If you’re wondering, “Why would you want to disrespect your husband? Did I read this title right?”
Yes, yes you did.
In a culture where complaining is common, marriage is under attack, and self-satisfaction is on the rise, we can so easily fall into the temptation of making society’s standards our own when it comes to our marriages.
“Everyone complains about their husband.”
“At least I’m not as bad as [fill in the blank]”…because we all know that person. #justbeingreal
It doesn’t matter.
Our standard for our marriages shouldn’t be what your neighbor is doing, or even what your closest friends are doing.
Your standard for marriage should be rooted in God’s Word, and God’s Word alone.
And God has called us to respect our husbands.
– intentionally – and – unintentionally –
The number one need for men is a combination of honor and respect, and our husbands cannot meet that need themselves.
In Ephesians 5:33, Paul writes, “let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
In addition to his command toward men, Paul says a wife should respect her husband.
Notice what Paul doesn’t say. (though at times, it would be a heck of a lot easier if he did!)
Paul doesn’t say, “Respect your husband the way you see in Hollywood.”
He doesn’t say, “Respect your husband the same way your friends respect their husbands.”
He doesn’t even say, “Respect your husband when he deserves it.”
Paul doesn’t qualify respect at all.
Respect your husband, period.
That’s the standard the Bible gives to us wives. (and we all know, it can be tricky at times!)
R.E.S.P.E.C.T (cue the queen, Aretha!)
This means when they deserve it, and when they don’t.
This means when you feel loved, and when you don’t.
When they’ve been sick for what seems like a decade, and instead of calling your best friend to complain, you go to their aide.
When your friends are talking about their husbands like pin cushions, you don’t take a jab at yours.
Now, with all that being said, there is nothing perfect in us except Christ himself, and no wife is able to offer the uttermost respect to her husband at all times.
We all have our days, our shortcomings, just as they do as our husbands. We are all human. But that doesn’t mean we are off the hook. That simply means we are to offer our shortcomings at the foot of the cross, as He molds and transforms us to be wives that honor Him by showing respect to our husbands. (and with His grace!)
So, if you’ve been in the Christian wives club for long, chances are you’ve read the books, or seen hundreds of ways to respect your husband and, yes, those are wonderful reminders and pursuits for the day-to-day, and you should absolutely dive into them!
But what about the ways we often disrespect our husbands unintentionally? In ways that society would scoff at, but the bible makes very clear that they are forms of disrespect and dishonor.
Here are 5 ways to disrespect your husband without even knowing it.
This is a big one in a lot of marriages. Undermining your husband, especially as a father, is a form of disrespect and it teaches your children that he is not competent and shouldn’t be respected. Overruling his decisions in front of your children not only teaches them to disrespect him, but it also brings discord and conflict into your home rather than bringing peace and unity. Truth Bomb: we are on the same team and any time we think that we’re doing the ‘right thing’ by devaluing our husband’s words or opinion, we are slowly giving them no other option but for him to disengage and completely leave the parenting duties to us. (OUCH, no thank you!)
Or maybe you haven’t joined the parenting tribe yet, or you and your spouse have decided not to have children. That doesn’t change the fact that this is one of the most common things that gets overlooked in a marriage when it comes to respecting.
Are you undermining him by trying to take the primary role as a provider? Not strictly from a financial role, but a spiritual role as well?
Do you trust that he hears from God, or are you always trying to persuade what God has spoken to you, onto him?
Are you diligent to honor the budget that you two have put in place?
“So then, let us follow after things which make for peace, and things by which we may build up (edify) one another “ –Romans 14:19
This one is a little more obvious, but you’d be amazed at how often you may catch yourself doing this -with-or-without- your husband around. Did you know that your words have the power to destroy or build your husband up? I would venture to say, that our words as wives carry more weight than nearly anyone else, other than the Lord, in our husbands’ lives. It doesn’t take much for our words to come across to our husbands as disrespect. If you spend the majority of your time criticizing the things that your spouse has done wrong rather than praising the things that they have done right, it’s likely that they feel as if they won’t ever be good enough for you. If you’ve gotten caught in this trap, I challenge you to speak 5 positive things for every 1 criticizing remark you say to or speak about your husband this week. Watch as you become more aware, and have a greater sense of gratitude towards your husband as you train your brain to complement rather than criticize.
“Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” –Psalm 34:14
3.) Emotional Manipulation
Here’s to getting real.
Are you ready?
This is the one I struggle with the MOST!
Coming from a highly manipulative upbringing, this is something that I have had to daily surrender to the Lord, and allow Him to correct, and retrain my mind away from manipulation.
Have you ever used your moods to dictate your husband’s response?
Here is a common one for us:
“Nope. It’s fine. I don’t care” – when it actually isn’t fine and you do care?
“No, do whatever you want” – when you really want them to stay home with you, even if that means just binging Netflix on the couch?
Operating in passive-aggressive behavior, mastering the silent treatment, giving ultimatums, guilt trips, using the words “always” and “never”(#guilty) are some of the ways emotional manipulation has brought disrespect into our marriage.
LADIESSSS! Be honest in the disappointment or sadness that you feel – nobody is telling you to suppress your emotions, especially not me because even on my best days I am the queen of emotions.
But, there is a boundary we must be held accountable to in knowing what we are saying to help our marriages versus what we’re saying to control our marriages.
“Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.” –2 Timothy 2:23 NLT
4.) Comparison/Envy of other marriages
There are few things that can destroy your marriage faster than this one. Comparison is a slippery slope, and a dangerous trap when it comes to the health of our lives and relationships. Comparison is often based on partial truths and unattainable reality. Most of us know this, yet we all do it. And thanks to social media, highlights, and the beloved Nicholas Sparks, we step willingly into the comparison trap in our marriages often. Did you know that being satisfied and having Godly contentment in our marriages is a key component of a healthy marriage? And our husbands find it incredibly sexy (so I am told). On the flip side, when we display discontentment in our lives, our husband immediately feels the disrespect and defaults to what they know which is to ‘fix, fix, fix’ until they feel like there’s nothing more he can do, so he gives up. The more time and energy we waste comparing our marriages (or husbands) to that of our friends’ spouses, Nicholas Sparks novels, while telling him who he isn’t or who he needs to be, the more we miss out on the beautiful qualities and gifts in the person that God gave to us. And, we take our eyes off the plans and purpose God has to use us through our marriages.
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. ” –Galatians 6:4-6 NIV
5.) Lack of Trust [ Resentment/Unforgiveness ]
Whoever said they saved the best for last (yikes!)? This one is a real bear, because so many times, it’s the little areas of resentment and unforgiveness that we allow in, that over time will develop a lack of trust in something we’ve created in our own minds. Something as small as, “I always (eeek! there’s that word again!) put away the dishes, change the diapers, pack his lunch…whatever it is. But over time, those areas create disrespect and can become a lack of trust from an expectation we never communicated.
And, sometimes, there are times that merit our lack of trust. There are times where you may feel your husband doesn’t deserve your respect. But it is in those times, where the Lord sees your actions, and by you choosing to respect when you feel the trust has been broken, is where God steps in to work a miracle, and the place of highest calling where you honor God through obedience in His word by respecting your husband. If there is an area where you are harboring unforgiveness, resentment, or an area of trust that has been broken, communicate about it. But never communicate about it before going to God in prayer, first! This will not only soften your heart towards your spouse, but God can be working behind the scenes to prepare their hearts as well.
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind, and not resentful.” –2 Timothy 2:24 NIV
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” –Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT