If a Husband Is Unrespectable Should a Wife Show Him Contempt and Disrespect?

A woman asks, “How do you respect a man who has a habit of lying and going against everything the Word says. How does this work in an unequally yoked marriage? I have no respect for willful sin. I can respect free will choice, but not the sin and choices he makes to lead his family away from God.”

  • “I started to understand that whoever made a mistake first or when it happened wasn’t important but naturally my disrespect towards my husband since all the craziness started wasn’t doing my family any good.”
  • “In my situation, my disrespect manifested itself more in my attitude, i.e. body language, rolling my eyes this type of thing.  Which I now see is just as damaging as calling my husband ‘stupid’.  The message really is the same.  I guess I have justified my disrespect all these years, because in my mind I was not ‘speaking’ disrespect with words, so somehow I believed I was really using self-control in this area.  How foolish I have been.”
  • “My attitude.. has been disdainful and disrespectful… I have to make amends. I have to stop this. I cannot be another lost girl under the curse of my mother…  but I let a bad economy and victim mentality drive my disrespect.

The point we make is this: we must confront unrespectable behavior truthfully, firmly and without compromise, but we must deliver that message in a dignified manner. Our disrespectful words and attitudes will never get through if we do so otherwise.

Sadly, today’s culture leans toward the notion that a person must earn respect. If we declare that a person is undeserving of respect, then the culture declares that we have every right to treat him or her with contempt and disdain in order to motivate them to become loving and respectable.

By way of analogy, this would mean I can be ugly toward an unkind person in order to inspire that person to be nice.

In your situation you ask the very question godly women asked the apostle Peter in the First Century. We can read his answer to the question in 1 Peter 3:1,2.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

Notice the husband is “disobedient” so he does not deserve respect. He has not earned respect. Even so, God reveals that a wife wins her husband via “respectful behavior.”  In other words, contemptuous and disrespectful attitudes and words do not win him.

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