Heather Marshall on July 9th, 2008

What is your husband’s greatest need?

I was asked this question during our pre-marital counseling, and actually, I answered it wrong! What my pastor gently pointed out was that all husbands need ADMIRATION and RESPECT, first and foremost.

The apostle Paul states it pretty clearly in both Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18. The role of the wife, as it says, is to submit to her husband. (The husband’s job is to love his wife. Strangely, it doesn’t say that the wife is to love her husband!)

Submit. Women tend to cringe away from that word, like it’s dirty or something. Submission, however, is the ultimate form of respect for your husband! Believe it or not, it empowers him to be able to do his job.

How do we give RESPECT or SUBMIT TO our husband? Through WILLINGNESS to follow his leadership!

Here are some key things to remember about submission…

  1. It is voluntary. You have the privilege of placing yourself under your husband. No one can put you there - it is YOUR CHOICE! By volunteering to submit, you are swallowing your pride, obeying God, and showing love and respect for your husband’s leadership role.
  2. You are playing a supporting role to your husband! That means you should be his biggest cheerleader and encourager! It is the key to his success (or failure!)

I need to spend a bit of time on #2… I’ve seen many wives who belittle their husbands (in front of other people!), and this cannot be! I’ve seen the crestfallen look on a husband’s face when a wife mocked him for something. It breaks a man. If a man’s wife - his help-meet, best friend, soulmate, and other half - won’t show him respect, who will? Does it even matter? YOUR opinion is the one that counts!
We show our love to our husband through our respect for him. Strive your hardest to always give words of encouragement, and watch your husband soar to new heights because of it!

One other thing I feel the need to mention, only because I’ve heard it said so many times… Submission does not occur in response to your husband’s love toward you or exemplary leadership in the home. Submission and respect for your husband needs to happen regardless of his behavior. In 1 Peter 3:1-6 talks about this result of fulfilling your role in marriage:

1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

1 Peter 3:1-2

How is the wife of an unbelieving (or straying) husband supposed to win him over if she is belittling her husband, putting him down, or rebelling from his leadership? We are to be examples through living a life of faith and love, striving to be a wife after God’s own heart.

Here’s the key to being able to submit to your husband’s authority, giving him the respect and admiration he requires: (I wrote this more than 2 years ago, at the end of a premarital counseling session, and it’s still true today)

“The more of a lover of God I am, the more it will carry over into love, respect, and admiration for my husband, where it will then enable him to fulfill his role in marriage.”

Related posts:

  1. Top 10 Reasons Why My Husband Is the Greatest (This Week!)
  2. A Vow to Cherish
  3. What Makes a Good Wife - Part 2
  4. Are You Striving To Encourage Your Husband?
  5. The Power of a Praying Wife

7 Responses to “Your Husband’s Greatest Need”

  1. just a new visitor to your blog! nicely done. very good thoughts. encouraging. Ill be stopping by often. :)

  2. So very powerful! Thank you!

    I’m newly married and struggle with this very subject. 22+ years of being a independent single woman has not made me ready for the challenges I am now facing. I keep hearing my mother’s voice saying:

    “You don’t know what you don’t know!” How very true!

    Thank you for scripture in your blog!!!

  3. Karen,

    Thanks for stopping by! You know, I don’t think we’re ever FULLY ready for the challenges of being married… that’s why I enjoy reading what other women have gone through. Learn from their mistakes! :)

    I hope you continue to come by. Feel free to ask questions, especially if there is some area you’re finding particularly challenging. I may not have all the answers, but we can strive for one together!

    Keep on Striving!

  4. I am so guilty of belittling my husband and mocking him in front of his friends. Every time I say those things I want to smack myself because I know how wrong it is and how much it hurts him, yet I just cant seem to stop.
    I am thankful that for this next year he will be in Afghanistan, so I have several months ahead of me to focus on respecting him and encouraging him. I am taking the 30 day challenge to get me started, and will be writing him little notes of encouragement every day to send him… and nothing else, no other words but ones of encouragement!

  5. Sorry I entered my website wrong :-)

  6. What a great post! I agree that it’s hard to show love towards people, specifically our husbands in this case, when we are upset with them…..but it is so important that our love and respect is unconditional just as God’s love is for us. Thank you for sharing your comments!

  7. Great post again!

    Yes it is quite strange but very very true. The way God has created men and women to “fit” and complement each other like a hand in a glove. When you ask “What is a wife’s greatest need?” the answer jumps up from almost every TV show, movie and song: LOVE. Women feel such a powerful need for love from their husbands… and they also have a powerful want/desire to give their respect and admiration to a man.

    Now conversely just as women have a powerful need to be loved and feel loved we men have an equally powerful need to be respected and admired by our woman… and a powerful want/desire to give our love to a woman

    But to have her constantly complaining about you or belittling you, speaking badly about you in front of friends ect… well it can really put a man down…. or worse make a man angry and resentful towards his wife.

    I’d like to venture this example just to illustrate the essential difference in our natures, though i can’t fully account for it as i’m a man but i would go so far as to say; a woman who feels truly loved by her man but is not respected (i don’t mean abusive here!) would find life much “better” than one who is respected but not loved at all

    For me, and most men i imagine, would much rather live with a wife who did not love me but gave me all the respect, support and admiration that i could wish for than a wife who truly loves me but is disrespectful, always putting me down, “chopping of my legs”, rolling her eyes, saying “i told you so”, speaking badly about me behind my back ect…

    Anyone else agree?

    Take care and God bless!


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