In Connecting with Your Partner, Featured, Level of Marriage Relationship, Time to Make Your Marriage Dance

What Does Respect Look Like?

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

We were discussing Ephesians 5:33 in our marriage group. The verse says: “Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” This post deals with showing respect to your husband, and we’ll save “love his own wife” for next week.

What exactly does respect mean? In the military, you show respect to a commanding officer by addressing him as “Sir.” That seems awkward at best and not in keeping with the full context of the passage. “Respecting someone’s wishes” means you defer to them; you don’t violate what they want. That doesn’t seem to capture it either.

What Does Respect Mean?

We decided to ask the men in the class what respect meant to them. Here are some of their answers:

“I feel respected when you show me admiration. I like it when you ask for my opinion.”

“I want your opinion, but I don’t feel respected when you challenge beliefs that I feel strongly about.”

“Respect has a lot to do with how you say something. What tone of voice are you using? What is your body language communicating? What is your demeanor?”

“I love to hear the words, ‘I trust you,’ and feel respected when you say them.”

I feel respected when you mention my strengths and not just my weaknesses.”

“Sometimes I have hard decisions to make. Sometimes I mess up. Respect is knowing you have my back.”

“I don’t appreciate being cross-examined. Thank you for the times you just believe what I say.”

There you have it. Thank you to the brave men in our group for being vulnerable and honest. Sometimes us well-meaning wives think we are being helpful and don’t understand we are cutting you to the quick. I know I speak for the wives in our marriage group and probably all our readers when I say that we desire to respect our husbands. Forgive us for the times we have failed to show that respect.


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