Five Ways To Respect Your Husband
About the Guest
The Bible does not have to command wives to love their husbands because doing so is a natural part of a woman's makeup. However, the Bible does command wives to respect their husbands because that doesn't come naturally for most women. Trent and Andrea Griffith give a message explaining five ways a wife can show respect to her husband.
Trent and Andrea Griffith give a message explaining five ways a wife can show respect to her husband.
Five Ways To Respect Your Husband
Bob: As a wife, when you think about your husband, where is your focus? Andrea Griffith remembers when she had to readjust her thinking about her husband Trent.
Andrea: I was telling the Lord all the ways I was disappointed in Trent—I was like: “I need this,” and “I wish he was doing that.” I just had my list! The Lord just spoke so clearly to my heart; and He said, “Andrea, do you even notice what he does do for you?” I thought, “Uh, no; because I’m so busy noticing what he’s not doing.”
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, October 13th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. Do you need to reset your thinking about your spouse? We’ll explore that subject today. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Friday edition.
Help a listener understand the difference in a marriage between when a husband feels respected by his wife and when he feels disrespected by his wife. What kind of a difference does that make?
Dennis: I feel like—when a man’s not respected by his wife, it’s like his legs get cut out from under him—he has a hard time standing / a hard time feeling like he’s being who he was created to be. He doesn’t achieve what his wife wants or needs him to be.
I think a lot of marriages, Bob, are a dance of two people trying to get one another to meet each other’s needs. It would go a whole lot better if we stopped picking at the other person and finding out how they’re stepping on our toes as we dance; and, instead, find things that they’re doing right / that they’re fulfilling. Come alongside your spouse, and give them a hug! Give them a wink of the eye and say: “You’re really doing a good job with our kids,” or “You’re doing a good job loving me. Thank you for helping with the dishes last night.”
I mean, catch your spouse doing something right, and find a way to communicate that you respect them and appreciate them for who they are and for what they do.
I think we need to be prodded, exhorted, encouraged, equipped, [and] trained. That’s what we do, Bob, at the Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway. We take a couple of hours to speak to the wives and the husbands around their responsibilities to be a wife or to be a husband in the marriage relationship, without their spouse listening. It’s actually kind of fun, because it’s driving the women crazy—that they’re in another room, and they hear the men laugh or roar—[Laughter]—and they’re going, “What’s he hearing?!”
Bob: “What did they say?”
Dennis: “What’s happening over there?” [Laughter]
I don’t think the men are wondering what the women are hearing. I do think the wives are wondering what’s going on. And what they’re looking for is for their husband to be worthy of respect and worthy to be built up. I think that’s a challenge for most men.
Bob: Well, we’re going to hear today from one of the couples who speak at our Weekend to Remember marriage getaways: Trent and Andrea Griffith. Trent and Andrea are from Granger, Indiana. He pastors Harvest Bible Chapel in Granger. We’re going to hear Part Two of a message that they gave at the church where he’s the pastor—a message on the need for wives to show respect to their husbands.
I heard this—I thought, “This is just good, solid, practical biblical wisdom for husbands and wives to listen to. So, let’s listen—here’s Part Two of Trent and Andrea Griffith’s message on how a wife can respect her husband.
Trent: Let’s get real practical here. What are some ways that a husband feels respect? We’ll put them in five words, all starting with the letter “A.” The first one is this: “He needs your Acceptance.”
That means, ladies, you have to accept him the way he is, and trust God to change him into what he’s supposed to be. Ladies, if you try to change your husband, it will actually have the opposite effect—it will drive him away from you. You need to accept him the way that he is, and then trust God to change him into what he needs to be.
Andrea: I remember one morning I was up, and I was just having my time with the Lord. I found this verse—it’s Psalm 90, verse 14—it says, “Oh, satisfy us early with Your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all of our days.” And I love this verse! This verse has become one of my mainstay verses; because there is no way that I can do the next five things that we’re going to tell you to do—and there’s no way that you can do the next five things that we’re going to tell you to do—
—unless we are going to God to get all of the fullness that we need / that we are being satisfied with His steadfast love! I can look to God to meet my needs—to have His love satisfy my heart—so that I’m able to give acceptance / I’m able to give respect. It’s the only way any of us can do it; because we’re broken, and we’re fallen, and we’re selfish.
That same morning, when God gave me that verse, I was telling the Lord all the ways I was disappointed in Trent—I was like: “I need this,” and “I wish he was doing that.” I just had my list! The Lord just spoke so clearly to my heart; and He said, “Andrea, do you even notice what he does do for you?” I thought, “Uh, no; because I’m so busy noticing what he’s not doing.”
So, I just started making a list—
—like I literally put lists in the back of my journals of qualities, and characteristics, and things and ways that I see strengths in my husband and in my kids. I didn’t even realize this; but what started to happen, over time, is I started noticing him for who he was—who God already created him to be—and respecting and admiring that instead of being so focused on what I wanted him to be and what image I wanted to create him in. It was just all because the Lord said, “You be filled up with Me; and then, you’re able to accept this person in your life.”
Trent: The second thing is your assistance: “Your husband needs your Assistance.” He feels respected when you assist him. This is built-in, again, to the heart of every man. In Genesis, Chapter 2, we read: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper fit for him.”
You may read that, ladies, and you say: “Is that all I am?—is a helper!? I mean…”
Do you know, in Scripture, if you were to do a word study of that word, help—if it’s not referring to a wife being the helper to her husband, do you know who it’s referring to? It’s referring to God being the helper to His people. If God was not afraid or ashamed to label himself as a helper, why are you resisting that label for yourself? It is an honor to help, to complement, to fill in the gaps when a man needs help. There are all kinds of ways. So many men feel like the one that God has given them to help them is helping everybody else, and he’s number 27 on your “To Do” list. So, if he’s going to feel respected, he has to be the number-one priority in your list of responsibilities to help.
We know that there are young kids, and we know that there are career opportunities, and we know that the church needs help; but the number-one person that you are to help is your husband.
Andrea: And that’s hard, because we have a million things pulling at us all of the time. So, for me, I just had to go to Trent and ask the question again: “How can I help you? What would you like me to do for you that I’m not doing? What does that look like for you?” because I was running around, trying to make his favorite meal, iron his clothes, and all of this stuff. That’s not what he really wanted for me to do.
His answer—I’ll never forget his answer to me! He just said: “Andrea, if you could just be happy. If, when I come home, the house is happy / that you’re emotionally stable—I just want you to keep you. If you can keep you, I’m a happy man.” I thought: “Alright! That’s a lot easier than I thought about what you were wanting from me!”
So, again, ask your husband!
It’s not going to be the same answer that my husband has; but ask him, because, women, we’re the heart of the home. What our attitude is—it is catching!—our kids catch it / our husbands catch it. We want to make sure it’s joyful, and fun, and life-giving in our homes.
Trent: “Your husband needs your Admiration,” / “He needs your Admiration.” I have a friend—he’s a pastor in the Detroit area. He was a college football player at Ball State; he made Hall of Fame status at Ball State. Dave is married to Ann. He told Ann one day—he was actually telling a group of women, while Anne was listening—that when he would score touchdowns, the crowd would cheer / when he would run out of the tunnel, the crowd would cheer! He would spend hours in front of this crowd, and they would cheer and applaud. He was honored and admired, and he would sign autographs.
Then, he would walk into his house; and all he would hear was: “Boo! Boooooo!”—coming from his wife.
That’s not the place where he wanted to spend time anymore. It’s easier to spend time where you’re admired and respected.
So often, there’s a cheerleader in there somewhere; but you’re blinded by all of the needs in his life. He needs to know that you admire him. Inside the heart of your husband, ladies, is a ten-year-old little boy, who is always asking the question: “Do you believe in me? Do you think I can do it? I don’t think I can! Does anybody believe that I can do this?” If you can answer that question in the affirmative, it will cheer him on. He’ll feel your admiration, and he’ll feel respect.
Andrea: We were speaking at a marriage conference, and I had a lady come up to me. She just wouldn’t even take a breath—just [listing] all of the negative things about her husband. She just went on and on and on! Finally, I just interrupted her and I said: “Hey, is there anything positive? Can you just tell me one positive quality about your husband?”
She looked at me / she said, “Well, I would if he had any.” I said: “So you’re telling me that you married a man with no positive qualities? What does that say about you?”
Here’s the reality—he has the positive qualities!—remember them? They’ve just become so commonplace that we don’t see them anymore. We need to get [them] back out and look at the positive qualities that our husband gifted us with: “It is a privilege to be married! I get to be married to this man!” Does he know I feel that way? We need to be speaking about the positive.
Trent: Five ways a husband feels respected: your Acceptance, your Assistance, your Admiration, and your Adaptability.
William Harley has done a lot of research on marriage—husbands and wives. He wanted to find out: “What are the top needs of a husband and a wife?”
The number-two need that he discovered in his research that a husband needs is something he labeled “recreational companionship.” Guys just want to have fun, apparently. They want to play, and they want a playmate. They want somebody to be alongside of them as they do adventurous things—and take risks, and scrape their knee, and get up and move forward.
In thinking about that, Andrea and I were talking with Andrea’s grandparents in Alabama. They have interesting names in Alabama—Gam-papa and Gam-mama were married for over 60 years. Late in their life, we were having lunch with them one day. Andrea asked them this question: “What has been the secret to the longevity in your relationship?” And, without batting an eye, Gam-mama said, “Playing golf.” (I thought I might get an “Amen!” out of a man there, somewhere along the line.) [Laughter]
Now listen, it was not because Gam-mama liked playing golf—she didn’t pick up a golf club until she was 60 years old. Gam-mama didn’t play golf because she liked golf. Gam-mama played golf because she liked Gam-papa, and Gam-papa liked Gam-mama playing golf.
So, recreational companionship—maybe not your favorite thing—but you can adapt. You can be a part of something he enjoys, and it communicates respect to a husband.
Andrea: And I’d also say: “Don’t stop growing—like, as a woman, don’t stop growing, as a person.”
When Trent and I got married, I was 24 years old. I look back—I was very selfish / I was very immature. Hopefully, after 22 years of marriage—hopefully, I’ve grown! Hopefully, he sees a person who has matured in the Lord, and there’s beauty there and there is strength there. Hopefully, we have 22 more years; and I’ll look back at this point and say:
“Ah! There’s been so much more growth!”
I don’t know what that looks like for you—maybe that means reading a book on marriage every year / reading a book on parenting every year. But for sure, I know that means getting in the presence of the Lord. Second Corinthians talks about that we are “changed from one degree of glory to another as we behold Jesus.” That has got to be our number-one pursuit, because that is when we are changed.
We need to know our areas where we need growth. Do you know what? If I’m so focused on my areas where I need to grow, it helps me to not be so focused on his.
Trent: “He also needs your Availability,” / “…your Availability.” Men and women have these different needs for levels of intimacy. For a wife—she has this need, husbands, for emotional intimacy / to be emotionally connected to you. She doesn’t feel close / she feels like there’s distance unless there’s emotional intimacy.
Ladies, please hear me! Your husband has the same need for physical intimacy that you have for emotional intimacy. He doesn’t feel close to you / he doesn’t feel respected without physical intimacy. And ladies, if you are married to a Christian, Christ has made claims—not only on his life—Christ has made claims on his sexuality and given him boundaries in which he is to practice his sexuality. It’s hard, and the world is doing everything it can to get him to play outside of those boundaries, sexually. They will mock him if he tries. The question you need to ask yourself is this: “How can I help him stay in the boundaries?” Your availability communicates respect.
About five years ago was the last time I preached this particular passage of Scripture here. I remember, as I was preaching to women about submission, there was a guy I’d never seen before—came in the door of the gym. He didn’t come and sit down. He just stood along the back wall throughout the whole message. I was like—in my heart, I was like: “Sorry, dude! This was not the message you needed to hear. Come back another Sunday, and it will apply to you.”
I noticed he left right as I was closing the message. I thought: “I’ll never see that guy again! Surely he’s not going to come back after he heard that message on submission to wives.” But then, on Tuesday afternoon, I got an email from this guy. This is what he said—he said: “I was so convicted by the message. As a matter of fact, I had to leave early because I was bursting into tears. I drove home with tears running down my eyes,”—he said—“because I realized I wasn’t the kind of man that my wife could submit to.
“I’ve been passive and uninvolved.”
He said he drove home—he went to their liquor cabinet, poured out all of the liquor into the sink and drained it all out. He was [writing] to ask for help. I said, “Can you meet me at Chili’s on Tuesday?” We did. We met at Chili’s and, over chips and salsa, he prayed to receive Christ—gave his life to Christ / gave his family to Christ. He said: “I’m going to salvage my marriage. I’m going to go home and love and lead my wife.” Before we went home, he said: “Let’s stop by the Christian book store. We don’t have Bibles.” He bought seven Bibles. He went home—passed them all out. He said, “Open your Bibles to John, Chapter 3,” and he led them through John, Chapter 3. It’s the only passage he knew, because that’s what we talked about at Chili’s!
Husbands, your wife has a hard job! You can make it easier by loving her, and leading her, and being vertically submitted to Christ. As she follows your leadership, it will make it much easier for her to submit to you.
Do you understand what we’re saying here? Without your love, husbands, she reacts without respect. Ladies, without your respect, he reacts without love. That is not a fun home to live in! If you want a fun home to live in, do this: “Husbands, it is your love that inspires her respect. It is your respect, ladies, that inspires his love. Now, you get more love inspiring your respect, and more respect inspiring his love. That’s a great place to live!”
So the question is: “Who moves first?”—answer: “It doesn’t matter! It just gets everything going in the right direction.”
Bob: Well, again, we’ve been listening today to Trent and Andrea Griffith, talking about wives respecting their husbands.
And we need to be clear: “There’s an assignment for husbands as well—to sacrificially love and lead their wives.” I heard somebody say, not long ago, “You know, the husband—his job in a marriage is to die; so he’s got the harder assignment in the midst of all of that.”
Dennis: There are some women who would take issue with that!
Bob: He needs to live up to his end of the bargain, but wives need to be instructed, as well, about what it is that God calls them to do.
Dennis: Yes; and I just want to kind of put a double underline [under] a couple of these. First of all, they mentioned admiration. I would just say to the wives, who are listening: “When’s the last time you praised your husband to his face?”—you just said, “You know, I noticed when you did such-and-such. That was really cool!” Just express admiration. Admiration is a powerful—
Bob: Feeling admired by your wife is—
Dennis: Oh, yes!
Bob: That’s a good feeling; isn’t it?
Dennis: Because she knows you the best!
Dennis: And there’s another double underline. I want to talk about availability. It’s important to that relationship for two to become one. A woman, who is truly available to her husband, is incredibly powerful in his life—again, to offer respect, admiration, [and] appreciation. And, then, maybe, telling him that he’s a good lover. Those words will be soaked up by your husband. He’s probably going to wonder what you’re up to, but you don’t have to tell him you heard it on FamilyLife Today. [Laughter]
Bob: I’m imagining some husbands, right now, who are getting ready to call home and say, “Honey, you ought to listen to today’s FamilyLife Today.”
Dennis: Oh, yes!
Bob: Alright? “It’s just a good program. Tune in and listen to it today.” [Laughter]
Dennis: Yes; I don’t know if that’s going to result in much! [Laughter]
Bob: —not work well for you? [Laughter]
Dennis: I don’t think that will result in a point before midnight—that needs to be cashed in on.
Bob: Well, I’ll tell you what would result in a point—and that is for a husband to say, “You know what would be a good idea for us?”
Dennis: I know! Take them to the Weekend to Remember marriage getaway!
Bob: That’s what I’m thinking! Go to FamilyLifeToday.com—find out more about when a Weekend to Remember is coming to a city near where you live; or pick a location that would be a fun location for a getaway this fall, and plan for the two of you to have a weekend away together. Find out more about the Weekend to Remember when you go to FamilyLifeToday.com. You can register, online, or call if you have any questions: 1-800-FL-TODAY is the number—that’s 1-800-358-6329 / 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”
Let me also mention the book, The Respect Dare, written by our friend, Nina Roesner. This is a book that is a challenge for all wives. It’s a 40-day journey that helps you on the path to cultivating godly respect for your husband—that’s a big part of marriage! Find out more about The Respect Dare when you go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Order online or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to order.
You know, one of the things about programs like we’ve aired today is we’ll often hear from listeners, who’ll say, “How come you were picking on the women?” And then, when we talk to the guys, we hear from guys, who say, “How come you never talk to the women about their responsibilities?” Well, we try to make sure that we are addressing the challenges that face husbands and wives. We try to be balanced in talking about the issues that all of us have to deal with in a marriage; because, as we all know, it takes two to tango and it takes two to untangle. FamilyLife Today is here to provide you with practical biblical help and hope daily so that, daily, you can be readjusting your relationship; because, let’s face it—daily, our relationships could use some adjustment; right?
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If you’re a long-time listener—you’ve never donated to the ministry—today would be a great day for you to go to FamilyLifeToday.com and make a donation—whatever you’re able to afford—every donation helps. If you prefer, you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY to donate; or mail your donation to FamilyLife Today at PO Box 7111, Little Rock, AR; the zip code is 72223.
And, with that, we hope you have a great weekend! I hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend, and I hope you can join us back on Monday.
Sara Hagerty is going to be here. We’re going to talk about what it’s like for moms / for women to go through the day-in and day-out of being a wife and a mom and stay connected to God in that process. We’ll talk about how you cultivate an intimate walk with Jesus in the middle of the mundane of life next Monday. I hope you can be with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We’ll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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