FamilyLife Today® Podcast

The Power of Respect

with Bob Lepine | August 11, 2010
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This may come as a surprise, but your husband really wants to talk about ... respect! Ladies, your respect for your husband is critical to building the kind of relationship you crave--one with lots of transparent sharing of a man's deepest feelings.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • This may come as a surprise, but your husband really wants to talk about ... respect! Ladies, your respect for your husband is critical to building the kind of relationship you crave--one with lots of transparent sharing of a man's deepest feelings.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

This may come as a surprise, but your husband really wants to talk about … respect!

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The Power of Respect

With Bob Lepine
August 11, 2010
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(Recorded Message) We talk about a man needing respect and affirmation, probably the most powerful way you affirm your husband and show respect to him is when you respond to him sexually.  I have said to Mary Ann you can affirm me all day long.  You can say you are smart.  You are handsome.  You are this.  How did you do that?  That’s great and at night, if I say so you are interested and she goes, oh not tonight.  I go, well why were you lying to me all day?


This is FamilyLife Today for Wednesday August 11th.  Our host is the President of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey and I am Bob Lepine.  Have you been lying to your husband?  We are going to talk about the power of marital intimacy today. 

Welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Wednesday edition.  Have you ever done what I have the courage to d?  Stand up in front of a room full of more than 500 women? Have you ever spoken to just an audience of women, no men in the room?

Dennis:  You know years ago, Bob, this is a great story about FamilyLife, back when we started FamilyLife, we did not have enough money for our wives to accompany us to do the marriage conferences, you know the Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway.

Bob:  Right.

Dennis:  This was one of the highlights of the weekend I am convinced for the women, the men speakers did the talk on being a wife.  Picture that for a second.

Bob:  And you did that a few times?

Dennis:  200 or 300 women in the room.

Bob:  Just without their husbands.

Dennis:  Without their husbands listening to one of us wax, eloquently around what it means to respect your husband.  What it means to submit.  So that was a real high point of the weekend.  So yes, I have done it, but not recently Bob.  I understand you did at the True Woman Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Bob:  Yes back in March this was a breakout session that they had at the conference.  I talked about what husbands wish wives understood about men and it was some of the same themes you are talking about, but I tried to do it in a way that --

Dennis:  Well this was different.  You were actually setup to do this.

Bob:  That’s true.

Dennis:  You know what I mean, they were expecting it.  They showed up voluntarily.  Well you know what, let's listen to Part 3 of the message you gave to those 500 women about what every man wishes his wife knew about her role and her power in the life of her man.

Bob:  We need a cheerleader.  We need to know you’re on our team.  We need to know you love us and you’re going to stay with us no matter what.  We need to know that you want to be a part of the solution if there’s a problem.  That you’re cheering us on; that you’re not there to point out what’s wrong, but you want to be a part of the solution. “How can I help?” We’re back to that. 

And we need to know this.  Listen, I’m going to start meddling here.  We need to know that you’re not trying to use our relationship as a way to control or manipulate us.  What do I mean by that?  I mean that I have observed in wives a withdrawal of affection and approval as a way to try to correct a spouse’s behavior.  “I’m going to just withdraw my affection or my approval until you start acting the way I want you to act.” 

Okay what that is, is Genesis 3 happening in your marriage.  When God spoke to the woman He said, your pain in childhood will be greatly increased.  Your desire will be for your husband but he must rule over you.  That word your desire will be for your husband doesn’t mean you are going to want him and he is all hot, it means you want to be in charge, but he must rule over you. 

Number 6, we need you to give us grace and still love us when we make mistakes and fail.  In other words, we need you to do for us what God does for you.  We need you to give us grace and still love us when we make mistakes and fail because you married somebody who is going to make plenty of mistakes already has.  He is going to make more and if your response to his mistakes is to be critical, harsh, judgmental, it will shut him down. 

If you respond with grace, he will see Christ in you, he will be drawn to the Christ in you, he will grow more into Christlikeness himself as he sees his you modeling grace.  That doesn’t mean that you don’t tell the truth, you are to speak the truth in love. 

Now some of you think, well but if I don’t show him my displeasure, he won't know he did anything wrong.  Let me suggest two things related to that.  First one is Proverb says, it is a man’s glory to overlook an offense.  There are sometimes when your husband will do something and frankly you just need to overlook it.  You don’t need to correct everything. 

Secondly, Galatians 6:1 is a great verse to tell you.  Brothers or I will say sisters here, if you see your husband caught in a sin you who are a spiritual that means you got to be in the right spiritual frame of mind before you go do any correcting.  Most of you correct before you get spiritually focused, okay, so you have to get the right frame of mind. 

You got to let the Lord…Lord, are there any logs in my eye that I don’t see?  Lord, search my heart.   Know me, try me, see what’s going on.  Help me, are there blind spots or anything I need to do.?  You need to be prayed up.  When it’s the right time to do this?  Then you go, you are spiritual, go to restore.  What are you going to do?  You are going to try to gently restore your husband.  Not to shame him, not to tear him down, but to restore him.  To put him back where he ought to be to take what was broken and fix it. 

Restore such a one with what kind of a spirit?  A spirit of meekness or gentleness.  That’s what the scripture has called you to meekness or gentleness.  It’s appropriate to go and your husband needs to hear it from you.  But there has got to be grace, there has got to be humility in the midst of all of this.

Next, we would rather be respected as men than loved.  It's why I believe in Ephesians Chapter 5 and that passage on marriage, the very last verse, “wives, respect your husbands.”  If you go well I don’t agree with that, well here is the command of the Lord, “wives, see to it that you respect your husbands.”  Some of you go there are things about my husband that just make it hard for me to respect him. Frankly I don’t know your husbands and I don’t know the situations but it’s very possible for me to imagine that in this room there are women who have got husbands who if I met them, I wouldn’t have a lot of respect for them. 

But I will never forgive what Elisabeth Elliot shared one time.  It was a great illustration.  If I were wearing this shirt and I put a pen in this pocket and if that pen had leaked ink, so that there was purple stain, right here on that shirt and you walked up to see me where would your eyes go? They go right to the stain right there. 

It would be hard for you not to take your eyes off that spot and you would draw the conclusion that I was a messy or not a very well groomed kind of a slobbish person because of the stain on my shirt.  Elisabeth Elliot said what percentage of the shirt has the stain on it? Three or four percent right there.  What’s the condition of the rest of the shirt?  Clean.  Good shape.  She said, but we just can't help sometimes focusing on the stain.  It’s all we can think about that stain.  And we define you by that stain. 

So ladies, some of what you need to do is look a little broader at your husband and say, Lord, show me, help me to make the list of things that are respectable and worthy in him so that I can affirm him in those things.  You ought to ask God over 30-day period to make the longest list you can.  Then from time to time go to your husband and say, I appreciate so much that you go to work every day without complaining to provide for us.  Thank you.  There are lots of men who don’t do that and you do, thank you. 

I appreciate the fact that you take care and get the car fixed, when something goes wrong with it.  There are lots of men who just say to their wives, you take care of that, and you take care of that.  Find those clean parts of the shirt and respect your husband. 

Now again, there is a fear that if you admire and praise and show respect to the clean part of the shirt then we will ignore that thinking, well she thinks I am all right, you know because she just talks about the good in me.  Well let me just share something with you. 

In John 16 Jesus said, when the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.  What is the Holy Spirit’s job?  To convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment.  Is there anywhere in the scriptures that you are aware of where it says when a wife comes to her husband, she should convict him concerning sin, righteousness and judgment?  I don’t believe you will find that verse.  It is God’s job to fix the stains.  It’s your job to respect her husband. 

Some of you are going, well, I wish God would hurry up on the job because frankly, it’s not working so well.  It’s been a long time and the stain is still there.  Well, the stain may still be there because God is using the stain to work on you.  I am not presuming that I know the mind of God in your situation, but I am suggesting that sometimes God’s slow to work on one another, because he is doing a work in each other’s lives. 

If a man does not feeling respected at home, I’m sorry to tell you he will take the longing of this soul to be respected and he will look for a place where it will happen.  Now listen, I am not excusing a husband who goes off looking for it from another woman.  Or frankly, the man who neglects his family because he is getting it from his job, he has just made an idol out of his job so that’s no excuse either. 

I am not excusing that.  I am saying the hunger in the heart of a man is such that if he gives into his flesh, he will go try to find respect somewhere else.  If he is not getting it from his wife who he longs to get it from, he will look for it somewhere else; a hobby, a club, a business. 

He will be more vulnerable to the lure of a woman who does admire or respect him.  If you are not doing it then some women at work is going, you are so smart.  You just have to know that is catnip for a husband who is at home going, she thinks I am stupid.  She thinks I am smart.  Boy, she looks prettier all the time.

Which brings me to Number 8.  You knew when I was going to get to this, sex is one of the most powerful ways to encourage and affirm and administer to your husband, alright.  I got to go there.  Your husbands called me and said, “If you do this workshop and don’t bring up sex, do not send them home.  That’s what they said.” 

A disclaimer at the front end of this we get letters from women today that are fascinating.  I would say 20 to 30 percent of the women in the culture who are talking to us about it are saying to us, the stereotype is that the man wants sex and the woman is less interested.  In our house the women say, it’s flipped around.  Some of you would say I don’t know what’s wrong with me in my marriage because I have more of an appetite than my husband does.  And whenever you guys bring this up and you talk about man wanting sex and all of this it just makes me feel terrible because it’s not like that with my husband.  Well I can’t dissect for you everything that’s wrong. I can tell you in a sexually saturated culture like today, some of his sexual energy may be being drained off by pornography or other things.  Some man are just working so hard at work that they don’t have anything left for sex.  Some man, there is you know you get to an age where there is a decline in testosterone or their other medical things that maybe going on, I mean all of that can happen.  But for the most part, God made us as sexual beings and he wants us both to be interested in and to desire and to enjoy the sexual relationship.  And

I have to share with you a verse that some of you need to hear and need to know that this is in the Bible and it’s talking to you.   It is 1 Corinthians 7, verses 3 and 4.  Here is what it says.  The wife’s body is not her own, but it belongs to her husband.  The husband’s body is not his own, it belongs to his wife, therefore stop depriving one another.  A biblical command stop depriving one another except for a season of fasting and prayer. 

I am guessing, I don’t know but I am guessing that there aren’t many couples who have said you know let’s just take a season of fasting and prayer and do this.  If depriving is going on at your house I am guessing that in some cases it may be the husband depriving the wife in some cases. In more cases, it’s the wife depriving the husband and you could list for me a litany of reasons.

I am too tired.  I am too this.  He is too that.  He is to what.  I mean you can go through the whole list of why the depriving is happening.  I would say to you stop it.  Stop depriving your husband.  You go, but it’s not, but you don’t, okay we can go back through all of the reasons why and Paul would say to you and I would say to you work on those things. You can do those things but don’t deprive one another. 

Here is part of the reason why.  We talk about a man needing respect and affirmation probably the most powerful way you affirm your husband and show respect to him is when you respond to him sexually.  I have said to Mary Ann, you can affirm me all day long.  You can say you are smart.  You are handsome.  You are this.  That’s great.  But at night, if I say, so you are interested and she goes, oh not tonight, I go, well why were you lying to me all day? 

Because in our minds, if we are all that, you should be dying to get in bed with us.  We cannot figure out why you are not, if we are all that nice stuff, you have been saying about us.  Even if you haven’t been saying all that nice stuff about us, we still think we are pretty hot.  We can't figure out why you don’t. 

Ladies, when your husband initiates, respond to him.  Now look, okay you go, but what if I have had. There are times when you may respond to your husband by saying, sweetheart as much as I want to engage with you tonight and really make this something special, I don’t have it in me tonight.  Could we plan for tomorrow night and I will get some rest and be ready for you?  And most guys will say, yeah, that will be all right. 

But don’t say, all right, let’s just get it over with okay?  That does not affirm our masculinity at the core of our being.  No guy hears that from his wife and goes, I am a man.  We don’t.  Have you read in Proverb 7 about the luring adulteress and how she waits on the corner and how she says to the man, I have sprinkled my bed with aloe.  It is smelling sweet.  You want to come over?  Now listen, we read that and go, that woman is shameful.  I would say ladies read that and go how about if I did that with my husband?  Because what she is doing to lure the man out of his marriage, if a woman was doing it, the husband will walk by and say, I got some better than you at home sweetie.  It takes work.  It takes effort and it takes energy. 

When we are dating we thought that’s going to be the easy thing, right.  I mean that’s going to be no problem.  Now we get married and go, this is harder than we thought.  But the Bible says we have a Lord have mercy on that one. 


I understand.

But ladies hear me on this.  Regular sexual engagement with your husband is a marital discipline.  For most couples two-three times a week is probably going to be a typical marital discipline.  In fact, there were some denominations that said that two times a week is what's prescribed except on vacation, then it should be three times a week.  I mean this was in some of their stuff, right.  I don’t know what the rhythm or cycle is for you, but I will tell you a couple of times, a month isn’t it.  Okay, I am serious.  Twice a month sex is not enough.  Make it a marital discipline and get in the game.

Dennis:  Well, we have been listening to a message by –

Bob:  Actually little embarrassing to listen back to.

Dennis:  It is little forthright, he was giving this message.  Bob Lepine was speaking to a group of women at the True Woman Conference, that’s a conference that Nancy Leigh DeMoss our friend puts on. This one was in Chattanooga, Tennessee where 500 women braved a seminar to hear Bob, wax eloquently. Get in the game?  And I want to say and most of God’s men said, Amen.  We are kind of laughing about that but I just want to make a comment because increasingly, Bob, in this generation there are about 30% of marriages where it is the women who are more sexually inclined than their husbands.

Bob:  I made reference to that as I was speaking to these women because anytime you bring up this subject with a group and you start talking about men being interested, there are a number of wives who are going, I wish my husband was more interested.  In fact, I pointed them to what you and Barbara wrote about in your book Rekindling the Romance, where you addressed that subject, that reality that some women have more sexual appetite than their husbands do.

Dennis:  Yes and yet for most marriages, it is the man’s appetite that is outdistancing his wife.  There is a chapter in that book, Bob that in my opinion is worth the cost of the book.  It's the chapter that Barbara wrote called The Power of Women.  That’s really what you have been talking about this week.  You have been talking about how a woman can be uniquely powerful in her husband’s life and you know what, you can be powerful, sexually you can be powerful with your words, with your life.  A woman is in many ways the maker or the breaker of a man beginning at home.  I just want to encourage the wives who are listening to us.  I hope you will pick up a copy of Bob’s message here or may be talk about it in a women’s group and really apply this, seek to apply it in your own marriage.  I really think we are underestimating, Bob, the power that women have and can have in their husband’s lives.

Bob:  Well and I was encouraged to watch as these women were nodding and affirming and paying attention and listening and not put off and not folding their arms and pushing back.  You could tell these women really do care about being godly wives and showing love and respect and affirmation for their husbands and they are saying help us to know how to do that better.

That’s one of the reasons this week we are making the audio of this message available.  If you want to go to you can download the mp3 file.  It's there for free or if you would like to have a copy of the CD sent out to you, if you can help us with the donation of any amount we will send a CD out to you, all we ask is that you go to and you click where it's say Make a Donation and when you come to the key code box on the online donation form, type the word “HUSBANDS” in there.  That way we are going to send you a copy of the CD.  And again thanks for whatever you are able to do from a donation standpoint.  We appreciate your financial support. 

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Rob Mitchell:  I remember that day clearly.  There were piles of snow on the ground and my mother was dragging me faster than my three year old lives can walk.  She drags me up this big building and commands me to play with another boy with blocks.  I reach for a block and he steals it.  I reach for a block and he steals it and I turned to my mother for help and she is gone.

Bob:  We are going to hear a very powerful story of a man who grew up as one of the last orphans living in an orphanage in the United States.  He shares what it was like to grow up in an orphanage on tomorrow’s program and I hope you can be with us for that. 

I want to thank our engineer today Keith Lynch and our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our host Dennis Rainey, I am Bob Lepine.  We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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