Leave and Cleave R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Ephesians 5:33

English Standard Version (ESV)

33However,(A) let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she(B) respects her husband

To tell you the truth when I first thought about respect and why it’s so important to my husband…I didn’t get it. I mean sure, who doesn’t like to be respected and valued, but it is integral in making your husband feel loved. It’s what makes him feel like he’s the man, your mate…your hero.

Over the next few weeks my plan is to talk about respect and how to respect your husband. It starts in your heart, your home and in public. So first let’s talk about what respect is and why it’s important.

By definition respect means to hold someone in esteem, defer to them, to show regard or honor for someone or something. I don’t know about you but I winced just a little when I read that. I know that I certainly haven’t always deferred to my husband or shown him the highest esteem. Ouch.

But why does the Bible command us to respect our husbands? He’s supposed to love us, but we’re to respect him. A lot of women are going to say, “but they’re one and the same…I can’t feel loved unless I’m respected” But they are different.

To esteem your husband means you hold him in high regard. In some ways respect can also be tied to admiration and appreciation of your husband. Kerry (my husband) tells me that in a way respect is the outward expression of our inward submission to him. I’ll get to the submission posts after this series, because I know that’s a tough pill for a lot of women to swallow.

Respect speaks to the heart of a man. Respect lets him know that he is valued and he is admired by someone else. In showing respect to our husbands we are also showing that we believe they are the head of our household and we believe they are totally capable in this role. Respect doesn’t just mean that we hold him in high esteem, but that we care about his thoughts and his feelings.

If a man doesn’t feel he is worthy (or getting) his wife’s respect, he will be dejected, depressed and may seek that respect elsewhere. It doesn’t make it right, but it does make it easier.

I challenge you this week to think about how you can show more esteem and respect for your husband. Ask him what makes him feel respected or honored. You might be surprised to hear the answers.

A good place to start would be pay attention to how you talk about and to your husband. How do you represent him to others? How do you talk about him in front of your children or your co-workers?

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