“Can a wife love her husband without respecting him?”
This is a good question to understand, because many people don’t think there’s a difference between a wife loving her husband and respecting him. This leaves many women thinking they respect their husbands, while the husbands are not feeling respected. Watch the short video of Katie and I discussing the answer and/or read the transcript below…
Can a wife love her husband without respecting him? Not only would I say it’s possible, I would say it’s common! Most women will say they love their husbands, and I believe they do. But many of these same wives might not respect their husbands. I’ve met men who have told me they feel loved by their wives but not respected.
In marriage counseling, when I hear wives expressing their frustrations about their husbands, it typically sounds like this: “I don’t feel that my husband loves me. I wish my husband loved me more. He never tells me he loves me.” But when husbands express frustration, it more often sounds like this: “I wish my wife respected me more. I wish my wife followed my lead. I wish my wife supported my decisions.”
In truth, it is much easier for a wife to say she loves her husband than to show it through respect. But it is through respect that a wife expresses her love for her husband. If a wife does not show respect, her husband will not feel loved. A good perspective for couples to keep in mind is that feeling unloved is as painful to a wife as feeling disrespected is to a husband.
An example from scripture of a wife loving her husband without respecting him
In answer to the question, Scripture gives us a perfect example of a wife who loved her husband without respecting him. There’s actually only one woman in all of Scripture SAID to love her husband:
1 Samuel 18:20 Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David.
This is not to say other women in Scripture did not love their husbands. I am sure many of them did—but it is not emphasized. Why is that?
I admit I am being a little speculative here. Perhaps it is because—as we have already discussed—the priority is for women to respect their husbands rather than to love them. As a result, Scripture emphasizes a wife’s respect more than her love.
When David brought the ark into Jerusalem, he danced and twirled as he led the procession. Michal thought David’s behavior was terribly unbecoming. Her father, Saul, was all about appearances, and he would never act this way. Perhaps this had rubbed off on Michal, so she found David’s behavior far below the dignity of a king:
2 Samuel 6:20 Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!”
You can hear the ridicule in her voice. No matter how much she loved David, we can be sure he didn’t feel respected at this moment. So to answer the question, yes, a wife can definitely love her husband without respecting him!
Discuss: Do you think a wife can love her husband without respecting him? Can you think of any other examples fro Scripture that apply to the question?
A few other things:
- Here’s all the info you need for the upcoming Christian Heritage Marriage Retreat
- Be sure to check out this other video: “How should I respond when my husband mocks my Christian beliefs?”
- Here’s the Facebook Live video with all the comments and discussion…