If you have been married for any length of time, you may have noticed that during certain periods you struggle to respect your husband, and in some ways feel unloved or unappreciated by your man.
I must confess that my hubby and I have been in this cycle far too many times than I would like to admit in our 14 years of marriage. But by the grace of God, we are getting better at identifying the simple problem when it comes up, and preventing the all-too-predictable circuit of disrespect and being unloving before we hit rock bottom.
Let’s do a quick refresher of the beautiful go-to verses from Ephesians on the subject of marital struggles and how to eliminate the bulk of them once and for all:
God’s Word to Husbands
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…
God’s Word to Wives
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
God wisely gave you, as the wife, the instruction to submit to and respect your husband, because He created your man to need and crave respect.
Your dear husband, on the other hand, was commanded by God to love you with an undying love, based on the way that Your Creator designed you to intensely desire affection and tender, loving care.
Wasn’t that just so wise of God? He took all the guess work out of marriage, and laid out what each party needs. Black on white…
However, this still takes effort on your part.
Marital Struggles 101
In a way, your marriage is like your walk with the Lord. If you are not moving forward in your journey with God, you’re subtly sliding backwards.
Likewise, if you and I don’t work at this precious relationship of marriage, it quickly starts sinking. It seems as though anything worth fighting for, or more accurately, dying for, takes work in the Kingdom of God! But the rewards always far outweigh the labour we exert.
So, practically, what does this look like:
So, because I’m not respecting my husband, he doesn’t feel or act very loving towards me. And because he is not being loving towards me, I don’t feel or act very respectful towards him! And so the vicious cycle is born.
In the (likely) event that you have been/are/will be in this rut, here are a few tips to remember that are helpful to get off the bandwagon, and restore the bliss that you once had and long for:
Pray. Either by yourself, or preferably together. But pray. God is truly the only One who can help you to break the cycle.
Either your husband or you has to be willing to humble yourself and be the first to take the initial step to exit the cycle. Since you can’t change or control your husband, you may as well be the first one to act. It ain’t gonna be easy, but determine to be the first to be respectful to him for an entire day (or an entire hour, if bite-sized respect nuggets are more practical).
Respect Him Purposefully
The first step to being respectful, is to stop being DISrespectful! Even if you don’t replace your disrespect with honour and esteem, simply refraining from making that snide remark, rolling your eyes, or disregarding what your husband says, goes a long way. This definitely sets you in the right direction.
Do not make your respect conditional. Dear friend, you are commanded by God to respect your husband (Ephesians 5:22). Respecting your man is not dependent on how loving he was to you this morning, whether he carried out the chores you asked him to or not, or whether you agree with a decision he has made or oppose it. Even if your husband is not worthy of your respect, you are to respect him out of obedience to God. God said it. You need to do it as an act of reverence and worship to the King of Kings. Period.
I didn’t say this would be easy. But if you follow these steps, your heart will closely follow, and according to my experience, in all likelihood, so will your husband.
May you be blessed of the Lord, beloved sister, as you endeavor to put His beautiful, timeless Word into practice. It will be worth the effort, and will reap priceless rewards in your marriage and life!
Please take a moment to share this post with someone whom you believe will benefit from it.
NOTE: Since writing this post, several lovely ladies have pointed out that the above principles are similar to those in a book titled, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs, by Emerson Eggerichs. I have not read this book, however, it comes highly recommended by many.
Can you relate to this cycle? Do you have any tips or wise advice that would help in preventing the vicious cycle from happening, or putting an end to it when it does?
If you and I don’t work at this precious relationship of marriage, it quickly starts to sink. (click to tweet)
The first step to being respectful, is to stop being DISrespectful! (click to tweet)
Even if your husband is not worthy of your respect, you are to respect him out of obedience to God. (click to tweet)Pin It