I get a lot of questions from women about how to respect their husbands – and many times, when the husband sees the change in his wife, he wants to show her more love. I also hear from a lot of husbands just wanting to improve their marriages by loving their wives more. Hopefully, this resource will help with that.
Thank you for your interest in loving your wife. I’m praying for your marriage (for real).
Love to you, in Him,
p.s. If you’d like to help your wife deflate her defensiveness, and help create an atmosphere of peace in your home, consider sending her to our Conflict Resolution Retreat.
It sounds like you’re in a difficult marriage right now. I know it’s hard to hear all the things we should do as wives when you feel your needs are being ignored. 🙁
There are men being told those things you said nobody is telling them. Paul Byerly at The Generous Husband blog, The Peaceful Husband blog, Jay Dee at Uncovering Intimacy, Scott at Journey to Surrender and Heaven Made Marriage are just a few blogs that tell men to be men and treat their wives well.
Nina’s blog is for wives. As wives we have the ability to change ourselves. We can’t force our husbands to change. The more we focus on getting him to change the less Christ-like we become because it breeds discontentment, resentment and bitterness.
We can change ourselves by choosing to focus on how the LORD wants to grow us to more closely resemble Jesus. Quite often those positive changes in us, inspire others to grow also, without us having to say much at all.
I’m one of the mentors on Nina’s online course and I seen many women grow closer to God and improve their marriages while doing the Respect Dare online with other women. I’d love it if you joined us there. I’m pretty sure there’s still a good special on it right now.
Blessings to you,
First of all, I’m not in a difficult marriage. I am not angry and have no discontent or bitterness. So, please know, that I have a good husband who is a real gem. He is a wonderful man and husband. I am proud to call him my partner.
Now, with that out of the way, I want you to know that you should not automatically assume that when a woman writes a comment like mine, that she is in a bad marriage, or has resentment. Then take a look at your contradiction in paragraph three. (” the more we focus on getting him to change, the less Christlike we become”) . This is exactly what some of you do all the time, you focus on getting the wife to change and when husbands get angry and bitter, you all say to wives, “see wives …what you’ve done.”)
As a woman and as one who says she is a mentor, you should have more of an open mind and be willing to be understanding. Try not to be so methodical, but instead, just receive the wife’s point of view. I do this, as I mentor other females. I try to show compassion and then, not rush to judgement as I truly listen.
Something we as women don’t seem to realize, is that we do show more concern for husbands, then show a cold heart to women. Never could quite understand this. So anyway, if we are going to call ourselves Christians, plus be mentors to women, we have to have compassion for women like we do for men.
Thank you for your time.
I’m glad to hear your marriage is good. It seems like I offended you and I’m sorry if I assumed your marriage was difficult based on your comment. You’re right I shouldn’t assume and that’s why I said “it sounds like”. We often do see posts from women in hard marriages that sound similar to yours. I didn’t mean any offense to you. Often comments addressed to one woman resonate with other women and they find the comment helpful even if the addressee doesn’t find it helpful.
I’m not understanding what you mean about the contradiction. Do you want to explain that a little more?
I do try to understand a wife’s point of view. I was a wife saying those same things. I also know from my own experience and walking through this journey with other women, that changing ourselves is more fruitful than trying to change someone else.
I read through your list of ways to show love for a wife only to have my heart become very heavy with sadness.
Below I explain why. forgive me for the length of this, but I could go on.
My Marriage lasted a whopping 1 year. Everything aside from the love dare/respect dare I did for my wife and was criticized for everything I did. I tried bying her gift different times only to be criticized for buying her something, even when it was what she was wanting. I gave her flowers ONE TIME, and was ripped on by her for buying her something that was just going to die in a few days. She would tear me down and then accuse me of never buying her anything. I would try to treat her to something nice and it was never good enough. She would express how she would like a new skirt but never buy herself one, but would dictate to me that I was not allowed to shop for clothes for her or with her. I always told her how beautiful she is and would compliment her every day a number of times in a day, but yet be accused of looking at other women. I had no interest in other women, she was the woman I desired and wanted to spend my life with, but it never mattered what I said or did I was accused of being unloving. I stand firm on the Word of God and when she would step outside of what she was claiming to be living I would do what is expected and required of a husband and would correct her when she was going against God and his word. This would be met with much contention. She was constantly looking to find fault with me. She began very early on in our marriage to attack my faith, tearing at my soul. She rarely ever showed me respect as her husband unless she was wanting sex and then the disrespect would come again after sex. No matter how I tried to love her it was never good enough and she would try to tell me how to love her, but what she wanted from me was to submit to her authority. She wanted me to except her disrespectfull behaviour toward me and never respond to her very hurtful words and false accusations against me. I would do my best to keep her out of harms way and protect her, only to be met with being accused of not knowing what I was doing and trying to control her and then she would get hurt and blame me of not protecting her and I was to blame for her getting hurt. I have never had a credit card and never will. I told her I did not approve of her having a credit card and she would make a scene at a shopping center about signing up for a card to get a discount when I would tell her no credit card for any reason. She would humiliate me in front of other women in the store, including the woman behind the counter. I would have to walk away and she would get the card anyway. She would tear me down with her mouth to the point that I could not take it any longer and speek out against her and address her behaviour with scripture most times only to be told I was evil for getting upset with her and saying hurtful things about her. Hurtful things I was saying were calling her out on the fruit of her mouth. Yes I did lose it a number of times and give place to the devil and say some things out of anger. I was wrong in doing so and I would say sorry to her for it. She would hide her body from me and push me away when trying to enjoy her body and then accuse me of being turned off by her body and having no desire for her body, and then accuse me of desire other womens bodies. I pulled her towel off her one time trying to play and have some fun, only to be accused of so much as raping her. Like I expressed earlier in this message, I did all these things in your list but the one and was accused of not showing her any love. I had expressed my desire for her to wear lingerie for me only to be greived by her with it. She would bring something out and show it to me but refuse to put it on for me.
It don’t matter how long a list of actiions a man can do to show love to his wife is, if she refuses to receive the love he is giving her, he will never be able to do or say enough to prove his love for her.
She was injured by one of the sheep one day and blamed me for it, after I told her not to be there. I cooked her a meal and brought it to her because she was not able to stand and fix herself something to eat, only to have her throw the entire plate at me, rejecting the meal and cussing me out for cooking for her, because she did not ask me to cook for her and didn’t need me to baby her, she didn’t need me to take care of her. Then some time later accused me of not taking care of her when she is sick or hurt. She rejected my caring for her every time she got sick or hurt and then accuse me of not caring for her or loving her enough to care. I would drop what I was doing to help her with something or do something for her when she would ask for my help, even when I needed to finish what I was doing, and then be accuse later of not loving her enough to do things for her and help her when she needed help. I never once said anything about dropping what I was doing to help her. But I would go back to what I was doing to try and finish.
If a woman’s heart is not set on God or toward her husband. Nothing can make her feel loved. She may say she loves you but say and do everything that is opposed to love and tell you she is trying to help you to be more loving.
Sorry for the rant.
With all due respect Nina, your statement about “No where in the bible does it say she is to obey you” is incorrect.
In Titus 2 we see a woman is commanded to be obedient to her OWN husband.
Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
obeying or willing to obey; complying with or submissive to authority:
The man is the authority (head) of the wife according to God.
I’m so sorry, Greg, for your suffering.
It seems like this has been a terrible and painful period of time for you – and it grieves me to hear of what you went through.
I know how hard it can be to pour your heart into something or someone, and have it not returned, to feel alone, to be discouraged.
It’s not awesome.
It’s the loneliest place on earth.
And I pray you are able to find peace and comfort in our Lord, and I know you know. 🙂
By what you described, your life was just hell. I’m so sorry. What I wonder about, is her mental state, her faith, and where her resentment or issues originate. I wonder about your admonishment to me about the word “obey” – I don’t disagree with you about the word, however I do encourage the thought that if a man is focused on this first, then he will be met with resistance. I’m not saying you are or did, but 1 Peter 3:7 is pretty clear about a woman receiving respect from her husband, and respect in relationship isn’t created by an attitude of expected obedience. I don’t know anything about her side of things – and I think we frequently need to ask God to show us our own sin when someone is upset with me. I didn’t hear that from you, so I wonder about it.
You sound like you know how to love well, and I’m thinking either your wife had mental issues, was unsaved, or “leadership” was authoritative instead of participative in your home. Please don’t hear me saying I believe the later – you know I encourage and admonish wives to respect and submit to their husbands. What I am saying is that there are things to consider, and when all the blame is put on the other, there may be something missing. I know you did your best, and I believe God has learning for you also in this. Please forgive my words if they hurt you – I don’t mean to, and I’m saying them with the utmost respect and care for you – I know you hurt. I know you are at a loss. I don’t mean to add pain to that – my response is also taking into consideration the many that will read this and it is an attempt to be inclusive for all, lest we add to the “wife must obey” in all things, when the wife is to submit “as to the Lord,” meaning, Saphira and Ananias style, not joining him in sin, not following him no matter where he leads. A man that leads dictatorially can create an environment where his children learn that only one person in a relationship matters. That effects their self-esteem, inhibits their view of a loving God, and when power is lorded over them, they devalue themselves to the point, too often, of severe issues, including self-harm. Most of them just walk away from the church as soon as they can.
These things are all well-researched.
It’s a complicated issue, one worthy of deep discussion and study.
Praying for you, sir. Thanks for the opportunity to provide a little extra for the whole picture to others watching.
Excuse me? When I heard of the “Respect dare”, immediately, i realized that you hit the nail on the very head! However, your reply (even denial) to the WORD that Gregg was quoting very much concerns me. Women are to submit to their own husbands, as unto the LORD & therefore we are to, in a disposition of respect for God’s Order of headship, (by adopting a heart’s attitude of submis-sion, all while entrusting our care and the final results to GOD of our husband’s inept decisions), defer to our own husbands. Such actual submission will include, at times, the need to “obey” our own husband, even exercise a regard for our husband’s preferences. Never, are we to embrace any preference that dishonors the WORD of GOD or undermines our loyalty to THE SAVIOR. We do get ample time to learn how to honorably walk with GOD, as a married woman.I am still learning how so to surrender my “will being” to GOD and to honor my own husband, after 44+ years of marriage. I am ambitious, out spoken, a deep thinker and a Visionary: seemingly a natural leader, as well as a wife to my husband. So, it has been most difficult, after i reached adulthood, to go from the authority of my father’s house, then to get married and learn (after my salvation and then reading the Word of GOD) I wasn’t independent in my adulthood. Ouch!!! It has been trying, but GOD is longsuffering with my self-willed, good intentioned, misguided sense of order. I am encouraged and just now truly actually “seeing” & learning to surrender to honor God’s design and to fully TRUST & daily RELY UPON GOD’s CARE & PROTECTION for me as a Woman (His daughter), under my husband’s fallible care & authority, even as He cared for SARAH. (fallible Abraham’s wife)
I don’t disagree with you, and I’m so glad you commented! 🙂 I’m in complete agreement with everything you said. I’m referring to the times when the husband is leading into sin. I’m going to reread what I wrote through the denial lens and see if I can reword it in a way that makes better sense.
Love to you!
It’s strange though that wives and husbands both, struggle to get the love and respect they need and no matter how many articles are written, there will be marital conflicts. So each partner has to not be selfish and blaming the other, and just decide to do what they are told to do.
It is true that part of the problem, is that no one wants to teach husbands, but they too must be taught. It is not just the wives’ responsibility to work on the marriage. Husbands should too, and should begin being biblical men by, and laying down their lives for their wives and honoring their wives and living with their wives in and understanding way. No one tells husbands that they are not supposed to be arrogant, prideful, or egotistical.
But most marriage writers, sure do lay it on heavy with wives with the criticisms and blame. So, until we do the right thing, and begin teaching men that they the have responsibility to treat their wives correctly, women will rebel and men will act cold and distant.. So marriages will keep continue having conflicts. Wives are not robots. Wives have emotional and physical pain just like husbands. Wives have a right to tell about how ugly their husbands treat them. They are not supposed to suffer in silence. We don’t tell husbands that, do we?
Other VERY important things you can do:
1. Trust her.
I saw an article today that said men should expect that their wives have no male friends. All I could think was, “If there is a male who she has been good friends with since childhood who are you to make her dump him if it is completely platonic?” To me this kind of outlook shows a lack of trust, and it is very damaging to a relationship. She picked you. She loves you. Trust that and trust her. But don’t just trust her in this area. Trust her in life too. Trust her with full access to the money. She is not your child to give a “weekly allowance” to, as some sites suggest. She is your wife, your partner. The fact of her being a woman does not mean she has no control when it comes to spending, and you should both discuss with one another before either one of you spends a large sum of money.
2. Help her every day (not just once or twice a week).
In this day in age, most women have full-time jobs of their own. To expect her to handle her job and 100% of the housework 5 out of the 7 days of the week is unreasonable. Every day you should seek to help her around the house. Instead of getting in her way and petting her while she washes the dishes, cooks, or cleans, pick up a sponge and wash them with her, pick up a spoon and stir the peas, pick up a broom and sweep the kitchen. She will know you love her, want to make her life a little easier, and chores are always more fun when you’re doing them with someone you love. 🙂
3. Even if you feel led by God, listen to her opinions and thoughts.
You are not an infallible being, and as humans it is impossible to understand God’s message alone. If you listen to her and discuss what you feel God’s message to you is, she will likely enhance your understanding of His message. If you take your interpretation as set in stone and fact, she may take it as you “playing” God rather than trying to understand God. Who’s to say that her interpretation of His message is inferior to your own? In doing this, you will both grow together in the understanding of His message (as married couples should).
I need to clarify in my previous comment about my husband not reading or trying to learn about differences—meant that I seem to be in charge of this area of our lives and he would not come across this list or any similar lists on his own 🙂 in this case is there a way to respectfully share this list?
Thank you Nina. These touch my heart as a woman and are what I do want and need to feel truly loved by my husband. He does love me in his way but it would be wonderful to feel loved in my way.
I am learning more about what makes a man feel dis/respected as I want to touch my husband’s heart in his way. My husband doesn’t read about relationships or try to learn about our differences. I on the other hand love to read and learn about these differences and rely on people like you writing about them. Would it be disrespectful to ask him to read this? If not how can I respectfully make the request and explain I really desire these things to feel loved? In our less than 2 years of marriage and trying to be the best wife I can learn to be, if I asked him to read something about husbands and wives, marriage, gender differences, etc. he would shut down and tell me he felt like he was doing something wrong 🙁 Not my intention at all!!!! I guess another difference I learned the hard way. I don’t know how to show him these things and he doesn’t know to do them because he does say things when I’m feeling insecure or needing reassurance “did I saythat/tell you that/let you know otherwise?” Ugh. He doesn’t know how much that adds to the hurt. My husband is a good man and I do think he wants to be the best husband he can be and wants to make me happy. If he did these simple things it would make me the happiest woman on the planet! I would feel loved, cherished and adored, I don’t think he would withhold them if he did understand but he doesn’t.
I have tried to explain a few things but I think a list would help. And seeing it is the common need of females might help him. For the most part I intellectually know my husband loves me but I don’t feel it. I will stay committed to my marriage, loyal to my husband, enjoy his companionship and do my best to be the wife he deserves and needs even if I don’t ever feel really loved but if he could even learn a few of these things it would make a world of difference to me.
Do you have a link to a similar list for wives? Maybe I need to learn more about how to really make him feel respected.
Great blog post. I appreciate the time and effort you but into helping husbands love their wives. I especially like the sandwich analogy. It’s important to remember that husbands and wives speak different languages. Often times we get lost in translation. I have no doubt that following just tenth of your suggestions would bring about huge results.
Any good you see is from God! 🙂 Am looking forward to reading your blog, Rick. 🙂 Thank you so much for joining us! 🙂
I am very saddened by your situation. I was in a situation very similar to yours but not to the extreme. I will have to agree with Nina in that it took me looking only to God for what I needed. I learned to live only for Him. No it wasn’t easy. I did not expect to see any changes in my husband. What I found was that in my changing, my husband and others changed in response to my change. I learned I can only change me and ALL my changes had to start with me with no expectations of others changing. I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless You.
When I came across this today and read it, I could barely read it through my tears, because right now I AM at the point that I am so far beyond pain that can be descriptive in any way. I don’t just want to walk away or run away…I have no where to go…so for me death seems the only option left….I have given this man my entire life since I was 19…31 years, I have tried to forgive the affairs, the alcoholism, porn addition, the lying to my face and smoking behind my back, the kindness and soft voice shown to others, the favors he happily does for so called friends that never call other wise, he does for them happily and does nothing but grumble to me even just asking to get food ! He is grouchy towards me and our kids as soon as we say or ask for anything. He has no time for his families personal needs or struggles, but hey a friend or co worker can call, and off he goes ! I have reared our kids pretty much alone, kept his home, He has told me I have been an exceptional wife with everything..when the kids were little I made most of their clothing, cut everyone’s hair, did everything to be thrifty( while he drank and smoked a good portion of very paycheck) he always has had excellent meals, served to him nightly at the table when the older kids were home, now on his lap in bed, or on a tray in front of the TV. I have been more of a servant than a wife, there is 0 from him in the bedroom, no compliments, no show of affection out side of a kiss good by in the morn, IF he is not mad at me. And sometimes, IF he is not passed out in front of the TV in bed or the living room, I might get one, but 95 % of the time, Only if I ask…. if I ask if supper was good, he now says, it was alright. He does nothing for me personally EVER !!! cuz I don’t call bringing home a jug of milk or a few groc. something personal for me….
When this goes on, and on and on and I try to tell him anything, even with soft words and tears, its met with anger and turns it around to be all about him . So I keep quiet until one day one more thing he does becomes too much and I explode and we fight, and then he talks about leaving, he has had enough HE is not taking it anymore, HE is sick of it !!
This is what I live with daily… and daily, thoughts consume me of wanting to be anywhere but here ! OR DEATH ! When I cry he does not hold me, he becomes stone cold and silent, or turns his back on me…I ask him please can we pray, He says sure go ahead…so tell me, how much more should I take, He says be patient I am trying, its been 31 years…how many more years should I wait!!! How much more should I take before I DO KILL myself cuz I cannot stand it any more !
I had a job, a good paying job!!! He came to me and said, I will offer you a 1000 a month to just stay home and take care of things. I said I will have to think about it, my job gave me over 3000 a month take home pay. I decided ok I will do this, FOR US, FOR HIM….. BIG MISTAKE !!!, he gave me maybe 2000, then came and said I can’t afford that, (he makes over 100,000 a yr. ??? so then he says I will give you 500 a month and pay for everything, I say ok ! then he buys a new truck 50,000 and starts complaining he has so much to pay for…. we have horses , but its my fault we have to fork out money for them? more than 2 years have passed, I see no money, I now have no job, no means to support myself and feel trapped !!! When ever I need anything , he says over and over again, if you had a drivers lic. you could do this for yourself !! What do I need him for then?? I could have been supporting myself just fine, all by myself !! I tell him I did not get married to be alone, He says you want to be alone? I can fix that, we can end this right now !!!! Tell me what would you do, would you stay ???? You can love someone, but sometimes just loving them is not enough !!! No matter what I say or do, somehow its my fault and I am NOT supposed to share how I feel cuz it makes him feel bad !!! if I tell him these things hurt me, and break my heart , then according to him he already knows, and all I am doing is rubbing it in his face. I am sorry , but I am tired of his selfishness, his lack of caring, he says he cares, I do NOT SEE IT !! I am tired of the lies, tired of feeling empty, broken, lost, unloved, and lonely in my own home! Its pretty sad when you can lay in bed next to your husband and cry yourself to sleep cuz you never felt so alone in your life !!
How about some feed back, what would you do ladies ??
Signed ..completely empty and broken !!! :'(
Matthew 18 or redemptive separation would seem like possibilities. So sorry you’re hurting this way.
Praying that you hear God today, hear Him say how much you are loved. Read Psalm 91. I have no advice or really anything that I think could help other than to tell you that I believe you are VERY strong and lovely to have made it, and raised children while enduring such trials.
Beloved, this has never been about changing your husband. It’s about connecting you to the Father – and I don’t blame you for being upset…if I were living what you are and read the post above, it would shatter my heart as well.
I’m going to email you, okay? And know you are not alone, but rather surrounded by women who have strong hearts for Him. And for the sake of the others that come here and see this, please know that you are right. Loving them is not enough – only the Father’s love can move someone. Sometimes they see it in us, but most often, as we grow in our own walk with Him, we are out of His way to them, and they see it elsewhere.
Your Father in heaven knows of your pain and longs to comfort you. If there is someone local that is older and wiser than you, perhaps your pastor’s wife, might I gently encourage you to reach out to someone right there locally? Please read the comment section in this post: http://ninaroesner.com/2013/08/22/a-man-shares-about-pornography/ and connect the dots. There is hope for you. His wife did Matthew 18 with him. It changed everything. It was also difficult and painful for all of them.
But I want to encourage you to spend time with God – to ask Him to help you know Him more…
Knowing Him more deeply gives us the next step.
Knowing Him more deeply provides the peace you seek, and the comfort you ache for.
And it gives you the strength to confront in love, not in anger, but seeing your husband the way God does – as someone He sent His Son to die for as well, just like you.
What would I do? Whatever God wanted me to… might be overlook, might be Matthew 18 confrontation with the help of a counselor or man or pastor my husband respected, but whatever God wanted, and in His timing.
Please do not choose death. Where there is breath, there is hope. And you are not alone.
Love to you,
Brokenhearted – praying for you. No easy answers here, that is certain, but I know for sure that taking your own life is not an answer. But God is the answer. Prayers for you. I am so sorry for your hurting.
Broken hearted I am praying for you. That type of aloneness is the worst. You have been a good and faithful wife. There are times when a separation is needed. I say that cautiously cause I rarely support the end of marriages but there are times when there is no more that can be done. This is abuse…mental and emotional. I’m praying first of all for you. That you find peace, contentment, and joy despite your situation. I’m praying for you husband that his heart will soften towards you and he will love you again…but that first he truly knows and loves Jesus. You are in a tough place and you’ve served well. Pray earnestly about what to do. Walking away from the marriage may be it. Praying for contentment and your husband.
The Bible encourages us to not leave, BUT, if we do (which assumes that some will) it is for the purpose of reconciliation – sometimes something like that is just what someone needs to move in the direction God has for him. Praying for discernment for us all.
I love it
This is a great list. I was wondering, do you have a list like this, that women can do for their husbands?
What a great idea! Will put one together!! Awesome. Thank you. 🙂
Great 🙂 My husband was surprisingly open to this list. Thank you for sharing these “hands on” ways that men can show their love to us. I have trouble verbalizing what I need, so this was helpful to us both.
Hi, Nina! My name is Maria Amelia and I am Brazilian. I live in Brazil and would love to have the book The Respect Dare. How do to get one? Thank you.
Hi Maria! So glad you are here. I would check with any Christian book store – they should be able to order it. If you have a Walmart, they might have it also, or, you can order it through Amazon.com. There’s also a Kindle version, which you can download to your PC if you do not have a Kindle. I don’t know what’s available specifically where you live, I’m sorry I’m not more help… 🙂
Love to you,
Thanks anyway, Nina! God bless you!
This is an awesome page to endourage women to love and respect their husbands. I’m excited to share your postings with my circle of friends and blog friends in how to grow in Biblical Womanhood. Please check out my Marriage & Family and Dating & Marriage 101 posts. They are geared to my friends who desire to be married but are seeking the character foundations to get there. Love this!
PLEASE SEND ME ARTICLES FOR HUSBANDS.
Love this! I blogged about sometime similar a while back (with the 100 lists) and even I forget to use it sometimes. It’s so nice to have it in front of you every once in a while!
Here’s my blog: