Why he disrespects you…

Wondering why he disrespects you?

Let’s use an analogy to understand why husbands sometimes disrespect their wives… So let’s say you are an avid runner and want to significantly increase your distance and pace because you want to not only run a marathon, but you want to run it fast enough to qualify for the Boston marathon. You need to talk with someone about the best way to make this happen without getting injured.
Whose advice will you seek out?
A weekend warrior?
Or someone that’s actually qualified for Boston?
What if you knew an Olympic marathon runner?
Whose advice would have the most “clout” with you?
The Olympic athlete’s right?
And if she wasn’t home, you’d probably talk to the gal down the street you knew actually qualified and ran Boston.
How’s this tie into respect?
Quite simply – our respect for another only carries with it as much clout and credibility as we are perceived as having by the person we’re showing respect to.


Perhaps the most common way we get that clout and credibility is by acting as if we deserve it. I’m not suggesting we become arrogant or prideful, however, but rather the subtle small ways we are kind to ourselves. It’s not a”me first” attitude, but rather a quiet strength in knowing who we are – and Whose we are, understanding we are NOT expected to be God, accepting our humanity, humbly acknowledging that we have limitations and lack perfection.
If we treat ourselves like trash, our respect and honor that we give to another is as common as a peasant’s, but if we treat ourselves with respect, our honor and respect for another is like that of royalty.

Which are YOU- Daughter of the King, or peasant-

It’s the same reason that we give credence to the doctor who tells us to watch our cholesterol, but we don’t take action when our mom suggests it to us.
Two people walk up to you and say your family is amazing – which would hold more credibility and impact for you – Dr. Kevin Leman, or the neighbor five houses over?
Please don’t misunderstand me, either.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t take care of our homes and families – what I AM saying, however, is that too many women in our culture not only treat themselves like trash, but they do so in the name of serving Jesus Christ. And in turn, it can create an environment where their husband disrespects them.
And it’s costing families everywhere. Women around the globe are still responsible for the majority of the housework, while we’re seeing women’s stress levels at all time highs. We’re also suffering with chronic pain and other health concerns at higher levels compared to men.
If you want to see how Christ actually modeled this for us, check this post.
Much of this comes from the differences God created in male and female brains – and quite honestly, our literal vision is different. What this often means is simply this: we women SEE and SMELL more filth, clutter, dirt, etc., AND we CARE more than men do about it because we are different! So women will likely continue doing more than men in the home because we are wired to do that. We’ll also likely always know where the ketchup is in the refrigerator – it’s always right in front of our husband, who’s looking and asking where it is. 🙂
Having more THINGS also complicates our lives and brings elements of chaos our mothers never even dreamed of. The material culture of Western abundance is crippling us – contemporary households have more items per household than any other age in human history. STOP. A recent global study says kids are happier with LESS – so don’t buy the lie of the culture that says they need more. They don’t. They need YOU. A less stressed, less tired, pain-free version of you. Check this for more about why your husband may not respect you.  NEXT WEEK I’ll share some very specific ways that you can Biblically respect yourself. You might also be interested in this post by Gary Thomas, who gives some specifics on what YOU need to change when your spouse won’t. (And I’m totally geeking out because he commented on my comment inviting women to our Strength & Dignity eCourse… 🙂 )

gary thomas

And think about this – kids need a sense of belonging, of being necessary, to connect with their family deeply – so if you are doing all their chores and picking up for them, making all their meals, doing all their laundry – you are keeping them a child longer, and decreasing their skills and abilities to learn and practice time management. So I’m daring us all to major in the majors, get rest, and do less in order to have more and BE more in our homes.
Dare you today to ask – am I doing things for my husband or kids that they could be doing for themselves? Is my behavior communicating “mother” instead of “friend” and “lover” to my husband? Is my behavior creating an atmosphere of entitlement with my family, and am I the provider? And don’t be a pendulum swinger and accuse me of not encouraging women to be Titus 2 wives!
Bottom line: if  you want a life partner, and desire to be an equal heir in the Kingdom today, start acting like it, by:
  • not doing too much
  • creating an environment where you are respected
  • respecting others, remembering their preciousness to God
By staying out of the way of your husband and kids needs to achieve and be needed.
It makes a difference.
Dare you to chime in on how this strikes you today! What could you do this week to move forward in these areas? Looking forward to the dialogue!
And if you struggle in this area, please join our FREE Strength & Dignity eCourse. It’s some work – but it’s helping women realize and remember who God made them to be. Be sure to sign up for the marriage TIPS! in the sidebar – you’ll also get my blog delivered to you.
And… if you are feeling called to ministry because of what God’s done in your life – WE HAVE MINISTRY FOR YOU! If you haven’t signed up for Boot Camp yet – wait a bit – we’re going to have a coupon out soon to save you $50. Space is limited. Pray about it. Find out more here. It’s like nothing else you’ve ever done.
Be sure to check out my friend Melissa’s blog post on Dare 8 this week. 🙂

Love to you,


Here’s a few more posts you might find useful:

Want to Change Your Husband?

Why Your Husband Doesn’t Respect YOU

A WILD Story about the “N-Word” and Grace

Is Complaining Ruining Your Marriage?

How Being Defensive is Destroying Your Marriage

Six Ways to Overcome Your Husband’s Anger

How to Become a Woman of Strength & Dignity

One more thing?

It’s not a small thing.

Seriously, if you lead women’s studies, and you want to do marriage ministry that makes a crazy wild lasting difference, you need to pray about joining us for Boot Camp.

We have marriage and family ministry for you – ministry that makes a difference – it’s His, but it’s amazing, and we’d love to help you grow as a leader – and make a greater impact in the neck of the woods He’s entrusted to YOU.

I’d like YOU to pray about Boot Camp – September 7-12, 2016. More info HERE. Here’s a discount coupon good for $50 off each for you AND a friend – if you use it by May 15: bringafriend2016

If you feel called to lead others, to be a Titus 2 woman of influence in your neck of the woods, please seriously consider joining us in ministry. We’re training others to use the incredible discipleship method He has given us – and He’s growing ministry all around the world as a result.

titus 2 women leadership

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

6 thoughts on “Why he disrespects you…

  1. This is excellent, thank you so much Nina and team. . . . . .In the end, husbands who disrespect their wives only disrespect themselves. If a person says they love you but they don’t respect you then it can not be real love. It is not possible to love without respecting. . . . You and I are children of God and precious treasures! Daughters of the Living Light. Persons of the highest caliber. πόλις (a city) ὄρους (on a hill) δύναται (that is not able) κρυβῆναι (to be hidden). . . . It should be our light not our darkness that should most frighten us. Jesus is about radical, sweeping, encompassing empowerment. However, once in a while you wake up to this realization and you have to hold on tightly to this truth because your heart will tear away the foundation of your logic, by making excuses for why this man doesn’t try as much as you. The truth is this: Real love is simple. We are the ones that make it complicated. A part of gaining respect is recognizing the difference between being desired and being valued. When someone loves you they will never keep you waiting, give their attention and affection away to others, allow you to continue hurting, or ignore what you have gone through for them. On the other hand, a person that desires you can’t see your pain, only what they can get from you with minimal effort in return. They let you risk everything, while they guard their heart and reap the benefits of your feelings. We make so many excuses for the people we fall in love with and they make up even more to remain one foot in the door. However, the truth is God didn’t create you to be treated as an option or to be disrespected repeatedly. He wants you to close the door (this is Nina’s two points 1) not doing too much 2) creating an environment where you are respected). If someone loves you and wants to be in your life no obstacle will keep them from you. Remember, you are royalty, not a beggar (I am reminding myself here, this stuff is HARD). Set boundaries to feel safe, respected, and heard. Every time single time I make a commitment to my own self-care, self-love and self-respect and then follow through, I build trust in myself. If your self-respect’s for sale, don’t complain when someone tries to bargain. Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul. There is nothing spiritual about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for—When someone you love makes compassion, kindness, forgiveness, respect and God an option, you can be sure they have made you an option, as well. . . . .To be cherished; to have real affection; to be treated like a precious treasure; to have real love and respect, these are what we were born for. . . . We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Do what God tells you to do and leave all the consequences to Him. . . . ask yourself: What is consistent with real respect, with Christ’s love? Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?” You have all the consequences, you have the choices. The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.” Again, set boundaries to feel safe, respected and heard. Awesome reminders, thank you Nina!

    • Hi Rebecca,

      I was quite surprised when I read the following in your comment, so I thought I’d ask you about it. You said: “However, once in a while you wake up to this realization and you have to hold on tightly to this truth because your heart will tear away the foundation of your logic, by making excuses for why this man doesn’t try as much as you. The truth is this: Real love is simple. We are the ones that make it complicated. A part of gaining respect is recognizing the difference between being desired and being valued. When someone loves you they will never keep you waiting, give their attention and affection away to others, allow you to continue hurting, or ignore what you have gone through for them.”

      Perhaps the above was hyperbole? People that love us will keep us waiting, they will give their attention and affection away to others, allow you to continue hurting and ignore what you’ve gone through for them because they are imperfectly human, just as we are.

      I believe that Romans 7:15-20 addresses that very issue.

      I’m a little concerned about some of the statements in your post because, forgive me if I’m misreading it, you seem to be making assumptions about someone else’s feelings and motives. “If someone loves you and wants to be in your life, no obstacle will keep them from you.” I feel like there’s no way to say that with assurance because we really only see part of the picture and we can’t know another’s heart.

      I absolutely agree that we should have boundaries. These boundaries will let others know what we will and will not tolerate. I guess I see it not so much as “standing up for yourself” as helping others by modeling love and respect for myself as well as for others. Being walked on isn’t helpful to others because it encourages them to also not have boundaries or respect others’ boundaries. I see this as one way to “love others as yourself”.

      Be blessed,

      • Hello Sandi!

        It was hyperbole (whatever that even really means). . . . I would call it histrionics: exaggerated dramatic verbiage designed to attract attention. . . . . I ask everyone’s forgiveness. I went nuts on those sentences. I remember praying at the time, Lord is this inflammatory? I guess I should have listened better for the Lord’s answer. Anyways, I absolutely love being corrected. . . . .I don’t want to be wrong. I want to do what’s right and I know you mean it in love. Thank you and I certainly believe your approach to look for the greater good in our spouse is very important. . . . .That said, many men need a wife who will love him enough to tell him the truth and to respectfully challenge his selfishness, his self-absorption, and his self-deception. There are times you must risk unraveling the life you have in order to create the life God wants for you. Biblically loving your husband doesn’t require you to prop him up in order to enable him to continue to hurt you. It involves something far more redemptive. . . .but I know you know that. . . . .Anyways, as I always say, I have a lot to work on. . . . .How are our beliefs functioning? What are they keeping us from confronting? Beliefs are so often used to cover over our serious anxieties and prevent a head-on encounter with this disturbing fact: lots and lots of precious women are abused, men too. We must prevent the Bible from being structurally used as a defense mechanism that provides psychological cover for all forms of abuse, even and maybe even especially, spiritual abuse.

        . . .Now, my bigger point is that we can’t white knuckle ourselves into anything through effort. We need to beg God in prayer each day for “Addiction” . . . . . “Addiction” of a different kind talked about in the Psalms: a singleness of heart, an undistracted mind. . . . i.e. Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers. Do I really, r-e-a-l-l-y love and want Christ or do I just want Eternal Life and Happiness?

        Love you, daughter of the King!

  2. This is a great post, Nina. Thank you for continuing on this topic of women who do too much for their families – it’s something that many of us need to hear over and over again. Looking back over the years, I see now that I did everything wrong in this regard – I did absolutely everything for my husband and children, and fostered an atmosphere of disrespect towards me by treating myself badly and never standing up for myself. I even used to dress in old clothes filled with holes because I felt guilty spending any money at all on me, when it could be spent on others. I must have looked like Cinderella to outsiders! My husband used to yell at me, my kids used to yell at me…everybody yelled at me and treated me like their slave, and I foolishly did nothing! Thank God that now He is showing me a new way – with the help of your S&D course! I had already been trying to respect myself more when I stumbled upon your course, but it is really helping me grow in leaps and bounds!

    You mentioned here the same thing you mentioned in the Debbi Chavez show last week, about having less stuff. I totally agree – I very often feel that the real reason housework is so overwhelming to me is that we have so much stuff – in particular, toys. I rarely get to actual cleaning (like washing floors or walls) because I’m always so busy picking stuff up and putting it away. I’m not sure how to correct this problem, because my husband is a packrat. He grew up with very little and so he wants to hold onto everything now. Plus, he feels great joy in giving his kids lots of toys because he had almost nothing as a kid. When Christmas comes around and I try to suggest we buy less this year, he gets very upset with me. In fact, it is several months after Christmas and he is still angry at me that I didn’t get the most giant lego set for our son, I got a medium-sized one. The problem is, HE isn’t the one who cleans it all up – I am. I need to pray about this problem and figure out how to approach the issue with gentleness yet firmness. Also, I need to get better at getting the kids to clean up their own toys – but it’s overwhelming for them because they have too much. The heart of the problem is that we have too much stuff at my husband’s insistence.

  3. This is a interesting perspective that you don’t hear much of. I usually hear of one extreme or the other. I am usually of the mindset, to serve as Christ served and to me that has meant doing everything for my husband without saying a word, because that is what is expected of me and that is what (I assume) having a servants heart looks like. When ever I do get upset, because he leaves his things everyway, I usually consider that sin on my part. Not doing those things seems so foreign to me. His mother use to say she always did everything for him, so I guess I just picked up where she left off. I also have the mindset that self esteem is bad and only lifts up ourselves. I get what you are saying, about being kind to ourselves brings respect and do see much truth in it. I think as Christians we allow a lot of battering in the name of “turning the other cheek” and “winning them without a word”. I see the importance of those things, but don’t you think there needs to be a balance and taken in the right context? Pondering, I recall times when my husband has told me that he likes it when I am confident “in who I am in Christ” and am assertive in my demeanor…and he is a command man! He would much rather I respectfully speak, than to not speak at all. As I look back, I think he began to respect me more as a person when he saw the Spirit of God working in my life, and I no longer needed to cling to him and be dependent on him for everything. It was a hard road for years, because it seemed that no matter how hard I tried to be respectful he perceived it as the opposite. We are finally figuring this thing out, after 28 years of marriage. I still do everything for him though:) I am looking forward to future lessons.

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