In the comedy, “What Women Want,” Nick, played by Mel Gibson, has a fluke accident which enables him to hear what women think and therefore determine what women want.
Wouldn’t it be nice for a woman to know what her man wants too? What is it that a husband desperately needs and wants? It isn’t what you think it is!
The answer is revealed by God in a Bible passage that we may have read and overlooked a thousand times. Hidden away in obscurity is a valuable lost treasure waiting to be found. It is the latter part of Ephesians 5:33, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
The wife must respect her husband. That’s it. According to marriage counselor, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, a wife doesn’t need much coaching in being loving for that is her nature, but she may need help with giving respect to her man. Respect is what a husband really wants in a relationship. That’s the reason for the command “the wife must respect her husband.”
Oh I know, all of you baby-boomers like me remember Aretha Franklin’s number one hit, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. “All I'm askin' is for a little respect.” But the lyrics were not written by a woman crying out for respect. Aretha’s song was a cover of a song written by the great soul man from Macon, Georgia, Otis Redding. Redding's version is a plea from a desperate man needing respect from his woman and will give her anything she wants for a little respect. He won't even care if she does him wrong, as long as he gets a little respect from her.
Otis Redding captured a man’s deepest soul need in song which is the plea for respect from his woman.
One of the most effective ways to show respect for your man is to let him know you value him. In a poll of Men's Health readers, 66 percent said they want a woman to compliment them on an intangible yet specific quality that they uniquely possess.
Respect is all about playing up the good qualities of your man and playing down the bad. If your husband is basically a man of goodwill, express your respect to him for that.
Dr. Eggerichs suggests giving respect could be a little thing like, “Honey, I respect how you get up early and go to work to help provide for our family. This isn’t an option: you have to do it and you do. I respect you for that.”
We men have a lot of faults, but there are plenty of good things about us too. Nagging constantly about your man’s faults without giving respect for his strengths can make a man want to live ”on the corner of the roof rather than share a house with a wife who disses him all of the time” (Proverbs 25:24).
So, respect your man. As Otis Redding wrote, “But all I want you to do, Just give it, give it; Respect when I come home.”
It may just rekindle the fires of love in him that a wife most desires.
For further insight into the love she most desires and the respect he desperately needs, I recommend Dr. Eggerich’s book, Love and Respect (2004: Thomas Nelson Publishers).
Rev. Dan White is a free-lance writer and has been published in secular and Christian magazines. He is the founder and pastor of North Columbia Church, Appling, GA. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thank you for this important reminder! I remember reading Maribel Morgan's book, years ago and the four "A"s she recommended for wives that men crave: Acceptance, Admiration, Appreciation and Affection. You summed it up in one word, and a Biblical one at that: Respect. I appreciate the man's perspective, since they don't often put into words the desires of their hearts - and women can often be poor guessers!