Won Without Words
winning the marriage you desire through wisdom

Shari Popejoy


April 18, 2012

Respect Undeserved

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Written by: Shari Popejoy
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If you are a woman who argues that her husband is undeserving of respect, you have my empathy.

Because you are  probably right — sometimes!

We live so closely with our husband, and we see him flaws and all (as he does ours).  After a few years perhaps we’ve even seen him at his worst, at his weakest, at his most human, basest level.

Perhaps you have observed him lower his standards, react with immaturity, fall and wallow, take the lesser road, and settle for way below his abilities.  And still he is your husband.

And still, God commands Christian wives to respect their husbands.

How are you to do that?  How can you respect a man when you can hardly bear to look at him? The same way a soldier salutes the Commander in Chief.  You respect the position.  He is your husband, and as such, deserves your unwavering loyalty, your respect, your support, — and conversation without the demeaning undertone :-).

How do you know, whether you will lead your husband to Christ? (I Corinthians 7:16)   How do you know whether you will lead your husband to integrity and nobility?  Sometimes, all it takes to make a good man is for a good woman to believe in and pray for him.

There is something within a man that rises up and becomes what a woman expects him to be (or not be).

Because of the grace of God, we all are worthy of respect, — but only because of Christ’s redemptive work.  If not for His grace, we would all be wallowing in the slime pit.

Your husband might not deserve your respect, but he is entitled to it. He might not have earned your respect, but he retains the position of authority nonetheless.  If you want to obey God, then you will treat your husband with respect.  He deserves at least the common civility that you would bestow on a stranger.

So, here’s the big tip for today:

Speak to your husband at all times with a tone of respect and courtesy.

This might be harder than we think!  It is not just our words which must be respectful, but our tone of voice, the expression on our face, the tilt of our shoulders.  We have to avoid the eye roll, the lip curl, the head cock, the hands on the hips, the deep sigh, the moan of disgust!!!  Practice respect all day!

If it is really hard to give him respect, then we have lots of work to do!  But, by the grace of God, we will keep working, keep obeying Him — we love Him, and so we keep His command to respect our husband.

You can do it!!

Digging deeper:

  1. What are some ways that you disrespect your husband in word, manner, vocal expression, facial expression, demeaning actions or attitudes?
  2. What are some ways that you can change your actions so that your husband sees your respect for him?
  3. Can you separate trust from respect, and give your husband the proper respect, even if you don’t yet trust him?

About the Author

Shari Popejoy
Shari Popejoy is the author of the book Won Without Words, and the blog Won Without Words, encouragement to wives. She writes the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for young people, and the blog Oh Joy!, (injoyinc.com/oh/) for busy moms. She is a frequent contributor to Christian print and online magazines, and writes from the quiet country of the Ozarks, where she lives with her husband, Marc, and their three children. You can find out all about her at sharipopejoy.com!


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