Respecting Your Husband: Even When You Don't Feel Like It

Today, I had the great pleasure of being a part of an amazing panel of women to share about marriage and family during a breakout session at SHINE Women's Conference 2013, Shoreline Church.  I had the honor to speak about respecting our husbands; something I feel as women we take very lighting.  Way to often, we believe our husband should love us unconditionally, but do give our husband respect unconditionally.  The problem is, men fee loved through respect. So what shall we do? Below are my notes as well as great feedback from some amazing men who offered their thoughts on the subject matter shedding a little light into what men are thinking.  Also, you'll find a great counseling list - that's not taboo ladies!  If you marriage issues run deep, the Bible says for us to Get Wisdom, Prov 4:7.  That wisdom can come from a great counselor or a book.  Below is also a couple of books on the subject and if you have other books that would help us in the area of respect, please ladies, share  your thoughts!

Click the below "Referral List" for a list of local counselors for family, marriage, recovery & More

 Referral List

Panelist: Lynn Cherry - Restoration, Click HERE for notes Amy O'Donnell - Family, Click HERE for notes

Heather's Notes

Image what it would be like if:

  • Lived in a house where your husband never tells you he loves you, doesn’t kiss you softly before he leaves for work, thanks you the for dinner you cooked or simply never offered to lift a finger around the house or take out the trash.
  • What does that marriage look & feel like? 

 John 10:10
 The thief comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come so that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.

Often we hear that scripture and think the word “abundantly” means money, but the word abundantly can come in all sorts of things including marriage. Abundantly JOYFUL, LIFE-GIVING Marriage.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things

We think, our husbands better say AND show us they loves us all the time because as Women, We often love our husbands and our children usually in spite of (You Fill In the Blank)

LOVE, AFTERALL, IS UNCONDITIONAL.  So we expect our husbands to show us LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY. Kissing, hugging, saying the words I LOVE YOU, maybe a good foot massage.  LOVE US!

The problem is, love for a man is FELT through respect yet, many of us have a problem showing respect.  And although we expect to be LOVED unconditionally, we usually don’t RESPECT unconditionally.

WE THINK: Respect is earn

The BIG Question

My challenge to you today, it to actually ask your husband how HE feels respected & be prepared to DO IT.

  • May have it all wrong
  • You may find the answer as to why you’re not being kissed
  • Tension in the household
  • Or you many have been working hard in one area while neglecting another.

II. Sleeping Single in a Double Bed

Not to take the subject too lightly but you may find yourself all alone in your bed either figuratively OR physical while you husband is in another room; or another houses simply because the lack of respect has driven a wedge into our marriage.

God takes respecting our husband so seriously that this is what He said:

Eph 5:22- 33 Wives Submit to your husbands as 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.  However, each one of you also much love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Non Believers 1 Pet 3:1-2

Wifes, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.

Neither verse, for believer or non-believer:

  •  Gives you an out for NOT respecting
  • Says only if He loves you
  • Or only IF he loves you in return

Love & Respect doesn’t come one before the other, they go hand in hand and in spite of – with joy!


  • If husbands request goes against the Bible or is illegal, you’re first obligation is to God.  Respectfully decline & softly give your reason why.

Otherwise, be wise and gentle in presenting your side and then follow direction – submit, respect & show love to your husband & Let God do the rest.  Then, you’ll Be Kissed like the first time everyday!

III Get kissed everyday like it’s the first time?

Imagine what life would be like if, you actually Ask you husband the BIG Questions….How Do You Feel RESPECTED, AND THEN DO IT!

  • You’ll won’t be strangers in the house or in the bed anymore
  • Everyday you’ll be kissed like it’s the first time everyday!

What The Men Said: I had the great privilege of asking several men their thoughts on respect.  The 2 questions were: 1. How does your wife respect you 2. In what areas would you love to see improvement

#1: How My Wife Respects Me: Gives me the space & time to make decisions

#2: How My Wife Respects Me: She respects my decision making and my competence in a multitude of areas. Decisions can range from personal decisions, household decisions, to child rearing decisions. She is confident that I've done the work to recognize that the decision is the best for all parties involved. She also respects my ability to get things done in the right way (competence). This is most evident in every day household duties such as grocery shopping, paying bills, preparing meals, and home furnishing decisions. That trust goes a long way.

Would love to See: There is a an occasional disrespect in communication that can be worked on (both of us) when the conversations escalate.

#3: How my wife respects me: I feel respected by my wife when we are in social situations and I hear her talking about me to others in a positive manner. And I think I can tell when she’s lying, and these instances she is either getting better at “acting” or she means it.

Would love to See: I would love if she would tell me “thank you” or “I respect you” (but in less cheesy terms) once in awhile…and I don’t mean it like, “I earn this money, do this or that, etc., and you’re lucky to have me, so you better thank me”. Rather I mean one thank you every blue moon would go a far way with me. I’m not gonna win “Husband of the Year” (I’ll probably get 2nd place) but I do a lot of stuff to make her life easier (as does she for me).

So I guess my point for both of your questions is that I like when she “verbalizes” her respect for me in public and wish she would “verbalize” it more in private as well. Long story short, I’m an ego-maniac that needs it fed! : )

#4 One husband wrote respect was an area they struggled with and during this season, could not think of an area he felt respected.

#5 With permission, names were given.  Tim & Crystal Breaux have been marriage ministry leaders in their church for over 10 years in Beaumont, Texas How My Wife Respects Me My secondary love language is affirmation (This is the case for most men) so when Crystal affirms me as a husband, father, and provider I feel the most respect from her, and the most loved from that matter.  Statistically most men would rather be alone and unloved then with someone and disrespected.  No one individual in a man’s life can lift up or tear down as successful as a man’s wife.  I think there are different variations (husband, provider, handyman, lover, etc.) but for most men these 3 areas (husband, father, provider) of their lives will always be in their top 5 ways a wife can show respect to her husband.

Would Love To See:

Crystal and I have worked on so many issues in our 17 years of marriage so today she is really an amazing wife who gets the male brain when it comes to respect.  So I will tell you the areas of the past and something I think your ladies can really learn from.

May I start with a story. When we first moved into our first house not long after we were settled Crystal started mentioning she would need a larger house when we started to have children.  Now, we had moved from a 900 square foot mobile home into a 1900 square foot house.  It made me very angry, due to the lack of respect, that she was planning a new house right after I had provided her with a new one.  Granted she was working and we both were “providing” the house.  But what I heard her say is “You do not make enough money, you did not provide for me the proper house, you are not worthy even though you are working and saving to provide us this house.”   Women do not realize the financial strain that they place on men, whether they provide income to the house hold budget or not.  Crystal had this realization when she was deciding to step down from the Wellness Center(Full Time Job) and that is she has that option to stop working…men do not.  I will never have the option not to work and I am ok with that and so are most men.  But I will never sacrifice my time with family and place undue pressure on myself to provide a lifestyle that is dictated by man and not by God.

Suggested Books:

1. Love & Respect

2. What a Husband Needs From His Wife - This book also has a partner book for the Husband, What a Wife Needs From Her Husband