Does the Bible address disrespectful wives? Yes, it does—and it’s not as lenient as you may think.
Across the Bible, an overarching theme can be found: Part of being a good wife is having respect for your husband.
A disrespectful wife, then, should never be supported to continue disrespect her husband.
What does the Bible say about a Disrespectful Wife?
The Bible commands us to honor and revere our husbands (Ephesians 5:33). This speaks to the heart of disrespect as it calls women to treat their husbands with the same respect they would have for God. This ideal of respect is not one-sided, however.In Colossians 3:18-19, the Bible gives commandment to men to treat their wives with love, care, and tenderness.
Jesus himself weighed in on the subject of marriage, marriage conflicts, and how to handle these situations. In Matthew 19:3-9, Jesus commands: believers must seek reconciliation no matter the cost or effort. In case of the disrespectful wife, we must try to help her understand the importance of showing respect for her husband.
It’s important to remember that respect is not just a verbal thing. Respect must show in all aspects—in the words used, in the attitude taken, in the choices made. Respect is shown by honoring commitments, being consistent, appreciating your husband and avoiding criticism.
But, how do you go about re-instilling respect in your wife? There are several tried-and-true techniques:
- Love and affirm your wife
- Reduce stress in her life
- Give her validation and appreciation
- Set boundaries and be consistent in enforcing them
- Give her examples of respect from the Bible or other sources
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that a disrespectful wife is likely the result of a deeper issue. The underlying problem must be addressed and dealt with in order for true, lasting change to take place. It is only through prayer, seeking help from wise counsel, and time that lasting transformation may take place.
Love and Affirm Your Wife
One of the most powerful remedial measures for a wife’s disrespect happens when her husband loves her enough to bring the issue to her attention. Marriage is a safe place for exposure and listening which creates a safe and secure atmosphere for healing to take place.. Showing love and affirmation not only makes your wife feel secure, but it also allows her to drop the disrespect as the shield that it usually is.
Affirming your wife also serves to build her up rather then tear her down. As she learns to trust again, and realizes that her husband views her as someone to be respected and honored, her attitude towards her husband will shift. She will start to trust him more, and view him with the same respect and honor she originally desired of him.
Reducing Stress in a Wife’s Life
Stress is one of the leading causes of disrespect. When a wife is feeling overwhelmed, she may lash out in ways that signal her distress. It is important for a husband to identify these signs and take action to reduce the level of stress she is feeling. This can include providing financial relief, hiring a housekeeper, or taking on more of the household chores. All of these acts will lighten the load on the wife and help her to be more mindful of how she speaks to her husband.
Reducing stress also involves creating a home environment of peace and security. When a wife feels that her husband genuinely wants to lighten her load and create a safe environment where she can express her thoughts and feelings, then she will also be less likely to be disrespectful.
Give Validation and Appreciation
When a wife feels harassed, devalued, or unimportant, she is likely to be disrespectful. Giving your wife the validation and appreciation she needs can help keep her attitude in check. Respect from the husband is often mirrored, and nowhere more so than in the area of validation. So, anytime your wife does something for you, make sure to thank her for it and express your appreciation for her.
Another way to show your wife apprecation is to include her in decision making. Speak to her in a kind and respectful manner. Ask for her opinions and affirm her opinions. This will show her how much her thoughts and feelings are valued and help to build trust between the two of you.
Set Boundaries and Be Consistent in Enforcing Them
Set clear boundaries and rules for your wife. Communicate to her that disrespectful behaviour will not be tolerated. When setting boundaries, make sure to state the boundaries in firm, but loving tones. That way, your wife will understand that you will not be tolerate disrespectful talk or behaviour.
When your wife does step out of line, remain consistent in your response. Do not sweep the issue under the rug, as that will send the message that disrespectful behaviour is tolerated. Likewise, do not overreact as that can cause feelings of fear and distrust. Respond to her in a firm but loving manner and let her know that you will not tolerate disrespectful behaviour.
Examples of Respect from the Bible and Other Sources
The Bible is a great source of examples of respect in marriage. From how Paul addresses the Corinthians about husbands and wives in 1 Peter 3:1-2 to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19, these passages are filled with wisdom about how a husband and wife should interact, and how respect should be shown in a marriage.
Beyond the Bible, many books and articles can be read to gain insight on how to show respect in a marriage. Books like The Respect Dare and blogs like The Marriage Bed can serve as an invaluable source of information and knowledge. As you read what other have written, aim to observe marriage respectfully and adopt the practices you learn.
Couples counseling is another great avenue to take. Meeting with an experienced marriage counselor can help you and your wife recognize and address underlying issues that are hindering respect. They can also give you tangible advice on areas of your marriage that need work and how to address those areas.
A husband of one wife, father of two beautiful girls, laborer of Lord, Jesus Christ, and a servant to God’s His saints. I hope to encourage you by God’s grace. Thank you for stopping by.