To honor a person is to respect them; in fact the definition of respect is “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.” However respect in a marriage requires a step farther than just a feeling it requires action, a declaration of value for another person. Respect could even be defined as how you show true appreciation towards an individual. Therefore marital health and resilience is often determined by how well a couple respects one another. Martial satisfaction tends to hinge on mutual respect, which ultimately brings a deeper connection between the husband and wife. Simply put, respect sees the whole person and not just someone you can get something from. Scripture says it this way, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Phil. 2:3).
Respect in a marriage is a two-way street as both individuals crave and deserve it equally, not one deserves it more or above the other. Each spouse should offer respect simply because they recognize the value of the other. Mutual respect is vital in a marriage. It truly matters! It is a sign of a deeper connection that includes trust, support, and the knowledge that, without a shadow of a doubt, you love and appreciate each other fully. When respect is absent in any kind of relationship the result often ends in conflict or disinterest and, in a marriage the lack of respect, can lead to its destruction. Therefore here are some ways to show respect towards your spouse.
Often times when there is a deep connection between two people trust goes without saying. However a person only gains trust through their actions and whether or not they’ve proven trustworthy. As you are supportive and dependable trust will be granted. This trust can be demonstrated by simply being real in every area of your life and not constantly trying to hide your flaws. When true colors are shown your partner can fully love, respect and accept you. Be open and be willing to confide in one another; reveal what’s on your heart, by being vulnerable. Don’t keep secrets from one another, speak truth and keep your promises.
To have a healthy and thriving relationship you must know how to communicate to each other well. Express to your spouse what you need or want, don’t assume they can read your mind. When you have a disagreement fight fair by sharing what you are feeling and what’s bothering you without blaming or pointing the finger. Respect, however, even in an argument seeks to find a solution without tearing the other down or to meet only your agenda. Communication goes both ways meaning there is a time to speak and share what’s on your heart and a time to listen. Respecting your spouse means you are listening with the intent to fully hear and know. However communication can go beyond words, it can include doing something you know your spouse enjoys such as wearing the perfume they like on you or by picking up your socks and putting them in the laundry basket rather than leaving them on the floor.
God has wired both of you in such a special and unique way. In fact, it was probably those differences that drew you towards one another. Therefore respect your spouse by not criticizing their ideas or interests. They see the world through a unique lens, which can offer you a different perspective. You each have your own personality traits, talents, quirks, and past experience; therefore showing respect means you appreciate all that your spouse brings to the table. There is value in your differences. Mutual respect gives a person the freedom to be exactly who they’re created to be without fear of judgment. Celebrate your differences and don’t compare yourself to one another as you are both individually masterpieces.
Having mutual respect for one another means you recognize certain needs. Therefore you may need to define boundaries and what you need to refresh and recharge. This may include giving each other some space. Space may mean you welcome your spouse home with a kiss and don’t force them to talk about their day, or you don’t guilt trip them when they want to go out with friends. Allowing time alone or with other people without hovering shows maturity and respect. It is important that you and your spouse have your social needs met through healthy friendships outside of the marriage.
Champion Each Other
Show your respect and love for your spouse through encouragement. Putting your energy and focus on speaking life over your spouse will communicate that you care and acknowledge who they are as a person. You can’t go wrong in being your spouse’s greatest cheerleader. Champion each other by celebrating each other’s victories and build them up when the road gets tough. Don’t complain about your spouse in front of family or friends. It is disrespectful to shine a negative light on your spouse when you have grievances with them. The same goes with contradicting your spouse in front of others. Championing your spouse means you have an undivided front and remain on the same team.
Respect can ultimately strengthen a marriage; the more consistent you are the stronger it’ll be. Romans 12:10 says this, “ Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.”