Love and Respect in a Marriage

When you hear the word submission in reference to marriage, do you cringe?

When you think of submitting to your hubby, do you want to revert to flight, fight or freeze?

You’re not alone.

There’s a lot of confusion on what breaks up marriages or what make a great marriage. No one wants to have a mediocre marriage, right? I don’t want a marriage that says, “Oh, honey, I tolerate you.” Been there. Done that. Sometimes on a daily basis.

Even in the big ‘C’ church we get confused about submission. We women of The Whole House don’t have all the answers. We’re just some women who have some stories to share. Prayerfully, they will encourage you. Anne shares on our recent podcast how her marriage almost ended in catastrophe because she misunderstood what love and respect really are. She admits she didn’t understand true submission.

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However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness], and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear]. Ephesians 5:33


Submission gets a bad rap.

Look at the above verse in context.

19 Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [offering praise by] singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

This set of verses precedes the instructions for husbands and wives. We are to be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. It’s often overlooked.  We women are better at being subject to others, right?

  • Sure, I’ll make a couple dozen cookies for the bake sale.
  • Of course I’ll lead that small group.
  • Yes, I’ll watch your kids so you can go shopping.
  • I’ll make those curtains for you.
  • I would love to clean up after that event. No problem.

It’s all well and good until we stick the word husband in there.

22 Wives, be subject [d]to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord.

Then the claws come out! “No one is going to tell me what to do,” we cry.

Why is that? And what’s love and respect got to do with it?

What is Love and Respect?

“We believe love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man. Research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts unlovingly when feeling disrespected, and a wife reacts disrespectfully when feeling unloved. We asked 7,000 people the question, “When you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected?” 83% of the men said “disrespected” and 72% of the women said “unloved.” Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict, and this difference is as different as pink is from blue!”


Be sure to join our Marriage Habits E-course (starting July 16th) here.

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