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.
THE REV. DAN WHITE IS PASTOR OF NORTH COLUMBIA CHURCH IN APPLING.