Actions speak louder than words. You can say you respect your husband, but he’ll have a hard time believing that unless your behavior backs it up.

What does respectful living look like? Here are 25 ways you can communicate respect to your spouse without uttering a word. If you’ll make it your habit to do these things, the next time you tell your husband how much you respect him, he won’t have to wonder if you really mean it.

25 Ways to Communicate Respect (Without Uttering a Word):

  1. Choose Joy
    It’s true: A happy wife makes a happy life. Please don’t use moodiness as an attempt to manipulate your man, but in all things rejoice, because that’s the right thing to do. (1 Thessaonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4)
  2. Honor His Wishes
    Give weight to what your husband thinks is important. Make those things a priority that matter most to him, whether it’s having dinner ready when he gets home from work or keeping the house tidy or limiting computer time. Don’t make him ask twice. (Philippians 2:4)
  3. Give Him Your Undivided Attention
    Yes, I know that women are masters of multi-tasking. But when your husband is speaking to you, make a point to lay other tasks aside and look into his eyes. Listen to what he is saying with the goal of understanding and remembering his words.
  4. Don’t Interrupt
    Have you ever been around a person who won’t let you finish a sentence? That gets old fast. Even if you think you already know what your husband is going to say, allow him to say it without cutting him off mid-sentence. Doing so demonstrates both respect and common courtesy.
  5. Emphasize His Good Points
    Sure, he has his faults (as do you), but dwelling on them will only make you (both) miserable. Choose instead to focus on those qualities in your husband that you most admire. (Philippians 4:8)

continue reading this article on our sister site, Loving Life at Home. For a printer-friendly version of the full list, follow this link. If you’d prefer a printable, one-page summary, click here.

For a more in-depth treatment of this subject, get my book, 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband: A Handbook for Wives. And check out my husband’s companion volume, as well, 25 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife: A Handbook for Husbands. The set makes a great gift for couples, whether they’re newlywed or have been married for many years.

Great books for couples, whether you are newly wed or have been married many years!


  1. I came across this many years ago. I had a good relationship with my husband, but I was always complaining and accusing him of not being/doing anything for or to me that I thought I deserved.
    After coming across the ’25 ways to show your husband respect’ I started on day one of self chastisement and day one of trying to show and give my husband respect. I didn’t ask for anything back from him (though I did leave the ’25 ways to show that you love your wife’ laying around the house). Within a few weeks it started to get easier. After a few months it started to become habit. And our marriage started to change. He wanted to hang out more. He started doing those things that I used to complain that he didn’t do. All I did was pray alot ant try to follow these 25 ways to show respect.
    So thank you! For posting and going through what you did to be able to help others. I post this on my social media every so often to try to help others.

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful and encouraging, Felicia, and that you saw positive results in your marriage as a result of prayerfully applying these principles. That’s a beautiful testimony!

  2. Just stumbled upon these and I think they’re wonderful! I love the verse citations 🙂 I’ve only been married for 3 years but I know my husband and I were not taught how to truly respect our spouse. Our generation is very quick to be disrespectful. We think our opinions value more, regardless of how it’s communicated or the damage it’ll bring to a relationship. I began to scroll down, reading through the comments and I cannot believe the amount of women commenting “I hope your husband does 25 similar things for you” and such. I agree that marriage is a two way deal but to read encouraging, biblical recommendations/commandments for a wife and turn around and point at our husband… that’s just ridiculous. Sounds like conditional love. We are both responsible for our actions in a marriage. As a wife, I want to make sure I am following God’s word, showing love and grace to the sinful human being I promised to be with, wether he’s being Prince Charming or a jerk. Our actions and our words say a lot of who we are and of our faiths. We are to model Christ, blessing those who curse you, loving your enemies, without reproach or judgement. It’s so sad reading these comments but THANK YOU for putting this together. I think these principles call for a successful and happy marriage 🙂 God bless you.

    1. Thanks for taking time to write, Genesis. You and your husband may not have been taught these things growing up, but if you both remain committed to putting them into practice now and treating each other as you wish to be treated, loving one another as Christ loves you, I know that your marriage is going flourish! God honors those who honor Him.

  3. I somehow have a printed copy of how to respect your husband but cannot find the printable one of how to respect your wife

      1. Sorry, to call this out, but they asked for how to respect your wife. I have outlined the difference in terms via the Merriam-Webster dictionary below for easy reference as surely you do not mean to imply a wife only deserves love and not respect.
        Respect: to consider worthy of high regard : ESTEEM
        Love: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties

        1. No, CJ, I certainly do not mean to imply that “a wife only deserves love and not respect.” I do believe, however, that most women crave love to a much higher degree than they crave respect, whereas for most husbands, the opposite is true. But in reference to marriage, I don’t really think husbands or wives can genuinely demonstrate one without the other.

  4. To every disgruntled reader saying that you hope husbands are going to follow this list first and pull their weight and … I’m sorry that you feel hurt and I’m sorry that you don’t feel loved the way that God loves you by your husband.
    Something amazing to remember is that God does love us.
    Important to remember is that He has unique ways for us to love each other so that we feel His love through our marriage partner.

    I want you to know that I came to this web-page through a link at the bottom of a different web-page… a page that has a list of helpful tips for the husband who does want to show love to his wife.

    I spent the weekend reading many articles like this and especially reading the Bible which shows us the kind of amazing, fierce, intentional, compassionate, romantic and self-sacrificing love that God wants us to be fulfilled by.

    Speaking from personal opinion; I would cringe if I heard my wife talking the way some commentators have gone on about their husbands. I would feel so incredibly unloved by her to have her disrespect me on a website like this.
    BUT that’s because I know that I’m trying to show her love…I get the feeling many people commenting negatively are not feeling loved by their spouse.

    I agree that this list is not complete and is phrased strangely at times…but it’s something to HELP women who actually want to try to show love to their husbands.
    I didn’t see much love being shown to husbands in some very hurtful comments I read.

    For a complete and way more challenging list of things to do to help you show love to your husband (and husband to your wife) then read the Bible.
    No it’s not outdated but you won’t believe that without wanting a relationship with God.

    Pray for your husband.
    Ask God to bless him.
    Ask God to show you how to show love to your husband in a language that he understands and pray for your husband to learn to show you love in a language that you understand.

    I know that most of the time I have no idea whether my wife appreciates the way I’m trying to show her love. I don’t know if it’s a hit or miss (playing battle ships or shooting at a target in the dark).
    BUT I made a covenant with God to always love the woman He gave me, whether she loved me back or not. … and I trust Him to work in her to help her love me.

    Sometimes I feel unloved. I go to God for love and strength and then I love her harder.

    (I also talk to her instead of whining. Seriously that’s not going to help you or him, it only breeds bitterness!)

    God please help every reader on this page to find the fulfillment that Your love brings and that You would help each of us to honestly and earnestly love our spouse and to show them love in a way that they understand…and for them to do the same for us.
    Jesus, we’re asking You for this. Amen.

    1. Thanks, James. And I love and agree with your analysis that the Bible provides a way more complete and challenging list than I have here in this post. I don’t believe it’s possible for any of us to love in the selfless, sacrificial way Scripture commands without God’s empowering us to do so.

  5. I agree with the rules. I am married (4) months and I really try to do most of the things you wrote. I do believe in a nurturing/loving wife and a provider husband to keep a marriage happy. Although I realize there may be a necessity for a woman to work outside the home. However, her husband and children should be the priority always!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! My husband & myself have been married 2 months. We are almost 40& never been married or have any children. The past 6 months, I’ve had kidney stone surgery, bulging discs, barely been able to work, planned a big wedding (he has a huge family)& 10 days ago had a hysterectomy, from endometriosis. I blame so much on everything except myself! I have been horrible towards him& he has been amazing with me! I said some nasty things to him and slapped him this morning. I never thought I’d be the person that would do such a devious thing! I have apologized numerous times & I promise to never do that again!
    People are taught a soulmate is a perfect fit. It’s actually a mirror of you, trying to rip your heart open & add new light. Someone, the most important person you can have to do and say what you don’t want to hear, to try & make you a better person ‘ I just figured that out, something finally smacked me in the head! I hope he will forgive & we can be a Team Again

    1. I am so sorry. It sounds like you’ve had a very rough six months. I’m glad you realize you shouldn’t blame others for those problems, though most of the health issues don’t really sound like something you should blame on yourself, either. I’m glad your husband has been supportive and forgiving through it all. He sounds like a wonderful guy, and I hope you will have many long and joyous years together!

  7. I’ve been with my husband for 31 years (married for 25). Your advise is spot on. Agree with all you’ve said! Follow this for a happy marriage – it’s worked for me!!

  8. Thank you so much for this article. I am currently so irritated with my husband for small petty things, and in when asking God in prayer what to do I heard ” pray for him.” So I did. Then I stumbled upon your article. How wonderful! It’s nice to have the scriptures right by the instruction. Thank you again, you have blessed my marriage and this will help me be the best wife I can be as God would want it!! God bless you!

    1. Thanks for writing to let me know that, Crystal. I love hearing how God has used stuff I’ve written. May He richly bless your marriage as you allow Him to mold you into the wife He wants you to be!

  9. I just found this blog today and i’ve only read a bit here and there but am enjoying it already. I am 30 and have been married for almost 2 years. I loved this list because it is such a good reminder for anyone, i feel, for how to treat those they love. In regards to being a wife, i do try to put my phone/book/whathaveyou down when he is talking to me. I try to keep a tidy home (chronic illness keeps me from doing as well as i’d like) and taking care of him. That is not to say that he CAN’T do those things, he is a very independent man and i adore that about him. I do these things – laundry, meals, cleaning – as a way of showing my love and devotion for him. for if we love someone don’t we want to make their lives easier in any way we can? he does so much for me, aside from working full time, that any time i am feeling well enough to, i like to step in and help with the load. he is a blessing from God and I want him to know that I know it. =) thank you for not letting people who believe differently than you (us) – for it is a right that we all have, to make and form our own beliefs and opinions – keep you from sharing wisdom for us newlywed wives. God bless!

  10. I have conflicting feelings about the list. As I read them, I think how wonderful some of the things would be to receive — but then I feel guilty, because of the modern feminist views on these topics. Ultimately, I’ve been learning my entire life that women deserve to be treated as equals (and I still believe this), and this list flies in the face of that concept.

    Of course, this list has a subtext that nobody seems to have touched upon — and that is that it isn’t asking anyone to be “less of a person”, but it seems to actually be more focused on being a better person. I should probably explain that last bit a little better; what I mean to say is that if you are committed to another person (man or woman), why on earth would you not change yourself for the better to improve the happiness and quality of life for the both of you? Yielding or submitting in some way, can be quite difficult, and I think if we truly understand both of our perspectives on most matters, we would probably arrive at the same conclusions anyway.

    The fundamental question I have then is, should the wife always place the husband’s wishes above her own — and what I was really driving at, should the husband always place the wife’s wishes above his own? The answer feels like yes, but this list is half of a belief system, because it does not share how a husband is expected to behave and act towards his wife and family.

    I try to please our entire family, and it can be quite overwhelming. I can only imagine how much more difficult that is when you’re the mother of a large family, as in your case. Most of those times that I’m trying to make people happy, I feel personal sacrifice for my own loss of happiness. On the one hand, I feel happiness if I’m able to achieve the desired result (everyone else’s happiness) — but on the other hand, I’m left without enough time in the day to attain my own personal happiness.

    At any rate, I enjoyed reading this list and can see its merit. I wouldn’t dismiss them as old-fashioned, but I also wouldn’t feel brazen enough to ask my wife to read this list, either.

  11. Even when you are married 52 years as my husband and me, these thoughts are as good now as they are in the early years. Thank you for some good reminders.

  12. Like it or not ladies, this is the way we are to treat the man that we take as our husband.
    For those of you against these writings, just try it for a week and see what a difference it will make in your relationship. Read the included scripture to go with each bullet and realize that a woman of God shows respect to her husband. Thank you for providing these reminders – not suggestions – reminders.

  13. In a world that preaches the opposite of this to us young mothers and wives, thank you for sharing what the bible teaches and what works when applied. I pray you are blessed for sharing the truth!

  14. I’ve been married for a year. I am so glad to have this list to know what I need to work on! My mother loves my father deeply but she doesn’t really let my father be the head of the house. It’s hard to know how to do that without a model, and I think this will help me a lot.

  15. This is fascinating. I see why people were so upset by it. While it may work, I think the deeper level is to acknowledge your problems and issues together and coming to terms with them together (like, I don’t feel like having sex right now, I’m completely exhausted and anxious) and then trying to figure out a solution rather than one person (in this case the wife) shoving aside her feelings to “honor” her husband. My husband would HATE to be “honored” that way, he’d want to know what I really felt and why and what we should really agree to do about that problem, not just me deferring to him to say “Whatever you think, honey.” We both grow when we have to work together. This being said, he works, I stay home with our five kids, we are religious and have been married ten years and I’m 31, so we follow the pattern but are enriched for following the same rules for each other and meeting each other in a cooperatively equal relationship.

    1. also, obviously prayer is vital to this relationship and it’s up to God to make us more united. This all being said, I respect what you’re trying to do, I’m just sharing why it turns people off.

  16. Hello Jennifer. Greetings from Puerto Rico!! I believe that being raised in a very cultural island has lead me as well to think the way you think also. I always remember my mother, althought beoing a teacher and working outside my house, having my dad’s dinner ready on time and all of us together sitting in the table, laundry done always, house tidy, etc. I believe that the bible has the answer to all of our problems and that giving is how we receive. Excelent job, excelent article and beautiful family. Congratulations!!! Keep me posted 🙂

  17. This is a fantastic list! I know many things might seem outdated, but just because they aren’t popularly accepted doesn’t mean that they don’t work. Kudos to you for being bold to speak about what God has on your heart. It won’t always make you popular but the message is important. Sometimes the things we don’t want to hear are just what we need to hear.

  18. although i find this to be very enlightening, not fond of the religious overtones but what is written is very good advice that i take on a daily basis….but lets look at it from another angle…isnt there things a husband should do for a wife as well, i mean like you said, it takes two, and i agree it take two to fight, and it takes two to make it work. I follow these rules almost to a tee…but i feel that we are forgetting the other half.

  19. I don’t think I need a spoon, Bill. It sounds like what I’ve written has done an effective job of gagging you already. 🙂

  20. Gag me with a spoon! Keep the house tidy? A good husband helps around the house too. Men are egocentric enough; we don’t need this kind of treatment. Should be titled, “25 Ways to be a Codependent”

    1. I don’t think I’ll need a spoon, Bill. Sounds like what I’ve written has already done an effective job of gagging you on its own.

      1. I fully respect what you are doing, however this list is so outdated. It sounds like it came from Heloise back in the day. I have to agree with Bill. I do like the child chore chart.

        1. Thanks, Yvonne. I’ve heard from lots of people who disagree with me on this post, but I’m still standing by what I’ve written. It seems to me that when old-fashioned courtesies (like respect and admiration) and so-called antiquated sex-roles (with husband providing/protecting and wife supporting/nurturing) get tossed out the window, a lot of marital happiness, stability, and longevity goes with it. You may think these principles are out-dated, but I can testify they work.

          1. I am 31 years old. I find that fact necessary to acknowledge, because I am of a younger generation, and these ways to show respect are completely ok in my book! There are many “rules” that have been around forever, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still work. (Outdated only means that they no longer have value) I have been married for 10 years, and we have two children. I stumbled upon some of these suggestions through trial and error, and some of them felt completely natural to me, and I never had a problem with them. No one is perfect, and to make sure that each one is ticked off the list each and every day would be tedious and disruptive to a woman’s health. However, I DO believe that they are all useful, true, and all in all, easy things to try and do to just love and respect your lifetime partner. PS God has rules for a husband and how he should love his wife too…;) But we are wired different, and we have different needs, and these suggestions above (I have found) DO match many of my husbands needs! So I applaud you for sharing them.

  21. I hope that you expect your husband to show you the same 25 things on your little list there. Marriage is not a one way street. If one person is doing all the work that person will get fed up. It is not just the woman’s responsibility to keep a marriage going. Man and woman are equals in a marriage and need to share the work load and responsibilities of a marriage. This list is degrading to all women who fought so hard for women’s’ rights. Just because your good housewife doesn’t mean you have degrade yourself in this way.

  22. Dear Jennifer, Thank you for so openly sharing what God has taught you. I cannot express how your blog has totally changed my stay at home mom mentality. I loved my job as wife and mommy, but now I love it even more.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Amanda. Your comment has made my morning! Thanks for taking time to write 🙂

  23. I found your wonderful article on 25 ways to show respect to your husband and find it very encouraging. On a different note, I have to say that I see the size of your family and I feel. . .I’m not sure how to say it. . .disappointed in myself. We have five children and this summer with the kids off of school I just feel so overwhelmed, probably because I am trying to tackle character issues that have gone under my radar all school year (disrespect and unkind words to each other) and also trying to teach them how to work. I just want to know what makes you so. . . capable. I love my children, but there is not much in me that would cause me to want more to add to the noise level and messes and occasional chaos (“Raise your hand if you want to talk to mom”). I’d love to hear your two cents.

    1. I sympathize with you, Marla. Parenting is hard work, but I remember it being especially so when we had only four or five children — fewer than four, we didn’t feel so outnumbered; more than five, the older ones were big enough to help in appreciable ways — but the stage I found most challenging and overwhelming is the one you are in right now. But be encouraged — it does get easier, especially if you’ll continue to faithfully train your children during this difficult time.

      Let me also assure you that we deal with many of the struggles you mentioned at our house, too — including the occasional chaos. 🙂 It’s not like we can address such issues once and then we’re done; child-training is an ongoing process. Just as in housekeeping, the floors will repeatedly need to be swept and the dishes washed, in raising children, bad attitudes will repeatedly need to be addressed, misbehavior corrected, arguments settled, etc. For specific suggestions on improving relations between siblings, click here.

      For us, we have found it helpful to sit down every six months or so and reassess what we are doing and why, cutting away any extraneous activities and involvements that are not moving us toward our goals. This helps us to stay focused and provides our children with moer clearly defined rules, rewards, and consequences.

      Do not lose heart, Marla. The God who gives us the children will also provide the wisdom, strength, patience, and energy required to raise them. It is His grace and His grace alone that makes any of us capable and effective parents.

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