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Respect During Tough Times

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May I speak just to the wives today?  In my last blog we discussed what unconditional really means.  I know how difficult the concept of unconditional respect is so today I want to share a testimony from a wife who figured this out, with powerful results. This woman’s husband endured an accident that left him unable to work.  Within that difficulty, she learned to be sensitive to her husband’s needs; despite what I’m sure was a very hard time for her.  I think her story will inspire you as it did me.  

I still marvel at how God has used Love & Respect to transform our marriage!  It really does work. I think the most unstated truth about relationships is how much men need respect from their wives, and how an unthinking comment can hurt them so much.

God has helped me a lot to try to say words that will help my husband, but today I blew it. My husband has been in a nursing home or hospital since January, 2007. He's not able to work at this time. This morning he was talking about letting me get on to my job. Teasingly I said, "Someone in this family has to get out and earn a living." When he responded, "You really know how to cut a guy to the heart," I knew I had erred big time.  

The busyness of the day got in the way, but in the few quiet moments I had, the Holy Spirit kept reminding me, "You have got to make this right." All day long this happened. When I left the nursing home this evening, my husband was getting ready for bed. On the way home, the Holy Spirit reminded me again, "Fix this." So I called my husband and said, "I need to apologize to you." He asked why, and when I started reviewing what I had said this morning, he got very quiet. I assured him I really was only teasing, but teasing comments can still be hurtful.  Then I told him, "Here is what I really know about you. If you could work, I know you would work very hard to provide for us. I know how important your work is to you, and I saw you work hard before we were married and before the accident. I know that when you are able to work again, you will work hard for us."  

Even over the phone, I could tell that my husband's spirit had been restored. For our anniversary, I wrote a card for him in which I reminded him that I had long viewed him as my knight in shining armor. Even though he was heavily medicated that evening, I could tell that the words of my respect and admiration for him pierced that fog.  

This is such a simple principle: the more I show my husband respect, the more love he shows to me. If unconditional respect is what my husband needs most emotionally, why would I want to deprive him of it? I most certainly need and want his unconditional love! I do not show him unconditional respect in order to manipulate him, I do it because it is right.  (Anonymous)

Powerful words from a woman who truly understands her husband’s deepest need.  Wives, what are you willing to do today to show your husband unconditional respect?  Remember…unconditional means exactly that…NO conditions. Do you need to begin with a simple apology?

In my next blog I’ll share a testimony from a husband who learned the true meaning of unconditional love, so resist the urge to say, “Well…what about him? Why are you picking on us wives?” Can you be the mature one and do what you can do to change the tone in your relationship?  I believe you can!


Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Pastor

Questions to Consider