What do men want? Respect

  • Follow Your Faith

In the comedy What Women Want, Nick, played by Mel Gibson, has a fluke accident which enables him to hear what women think and therefore know what women want.

Wouldn’t it be nice for a woman to know what her man wants, too? What is it that a husband desperately needs and wants? It isn’t what you think it is.

The answer is revealed by God in a Bible passage that we might have read and overlooked a thousand times. Hidden away in obscurity is a valuable lost treasure. It is the latter part of Ephesians 5:33: “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

The wife must respect her husband. That’s it. According to marriage counselor Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, a wife doesn’t need much coaching in being loving, for that is her nature, but she might need help giving respect to her man. Respect is what a husband really wants in a relationship. That’s the reason for the command “the wife must respect her husband.”

I know all of you baby boomers like me remember Aretha Franklin’s No. 1 hit, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. But the lyrics were not written by a woman crying out for respect. Franklin’s song was a cover of a song written by the great soul man from Macon, Ga., Otis Redding.

Redding’s version is a plea from a desperate man needing respect from his woman. He will give her anything she wants for a little respect. He won’t even care if she does him wrong, as long as he gets a little respect.

Redding captured a man’s deepest soul need in song.

One of the most effective ways to show respect for your man is to let him know you value him. In a poll of Men’s Health readers, 66 percent said they want a woman to compliment them on an intangible yet specific quality that they uniquely possess.

Respect is all about playing up the good qualities of your man and playing down the bad. If your husband is basically a man of goodwill, express your respect to him for that.

Eggerichs suggests giving respect could be a little thing such as, “Honey, I respect how you get up early and go to work to help provide for our family. This isn’t an option: you have to do it and you do. I respect you for that.”

We men have a lot of faults, but there are plenty of good things about us, too. Nagging constantly about your man’s faults without giving respect for his strengths can make a man want to live “on the corner of the roof” rather than share a house with a wife who disses him all of the time (Proverbs 25:24).

So, respect your man. As Redding wrote, “But all I want you to do, Just give it, give it; Respect when I come home.”

It might just rekindle the fires of love that a wife most desires.

For further insight into the love she most desires and the respect he desperately needs, I recommend Eggerich’s book, Love and Respect.



Every Saturday, The Augusta Chronicle offers religious leaders the opportunity to share their views on issues of faith. Are you interested in writing a guest column? E-mail kelly.jasper@augustachronicle.com, or call (706) 823-3552.

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Jane18 01/26/13 - 01:03 pm

In order to get respect, one must 'give' respect..................That particular verse reads "reverence" not respect. Reverence means to love, revere, and in some cases to fear. One must know what meaning to use for the particular situation.

Dan White 01/26/13 - 03:13 pm
Respect or Reverence

You are correct. The Greek verb, φοβέω, translated respect in the NIV and reverence in the KJV literally means “to be in awe of; i.e., revere. However, Webster’s New International Dictionary offers respect as with the same (or nearly the same) essential meaning as reverence. So, whether φοβέω is translated reverence or respect, I don’t see much difference.

In regards to "to get respect, one must 'give' respect," Dr. Eggerichs makes a case for the wife giving the husband unconditional respect provided that the husband is a man of "good will." And, he argues that the husband must give the wife unconditional love provided that the wife is a woman of "good will." Due to the Chronicle's limitation of space in the print column, I couldn't expand these ideas from Dr. Eggerichs. That's why I recommended the book for further insight.

I had a wife from another church write me this testimony in regards to "respect your husband."

“One day, God clearly showed me the law of diminishing returns with my "pointing things out to him." In our immaturity, we girls actually think we're helping and calling our man up to a higher standard. We don't realize it's creating one impossible standard after the other.

“The Lord told me that the little things would be more than dealt with after I made a habit of building up my husband, which my good friend and Pastor once called "speaking to the treasure" in him.

“Overwhelmingly, this proved true. Speak to the treasure in him. Play up the good and play down the bad. During a few difficult moments, though, I had to exercise serious discipline and determination to follow my pastor’s advice. I was worried and anxious. I didn’t feel gentleness, kindness, goodness, or self-control flowing through my soul. The temptation to react was strong.”

Dr. Eggerichs has numerous testimonies in his book regarding the transforming power to "respect (or reverence) your husband," but he points out that there are no guarantees and that some husbands do not respond when a wife gives her husband unconditional respect.

His work is fascinating and worthy of reading. I don't agree with all of his points, but I think his insight is groundbreaking. Certainly, I think Otis Redding and many other husbands would agree!

Thanks for reading the column and taking time to respond.

yasmane_newton 02/05/13 - 12:54 pm

men and boys included need to respect women point blank period.

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