3 Ways to Respect Your Husband
In my marriage, I can’t necessarily trace the off-ness to a specific event. We didn’t have a fight. We’re not mad at one another.
We’re just not being tender and loving toward one another.
Usually when this happens, I put the ball in my husband’s court.
I don’t actually tell him I put it in his court, though. I just decide it must be his problem and I wait until he comes around to pursue connection and intimacy again. In the meantime, I feel us getting emotionally (and often physically) distant.
It took me a while to realize how selfish and lazy I was being in my approach to our relationship.
I was putting all the responsibility on him while failing to realize where I may have fallen short.
I think many of us wives have similar tendencies. If we’re not feeling seen, appreciated, or loved, we tend to shut down emotionally toward our spouse.
Something similar happens in men. When they’re not feeling seen, appreciated and respected, they tend to shut down emotionally toward us.
When I realize our marriage feels a bit stale or cold though I can’t figure out why, I’ve decided that’s a good time to show my husband some respect.
My husband and I have been together nine years now. I can confidently say the times I’ve seen him light up most are when he feels respected by me.
Showing respect to our husbands looks like validating who they are now and encouraging them toward the men God has created them to be. They may not be there yet, but having us cheering them along will give them more vision and motivation to be the men they want to be.
There are plenty of people in the world who will question, discourage and demean our husbands. Let’s not be those people.
Let’s be the ones who are cheering loudly, supporting generously and speaking kindly.
Here are three practical ideas for showing respect to your husband:
- Share words of affirmation.
If you think something kind about your husband, tell him! I’ve often watched him play with our kids and thought to myself, “I love how present and playful he is with our family.” But I usually forget to say that out loud. By staying silent, I rob him of affirming and life-giving words.
Maybe your view of your husband is mostly negative right now. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you your husband’s strengths, and begin to notice how those play out in your marriage. Be specific when you tell your husband what you love and respect about him.
- Support his decision.
There’s nothing that will make a man’s spirit soar like a woman who has his back on a decision he’s made. Alternatively, there’s nothing that crushes his spirit quite like a wife who questions his every move and demands her own way.
Here’s the thing: I like my decisions. I like the way I do things. But I must be willing to let that go sometimes in order to respect my husband. The health of our marriage depends on it.
- Show your loyalty in front of others.
This one is HUGE. One time my husband and I found ourselves in a heated argument with extended family. He said something on our behalf that I disagreed with. Even though I felt the pain of being misunderstood by our family, I knew the appearance of disunity and disrespect—especially in front of our family—would do worse damage to our marriage.
Instead, we talked about the disagreement together in private after the conversation and we smoothed it out. He was so grateful I didn’t “hang him out to dry” in front of our family.
Make a resolution to always speak respectfully about your husband in front of others. If disagreements arise, decide to handle them in private instead of in public.
None of these three practices come easy for me. I’ve failed to show respect more times than I’ve triumphed, but I’ve found it so important to keep practicing because of the way they help our marriage flourish. By applying these three steps consistently over time, your marriage can flourish as well.
Wife Step: Pick one of these three ideas and implement them in your marriage this week.
Bailey Richardson is the wife of a Paul Bunyan look-a-like, the mama of a growing little family, and a woman on the wild adventure of pursuing Jesus. She lives in a small lake town in Minnesota where her family is highly involved in their local church and Young Life, a global non-profit youth ministry. A self-proclaimed “recovering perfectionist,” Bailey loves writing for and connecting with women who want to more deeply experience the grace, freedom, and abundance that comes from following Jesus. You can find her at baileymrichardson.com or on Instagram @baileymrichardson.