Wondering What Respect IS?

Ephesians 5:33b commands us to respect our husbands. Unconditionally.

The culture teaches that respect must be earned.

I remember the first time I realized the above, confused, frustrated, and a little angry, I wallowed in cognitive dissonance for several weeks.

Something within me revolted at the notion of unconditionally respecting someone who didn’t “deserve it.”

Long story short, when I worked through that whole issue of “deservedness” (and you’ll need to, or applied unconditional respect remains impossible) I realized something even more heinous.

I didn’t even know what unconditional respect looked like.

In the last several years, the overwhelming consensus is obvious – disrespect is easy to recognize. Respect not so much. And I wasn’t alone in my lack of understanding. We’ve had contact with literally thousands of wives who are struggling through this issue.

Today’s dare is simple: Read this passage with us. Confess where you fall short – both to our God and your husband. Commit to doing better.

Notice I didn’t say it was easy. J

The Amplified Bible: Ephesians 5:33b… “and 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 do those words say to you?

Double dog dare you to share and comment today as a Titus 2 woman, perhaps elaborating on the above. We know what respect is NOT… but let’s encourage other wives with what respect IS… I know some of you “get it.” Don’t be shy! We really want to hear from you today.

I’ve given a few hundred examples – today it’s your turn. J

Glad you are on the journey with me!

Love to you,



  1. says

    I also give my hubby a LOT of grace when he messes up. I don’t make a big deal out of it. I trust that God will even use his mistakes to get us where God wants us to go. I don’t judge individual decisions he makes. I look at it as he is on a learning curve as he is learning to lead and it is a process. That’s ok.

    • michelle swaim says

      Thanks, PeacefulWife for this great list. I lead a womens group twice a week of young moms and we are going through your list one by one and it has been a very beneficial and encouraging discussion. As you said it is much easier to identify ways that we disrespect our husbands than it is to figure out how to demonstrate respect. Thank you!

  2. says

    I always thought (for 15 years) that I WAS being respectful. But I was missing the mark by miles. It was a total shock when I read Love and Respect by Dr Eggerichs and was confronted for the first time that I was very disrespectful. I actually was totally fine with the unconditional respect thing because I wanted unconditional love so to me it seemed that God commanded things in a balanced way between the two spouses. But, like Nina, I had ZERO idea what respect was. And even worse – my HUSBAND had no idea what was and was not respectful. So I devoured every book I could on the subject. One of my favorites was “The Surrendered Wife” by Laura Doyle (not a Christian book, but it does fit with respect very nicely, and excellent book for formerly controlling wives). Doyle gave VERY practical step by step ways to show respect and to stop taking over and how to reform my thinking and actually how to discover my God-given femininity and power as a woman in my marriage in many ways. I know that some people don’t like how specific her examples are because they may not all apply to all men. But they gave me a jumping off point to talk with my husband and let him think about things and whether that spoke respect to him or not. It took MONTHS of daily study on my part and hundreds of discussions between us for me to begin to have an idea and for him to really see what respect looked like to him.

    I agree – disrespect is much more obvious than respect.

    A few things I do to show respect now:
    - I immediately stop whatever I am doing and run and hug and kiss my husband and SMILE my biggest smile when he comes home from work. I act like he is the most important guy in the world to me – and he IS!
    - I look for ANYTHING good in him at all and I verbally praise those things.
    - I thank him for being the leader in our marriage. (I began doing this before he really had lead much – but eventually when I stayed out of the way he DID step up and lead. I thanked him for every tiny effort he made and complimented him on every single thing he did right. I did NOT mention things he did that I didn’t like while he was still learning the basics of leadership.
    - I praise him in front of other people – our children, our family, on facebook, at church…
    - I look at him and pay attention when he is speaking. I try to stop whatever I am doing and really act like I care and what he is saying is my top priority.
    - I send him short emails/texts about what I admire about him.
    - I flirt with him again.
    - I check with him before I commit myself to something.
    - If he tells me not to do something (ie: taking care of a neighbor’s child that may be untrustworthy) – I don’t do it.
    - I back up his decisions with our children.
    - I use a pleasant, gentle tone of voice.
    - I trust his judgment and abilities. (this becomes easier over time as he develops a good track record).
    - I ultimately trust GOD to work through my husband for my good. This is really about my faith in my HUGE GOD not so much about my faith in my imperfect, sinful husband.
    - I encourage him to dream and I don’t squash his dreams.
    - I ask for things once – then let it go and trust that God and my husband will work everything out better than I could. (And they DO!)
    - I look at him with admiration in my eyes.
    - I tell him how thankful, happy, joyful, grateful, honored I am to get to be his wife.
    - If he says something is a priority for him, I make it my priority, too.
    - I support his career and his ministry.
    - I support his parenting and never let the kids see us disagree about how to handle a situation. Even if I disagree with my husband, I enforce his decisions to my children so that they only see a united front.
    - I insist that my children speak to my husband with respect.
    - I talk about that Daddy is the leader in our family and he is in charge and that God gave him to us to guide us, protect us and provide for us.
    - I pray for him with an attitude of thanksgiving and gratitude now – not the awful attitude I used to have of complaining to God about my husband and asking Him to change my husband. Now I thank God for my husband and ask God to change ME!

    There are more, but here are a few to get you started!

  3. tonacraft says

    Hi Friend – how can we respect our husbands as in Ephesians 5:33? Simple, Do Ephesians 5:15-21 first !!! : ) 5:15-20 are the proof that 5:21 is working in us. Then we as wives can do 5:22-24 and 33b (and then we will fulfill our role in 1 Peter 3, right?) Know from daily experience that easier read than said … : ) Oh for the grace and mercy of the Lord, steadfast love and lovingkindness that is new every morning – great is His faithfulness!
    Happy Spring Girlfriend! Write back!

    PS: Caroline – will lift you to the Lord. Respect is more than words, it’s first an attitude (being tuned daily in Nina and me and all us ladies who seek to please God!) – not just word and tongue but deed and truth. When you are feeling down about your husband’s response, meditate on 1 Peter 2:17-3:6 in order (no skipping around) – know it seems like a lot, but if we know how Jesus handled it, then we can do it too by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us! And it is good for us to be reminded of these things and stirred up to good works. : )

  4. Caroline says

    I am really asking myself, how to actually respect my husband unconditionally… I’ve read the Respect Dare and also Dr. Eggerichs book, Love and Respect and I worked throughthe “Divorce bBusting “Program of Michele Weiner – Davis, even with a personal coach. The Respect dare I can’t really do, because we don’t live together anymore and if I try to talk to him, he usually gets angry (Well, the whole story is much more complex). In Dr. Eggerichs book I found examples of respecting my husband which in my opinion aren’t unconditional, like telling him how proud I am, that he is working so hard to provide the family (and any way in my case it isn’t even true..). I can see, that maybe, in my husbands mind, he really is trying to provide for us, so I am willing to tell him my respect for him (at least acting as if…) But how can I really show respect that is not connected to things he does or doesn’t do?
    Now I am re-reading both books because I really want to learn and grow and follow Gods ways. hopefully I will find new aspects and possibilities..

    • Reggea says

      Dear Caroline,

      Respect is more than words, it’s a lifestyle you have to be willing to surrender to, so that you can go through the process of learning how to become a wife who unconditionally respects her husband. This process begins with submitting yourself to your Father, God the Almighty. Going through the emotions, pretending to respect isn’t the way, because your husband will see it for what it is.
      A few verses that may help are: Eph. 5:21-31; 1 Pet. 3:1-12; Gen. 15:6; Jer. 29:11-14; Prov. 12:4; 16:24; 27:15; Rom. 14:11-13; Eph. 4:13-16; Col. 3:12-18; James 4:5-10; 2 Cor. 4:11-18; Prov. 31:10-31.

      I will pray that you get the wisdom to know what respect means to God and your husband.

      Have a blessed day,