10 Steps Towards Respecting Your Husband

Written by Cyndie Hamley

With downcast eyes, Kathryn confided, “I have a hard time respecting my husband. I want to be obedient to God’s command, but I don’t want to be dishonest to my feelings.”

God doesn’t command a wife to feel respectful toward her husband. She is to be respectful. Her responsibility is to obey God; not her feelings.

A wise woman once told me, “If you want a truly fine husband, respect him at the level at which you want him to reach. A man will usually not rise above the level at which his wife respects him.” This is a general principle, not a hard and fast rule because God does not put accountability or responsibility for a man’s character on his wife. Nevertheless, strong evidence indicates a woman holds great power to make or break a man. In his book His Needs, Her Needs,

Willard Harley amends the saying “Behind every great man is a great woman” to “Behind every great man is an admiring wife.”

Something in a man needs the respect of his wife. He thrives and grows toward godliness when his need is fulfilled. This explains why God emphatically says, “The wife must see to it that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33 NASB).

10 Steps Towards Respecting Your Husband

  1. Pray for him dailyand trust God to answer your requests.
    • Pray for his well-being, wisdom, protection, blessings, guidance, knowledge, spiritual maturity, success, purity, strength in temptation, etc.
    • Look for God’s answers to your prayers.
    • Thank God for working in your family.
    • Thank God for your husband.
    • Pray for your attitude.
  2. Remember that God has put your husband in a position of leadership, and He will lead you through your husband.
  3. Make a list of your husband’s qualities that you appreciate. Review and add to your list regularly.
  4. Tell your husband what you appreciate about him. Tell others what you appreciate about him.
  5. Don’t criticize your husband to others – especially your children.
  6. Look for the positive side of things that you may find irritating. If you find it boring when he spends time telling you about his bad day, remember that at least he is talking to you, spending time with you, sharing his concerns with you, bringing you into his confidence, and giving you the chance to be an encourager and helper.
  7. Respond to his loving advances with enthusiasm.
  8. If you are concernedabout a decision your husband has made, ask him the following:
    • “I’m confused about _________. Can you explain it to me?”
    • “Can we talk about _____? I feel uncomfortable about ______.”
    • Don’t ask: “WHY in the world would you do it that way?” or ask “Why?” in any way that implies you think he is foolish.
  9. Respect his likes and dislikes. If he likes a particular food, make a point of serving that regularly. If he hates the color purple, don’t wear purple in his presence. If he likes you to wear perfume, do it.
  10. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about your husband, stop and choose to think of something else – especially things from your positive quality list.

Remember, God is working on you and your husband. You can both learn from your failures as well as your successes. Give God the freedom to teach your husband through failure. In the same way, give God the freedom to teach you to trust Him through your husband’s failure.


316 Responses to “10 Steps Towards Respecting Your Husband”

  • Doris Beck D. Beck says:

    Interesting perspective on what it means to respect your husband. Respect is something that is built on trust and love and is a lot more than just letting him do what he wants. A relationship is built on mutual love and respect and goes both ways. My husband and I both give and take….so yes, we want to allow one another the freedom to do what they want, but we also sometimes don’t when that hurts the other or isn’t in the best interests of our relationship or mutual goals.

  • Interviworld says:

    Just let him do what he wants. Do not control him all the time and he will be happy.

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Great article

  • lookingup lookingup says:

    This is for schematic: I am prompted to ask you and your wife why you got married? May sound like a stupid question, but I really want to know.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    John that is terrible advice. Divorce is an awful thing to go through and I would not wish it on anyone.

    Schematic: It sounds like you’re having some intense communication issues with your wife. Can I ask you a question? How much time do you and your wife spend together? I’m asking because I’m wondering if your wife is dressing the way she does as an attention-seeking behaviour? Is it possible that she feels like you don’t see her so she’s dressing this way and picking fights with you just so she has your attention? I’m not saying that it’s a behaviour that can continue, but if you can get a sense of what it is that your wife isn’t getting (i.e. what needs are not being met) then that can help you as you both work toward a better way to live together.

    Have you and your wife ever been to see a counsellor? A professional can be a HUGE help when you’re dealing with communication issues. He or she can give you some excellent tools and resources to find a better way to communicate and can also help you get to the root of the issue that is causing the problems in the first place. Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that counselling is only for couples in the brink of disaster but that’s not true. All marriages can benefit from some professional help. I would strongly encourage you to see a counsellor. If your wife won’t go with you consider going on your own. Have you been able to talk to your pastor? Are there people who can pray for you and your wife?

  • John says:


    Please listen to me. You MUST get out of that marriage! You are only going to suffer because this woman does not love you. Is she really pretty? If I’m correct, then you will know.

  • Kate Kate says:

    Marriage is beautiful and wonderful, but the more intimate we are with another human, the more our sins are exposed. This is painful for everyone and each person has different habits or mechanisms they might use – like nagging or being silent or being secretive. God can use each and every circumstance to teach us, to shape us, to refine us, so let’s keep surrendering our will to Him and keep re-committing ourselves to honouring our spouse.

  • Persevering says:

    I looked up “respecting your husband” on line and was brought to a site that told me to treat him like a king. Also, the compliment sandwich i.e. give a genuine compliment, make a request, end with a genuine compliment. Most important is to be patient as God works. You won’t get immediate results necessarily but over time as you progress, God will honor that and you’ll see results over time.

  • Persevering says:

    Schematic – I know the raw feeling that you’re feeling. My husband and I are doing the Love Dare right now. You can do it to your wife w/o telling her. Have you seen the movie Fireproof? The Love Dare was created as a result of this movie. You can buy the book at Christian book stores or maybe even Barnes & Noble. It’s worth it. You will be giving without expecting anything back for 40 days. 40 days is significant in the bible. Watch Fireproof too! or re-watch it. God will give you the strength to do this. Keep looking up and moving forward. The devil is attacking every Christian marriage. You CAN do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Dear Father God. I pray that anyone who is struggling with there marriage that they will rely on our Heavenly Father, as He is the one who brought you two together by Holy Matrimony. In Jesus Mightyname amen

  • schematic says:

    I been married for a year and a half to my wife. I get absolutely no respect at all. She nags all the time and start arguements about the smallest things and im allways getting the passive aggressive behavior/silent treatment when she disagrees with me about anything . I have to ignitiate intimacy and sex all the time, which is starting to piss me off. I’m walking on egg shells and don’t feel like myself at all..I try to talk to her about all this and issues I have with her dressing a little to provacative to work and she still does it. It goes in one ear and out the other. I dont know what else to do..Im starting to believe good guys finish last. Ive done all I can do and Im leaving it in God hands now..I love this woman but, I cant take but so much. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP. IVE BEEN HURTING TO LONG

  • Michael Jantzen M. Jantzen says:

    Hello Vale, thank you for sharing some of your story. You seem disappointed that you are having this problem so early in your marriage. May I ask what seems to be holding you back from speaking to one another? Please feel free to respond here. As you read through the comment treads, you can see that we try to keep this a safe and civil forum to figure out some problems together. If you’d like something private, we have free and confidential email mentors. Just click here if you’re interested: http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ We can connect you with someone who is experienced at helping out with marriage problems. Take care!

  • Vale says:

    i’ve been married to my husband for a month now, things have went from better to worse, we havent been speaking to eachother for a week. im not sure if God will help because ive been praying im depressed now. thinking of divorce.

  • Kate Kate says:

    God is faithful to draw us to Himself however often we seek Him. He doesn’t promise to fix our situation or improve our circumstances, but He does promise that we can trust Him, His goodness, though everything and everyone around us should fail. Be blessed today with the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Persevering says:

    I’m so sorry you have to experience this pain. Your husband has broken his marriage covenant with you by sleeping with another woman. Jesus said “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Matthew 5:32. So, since your husband has committed adultery against you, you are free to divorce. Respecting him or anyone is what Jesus wants us to do out of respect for Him. It’s a practice of detachment from the person who’s not being respectful, personally speaking. We’re to do it unto the Lord for the Lord’s glory. Being still and knowing He is God is pivotal. God may want you two to come together again, I’ve heard of that happening. Although, if your husband is an unbeliever and wants to leave, then the Scripture is clear to let him go so there is peace between you. Jesus is your eternal Husband and will take care of you either way. He is your Provider. He will continue to guide you to make the right choices but again, as far as respect, God wants us to do the “unfleshly” thing and show respect to those who don’t deserve it. We can do it with the help of the Holy Spirit. May God’s will be clearly revealed to you in this situation.

  • Hopeful says:

    Typo correction: He told me that SHE loves our kids and that means alot to him.

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