How to Reclaim Respect in Marriage_ Love Does Not Act Unbecoming (#MarriageMonday #ChristianMarriage #BiblicalMarriage #1Corinthians13 #ChristianLiving #Respect #RespectYourHusband)

How to Reclaim Respect in Marriage: Love Does Not Act Unbecoming

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Do your eyes sometimes glaze over mid bible study?  Don’t get me wrong, there are some action packed parts of the bible, and then there are parts that feel boring or too familiar or too hard to understand.  Our word today for example:  Unbecoming is such an old world word… What on earth does that mean?

Some Bible versions say ~rude, unseemly or disrespectfully.   

Ah, Disrespect…

Unbecoming = Disrespectful

Psssst: We are in a series studying through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  

To go back, click on any of the words in this list ; so far we’ve seen PatienceKindnessJealousy, Bragging, Arrogance, Disrespect or Acting unbecoming in Marriage, Selfishness in Marriage, Anger in Marriage, Evil Thoughts in Marriage, Rejoicing In Marriage and Bearing All Things, Believing All Things, Hoping All things and Enduring All things in a Biblical Marriage.   

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Respect is a big deal for our men

What I find interesting is that hubby and I understand respect differently.  What about you and your hubby?

I always thought I was a very respectful wife but, in the middle of our crazy-mess-of-a-marriage-season, I was issued a challenge by my Mentor.

“Do you know what your husband finds disrespectful?” 

I thought I did but she pressed further.  

How to Reclaim Respect in Marriage_ Love Does Not Act Unbecoming PinIt (#MarriageMonday #ChristianMarriage #BiblicalMarriage #1Corinthians13 #ChristianLiving #Respect #RespectYourHusband)

“Ask your husband what he finds disrespectful”

Now to be honest with you, I was not ready to hear his answers and the first conversation failed terribly!  Now as I mentor other women today I give this challenge in 7 small steps.  Want to take it with me?  

Step 1.  Pray

Ask God to prepare your heart for hubby’s answers.  Don’t assume you know what they are.  Ask god to soften your heart (and his heart) in preparation for this conversation.

Step 2. Pick a time when he is in a good mood

Maybe after a good day at work or maybe after an intimate time with you (that usually makes a lighter mood 😉 . Send the kids out so you are uninterrupted.  Set aside any devices that could interrupt this time.  You want to stay focused and not miss this opportunity.

Step 3. Start by telling him Send the kids out so you are uninterrupted

I bet you have his attention now (and probably his admiration).


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Step 4.Ask him to tell you what makes him feel disrespected by you.

  • Just listen as he tells you
  • Don’t justify your actions
    • This is not about right or wrong, it is about how he interprets situations.

If it is in you, apologize for what he mentioned.   Let me tell you I was shocked by his answers.  He felt disrespected when I:

  • Habitually criticize him
  • Offer advice about every little thing he does
  • Correct his parenting – in front of the kids
  • Take the lead and leave him out of decision making process
  • Nag him about his driving

This is a small part of the list…

It was shocking to see how unbecoming I had been!

I was not respecting him in the way he understood respect.   And as I sat there… shocked on the couch (because he had already moved on to other things) I came face to face with sin.  

Unintentional sin… but sin is sin.  Sound harsh? 

Well, if God said “Wives respect your husband” and I wasn’t… that was sin.   

God showed me this sort of Love/Respect sandwich in Ephesians 5:22-33Have you ever seen it there? 

God starts it with a 1 liner for the wife -respect your husband.  

Then for 10 verses he tells the husband how to love the wife.

And He finishes the passage reminding the wives to respect their husband.  

Now, most of the weight falls to the husband – and man alive – that kind of love is intense!  If I were sitting with your husband I would encourage him to dig into that passage and better learn what this intense love looks like. 

But I am talking to us as wives…  Ladies, God doesn’t give it any Loop Holes about Respect or acting unbecoming.  

We have to Respect our husband.   

I’m not good at any of that.  What about you?

After recovering from the shock of his answer, I began working on being a Respectful Wife. 

Words of Affirmation (admiration and appreciation) and prayer are 2 of the biggest things that healed our broken Marriage.

I want to share a strategy that could be The Best Gift for our Husband!

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Check out these Words of Affirmation Cards in my shop, print them out, commit to pray over them and give one per week to your husband for the next year.  You will build him up and create momentum for real change in his life!

Step 5.  I Wrote down what he shared

That way I wouldn’t forget. It also gave me a space to think about what he said and think of ways I could correct some things in my habits.  

  • I tend to post reminders for myself about the things that are hardest…  so in my phone I added “Tiffany close your eyes in the car and don’t give “advice”” still working on that one 😉 

Step 6. Pray that God will begin to make deep heart changes to see things from hubby’s perspective

God is faithful and He will show you ways to do this better.  Remember He promises to give wisdom freely to those who ask (James 1:5)!

  • Step 6b…  Along the way I would catch myself slipping up.  I try to be quick to make amends. 

This one is hard because I often feel “justified” in my way of doing a thing.  But this is about creating a habit of respect – where I care about him and how he sees things.  

Step 7.  After a few weeks, check back in with him to see if he noticed a change.

This will show him love in a felt way!  The most amazing result of this challenge is that I now know what he sees as respectful.  I can ensure that our love does not act unbecoming in our Christian Marriage! 

Do you know what your husband finds disrespectful?

Are you brave enough to take the Respect Marriage Challenge? 

Comment “I’m in” in the comments and I’ll be praying for you through the process.

in Him,

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Tiffany Montgomery

Tiffany is a wife and mother who is passionate about Encouraging and Equipping Women through Biblical Discipleship.

41 thoughts to “How to Reclaim Respect in Marriage: Love Does Not Act Unbecoming”

    1. I agree Heather. Seems like common sense… but I didn’t get it until a few years ago.

  1. I think that it should be both way, not only the wife to respect her husband but the other way around too. Marriadge is a friendship based on love in the end where both partners should respect each other the same.

    1. too true Joanna. sadly, I can’t do anything about how he behaves. I am only responsible for me. Too often I would hold out respect until he showed love… but that never worked out! Now I focus on doing my part. He is also working to do better at his part. It is beautiful when it works that way.

    1. I think we all do that! You are not alone. That’s why I say we need our own club-to encourage and lift each other up. I call it “The Wifehood”! Welcome Sarah

  2. I think you raise some good points about being respectful to one another even if you aren’t feeling too many kind thoughts towards them at that point in time haha

  3. Communication is so important in a successful marriage. This is a great series if posts. I will have to share it with a friend that is getting married this summer.

  4. I think it’s really important that partners mutually respect each other. I have correct my husband’s parenting in front of my daughter too. We talked about it afterward and agreed that we try not to talk about parenting mistakes in front of our daughter.

    1. That one is so hard Ave! I get emotionally caught up in that moment and it has taken time to re-train my brain to be silent in that moment and talk to him later – privately.

  5. Respect in a marriage is critical. However, it isn’t just about the wife respecting her husband. Husbands need to respect their wives. It is truly a two way street. Having said that – if for some reason my husband disrespects me, I’d like to believe that doesn’t mean I will automatically stoop to disrespecting him. Instead I try to understand what is going on – there is a reason this happened. Perhaps he had a bad day at work? Marriage takes work no matter what – every day.

    1. So true Athena! I wrestle back and forth with that… but All I can focus on is my part. He should love and respect in return. He does a good job with this for sure. But I don’t always. Just being real. I love all the comments from women who do it so much better! Hoping to be there one day!

  6. We are both non religious couple, but what makes us bond and together are the undestanding and love that we have. Its a good communication and patience to one another.

    1. Yes Blair, it is true regardless of religious beliefs. Religion is not really a part of it… thought it is in my life so I write from that perspective. Respect is just a piece build into us that we need to learn how to live from. Thanks for the comment.

    1. That is true. It’s so important to show grace when either of us mess up. It’s funny though how we understand it differently than hubby does. we really are very different.

  7. These are some great reminders! With us we realized that love and respect are essentially the same thing for men. My hubby is a little different in what respect looks like because of his upbringing, but really it’s all connected to loving your husband, because to him respect shows that you love him.

  8. Can i say something here, what if you have a husband who degrades you constantly, should you still respect him.
    Both women and men deserves respect in a marriage in order for it to work out.
    If only men is to be respected, than women will be always be the abused victim here.
    Take for instance, in Papua New Guinea, we have marriages been torn apart because the men decided for themselves that they are in charge and they can do what pleases them.
    The poor wife not knowing anything trusts and respects her husband no matter what people tell her.
    But only comes a time ,when the two women meet and they fight and husband decides to bash his wife up because she hit his girfriend and leaves her for good
    What will u say to this? Should respect be still be maintain

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