“Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him, and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.”
Friend to Friend
I’ve been shut up, shut down, shot down, ridiculed, disregarded, overlooked, over- booked, and overwhelmed…I know I was made for a reason. I know that, in God’s eyes, I count. So, I simply want to find someone who believes in me.
No, these are not the lyrics from the latest country song. They are the lament from one of the men who answered my survey of what they were looking for in the woman of their dreams. It seems Aretha Franklin isn’t the only one who wants a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t these days. One area that rated very high when I surveyed hundreds of men was their longing for RESPECT. Webster’s dictionary defines respect as the special esteem or consideration in which one holds another person or thing, the state or quality of being esteemed, to feel or show consideration to. It’s the one thing a happy husband can’t do without. It’s the one thing that all men long for…married or single.
In the Bible, Paul wrote to both men and women about their various roles in marriage. In the book of Ephesians he wrote, “Each one of you (men) also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33 NIV).
Now, that doesn’t mean that husbands don’t have to respect their wives or wives don’t have to love their husbands. I believe Paul was summing up what was paramount for both men and women. We want to be loved and cherished just like men want to be honored and respected.
Another reason I believe that Paul admonishes wives to respect their husbands is because he knew that after years of mistakes, poor choices, wrong decisions, and smelly socks, respect may not come naturally for a wife. It may well take an act of the will empowered by the Holy Spirit.
But how do you respect someone who vegetates watching TV all the time? How do you respect someone who sits around waiting for the right job to come along when you’re working yourself to death trying to keep food on the table? (You may need to stop and quietly put that responsibility back where it belongs.)
How do you respect someone who apparently has no respect for himself? It may seem impossible, but as the angel asked Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14). The same God who parted the sea for the Israelites to walk across on dry land, who caused the walls of Jericho to fall with a shout, who kept Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from even a hint of smoke as they exited the fiery furnace, who caused flesh to reappear on the rotted hands of lepers, who made a man blind from birth see, and who raised Lazarus from the dead—that same God can give you the power to respect your husband. It all begins with prayer and follows with obedience close behind. There is “incomparable great power” available to those who believe (Ephesians 1:19).
In the Bible, power always follows obedience.
- As soon as the high priests crossing the Jordan placed their feet in the water, the river parted (Joshua 3:15-16).
- As soon as the rotting lepers turned toward Jerusalem to tell the priests they were cleansed, their skin began to heal (Luke 17:14).
- As soon as Namaan dipped into the river seven times as the prophet Elijah had commanded, his leprosy began to disappear (2 Kings 5:14).
The miracle didn’t come before they obeyed, but after they obeyed. Do you want to see a miracle unfold before your eyes like an unfurling rose? Obey God. An amazing thing happens when we begin to show respect to our husbands. They begin to act respectable.
Let’s go back to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. I love how the amplified version expounds on Ephesians 5:33. “Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him, and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.” What a power-packed verse!
Friend and fellow author, Carol Ladd, said, “Respect is wrapped up in the beautiful paper of kind and gentle words and tied with the enormous ribbons of a loving spirit.” It is one of the most beautiful gifts a wife can give.
Let’s Pray (For Married GiGs)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for my husband. Help me, in all areas of my life, to be the wife that he needs. Help me to respect, revere, regard, honor, prefer and esteem him greatly. Not only that, but help me to show it in my words and actions so that there is no doubt in his mind just how much I love him.
In Jesus’ Name,
Let’s Pray (For Single GiGs)
Lord, even though I’m not married, I can show respect to the men in my family. Show me ways I can honor my brother, my son, and my father. And Lord, I pray for my Girlfriends in God who are married. Help them to be the wives that you have called them to be.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
During the reign of King David, he brought the once-captured Ark of the Covenant back to Israel. It was one of the grandest moments in his life. Read the account recorded in 2 Samuel 6 and answer the following questions:
How did David’s wife, Michal, react to his outward demonstration of praise to God (6:16-20)?
What was David’s response to her? (6:21)
What was the outcome of her disrespect? (6:23)
What can we learn from her lack of respect?
More from the Girlfriends
February is the month of love and a wonderful time to contemplate marriage. Do you want to become the woman of your husband’s dreams? The woman who makes him sorry to leave in the morning and eager to come home at night? I have several marriage resources to help you do just that, and I’m offering them at a Valentine’s Day Bundle over at my website. The bundle includes my latest book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge!