The Most Important Way A Wife Can Love Her Husband

Image of Respect Road Sign“Can you please tell me how hard I’ve been working?” Michael said, with a smile on his face.

“Of course you’ve been working hard. I tell you I love you every day when you come home…and cook for you” I replied, a little confused why my words weren’t translating as love.

Then I remembered.

Before we got engaged, I read everything I could get my hands on regarding marriage. Our pre-marital counselors gave us a list of ‘suggested books’ and I [admittedly a book nerd] devoured all of them.

I love sharing with you lessons I’m learning, so please know I am merely walking alongside you on this journey, not preaching from a pedestal.  I noticed a common denominator across almost every book I read. While each author has a different way to word it, the verdict is in:

The most important thing a wife can do for her husband is…Respect him. “R.E.S.P.E.C.T find out what it means to me”… are you singing, too?

Men need to know we see how hard they work to provide. To know we admire their character and trust them to do the right thing. Trust is a big sign of respect. In essence, our husbands want to know we think they’ve hung the moon. {at least once a month:}

Respect often has a negative connotation and conjures up images of men with a beer in hand yelling, “Respect me woman!”, but that is absolutely not what the Bible means when it tells women to respect our husbands.

What respect doesn’t mean: that we never ask questions. That we don’t speak the truth. That we don’t have thoughts of our own. That we are at the mercy of every whim of our husbands. And it never means we become doormats for men to walk all over. Abuse is wrong, always wrong, and staying in an abusive relationship is never what God intended. I visited the Billy Graham memorial last year and loved how attributed much of his success to his godly wife, Ruth. Another topic for another day.

Oftentimes as women we love men, the way we want to be loved.

Ways women ‘hear’ love:

I love you. You’re beautiful. I couldn’t love anyone more than you. Here are flowers for just being you! Let’s go on a date-and leave the kids with a babysitter. You are just as beautiful on the day I married you. You look skinny today. Women…am I right?

But what I’ve found for Michael and what these various books suggest is the way he feels most loved is when I show respect.

Ways men ‘hear’ respect [which translates to feeling loved]:

Thanks for working so hard. You are the best man I know. You will be a great role model for our kids. Thank you for providing [so I can buy designer jeans]. I respect you. I trust your decisions. I’d love to watch you work on your car–you are so handy!

Do you see the difference between how men and women feel loved? It’s really hard for me to remember to tell Michael things like “thank you for providing” and “you are such a good man” because it feels foreign. But how many times do I need Michael to tell me I’m beautiful? At least once a day! Just because he said it yesterday, does not mean that today [esp. those days when the fat pants go on] that I don’t need to hear it again. Crazy, yes…but I know I’m not alone.

So why would men not need to hear as often as we want to hear we’re beautiful that we respect their decisions and their character? Marriage is a learning process and we are thankful we have a lifetime to grow closer and learn how to love each other better. It’s nice to be in it for the long run.

Image of long roadMarriage books I recommend: Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas, Each for the Other by Brian Chapell, Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll (coming soon from Thomas Nelson).

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Comments
3 Responses to “The Most Important Way A Wife Can Love Her Husband”
  1. Charlie Monroe. says:

    Ruthie, wow! If I may weigh in from a mans’s perspective, you hit the nail on the head! RESPECT is a big deal. To echo what you have already said, let me suggest one other important way that women can show respect to their husbands. And, that is in the way that you speak to him in public, both to him and about him. Words, tone of voice, and even facial expression, all speak volumes.
    My precious daughter in law, Emily sent your blog to me and I hope it is ok that I replied. Hope you are doing well. I have always respected you and your love for Jesus!

  2. Ruthie D. says:

    Hi Mr. Monroe! Thank you for your words of wisdom! I’m so glad you added the part about speaking to and about him in public–very important. I’m so glad Emily sent my blog to you. If you want to get updates by email (I usually post 2x/week), please enter your email on the homepage and then confirm your subscription. Would love to see y’all next time we come to Chattanooga…. and introduce my other half. Hope all is well.

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