What If … You Lived Out Unconditional Respect?

A little trick I learned in high school is to turn to the dictionary when I don’t know exactly where to begin writing.

“Webster’s defines … as” was often used to start English Literature papers, and is going to be used to start this post as well.

Webster’s defines respect (verb tense) as to hold in esteem or honor; to show regard or consideration for; to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with; to relate or have reference to.

If one more definition could be added, it might read something like “respect is the deepest need a man has; without it, he will never feel loved.”

You see, a man values respect even more than love. This is hard for women to understand, but according to Emerson Eggerichs in his book Love & Respect, numerous men in his study agree with the statement “I would rather live with a wife who respects me but did not love me than live with a wife who loved me but did not respect me.”

Over the past few years, we have come to understand unconditional love, but unconditional respect seems an oxymoron. In our society, we still believe that respect must be earned.

I can’t say that I fully understand it and know how to carry it out myself, but I know that the Bible tells men to love their wives and women to respect their husbands, and I know that God would not tell us to do something that is unnecessary or impossible.

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

Take a few minutes to write down the definition of respect and keep it where you can look at it and understand it. Write it in your own words and come up with ways to show respect to your husband.

As I gain understanding of this, I want to share it with you. As you gain understanding of respecting your husband unconditionally, please leave a comment and share it with me.

Yours for the celebration of marriage,


Here are more great books to strengthen your marriage.


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