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,


titus 2 women leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

9 thoughts on “Wondering What Respect IS?

  1. Learning to properly respect and what it truly means to Biblically submit and respect my husband was one of the hardest and most rewarding journeys I’ve ever been and am still on. It truly has made us more of a team and has drawn us closer together and more in love than ever. It’s not being a doormat at all like I always thought…and there is such freedom in it! When we have decisions to make we discuss them and he takes my thoughts into consideration when making them…but in the end he generally makes the final choice. It saves me from making the wrong choice! Lol!
    Also showing him respect is being purposeful to look for the good in him and what he does and praise and encourage him in that. I know there are times when that is extremely difficult! But look purposeful and you will find it…the smallest praise does wonders for him! Finally invest time with him, even if it’s just sitting in the room with him. My husband later (after an extremely rocky place in our marriage) told me one of the things that turned things around for him in our marriage was just us sitting in the living room watching TV together. We rarely talked at first and were on opposite sides at first, but I showed an effort to be with him. That is now our favorite time of the day together. Last but most important….PRAY over him! Nearly every morning before I get out of bed I lay my hand on his shoulder and pray for him, and for us. I started this in a time I thought our marriage would never survive and I didn’t want to touch him or pray for him at all, but though it I started to love him and see him through Gods eyes. God gave me insights to my husband and how he was struggling and hurting. He was normally asleep when I did this and I really never knew if he knew or cared that I did it. But one day I was late and didn’t do it and he sent me a text asking me what was wrong and why I didn’t pray over him. It mattered to him! Now when I’m not with him I’ll pray for him via a text. It means the world to him!

  2. I would like to share a couple of thoughts which may be helpful to the discussion.

    I spent 20 years in the military. I was an enlisted man. I was expected to submit to those in authority above me, whether or not they had earned it, but rather because of their position (rank). There were some who absolute earned it and some who absolutely did not, but most fell in the middle. But it didn’t matter whether or not they had earned my respect or not, I was required to submit to them. Unless they gave me an unlawful order, in which case I was required to disobey the order, if I was certain that it was unlawful.

    The same would apply to bosses I have had over the years.

    In all these cases, I didn’t always want to submit, but I did it because I was required to do so. But in all cases I always tried to have a respectful and cheery attitude, because that was a big part of showing respect.

    Bringing things closer to this discussion: When I was married, my wife had her own business. I worked part time for her. Anything having to do with her business, I submitted to her decisions cheerfully. If I disagreed with her, I would let her know my thoughts and concerns; but if her final decision was different than mine, I cheerfully accepted and went with her decision, because it was HER company, not mine.

    So here is an example of the husband cheerfully submitting to his wife!

    Also, think about our relationship with God. We are to honor, respect, and obey Him, even if it appears that He doesn’t deserve it. (I’m sure that Job struggled with that very issue.) If we don’t honor, respect, obey, AND love Him, even if it appears that He has betrayed us, then He isn’t really our God. The fact that He is God means that we need to accept EVERYTHING from His hand. Flipping the coin over, we must always trust that He loves us, regardless of how it looks to us, because He DOES always love us.

    These are my thoughts on submission. I have thought about these things for a very long time.

    I hope that this is helpful to the discussion.

  3. Pingback: Respect–Take 2 « Passionate Christian Marriage
  4. PS
    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.

    • 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!

  5. 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. : )

  6. 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..

    • 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,

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