by Aleta Kay
He beats you. Or he’s mean. Or he’s underhanded in his dealings with people. He lies. He’s unfair. How can you possible respect a man like that? He doesn’t deserve your respect so why should you respect him?
From a purely human standpoint you have no reason to. But here are some things to consider.
Are you always respectable? Are you always worthy of respect? Not unless you’re perfect. Are you perhaps being too critical, only seeing the negative? Is he living up to your lowest expectations? How does he hear you talk about him? How do your children hear you talk about him? What would happen if you change the way you think and talk about him? You loved and respected him once. What caused that to change? What can you do to turn things around?
Try praise and encouragement. Do you get better results from criticism or praise?
The second part of Ephesians 5:33 says, “and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Reverence means respect. There is no disclaimer there. It doesn’t say you only have to respect him if he deserves it. When you are talking about him talk about the things you love and admire in him. Give the disappointing attributes to God. Let God take care of those things. Your job is to be the queen of the home. That means he is the king. Treat your husband the same way you would treat Jesus (even though he may not act anything like Jesus). If you keep treating him with respect out of a pure and loving heart, you may find yourself loving him more. Your children will respect both of you more and he may become more respectable.
Don’t fall into the trap of “if he doesn’t respect me why should I respect him.” Behaving in the same manner is retaliation. Retaliation is war and will divide your family. Do what’s right and leave everything else to God. Be a good example for your children.
If you hear other people criticizing your husband, jump in with something positive about him. Or change the subject. Don’t listen to criticism and you won’t be critical. What do you have to lose? Don’t just try it to see if it works. Keep doing it. Make it a part of who you are.