“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything…and the wife must respect her husband” – Ephesians 5:21-24, 33
If there’s one thing husbands need from their wives, it’s respect. I’m sure this is not the first time you’ve heard someone say that. Pastors, authors, speakers, and counselors talk all the time about how wives respecting their husbands is absolutely vital to a successful, thriving relationship. Even Paul makes this point in Scripture as he wraps up the fifth chapter in Ephesians talking about marriage, saying, “the wife must respect her husband” (v. 33).
So what does that respect look like practically? Well, one way a wife can show respect to her husband is by believing in him and supporting him. In Genesis 12, we read about how Abraham took his wife, Sarah, and all of their people and possessions on a journey to the land of Canaan. This might not seem like a big deal, but I would encourage you to read between the lines here. Sarah followed Abraham. She supported him. She lined up with him. A woman can communicate respect to a man by coming alongside of him and following his lead. In doing so, she shows that she believes in him, and that goes a long with a man.
Another way wives can show respect to their husbands is by seeking to understand them. God created men and women to be different, and therefore they think, communicate, and interact differently. So when a wife makes the effort to understand her husband, even when he has a difficult time expressing himself, it shows that she is trying to respect him. We all know that guys aren’t always the best at expressing themselves, regardless of how spiritual they are or how in love with Jesus they are. Men just express themselves differently than women do. But when a wife realizes that her husband is doing the best he can to communicate with her, and she makes the effort to understand and embrace his differences, she will in turn show her husband the utmost respect.
Ladies, if you’re married, I would encourage you today to ask yourself if you are taking these practical steps to show your husband respect. Are you believing in him and supporting him? Are you following his lead? Are you seeking to understand him? If you’re struggling with any of these, ask the Lord today to begin to help you grow in these areas in hopes that you develop even more respect for your husband. And if you’re a lady reading this and you’re not married, I would encourage you to pray and ask God to help continue to grow your respect for the other men in your life. Just as Ephesians 5:21 says, we should all “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” and showing respect to our brothers in Christ is one way to do so.