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?”
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To help you figure out how to show respect to your husband, Jonathan wrote:
— 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 Crosswalk.com web site gives added insight into this topic which you may learn from as you read:
— AND —
To help husbands show wives how to feel loved and respected, Jonathan wrote the following tips (which we link to below and also in the “For Married Men” topic in the article, “Taking Care of What You Love”):