In Ephesians 5:33, the Bible says that husbands are to love their wives, and that wives should respect their husbands. This is actually a very popular Bible verse, especially when one is talking about marriage. Many Bible scholars, pastors, preachers, and teachers have studied this verse and discussed it at length. I have also researched this verse, and I have come to understand that respect isn’t something that I fully understand, but it is very important to my husband and to my sons.
When asking other women what they think about this verse, many say that they desire to respect their husbands, however some do not feel that he deserves their respect. Many women have told me that they feel they would respect their husbands if only he acted worthy of respect.
After hearing their story I can begin to understand that feeling, but after looking at Ephesians 5 as a whole chapter, I have to realize that I am commanded to do far less than my husband is command to do. My husband is called to lay down his life for me. He is responsible for being my spiritual leader by washing me with the word of God. He is also commanded to present me to the Lord as spotless and blameless, meaning that when he is confronted by God, and whether he likes it or not, God will hold my husband accountable for his leadership regarding me. That alone deserves the greatest respect.
Here are four reasons why you should respect your husband, whether he earns it or deserves it, and even when you don’t feel like it:
Because Everyone Deserves Respect – Especially Your Husband
Every human on this Earth deserves the basic measure of respect, but your husband deserves much more. Your husband is charged with greater responsibility than you are as a wife. Whether he is living up to that responsibility in your eyes or not, he deserves your respect simply for being your partner in this marriage. Allow your husband to take the lead more often, and with less criticism. I think you’ll soon begin to feel far more respect for him than you ever have.
Because Respect Is Misunderstood
Respect to your husband can be many things. In fact, what speaks respect to your spouse may be completely different than mine. One thing that respect does mean is trust. When you trust your husband, he will feel respected. Trust him to lead your family, to do the hard things, and to make the difficult decisions. Respect can look like many things, so take the time to ask your husband what you can do to make him feel more respected.
Because Respect Is Important to Him
I once heard a woman say that she would respect her husband once he actually deserved her respect. In translation what he actually hears is: “I will love you when you are worthy of love.” Imagine if your husband said that to you, and if he judged your every comment, thought, feeling, or decision before deciding if you are worth loving. When you respect your husband, you are actually communicating your love to him in a way that he understands. He will struggle to meet your deep need for love when he is not feeling respected by you.
Because Respect is Commanded
Sometimes in life we find ourselves at a stalemate. You may feel that you can’t give your spouse the respect he deserves and that he requires because he does not act like the Ephesians 5 husband. The Bible does not say that we should give our husbands respect when he gives us love. Instead we are commanded to give respect no matter what. It might seem like an impossible task, but you can change your entire marriage by following the command to respect your husband.
Once you give your husband the respect that the Bible commands, you will soon begin to see your relationship change into the beautiful marriage God intended. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead for us. He went through all of that for us, and He also knows what is best for us so we should listen to His commands. We must trust Him by faith that He has our best interests at heart, and do what we are called to do. The universal law of sowing and reaping can be an interesting thing. By creating a pattern of respect for your husband, you will ultimately be triggering a mechanism in his heart that will cause him to respond to you in the loving way that God knew all along you desired.