Marriage Missions International

What Your Husband Needs

Years ago there was a television commercial for a certain brand of car wax. In it a woman was getting ready to sell her car, which looked weathered, old, and dull —so much so that most people wouldn’t give it a second look. The woman realized how dull her car looked, so she used this particular brand of car wax on it. Voila! Her car shone like it was brand-new. It looked so good, in fact, that the woman’s affections for it were revived and she decided to keep it.

We and our relationships are a lot like that. When we treat someone as a valued gift and invest ourselves in his or her care, we build up that person’s feelings of self-worth and draw closer to them as well.

When a wife respects, nurtures, and affirms her husband, it deepens her love for him. On the other hand, when we don’t regard something as valuable and neglect it, our feelings for it begin to wane. At the top of any man’s list of needs is respect from his mate; God created men that way. He needs respect as much from his wife as he needs air to breathe.

A man who doesn’t receive respect from his wife is a man who begins to wither on the inside. He’s all right as long as no one is standing on the air hose running to the tank labeled Respect.

That is exactly why God calls wives to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33).

Some believe that respect is something we all must earn. But just like love, respect from spouse to spouse must be unconditional. This is what Scripture teaches: “Show proper respect to everyone … not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh” (1 Peter 2:17-18).

I’ve seen numerous instances in which a wife began to believe in her husband and showed him respect. The husband, in turn, began to change-both in his own thinking and beliefs and in how he treated and responded to his wife.

How can a wife show respect for her husband? Here are just a few examples:

• Express faith in his decision and ability.

• Leave him notes (men respond better to the written word) that tell him how much you value who he is as a person (and sometimes for his work).

• If he botches a task at home, don’t sigh, roll your eyes, and mutter at him; instead, thank him for trying.

• Make positive suggestions without demanding an immediate answer. Ask him to reflect on it for a while.

• Listen to his upsets and don’t take his anger personally.

• Let him vent when he needs to.

• Encourage him in areas where he doesn’t feel secure and let him know you stand behind him.

• When he makes a decision you’re not in favor of, listen.

• Talk about his positive strengths in front of the children.

• Praise him at least once a day.

• Discover the uniqueness of his personality and learn to understand him and communicate better with him.

• Accept his maleness and celebrate the differences that come from this.

Ask yourself which of these you did this past month in an effort to show your husband respect. Then ask yourself how you’ll find ways to do these things in the coming month and beyond.

Here’s a good example of a wife showing her husband respect, admiration, and love he needed from her:

One of the pastors I respected greatly was E.V. Hill, who served for many years as pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. When E.V. first began in the ministry, he was a hard worker who wanted to provide for his wife, but he was also a young preacher who struggled to make enough money just to pay for the necessities.

Pastor Hill’s wife appreciated his efforts to protect and provide for her, even though some months there wasn’t enough money to pay all the bills. One night, he came home and noticed immediately that the house was dark. When he opened the door, he saw that his wife, Jane, had prepared a candlelight dinner. He loved the idea, but when he went to the bathroom to wash up, he flipped the light switch and nothing happened. Then he went to the bedroom and tried the lights. Again… there was nothing. The entire house was dark.

He went back and asked his wife why the lights didn’t work. Jane began to cry and said, “You work so hard, but it’s rough. I didn’t have enough money to pay the electric bill. I didn’t want you to know about it, so I thought we would just eat by candlelight!”

Dr. Hill described this experience with deep emotion: “My wife could have said, “I never had this happen in the home I was raised in.” But she didn’t berate or blame him. Instead she said, “Somehow we’ll get these lights back on, but tonight let’s eat by candlelight.”

Our calling to love and respect is a calling regardless of what the other person does. It’s sacrificial. It’s in the scriptures. It works!

The above article comes from the book, One Marriage Under God: Building an Everlasting Love, written by H. Norman Wright, published by Multnomah. This is a book that will help you see things from God’s perspective, clarifying the institution of marriage as God originally created it—a beautiful committed, eternal bond. Dr Wright gives insights on: Whether you married the “right” or “wrong” person is entirely up to you… God has a good plan for every marriage … Your marriage needs to be re-created daily… The culture’s alternatives to marriage are destructive; God’s plan is flawless… The benefits of marriage are a carefully guarded secret… and “Me” or “We?”

— AND —

To help you figure out how to show respect to your husband, Jonathan wrote:

67 Ways to Make Him Feel Super Respected

— ALSO —

Yes, we realize that women need respect, as well. That’s another matter, which is covered in the “For Married Men” topic. But for wives, another article, written by Clayton and Charlie King, posted on the web site gives added insight into this topic which you may learn from as you read:



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45 Responses to “What Your Husband Needs”
  1. Thandi says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA) Thank you for your insight. I am a professional, Christian woman who’s wedding is coming very soon. I had a problem as a young lady with submission and respecting a husband. This stemmed from the feminist movement and all the 50/50 discussions going around everywhere. The Lord has truly refined me as far as this is concerned. As I sought His will for my life and His plan for me as a married woman. My thoughts and stiff-necked attitude need to be changed forever. When I was discussing with my partner his expectations for me as his wife, his top of the list, was respect.

    In my yielding to Jesus and His ways in my life, I prayerfully thank Him for finding me where I was and bringing me to His truth and light. And I ask Him to cleanse me and continue teaching me and leading me in this area of respecting my husband until all the lies, from the father of lies that are fed into women’s minds today, are completely purged from my being, through the blood of Christ and His grace and mercy. Thank you

  2. LT says:

    (USA) The list of suggestions here is helpful. In mending/healing not only my marriage, but myself, after abuse, I find myself looking at things differently, with all the fruits of the Spirit that only come from Christ (lack of fear, strength when needed, attempting humility too), but my discovery during this process is that I truly don’t know what respect, in a man’s eyes, is.

    I don’t know about any of the rest of you, but my version (the female version) of respect is WAY different from what his is. And in the same way, his version of "love" is very different from what mine is.

    There need to be more articles on respect with examples, like the ones above, because my true feeling is that men’s versions of respect is very different from what women’s is but in light of that discrepancy, there isn’t a whole lot of information out there to try and straighten us all out so a lot of us married people end up flailing around trying a lot of things that don’t seem to work.

    And if you combine that, with a man who has anger issues (thereby preventing him from being able to talk/discuss much without getting angry and wanting to end the discussion before anything has really been solved or before a meeting of the mind is reached), a lot of times articles are the only things a woman may have because her husband can’t or doesn’t know how to express what he wants and needs so no one wins – not the man or the woman. That’s rather frustrating.

    Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

    • Kara says:

      (CANADA)  I realize this was 2 yrs ago, but I’m reading it now, & so I’m commenting. Yes, LT, there should be a female perspective on this. There needs to also be a “How can a husband show respect for her wife?” With examples. For my use, I’ve replaced the he/him with they/them in most of the examples. Yes, more stories to illustrate a point would be helpful.

    • Malu from United States says:

      Read the book Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs… It transformed me and my way of interacting with men in general. It’s biblically based and had lots of examples. I had to call my ex husband and ask for forgiveness coz I was so disrespectful and I didn’t even know it at that time. It’s truly a must have and read it over and over again…

  3. Joann says:

    (USA)  LT, I see frustration in you, and I am sure you have very good reasons for that. Since I got married I have been looking for information on how to be a godly wife and I came to the conclusion that PRAYER IS THE KEY. Pray, pray, pray, God listens to the prayers of those who honor Him. How do you honor him? By obeying Him and doing what He has asked you to do as a wife. Respect, submission, love. Only with His strength you can do it and He will change your husbands heart, at his precious time. Nothing is impossible for God!

  4. LT says:

    (USA)  Hi Joann, Thank you for your response. I agree that prayer is definitely part of the answer. I believe that a lot more is necessary, too, however. Listening to God’s voice is necessary as well. I’ve been guided to many different resources in the form of articles and books as well (Christian resources).

    My original post of several months ago has since been confirmed. Women and men’s needs/wants do vary widely. I’ve been reading a few different books that are helping me in this area.

    My prayer life is strong, although there are days when I’m too exhausted, emotionally and mentally, to pray as much or as long as I need. It is on those days I say to God that I will let the Spirit speak for me.

    Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

    I know what this verse refers to from personal experience. Trying to recover (with God’s help, of course) from an abusive marriage, along with looking after a toddler, takes its toll on a person and on the days when I’m literally too tired to sit and think of what to day (and on some days I’m too frustrated and so I pray until my anger borders on sin in which case I have to hand it over to God lest I give in to sinful thoughts), I let the spirit moan for me, just as the above verse suggests.

    There are many verses in the bible and another talks about studying to be approved. I read scripture as well.

    As you mention, my husband’s heart may change. I believe it is important to note that it may change, not that it will. My husband still has to make his own choices. He has his own free will, which God has allowed him to have. But, as you say, if it is God’s will, then it will be God’s time. In the meantime, I change (attempt to change) what I feel necessary as well. That is the best approach that I have found when waiting on God’s timing for something.

    God does hear our prayers, not only that – he hears them before we even utter them. So I do agree that prayer is necessary for our spiritual walk, but I believe a lot more is necessary, too, to be a whole individual in God. This is my current understanding.

    I like the quote from a Jewel song, "If praying were enough it would have come to be." I used to think that were sacrilegious or something but now I see it in a much different light and agree with it. I think it’s saying that there’s a lot more than just prayer involved. We serve an active God and we have to be active at changing ourselves and doing whatever else we feel led by God to do.

    Just praying about the homeless being fed isn’t going to feed them. If someone feels a pull to help the homeless and they feel God is giving them the nudge, that would come from prayer. But the act of serving the homeless comes from that person getting up and actually going to do the act. Hope that makes sense. Thanks, again, for your response. God bless.

  5. Mirelle says:

    (ZIMBABWE)  WOW, I really needed to read this article. As a young woman also getting married soon, I noticed that my fiance and I are constantly at logger heads about the way things should go on our day. Reading through this article I realise that I was quickly losing respect and not affirming him in the way that I should. Instead I was pushing him away. Thank you MM. May God enlarge your readership, as I know that many women struggle with this problem.

  6. Alyssa says:

    (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  I read your comments on respect. I understand how much a husband desires respect. I am still being told by my husband that I don’t respect him. It is really starting to hurt to hear this. I meditate in God’s word and pray. I know deep down inside that I have the victory, but I’m starting to get tired of the persecution.

    I know that the Word says to rejoice. After sixteen and half years, it is starting to weigh on me. I know that my husband doesn’t mean to hurt me, he is just hurt himself. My husband grew up in a home that wasn’t very loving. He saw his dad treat his mom really badly. He also experienced bad (unloving) treatment himself from his dad. He even received it from his mom too. She took out on him her frustration that she had.

    He tried so hard to get them to approve of him. But good grades, a clean room, excelling in sports, and etc just didn’t give him positive attention, affection, or affirmation. I understand how devastating this was and still is for him. I thought that if I just loved and respected him that he would let go of the past and let God heal him. I thought that he would let God restore him. But all he has done is let the generational curse continue in his life.

    But he holds on to his hurt like it is a trophy. Now he acts a lot like the way his dad did. He admits to having very low self esteem. He also admits to knowing that he doesn’t love himself and goes on to saying that he knows that-that’s why he struggles with loving me and the kids.

    I always thought that if I just trusted God and kept quiet that my husband would love me like Christ loves the church. I have seen him love people around us who struggle with drugs, homelessness, prostitution, and so much else. I have seen him push so hard to do his best at work to get his bosses approval. I have seen him serve pastors only to be used by them.

    I so desperately want to be loved. I hide myself in Christ when it comes to my hurt, pain, loneliness, and etc. Another man is never a thought because I know that- that is foolish. I know that divorce isn’t the answer too. I have asked him exactly how can I show you respect and he tells me things.

    I make it my business to do those things, but he doesn’t want to see that as respect. He just counts it as me just wanting to say that I did it. I just want to have the man that I meet in college. My husband was so loving and considerate then. Can you tell me more practical ways that I can show him that I love him?

    And can I get you all to agree with me that he begins to see me. I mean see how I respect and love him — that he sees I understand how I see him and not reflex his feelings and thought on me.

  7. Cindy Wright says:

    (USA) Dear Alyssa, Bless your heart! I’m so sorry for the ways in which you are suffering in your marriage. That has got to be so very difficult and I want you to know that I (and others I’m sure) will be praying for you. You are not alone.

    Please know that being respectful of your husband does not mean that you have to bow down to abusive behavior, if that is what you are putting up with. It’s tragic that your husband suffered as he did while he was growing up and that he still suffers to this day. And I love your heart that you can see how it has changed him and still you try to treat him with love dignity, despite the ways in which he is hurting you.

    But there is a difference between being respectful towards your husband and giving him license to treat you in hurtful ways. You need to learn how to set proper boundaries to protect yourself (and also protect him from his own destructive behaviors) because if he is being abusive, abuse is wrong. It strips a person of their dignity as a human being. It’s not good for your husband to allow himself to give into his urges and behave this way and it’s not good for you to receive it. There ARE many things you can do to de-escalate situations and stop receiving such actions (and yet still be respectful in how you do them).

    I urge you go into the “Abuse in Marriage” section and read the articles we have posted. I think this will give you a clearer picture of what abusive behavior entails.

    Also, LT just posted a comment last night in the “Abuse in Marriage Links and Resource Descriptions” part of that section that I believe would be good for you to read (and also go into the link that she supplies to read what is written there by David in Psalm 101, and the corresponding comments on what we should not be a part of).

    Treating a husband with respect can still happen even though a wife refuses to give into abusive behavior. It is very difficult, but it can be done. That is why I also encourage you to contact Focus Ministries (if indeed you are suffering from abuse), which is an American-based ministry dealing with abusive situations. We have a link for it in the links part of that section. I believe they can help you with this.

    Somehow you need to learn how to put up certain boundaries so you protect yourself when you need to, but you do it in ways that don’t give in to being mean-spirited about it. Firmness and setting proper boundaries is still respectful — you just approach it differently. You don’t want to do what your husband has learned from his past to do to you (and needs to un-learn).

    I hope this is helpful and I pray the Lord ministers to the cries of your heart. I pray you can find the help you need and I pray your husband will eventually reach out for the help he needs. He obviously can’t do this on his own without first recognizing that he needs help and then getting it. Maybe this is the first step. I pray so. Please know that my heart and prayers are with you.

  8. Nancy says:

    (USA)  Dear all – my heart breaks for all these women who are so in love with their men that they are crying out to God for assistance. AH! The toll that sin has had on our hearts.

    My marriage of 3 years is on the brink and it is all because my husband says I don’t respect him. Trouble is, like many of you, I have no clue what I am doing wrong. I am a woman who, was only married 3 years the first time, and that marriage failed because I was not saved or he. There was an affair and he had another daughter. I was divorced for nearly 15 years, raised my 2 kids myself and am a successful professional.

    I met my husband, became Saved, and we married. He had endured a very difficult unhappy marriage for 20 years. Full of anger and deceit. Anyway, I am so used to doing things and making my own decisions – it has been very hard as I guess I have no clue how to respect a man properly. I am desperate to be a Godly wife but I have no idea how to do it… My prayers for all of you…

  9. Sydney says:

    (ZAMBIA)  I am a husband and one who feels like am not respected by my wife as well. I am an African and specifically a Zambian. The following are the ways I feel am not being respected:-

    1- If I feel my wife has offended me, then I need to talk and I expect my wife to remain quiet as I talk. That is considered respectful of a woman. If she has to answer back, then later and not there and then. And what is important is how she is going to approach the husband when she feels she’s been trampled upon.

    2- The wife should learn to ask for permission over small and even bigger things as this shows that the husband is on the “throne” and in itself a great deal of respect is shown to the husband.

    3-A woman shouldn’t show to the outside world what is happening inside their matrimonial home as this is regarded as being disrespectful. For instance, if a woman has been beaten by his husband in our tradition she shouldn’t let other people know that it’s the husband but that she had fallen or any other reason other than the husband.

    Remember I am an African with a different culture. Sydney

    • Quela says:

      (USA)  If you are a Christian then you should know it’s wrong to hit your wife. Step up to a man, not a woman.

  10. Steve Wright says:

    (USA) Sydney, I can well understand why you feel, given your reasons listed above, that your wife is treating you with disrespect. That would be my perspective as well if I held the same beliefs. But I see a different way of looking at it Biblically.

    I understand that what you have written is the way your culture approaches marital relationships. And I want you to understand that Cindy and I greatly respect your culture in many ways. However, when a culture goes against Biblical guidelines, then followers in Christ are to bow to God’s way rather than God bowing to the ways of the culture.

    A case in point is when Cindy and I visited the ruins of an ancient temple in the Middle East. The people of this temple used to sacrifice children to the one they believed to be their god to appease him for better crops. This was both the religious and cultural ways of the people who lived in that part of the world. What do you think the real Jehovah — the REAL God, felt about this practice? Do you think He bent to their cultural ways and gave it His approval because it was part of their cultural ways of doing things? Absolutely not. What about the cultural ways of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah… was Lot given permission to follow their ways above God’s? No.

    Normally, Cindy and I do not get into cultural and theological debates on this web site… We do not believe that is our role but rather to make this web site a platform for others to work through marital issues. But upon praying, we believe God has told us to give you “food for thought” as to how your statements relate to a Biblical marriage and to let Him work with that “food” for His good purpose.

    When Jesus came upon the earth, He came to “set the captives free” — those who were imprisoned by sin — also imprisoned by man’s standards rather than God’s, as well as wrong religious practices, and wrong cultural practices. It would take too long to go into all the specifics, but I trust God will show you what He wants to reveal in what I am saying.

    The problem is that man stands in the way of allowing these freedoms to be realized. For some reason, God is allowing much of this until the day of Christ’s return. But that does not mean that this is God’s intent for us to choose to live in this type of bondage. He gives man a free will and for that reason, we are bound by the choices that we and others often make… until the enemy of our faith is totally defeated.

    I say all this to say that when Christ came in the form of a man, we can see that He gave women a place of recognition that had not been practiced before. The barriers of a woman being treated as an object of little value or as an obedient child — with no voice in matters, were wiped away. As it says in Galatians 3:26-29, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

    Yes, a man is positionally still head of his home (just as a head of state ultimately has the last say), but he is not put in that position to be a tyrant. The husband is related in the Bible as the head of the home as Christ is head of the church. But you do not see Christ as a dictating tyrant — rather as a servant leader. You can see that as He washed the feet of His disciples and told them to do likewise. You also saw this when He sacrificed His life for their (and our) sin. He could have told us to be quiet and mind His ways and respect Him for it. But instead He lead by example as a “bond-servant” (as it says in Philippians 2) and calls us to do the same.

    When you read Ephesians 5, and you see the husband’s role in the marriage, you can see that you are responsible for the wife’s well-being. When you stand before God, you are to “in the same way” as Christ, to “present her” …”without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish.” What do you think it does to your wife’s spirit and her heart when you demean her heart and spirit by acting like a dictator on a throne, telling her when she has “permission” to speak — not to mention telling her to lie about the physical bruises you inflict upon her so you don’t look bad to them? Is that “presenting her” to God “without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish?”

    Sydney, I pray that you will prayerfully consider the statements you wrote above as to how you believe you should treat your wife. How do you think they line up with the God’s scripture that says, “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body” — are you caring for your wife with the same love as you do your own body and as Christ cares for His church? Does He allow us to speak and give views only when we are given His permission? Does He have us lie so He looks better? Does He “trample upon” His bride?

    Yes, your wife must treat you respectfully because of the position God has put you in with Christ, but are you acting worthy of that respect? You alone will be accountable to God for how you treat your wife no matter what she does and no matter what your culture tells you to do.

    May God speak directly to your heart and spirit on this matter. “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing” (1 Corinthians 2:4-6). Our prayers are with you.

    • Michelle from United States says:

      The only place I see in scripture where men are told that they are to be in charge of their household is here: (NIV, – From Esther 1:19-22 “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

      “The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.” This command is from a pagan king.

      As to the word translated “head” as in “of the wife” and “of the church”, I’m wary of understanding it in the American English way that means “boss” or “supervisor”. Looking back at the original language, it may mean “origin” or actually, literally, “head”. I do like a lot of what you have to say, otherwise.

  11. Harmony says:

    (KENYA)  Hi Sidney… I’m an African woman 25 years old and married. I respect our African culture very much, but just want to tell you that these are not the errors when we took those stuff from men. May God have mercy on you if you still believe in beating the wife. I would advise any woman to go to police or seek help if in domestic violence. In no case do I regard torerance to such behaviour as respect. The Bible is also not for such behaviors.

  12. C says:

    (USA)  These are wonderful thougts, but I do not believe that there are any women like this left in my country. Women here are taught from birth to be independant of men including inside the church. I have NEVER seen this preached in any church in which I have been a member…and I’m 50 years old. Talking about this brings only eye rolling and nervous laughter.

  13. Angel-R says:

    (PAKISTAN)  I’m a 22 year old girl and need to know, is it right to marry with a man who is double your age and twice married? Is it right to marry with a married man? He is a good friend, understanding, and I don’t find anything wrong in him but am confused. Will it be a right to make the decision to marry him as he is twice married and married with 3 kids and I’m single, never married before. Can anyone suggest or advise me on this?

  14. Rebecca says:

    (UNITED STATES)  Ok question, I need help answering!! I know what the Bible says about respecting your husband & also what it says about the husband loving the wife. I try to respect my husbands decisions, and in return he shows me love. The question I have is do you have to respect your husbands decisions even if he is not in church? He goes to church every once in a while and loves God. But is not totally a Christian. He chews tobacco, and just doesn’t go to church faithfully. So my question is this: how do you know your husband’s decisions are going to be the right ones if he’s not straight with God? PLEASE HELP!

  15. Candy says:

    (TRINIDAD)  I thank you so much Mr. Steve for that powerful and enlightening response to Sydney’s comment for I was unfortunately on the receiving end of a marriage such as he has described. Perhaps the “culture” he speaks of is the same as that of my husband. I was also brought up by my mother who taught me to demand respect from others just as I would give it… I have been married a bit over 9months now. My life before I got married was an independent one, i.e have your apartment, go and come as I wanted. So, it was extremely difficult for me to become a full time housewife and stepmother (4 of his kids live with us) not be able to leave the house without “permission”, not voice my concerns if I was not in agreement at that time. And worst of all was being hit while I was pregnant, face all swollen and to be told to never let any one know so as not to make my husband look bad in front of my family!!! Those were the toughest days of my life.

    I prayed so hard trying to come to terms with my situation. I considered running away but he never left the house for a few days… I even considered suicide, thank the Lord I grew up with strong Christian values that I turned that evil thought aside… I did not give up on prayer and I did not give up on God. This happened a few months ago prayer and faith however surely works.

    My husband has seen the error of his ways. He realizes also that our marriage cannot last under such strident conditions. It’s still a bit shocking to hear value my opinion and to not abuse both verbally and physically when he feels “disrespected”. The article 100 ways to love him his way has also helped me to appreciate his feelings more and to simply honor and respect my husband without him demanding it! I am happy that i logged on to this site already it has helped me to make so much wonderful changes in my life!!!

  16. Benedicta says:

    (NIGERIA)  I really thank you for this post. I’m a young lady who is near to getting married and I’ve always had this question on my mind “how can I show respect to my husband”? By virtue of my position in my family as the first child, I’ve been taking responsibilities and decisions practically for my siblings for most of my entire life and I’ve become so used to telling people what to do it has almost become second nature. I keep praying that this attitude of always being in charge and taking control will not be taken into marriage. I would truly love it if you can give more scriptural and practical ways in which a woman can totally and unconditionaly honour and respect her God-given husband and how I can be supportive of his decisions without questioning them. Thanks. May God bless you.

  17. Laura says:

    (USA)  No, I respectfully disagree, if a man needs and wants respect then he must also give it in order to receive it back. I am a woman that has been treated very disrespectfully and he thought the result would be to treat him better. Well, I can tell you all and I don’t mind saying so, that I did treat my husband with the dignity and respect that he deserved and all I got was a big fat ZERO.

    So, I began to dislike him, and the more that he treated me disrespectfully the more I treated him the exact way that he treated me. There is something to be said for a man that expects everything for nothing. So, my number one rule is this: If he wants to get a withdraw, he needs to make a deposit, cause if he treats me badly he should never expect anything in return, much less love and respect. You have to show love to receive it, and that goes for pretty much everything in life. You can’t manipulate and play a person and expect anything good to prevail.

    I respect myself too much to allow people to walk all over me. I have let him walk all over me too long now, and now I say if a man is winning about love and respect, he should look in the mirror and ask what he can do to change that. After all, if he is to be the head of the household than he should lead by example and quit wynning and lying about it. He is the man and it is his responsibility to love and nurture his woman if he wants to be loved and nurtured. What did he do to capture your heart to begin with? Yeah, he showed you love and respect to acquire your affections, and it did do the job, well. After you marry, that is not where it ends, in fact that is just the beginning, and it has nothing to do with money, or gifts or any materialistic gestures. It is purely the love and wanting to interact and have fun and be with you that counts, and that is what creates a loving relationship that gives back in the same way. Two people loving and caring for each other and nurturing each other.

    So, it is each side giving the same respect to receive it back. This idea that the woman is to do all the giving is a load of crap and I have to respectfully disagree. I will not ever be the only one giving ever again. Try giving love to someone that chooses to love someone else and then wants you to stay in the marriage and accept the other woman. That is nothing more than a selfish individual that only sees himself and no other.

    Women are like flowers. They need love and nurturing from the men they are with in order to give back and when treated well, they or at least I know for myself, there is no telling how much love is returned. In my situation, I feel sorry for the man that I was with, cause he will never again have anyone that loved him as much as I. So, it is his loss, not mine, and I hope that he has a wonderful life with whom ever he is with and I hope that he is happy.

    But he does not have the strength or the ability to be truthful about his wrong doings and continues to lie about the events that lead up to this terrible split. He has blamed every woman he has ever been with, and it’s always the same thing, “they cheated.” For many years I have heard him cry about the mean women in his life and how mean they were. Well, come to find out, it has been him in fact that has been the offender and it is him that has manipulated and caused the very pain and confusion that he cries about. He is his worst enemy.

    His mother stood by and allowed him to abuse me. I have done nothing but loved him and helped him, but when I wanted to express my opinion, it is he that gets mad and angry and tries to make me out to be the bad one. When I yell in frustration he tapes me so that he can solidify the very lies he tells. He then uses whatever he can to cover up the affairs that he has had and the very unlawful things that he has done.

    So, when you say that we women need to respect our men, think about what a man needs to do to receive that love and respect first, cause chances are if you want anything in this life you usually have to initiate something first. Well, that is it for my two cents. If I have offended anyone with my response, all I can say is it is my opinion and I don’t know you so don’t take it personally and you should try to see something from another point of view. In other words “deal with it.” I do and I don’t put anyone down for theirs, but I will say before you marry make sure your needs are being met as well, and don’t be afraid to express yourself, because you only live once. Don’t live the way someone else wants you to live. You may find the right person if you live the way you see fit. Respect others and most of all respect yourself and you should live a fruitful life.

  18. Laura says:

    (USA)  No one gets my respect until they give respect to me. And especially if the man in my life is treating me like crap. For all of you men out there, if you want respect than you need to give respect. Expecting respect just because you’re a man is sick and twisted. If you want my respect then you better show it. I am not a door mat, nor shall I listen to someone that is trying to push me into a life style that is all about men getting what they want and women getting stomped on and treated like crap. If you treat me bad you will receive nothing. If you treat me well I will reciprocate and return the love and respect that he has earned. Men need to get over themselves and get this. They are not the only living and breathing people in the world and beside every good man is a wonderful respectful and honest woman that deserves to be treated with respect. If men would get that then there would be no problems in this area. If I sound blunt then that is what it is, cause as far as I am concerned there has not been a man yet in my life that has been worth my love. Watch out cause when the right one comes along, I have been saving myself for that wonderful day. And when it happens, it will be bliss. I am not in this world to constantly serve a man without getting what I want in return. The world does not revolve around whining men, it revolves around men that are confident enough to know what a woman needs in order to get the respect they want. It is the simple stuff mom taught you as a child, “treats others as you want to be treated”, and by all means love yourself enough to stand up for what you want. And if some man says that you are not respecting him then ask yourself why, and I’ll bet ten to one that it is because of the way he is treating you. Don’t be swayed by all this. Go back to the ten commandments. I always give the benefit of the doubt, but I will never respect someone that does not respect me. This life is to short to waist it on some selfish person that does not care to find out why his wife does not respect him. marriage is a partnership and both people involved are equal. it does not mean that a woman can’t help her husband feel better about something or some issue and help him to regain his masculinity, how about a man helping his woman to feel better about a something or some issue, in turn she will love you forever. When I say help her, I don’t mean pick and choose things so that you can say you tried, I mean each and every day that you live. It is a constant never ending every day thing, and when you really love someone, it is easy and it is not an issue to do almost anything that would help. It is when men manipulate a woman to achieve a result that messes up the marriage and vise verse. Sometimes our up bring gets in our way, but that should not mean that a man or woman should just give up and go cheat. It is a job and when you get to a point where you understand each other and can come to the need and it is not taken the wrong way then you have truly achieved that closeness and connection that sustains a relationship. This again is just my opinion, and one formed from being with whining men that don’t have a clue how to treat a woman and how to be intimate with a woman. Gosh, if only they knew, they would be in ecstasy.

  19. Fabian says:

    (TANZANIA)  It is not a comment as such but I have problem with my wife. She is doing things as such she is not married. She can decide to take a loan without any information. Once she failed to repay and the secret become open. Recently she took a loan and she took my passport size and a letter with a forged signature. Not only that, she decided even to sell some of furniture without any consent.

    Sometimes she will decide to travel with no information. She is telling people that once I divorce her, she is going to kill me. This is a terrible statement to me. I even decided divorce, as I explained above taking loan without consent sometimes she takes money from the family without defined purpose. Is this a wife or a burden to me, although we have four children up to now?

  20. Scott says:

    (USA)  Question: Is this disrespect to me?

    I am a husband feeling there is consistent disrespect in my marital relationship (21 years of it now) and has led to feelings of general ambivalence. Other readers have raised questions of specificity. What defines respect/disrespect and it is in the eye of the beholder? Obviously communication is key, but when it breaks down and there are different ideas of respect/disrespect, there is no easy path to resolution (prayer is assumed here).

    Example: my wife has kept a journal her entire life and it continued during the marriage, but the journal is where thoughts and feelings are shared and when they involve me, it is only shared in the journal and not with me. I have always felt very disrespected (if not betrayed) by this behavior and have made it very well known.

    • CH says:

      (AUSTRALIA)  Having your own private space is not disrespectful. If you feel entitled to things that people in healthy, mature relationships aren’t entitled to, then you will feel disrespected. This is not a sign of being disrespected, this is a sign of warped thinking. Unless you get help to look into why you have such thinking, you will be resentful and display it in ways that will harm your wife, shut her down and cause you to feel even more disrespected.

  21. Adeline says:

    (USA)  How can you respect a spouse who deceives you? They don’t deserve respect and about the culture, African? There are many other cultures that the woman are treated like ‘nobodies’–I don’t agree on keeping quiet for the sake of the husband if he is doing wrong! I am outspoken and will not take crap from him. I will call him on every matter now and try to stand up for myself from years of emotional abuse (approx 15 years) without realizing it until recently with a pro therapist –she’s awesome! Finally a shrink that made sense and actually felt like they cared!

    So, it’s either accept his infidelities and ‘live with it’ or ‘leave’ so I’m finally choosing to exit this farst of a marriage! Girls, stay strong don’t let them get away with all the crap they’re trying pull on us–watching porno, having affairs, and flirting, Who needs someone like that?! There are some ‘good’ pure ones out there, so don’t give up the faith and hope!

  22. Cicilia says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  Thanks for the reading. It is straight to the point. I needed this because I’m turning 30 and getting myself ready for marriage. I used to argue with my boyfriend but I believe after this, I will show more respect that I never knew. God Bless you and your family.

  23. Olu says:

    (NIGERIAN/UK)  I am a Nigerian now living in the UK. I have been married for 38 years with children and grandchildren.

    The Bible first, lays the duty on wives to respect their husbands and it is followed with husbands love your wives. If it is followed that way, there will be happy home. If a wife respects her husband, he is duty bond to love and respect her also. We are all human and that fact needs to be recognised in us. Respect and Love is reciprocal. If we ever believe in the spirit of give and take then we will live a God fulfilled life.

    Where a wife respects her husband and he is not giving love back in return or a husband shows love to his wife and she is not giving respect back to him, then the up bringing must have been faulty on the side of the spouse that is failing in his/her duty to the marriage. I presume the two cannot fail simultaneously.

    Having said this, what is required is patience and faith in God. We can only achieve this (patience and faith) through prayers. The spouse that thinks he/she is doing his/her duty, should invest more in prayers to God to change the heart of his/her partner ‘from heart of stone to a heart of flesh’.

    Couples should be very mindful of the way they live their lives because it reflects in the behaviour of their children when they grow up in life. What I am saying in effect is that their own up bringing has been faulty and they should correct it now for their children to live a Godly life. And more importantly to break the circle of failed marriages in their line(s).

    God bless marriages. In Jesus Name, amen.

  24. Marie says:

    (USA)  I am so hurt. My husband says that he does not want to be married, but he still stays at home with me and the children. Most days he ignores me, but wants intimacy at night. He does not communicate with me after the intimate moments just tells me that he does not know if he wants to be married to me and has refused to contribute much of anything financially. I know that divorce is wrong. I am so hurt. What do I do?

    • DENISE from United States says:

      Hi. My name is Denise. I am 58 years old and yes, I am a Christian, along with being called by God. My husband is a preacher. He is so controlling. We have been married for 3 years now. We have never stayed in the same household for a whole month since we’ve been married. He is always raising trouble about something. He is back and forth between me and his daughter. He is belittling me all the time and doesn’t want to ever do anything, except for his family, he will go out for them. He is always saying he is the head but how can one be the head when they have not taken on the responsibility?

      I know it is wrong to get a divorce… I know that. When I tell you this man is so toxic, he is just that. But I know God doesn’t want me to be unhappy either. I have tried and tried for the last three years. I have prayed about it and he is the same way. I would always take him back and we stay together for about 2 weeks and there he goes again, running to his daughter’s. He doesn’t pay any bills. So what is a sister to do? I can’t take anymore of his madness.

      • Cindy Wright from United States says:

        Denise, I’m so sad for you that your husband has been treating you this way. This is not what marriage is all about… at all! I’m sorry you find yourself in this place in your marriage. The best thing I could recommend to you is to contact the ministry of Focus on the Family. They have counselors on staff who could possibly point you in a better direction. They have a ministry at thriving that reaches out to help pastors and their families. So, as a pastor’s wife, you have the ability to get some special help in ways that you most need it. Please go to their web site and go into the “Contact Us” section to reach out to them in the way that it will best work for you (whether calling, emailing, or whatever). I believe they can give you some insights that will be wise, because they truly do understand the dynamics of the pastoral family. I hope this helps.

  25. Matt says:

    (USA)  I’m not sure if this will make it on the board but I am a man who emotionally, verbally, physically abused his wife. We were together for 5 years. The relationship was far too complex for me to describe in detail but maybe my thoughts/reflections can provide some insight.

    *Please note I am not trying to be dismissive, shift blame, or somehow make excuses for things I did. My behaviors and actions were of my own choosing and I take full ownership of the pain and hurt I caused.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Yes Matt, We’d welcome your reflections… as long as they don’t condone abusive behavior. However, you might want to post it within one of the articles in the “Abuse in Marriage” topic. But you will know if that would work out best or not.

  26. Mary says:

    (USA) I got married very young age 21 years old, had one child from my 1st husband. Was married only 2 years, not because I was not a good wife or hard working women, but because I would not let him control me. He started going out on me, having marital affairs out of our marriage. I would say I was very independent. I got on my own at a very young age of 16 years.

    I got married to my 2nd husband after being single for 8 years. My second husband and I were married for 9 years; he was a very good and hardworking wonderful husband. Full of love and romance, But most of all with so much respect. We had a wonderful son together. All that change one Tuesday morning back in 1991. He went to work and never came back. He saw my values as a wonderful wife, and a hard working women, and mother of two wonderful boys. He was everything a woman would ask for in a marriage. He would never call me any names, even when I had my stressful days.

    Today, I have been married for the last 15 years to my 3rd husband. For the last 13 years, my husband and I have had these big hateful fights and lots of bitterness from our past. We call each other very bad names. And, yet I can say that I am a good Christian woman. I get up each morning around 4:30 am, pray and talk to my Lord- read books to help me understand why my marriage is not working out. When we have big fights, he throws it in my face about what a good Christian women I am. There are times that I would like to stop reading the Bible or stop praying. I knowing that God is hearing me. I know he is not going to put more on me than what I can handle in my marriage. God knows that I am try very hard to work this out, but it works both ways. My husband drinks and smokes a lot, which I hate. I try to have a drink with him to make him feel that I am part of his life. It is wrong! I don’t know.

    I have been my husband’s back bone for the last 15 years, moved away and sold my home when we first met. I work long hard hours and come home to make dinner for my husband for the last 15 years just about every night. He comes home to a very nice and clean home, washed clothes- very neat indoors. I take his clothes to the cleaners each week. I mow the lawn for him, take out the trash. I am the handyman around the home, so our home looks nice at all times. I even wash his truck at times. I am a woman who knows how to be resourceful with the things we have. I am frugal with our money and can budget very well. We have a wonderful home, nice cars, etc. I know my husband is working long hours, and the days he does take off- he can go and play golf or take the family boat out for the day.

    Ok, I understand he is under a lot of pressure at work, but he has a family as well. He comes home, starts to drink and smoke. He does not see my needs as a women or values, does not stop and say “Hi how are you, how was your day” no Hi kiss, or anything.” This is what makes a women very bitter and hateful. I know one thing we do not respect each other, we have so much hate inside of each other! You ask yourself, what I have done, why is he so cool? Are there other women in this field? All I really would like to have in my marriage is to be loved and respected as a wife. One thing about my husband, he does not see my value or share any of my feelings.

    Okay, can anyone tell me what is a really going on with my husband? I have tried everything. After going through so much in my life- I just ask myself, would it be best to be single? I am 52 years old. My daughter is in her last 4 years of school. Is it time to move on?

  27. Brian says:

    (USA) Can you repost this one on facebook so I can share it.

    Thank You

  28. Winnie says:

    (USA) How can I respect a husband who is an alcoholic and gambles away money?

  29. Sunita says:

    (INDIA) Thanks for your suggestions to be a good wife and create a strong bond with my husband. My marriage is of two years only and there is alot of tension in our relationship. It is very difficult for me to stay in this relationship. But in our Indian culture after marriage separation is not possible. So I will try to be a good wife with the help of your suggestions.

  30. Musa says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA) I believed in 50/50 but it almost killed my marriage. I have changed and am giving him the respect that he deserve as a man.

  31. Bridgett says:

    (UNITES STATES) I dont know where to start. I grew up watching my dad abuse my mom, my little brother, and me, so at the age of 18 I married my first husband who was 34. He was sweet and loving when I met him but that all changed after we married. He began to abuse me in all ways possible; he did not allow me to work, we had 2 children together and he did not help at all with them.

    He abused pills and beer and he called me every name in the book. He threatened to kill me, he kicked me and my kids out plenty of times. I always came back because I didn’t think I could do it on my own. But 8 years in after serving him hand and foot, I left and divorced him. A year later I married my husband of today and he has a smoking problem. He is disabled AND he is abusing me also but I love him and feel he needs me so I put up with it but he is telling me now either I bow down to him or he is leaving me.

    I do not know what to do; I dont feel like I should have to bow down to him when he does not respect me; he spits on me and tells me he hates me all the time. I do love him and dont want to lose him but feel like me and my 2 children deserve better….Prayers needed.

  32. Jean from United States says:


  33. Kaye from United States says:

    Please pray for me. I want to be always faithful to my husband, in my heart and mind. I tend to be weak at times.

  34. Stuckman? from United States says:

    What are you supposed to do when your wife (I feel like) rejects her Christian role as the wife and what her responsibilities are. She does work part time. But she doesn’t cook or clean. When she does cook, or provide dinner in any way, our children never eat healthy and it’s usually late at night around 8pm. Her mother comes over twice a week to watch our kids while we work, and has to work her tail off just to “pick up” and do laundry that my wife has let pile up.

    She creates little messes and does not clean up after herself or the kids, which become large messes. Her favorite past time is pretty much just plopping on the couch and watching TV AND being on her phone/social media most of the time. She might have sex with me once a month and she rarely shows me any signs of respect. My appearance, my opinions, even on the things that I am very knowledgable about she will dismiss… Until someone else she knows makes the same point.

    She does activities with the kids here and there, but nothing strenuous. On her days off she won’t even make the kids go outside to play because that would mean she would have to get up and go outside too. And she is very defensive about it all. Anytime I bring these things up she gets defensive and angry. And yes I have tried different ways of approaching the situation, same reaction.

    As far as myself, I feel like super dad. I clean up after myself, I watch the kids while attempting to work from home every Friday. And then I also have them all day Saturday, which gives me one day to do the household man chores like keeping up with the house and yard and trying to fix things. She makes me feel guilty for needing to go and do even these things! Like she needs my help with the kids 24/7???

    I do about 400% more than all of the husbands we are friends with, but it goes unnoticed. I appreciate the things she does do and always point it out and say thank you. On top of all of these complaints, she takes on more extracurricular hobbies that take her outside the home. He “exercise routine” keeps her away from 6:15 pm – 7:45 pm 2 nights a week and then she volunteers to coach cheerleading even though our daughter isn’t even of age yet! So I would cook our kids dinner (when I get home from work at 6 pm, but she never goes to the grocery store)! Our kids live off of frozen chicken nuggets, fish sticks and fast food 75% of the time.

    This is appalling to me, their health is at risk. Our 3 yr old isn’t potty trained yet because she barely works with him. I want my kids to be raised a certain way and she undermines me when I try to teach them discipline in the area of table manners and such, treating me like I’m just being some sort of jerk.

    All of this is becoming too much for me to handle. I’m unhappy in the marriage and she doesn’t care to change. God doesn’t want us to divorce and my happiness isn’t his concern; I believe my holiness is. But if she isn’t respecting me and my wishes and feelings and sex needs why should I stay, other than my kids of course?

  35. ULOMA-DAVID from Europe says:

    I am a Nigerian woman, and I’m married to the most wonderful man on earth, a God-fearing and Holy Ghost filled man, a man whom I could describe as good news any day.

    While growing up, I noticed that a lot of things were going wrong between my parents. My mother was never respectful to my father, and a whole lot more. After seeing all those abnormalities, I decided I was never, ever going to toe my mother’s line. I love my husband so much, and I respect him. I pray to God to help me love and respect my husband even more each day. I love your blog; it’s wonderful. God bless you.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Well said. Your husband is blessed to have you, and it appears that you are blessed to have him. I hope you will continue to encourage others to love and respect each other, as God would have us. May the Lord bless your union abundantly!

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