Your husband will be able to see through your facade and identify your made-up respect. Make sure you genuinely respect your husband. If you do, you will be able to keep it going no matter how long it takes.
It should be expressed.
Your husband is not a mind reader. If you respect him, you need to let him know it as well. Say the words out loud; let your kids, your friends, and your extended family know how much you respect him.
It should be evident.
Not only should your respect be evident in your words, it needs to be expressed in your behavior, your tone, and your actions as well. A loud sigh, an exaggerated roll of the eyes, or a curt answer are all signs of disrespect. Make sure you curb your behavior and respect your husband through your words and actions.
It should be consistent.
It is one thing to respect your husband when everything is fine and dandy. But what happens when trials come? A sick child, a looming work deadline, or a layoff can easily trigger feelings of disrespect. But it is in those seasons of adversity that your husband needs your respect the most. I’m not talking about playing to your husband’s ego here, but genuinely believing in him and supporting him no matter what.
I’m actually walking through a similar phase in this season of my life. My husband has been out of work for the past 7 months, and also went through a period of painful sickness in between. At those moments when he felt ashamed for being jobless, it was up to me to reassure him that I believed in him. It lifted up his spirit when I said aloud how much I appreciated him. This difficult period has brought us closer than the previous 10 years of our marriage. So now, I thank God for this difficult season because I think our marriage needed it.
I know that in most marriages, the wife’s attitude can make or break the husband’s determination. You need to believe that your husband always has your family’s best interests at heart. And he needs you to stand by him to make it happen.
Unless you are living with an abusive husband, you have no excuse not to respect your husband. And when you keep showing him respect, you will get real love in return. Stand by your husband; let him know how much you appreciate what he’s doing for the family. And over time, you will start seeing small changes that will make you fall in love with your husband all over again.
Read more from the series here…
School teacher turned internet marketing consultant, Sunu Philip is a Certified SEO Specialist. She founded “Clothed in Scarlet” to help women discover their unique God-given strengths and turn their talents into profits online. She is also the author of 31 Days to Start an Online Business eBook. She offers subscribers a Free Online Business Startup Kit to help them start their online business from scratch. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.