Appropriate affectionate touch is one way to demonstrate respect for your wife.

How to Better Respect Your Wife

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Relationship expert Dr. Gary Smalley defines honoring a spouse as showing high value and treating her as a priceless treasure. He says that you show honor regardless of whether your spouse deserves it or not. This is a very descriptive way of how to view your wife, but your actions are what convey genuine respect.

Four Faces of Honor

Dr. Smalley says that honoring your wife should have four components that include meaningful touch, a vision of a special future together, a commitment to her and words that express the value you place on her. Tell her how much you love her and are committed to making her feel happy, safe and appreciated. Keep your promises to her and explain what you hope your future with her will entail. Kiss and hug her, cuddle with her, and show her physical affections in ways she likes. When you show her love in ways she prefers, she is likely to feel respected and honored.

Faithfulness recommends that you consider faithfulness and decision making as a way to demonstrate respect to your wife. It recommends that you show faithfulness by remaining emotionally and sensually faithful, involving her in all the decisions about your family and allowing her to make decisions about her time, freedom and what’s important to her. Tell her that there is no one you would rather be with. Spend time with her doing things she likes even when you might want to spend time with your buddies or doing something you know she doesn’t like. Ask what she would like to do or where she might like to go and tell her you want to do that because she is special and precious to you.


Relationship expert Dr. James Dobson suggests that respect can take the form of considering your wife's feelings and extending courtesies even when you are feeling inconvenienced. He suggests taking time to call when you will be late, making sure the car is available when she said she needs it and other such practical considerations. Along this same line, you can be on time when your usual pattern is to be late, call to ask if she would like you to bring supper home when you know she will be pressed for time or offer to pick up the kids or dry cleaning. Don’t expect her to do all the chores, even if you work and she is a homemaker or stay-at-home mom with small kids. Your considerate behavior lets her know you hold her in high regard.


You express respect when you listen to your wife and value what she has to say. Stop what you are doing and face her so she can see that she has your undivided attention. Sit in a relaxed position that says you really want to hear and are open to what she has to say. Make supportive sounds, but don’t interrupt, allowing her to finish what she has to say before you ask questions or express your thoughts. Be honest with your thoughts and let her know what you find valuable. Express your pride in her to her and to others, especially to your children. Demand that your children show her respect in the same ways you model it.


About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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