It’s no secret that being married can be challenging. I am a young, married twenty-something who is still figuring out things about myself, and I am extremely hard-headed and independent. So, sometimes I fall short of giving my husband the respect that he deserves because of my pride *shocker*. It can be incredibly difficult to show respect if you are someone like myself, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. I am blessed and immensely thankful that my husband is gracious with me on my bad days and still shows me love when I am being selfish and prideful. I am thankful that God is full of love, grace, and mercy and is constantly in the process of redeeming and transforming my hard heart to be more like Him and less like my fleshy horrible self.
In spite of how I am most days, I have learned a few things that may help some of you in regards to giving your husband the respect he needs and deserves. I am most definitely not an expert or by any means perfect–and I still fail regularly–but I hope that these small tips will help you get better at respecting your husband even when you disagree with him. In Christian marriage, there’s a word that gets tossed around a lot and often has a bad reputation to it. That word is “submit”. Now, before you hiss at me and run away, hear me out. The word “submit” doesn’t mean that you are enslaved to your spouse’s every demand. In context, while the word “submit” does mean that you are to “be subject to” your husband, this form of Biblical submission can only work and be accomplished if the husband is first in submission to Christ. Meaning that, if your husband is following the lead of Christ, then you can follow your husband’s lead because He is first submitting to Christ. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up to fail because of unrealistic expectations. When your husband is following God’s lead instead of trying to do it on his own terms, the submission to him is easy because he loves God & is following God’s lead. You, in turn, can submit to your husband because you love God, know your husband loves God and is following His lead, and know that your husband has your best intentions in mind because he is surrendering to Christ. Submission in Biblical marriage is also another way to respect your husband!
Now that we’ve talked a little about submission, let’s move on to some ways that you can respect your husband even when you disagree. Because if we’re being totally transparent, it is really hard to submit to your husband when you disagree with him. Which is why I have a few pointers to help you out when that feeling arises so that you are still able to respect your husband and his lead despite disagreeing.
Accept that your husband is human.
We all want to imagine that our husband’s are perfect, when in reality, they are human and make mistakes just like we do. Whenever your husband says or does something hurtful or makes a bad decision, don’t tell him “I told you so” or lash out at him. You can respect your husband in these situations by telling yourself that he is just as imperfect as you are. If he hurts your feelings, wait until you calm down before you tell him that he hurt you. If he made a bad decision, instead of lashing out at him, pray & have faith and trust that God will work the situation out instead (Romans 8:28). If you don’t agree with a decision he makes, accept that he is human and we all make mistakes and trust that it will get worked out.
Focus more on his strengths that weakness.
This can be a hard one for us to do, but it is necessary. It is all too easy to nit pick your husband when he messes up, but that is not building up your spouse. Instead of making snide comments–even if you might just be joking–when your husband messes up, affirm to him the things that he did exceptionally well at in any given situation. Not only does this show respect to your husband, it shows love as well. This also encourages your husband that he is doing a good job of taking care of you and gives him a boost in his confidence and abilities because he knows that you appreciate him and his efforts.
Treat him like the man you want him to become.
It sounds a bit strange, but we should be our husband’s biggest cheerleaders! In order for your husband to become everything that God created him to be, you need to treat him like he’s got all the potential in the world. Set high expectations for your husband, and encourage and spur him on in those expectations. When we as wives do this, we motivate our husbands to become everything we know they can be. By treating your husband this way, it shows them that we believe in them and also that we respect who they are as a person.
Related Reading: 5 Ways To Encourage Your Husband
Don’t speak poorly about your husband.
This one is a big one. We need to avoid complaining or bashing our husbands to anyone–family and friends included. It is one thing to ask for advice for a particular situation, and something different entirely to complain about your husband. No matter what it is, complaining or bashing out husbands to people is not respectful or uplifting at all and shouldn’t happen. If there is an issue, you should go directly to your husband first about it. Then, if that doesn’t get resolved, BOTH of you can talk to a mentor or trusted married couple to seek advice. I know that this is hard, and believe me, I still struggle with it too, but make an effort to bite your tongue when you feel the urge to complain about your husband to someone. If you are really wanting to say something to get it off of your chest and your husband isn’t available to talk, I suggest journaling it and turning that journal entry into a prayer.
Listen to him intently when he speaks.
I know, he is talking about something that you don’t know about or don’t care about and you want to tune him out. Don’t. This is disrespectful period. You wouldn’t do that to your boss, and you most certainly shouldn’t do it to your husband either. Even though you might not understand something he is saying, you should still listen to him. If you aren’t sure what he’s talking about, ask questions to help understand or ask him to clarify what it means. Listening to your husband shows that you respect him, builds trust, and shows him how much he, and his words, mean to you. Even if you are talking about something of importance like a big decision you’re making, you still need to listen to him and hear him out.
Affirm his point of view.
You are never going to see eye to eye on everything with your husband, but it is important to still affirm his point of view even if it is different than yours. When you disagree with him, you don’t have to be harsh. There is a way to find middle ground and a compromise usually. After listening to your husband’s point of view, affirm it by repeating it back to him, Then, if you hold a different position than he does, tell him why you’re struggling to see his point of view and work it out from there. This shows your husband that you care and respect him, and that you are also willing and able to compromise even though you don’t see things the same way.
There are countless other ways that you can respect your husband, and while you may disagree with him sometimes, you can still show respect to him. Marriage is hard sometimes, but with God all things are possible. Including learning how to respect your husband in a Biblical way. God created each of us uniquely, and we aren’t expected to be on the same page all the time because marriage consists of two vastly different people learning to become one in a Biblical sense. We have to learn how to talk to each other, to love each other, to respect each other, and so much more.
I hope that these tips were helpful to you in one way or another. This is just a short list of a few ways you can respect your husband, even when you disagree. Do you have any ways that you respect your husband? Comment and let me know!