R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Today’s Truth
“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”  (Ephesians 5:33 AMP).

Friend To Friend
I’ve been shut up, shut down, shot down, ridiculed, disregarded, over looked, 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 surveys 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 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.

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).    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 our husbands 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 within.

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).  As soon as the rotting lepers turned toward Jerusalem to tell the priests they were healed, 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 a multi-petaled rose unfurling?  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
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,
Amen.

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?

I’d like to hear your thoughts.  I know this is a highly charged topic among women.  Log on to my Facebook page at and tell me your thoughts.

More From The Girlfriends
February is the month of love and a wonderful time to contemplate our marriages.  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?  Then you’ll want to read Becoming the Woman of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes for an insightful look at the wonderful, unique, and God-ordained role only you have in your husband’s life.

10 Responses to R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  1. Broken February 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    I read your devotion from today and it touched my heart deeply. Because I believe I don’t respect my husband as much as I could. I have been broken, physical, mentally and emotionally by him for eleven long years and been forced to accept two outside children by two different women while we were married. And yes we had children of our own at the time a boy 9 and a girl 5. And now he says he wants to love me again but he does not show that in actions only words. He wants me to put all my hurts and pains aside, like they never happen. I have come to realize over the many break-ups and disappointments and same cycles I have never healed properly. I know I must move on but getting there is the problem. I want him to realize and show me without a shadow of a doubt that he will love and cherish me forever. That he will be a husband and father that he has never been to us, but for some odd reason he thinks he has. We both go to church now, I was the only one for the longest going to church just to deal with the things going on in my life and God really did show himself in my life. Now my husband does go to church and a weekly men’s group. Sometimes I feel my wounds are so deep they can never but mended because these were wounds of constant repeated behavior over and over and over the same hurt the same trails with my husband. The infidelities, lies, and dishonesties over and over hurt the most.

  2. rosalind freed February 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I enjoy your daily e mails very much. I felt moved to write a comment on this one. I was married to a man who expected me to respect his wishes. His wishes were to drink too much, to stay out most of the night without me questioning him, to avoid working, and to expect me to more or less keep him. The more I “respected” him,the worse he got. At a ladies Bible group I was told that trying to stop my husband drinking too much was “disrespectful” of me, I needed to let him manage his own life. The result, he drank twice as much, until he staggered off to bed and passed out. I divorced him. I’d really have been much more sensible to have not married him in the first place.
    Often men expect to be respected when they fail to inspire respect.

  3. hk February 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    It is hard to respect someone who ahs been unfaithful – twice – especially when he is not repentant. He still keeps his life the way he wants it – full of secrets. How does one respect a spouse like that?
    The only way is for me to hold my tongue and give it to God – constantly (!!!) sometimes with tears, sometimes with anger, and most of the time with sorrow and sadness.

  4. AR February 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    I too, find it a daily struggle if not constant struggle to respect someone who is unfaithful, non-communicative, has limits as to what he is willing to do, and has been abusive.
    I have had the hardest time taming my tongue and anger. Truthfully, even loving him anymore is a struggle. I lift it up to the Lord often, but I think because I struggle so much with obeying God in regards to respecting my husband that I have seen little change in him.
    I am so frustrated.
    Just yesterday I took a leap in faith to obey God and respect my husband. I trust that God will transform me so that my husband will believe but most importantly so that God will be glorified.
    Sharon you quoted Ephesians 1:19 and I am taking it as a promise from our Lord. I wrote it down on a post it and plan to refer to it often as he strengthens me and empowers me to respect and love my husband. Thank you.

  5. Marie February 23, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    I found this passage to be intriguing as the questions provoked a thought process I have never had with this passage. If I’m understanding it correctly, David did something that was “wrong” in those times in the view of society, but it was all for God. I can recognize now how I often judge in my heart and mind, believing that my husband and others are not obeying God…yet I could be sadly mistaken because it may be obedience that I am being blinded from due to “wordly eyes.” Any thoughts?

  6. Justine February 23, 2010 at 4:25 am #

    It’s hard to read such painful comments, but it is such a reality…it is also a choice. I love this devotion because I have been there and made it through. And this sort of thing always comes up in our friend’s marriages, adn my husband and I have our testimony to share with them… A few years into my marriage and two babies later, my husband still wanted his same old single life (with us when it was convenient). His friends and his toys were his priority. Jobs were never solid, money was always blown on great ideas gone wrong or on friends who blew their money and were now stuck. Us losing utilities didn’t matter though. And no matter what I did, we weren’t good enough to make him want to stay with us. One day I picked up a book that I thought would make him change (The Power of A Praying Wife), but the very first chapter was basically about looking at my own plank before looking at his specks of dust. I was so mad because I had no idea that I was doing anything wrong, and his list could go on and on! But I was so desperate…I knew that God pointed me to this book,and I had to listen. I began to pray for him each day the prayers at the end of the chapters. I had no idea all of things that he needs prayer for:) It was a great guide, but also I began to change. My heart softened, and I wanted these prayers for him and not just me. I felt a new love for him, and believe it or not…HE BEGAN TO CHANGE, too!!! We talked about our transformation later on and he said “things got better when you began to change”. Wow. It WAS all about respect, and I was very disobedient because I felt that he didn’t deserve it. Well, I am not his or anyone else’s judge. God is. And as his wife, it is my role, duty, place, or whatever you want to call it, to give him the respect that no one else can as I am his and he is mine. Now people tell us all of the time that they think we are one of the best couples that they have ever met (and we are who we are no matter where or with whom). My husband found true love with the Lord, and is such a wonderful godly man. I am so proud of him; I trust his decisions (seemingly good or bad I trust the Lord in him). I watch what I say to people when he may fluster me, but we really talk things out while it needs it. I can’t say enough how trusting the Lord with your husband, your marriage and yourself is the only way. We aren’t perfect, but God is our center, and that IS enough. By the way, we now have three adorably crazy children:)I just feel so blessed with my family!

  7. Rachel February 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    It hurts my heart so much to read the hurts that other women are experiencing. It is the very center of a womans heart that needs to be cherished and loved. I have felt so much frustration with my husband at times, and have found it very hard to respect him. However, when I make the leap, and change myself, it changes my husband greatly. Choosing to love, choosing to respect. Sometimes the words you need to say to your husband are the ones that are the hardest to speak. But how you view your husband, reflects how you treat him, which reflects how he views himself. When I treat my husband like a child, he acts like one, but when I treat him like a great and powerful man, he stands a little taller and responds accordingly. It is my goal to let God change me and commit my relationship with my husband to the Lord.

  8. Marie February 24, 2010 at 3:42 am #

    How do I “quietly” give him back the responsibility of taking care of his family? I’m working three jobs, I come home to cook, clean and take care of the kids, three afternoons a week I take care of my grand daughter, on top of this I am trying to go back to school, all the while he has time and energy to go out with hi friends three nights a week. How can I NOT resent him when I talk to him about how I feel, how hard I am working and he promises change but nothing happens? Over and over, nothing changes.

  9. Tanya February 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    I have an amazing husband who works hard outside of the house as well as within the house and would do anything in the world for me. I know I love him but don’t think I show him much admiration or respect as he is constantly questioning my love for him. How do I show respect and make him believe that I love and respect him?

  10. how to say I love you in Spanish September 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Just found your site from Google! So helpful!

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