Respecting your wife is an important biblical principle for husbands. As followers of Christ, we are called to model our marriages after the example of Christ and the church. Christ loved the church sacrificially, and husbands are instructed to love their wives in the same manner (Ephesians 5:25). An important way husbands can demonstrate this love is by showing respect for their wives.
- Husbands are commanded to love and honor their wives.
- Wives are fellow heirs in Christ and equal partners in marriage.
- Husbands should treat their wives with understanding and value their opinions.
- Husband and wife become one flesh in marriage.
- Husbands should provide and care for their wives.
- Husbands should be considerate of their wives’ needs.
- Husbands and wives complete one another.
Love and Honor Your Wife
The Bible gives clear instructions to husbands regarding their wives: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Loving your wife like Christ means loving sacrificially and unconditionally. It means considering her needs above your own.
In 1 Peter 3:7, husbands are commanded to treat their wives with honor. The Greek word for “honor” here indicates valuing or attributing worth. Husbands ought to communicate through their actions and words that they highly esteem their wives.
This verse goes on to say that wives are “heirs with you of the grace of life.” Husbands and wives are joint recipients of the gracious gift of salvation. In Christian marriage, the husband does not have superior status or more rights than the wife. As believers in Christ, husbands and wives have equal standing before God.
Treat Your Wife With Understanding
The Bible says that husbands ought to treat their wives with understanding as the “weaker partner” (1 Peter 3:7). This indicates that husbands should be considerate of their wives’ differing physical, emotional, and contextual needs. Husbands should seek to comprehend their wives’ unique qualities, desires, vulnerabilities, and life experiences. They should not expect or demand that their wives think, feel, or react the same way they do.
Husbands must also actively value their wives’ opinions and perspectives. The book of Proverbs says, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands” (Proverbs 14:1). This shows that a wife has valuable insight to contribute to the home. Husbands should thoughtfully consider their wives’ input on matters both big and small. They are partners in leading the family.
You and Your Wife Are One Flesh
When God created woman, He said it was not good for man to be alone. Then the first marriage occurred between Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:18-24). Verse 24 says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Husband and wife are joined together as teammates for life.
Ephesians 5:28-29 echoes this truth: “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.” Husbands and wives are connected physically, spiritually, and emotionally. What affects your wife affects you also. Seek unity in your marriage.
Provide for Your Wife
The Bible calls husbands to provide for their wives. Paul writes, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). Providing for your wife means taking responsibility for her basic needs and welfare. This provision enables her to thrive and contribute meaningfully as your partner.
Seek to understand your wife’s financial, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Work diligently and manage resources wisely in order to meet those needs to the best of your ability. Make decisions together regarding the provision for your family. Be open and transparent about finances. Generously provide for your wife while avoiding unnecessary debt.
Care for Your Wife
Husbands have a duty not just to provide for their wives, but to actively care for them. “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect…” (1 Peter 3:7). Consideration means thoughtfully looking out for your wife’s well-being. Be observant of her emotional condition. Check in frequently and listen attentively to her needs. Make adjustments to accommodate her health, schedule, priorities, and goals. Help relieve her burdens. Every wife and every season of marriage requires a unique approach of care. Seek to consistently nurture your wife.
Ephesians 5:29 says, “no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.” Your wife is now bone of your bones and flesh of your flesh. Care for her as you would your own body. Make her emotional, physical, and spiritual health a priority. Husbands should actively nurture their wives’ personal relationship with Jesus through prayer, Bible study, and other spiritual disciplines. Her spiritual maturity will be a blessing to your marriage.
Be Considerate of Your Wife
“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:28). Consideration and care for your wife is, in essence, care for yourself. Her needs, desires, and wellbeing have a direct impact on you. Therefore, husbands must demonstrate thoughtfulness and attentiveness toward their wives.
Be aware of your wife’s emotional state. Notice if she is grieving, stressed, anxious, or discouraged. Respond with compassion. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). Make adjustments to ease her burden during difficult seasons. Be flexible to adapt to her needs and schedule. Seek to mitigate sources of conflict or distress. Actively listen without judgment. Empathize and care for your wife before yourself.
Colossians 3:19 instructs, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Your words and actions should uplift your wife. Both public and private interactions should communicate care, not provocation. According to Ecclesiastes 9:9, “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love.” prioritize cheerfulness and positivity in relating with your spouse. Make it a daily goal to encourage your wife through affirmation, gratitude, praise, assistance, and quality time together.
You Complete One Another
Woman was created as man’s “helper” (Genesis 2:18). This Hebrew word refers not to an assistant or subordinate, but one who brings strength where it is lacking. Your wife has qualities, abilities, and insights that you do not possess yourself. She has a distinct personality and experiences that will complement and complete you. Value the uniqueness of your wife. Let her be herself.
Likewise, your wife needs you to bring strength and blessing to her life. “Two are better than one…If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). Walk in unity while celebrating your diversity. Cover one another’s weaknesses with compassion. You are teammates, jointly responsible for your home and family. Respect your differences while honoring the way God made you to unite as partners in marriage.
Imitate Christ’s Sacrificial Love
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). God commands husbands to love their wives to the point of personal sacrifice. Emulate Jesus, who washed His disciples feet, healed the hurting, pursued the lost, and ultimately gave His life to redeem humanity.
Place your wife’s needs above your own desires. Lay down your selfish attitudes and actions that could harm your marriage. Crucify your pride daily. Serve your wife in humility. Allow her to depend on you as you depend on Christ. Protect your wife and make whatever sacrifices are necessary for her good. Demonstrate sacrificial, unconditional love that reflects the love of Jesus himself.
In summary, the Bible gives important instruction to husbands regarding their wives. Husbands must love, honor, understand, provide for, care for, be considerate toward, and sacrifice for their wives. Do not treat marriage as a dictatorship but as a loving partnership. Imitate Christ’s nurturing leadership of the church. Seek to bring out the best in your wife through your biblical love and respect for her.