Written by
Vicki Wood

Mutual Respect in a Marriage

Published on 
May 5, 2023

To honor a person is to respect them; in fact the definition of respect is “a feeling of deep  admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.” However respect in a marriage requires a step farther than just a feeling it  requires action, a declaration of value for another person. Respect could even be defined  as how you show true appreciation towards an individual. Therefore marital health and  resilience is often determined by how well a couple respects one another. Marital  satisfaction tends to hinge on mutual respect, which ultimately brings a deeper  connection between the husband and wife. Simply put, respect sees the whole person and  not just someone you can get something from. Scripture says it this way, “Do nothing out  of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”  (Phil. 2:3).  

Respect in a marriage is a two-way street as both individuals crave and deserve it equally,  not one deserves it more or above the other. Each spouse should offer respect simply  because they recognize the value of the other. Mutual respect is vital in a marriage. It  truly matters! It is a sign of a deeper connection that includes trust, support, and the  knowledge that, without a shadow of a doubt, you love and appreciate each other fully.  When respect is absent in any kind of relationship the result often ends in conflict or  disinterest and, in a marriage the lack of respect, can lead to its destruction. Therefore  here are some ways to show respect towards your spouse. 

Display Trust 

Oftentimes when there is a deep connection between two people trust goes without  saying. However a person only gains trust through their actions and whether or not  they’ve proven trustworthy. As you are supportive and dependable trust will be granted.  This trust can be demonstrated by simply being real in every area of your life and not  constantly trying to hide your flaws. When true colors are shown your partner can fully  love, respect and accept you. Be open and be willing to confide in one another; reveal  what’s on your heart, by being vulnerable. Don’t keep secrets from one another, speak the truth and keep your promises.  

Thoughtful Communication 

To have a healthy and thriving relationship you must know how to communicate with each  other well. Express to your spouse what you need or want, don’t assume they can read  your mind. When you have a disagreement, fight fair by sharing what you are feeling and  what’s bothering you without blaming or pointing the finger. Respect, however, even in  an argument seeks to find a solution without tearing the other down or to meet only your  agenda. Communication goes both ways meaning there is a time to speak and share  what’s on your heart and a time to listen. Respecting your spouse means you are listening  with the intent to fully hear and know. However communication can go beyond words, it can include doing something you know your spouse enjoys such as wearing the perfume they like or by picking up your socks and putting them in the laundry basket  rather than leaving them on the floor.  

Accept Differences 

God has wired both of you in such a special and unique way. In fact, it was probably  those differences that drew you towards one another. Therefore respect your spouse by  not criticizing their ideas or interests. They see the world through a unique lens, which  can offer you a different perspective. You each have your own personality traits, talents,  quirks, and past experience; therefore showing respect means you appreciate all that your  spouse brings to the table. There is value in your differences. Mutual respect gives a  person the freedom to be exactly who they’re created to be without fear of judgment.  Celebrate your differences and don’t compare yourself to one another as you are both  individually masterpieces.  

Give Space 

Having mutual respect for one another means you recognize certain needs. Therefore you  may need to define boundaries and what you need to refresh and recharge. This may  include giving each other some space. Space may mean you welcome your spouse home  with a kiss and don’t force them to talk about their day, or you don’t guilt trip them when  they want to go out with friends. Allowing time alone or with other people without  hovering shows maturity and respect. It is important that you and your spouse have your  social needs met through healthy friendships outside of the marriage.  

Champion Each Other 

Show your respect and love for your spouse through encouragement. Putting your energy  and focus on speaking life over your spouse will communicate that you care and  acknowledge who they are as a person. You can’t go wrong in being your spouse’s  greatest cheerleader. Champion each other by celebrating each other’s victories and build  them up when the road gets tough. Don’t complain about your spouse in front of family  or friends. It is disrespectful to shine a negative light on your spouse when you have  grievances with them. The same goes with contradicting your spouse in front of others.  Championing your spouse means you have an undivided front and remain on the same  team.  

Respect can ultimately strengthen a marriage; the more consistent you are the stronger  it’ll be. Romans 12:10 says this, “ Love each other with genuine affection and take  delight in honoring each other.”

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