A photo capturing a tender moment between a husband and wife, where the wife's gentle touch and adoring gaze reflect the deep respect she holds for her husband, echoing the divine intention of a harmonious marital bond.

Why God Wants The Wife To Respect Her Husband

In marriages today, there is often a struggle for power and control. However, the Bible provides clear guidance that the wife is called to respect her husband. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: God commands wives to respect their husbands because the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church.

God established this order, and following His design leads to a joyful marriage.

In this article, we will examine multiple reasons and explanations for why God wants the wife to respect her husband, including Bible verses and commentary. We’ll look at the meaning of biblical submission, the comparison to Christ and the church, and the blessings that come from following God’s design for marriage roles.

The Husband’s Role as Leader

The husband is called to lead

According to the Bible, the husband has a special responsibility to lead his wife and family spiritually. This leadership role is modeled after Christ’s relationship with the church (Ephesians 5:23). Practically speaking, this means the husband should strive to create a warm and loving home environment conducive to spiritual growth.

He should take the initiative in family devotions, prayer, and Bible reading. His leadership should be gentle, selfless and by example (1 Peter 3:7).

Wives are called to submit to their husbands

The Bible instructs wives to submit to their husbands in the same way the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-24). This does not mean blind obedience or tolerating sinful, ungodly behavior. Rather, it means respecting her husband’s leadership and being supportive.

There is a beauty when roles are fulfilled – the husband lovingly leads, and the wife graciously affirms and supports his leadership. This creates harmony and unity in marriage.

Submission does not mean inequality

The Bible makes it clear that although the husband and wife have different roles, they have equal value and dignity before God (Galatians 3:28). Submission does not mean that wives are inferior or less capable than their husbands.

It simply reflects God’s created order for marriage, similar to how Christ and the Father, though equal, have different roles. When lived according to biblical principles, these complementary roles enable both partners to flourish and create a strong foundation for marriage.

Research shows that marriages tend to thrive when spouses adhere to these biblical roles and responsibilities. According to the Institute for Family Studies, couples who regularly attend religious services together have a significantly lower divorce rate.

Shared faith unites couples and helps navigate marital conflicts.

Marriage Reflects Christ and the Church

Husbands represent Christ

In a Christian marriage, the husband represents Christ. As the head of the church, Christ demonstrated sacrificial love by giving up his life for his bride, the church. He takes responsibility for loving and caring for the church.

In the same way, husbands are called to sacrificially love and care for their wives. This means putting their wives’ needs above their own, and being willing to sacrifice their own interests to serve their wives. Husbands have a duty to provide for, protect, and cherish their wives.

Overall, they should follow Christ’s example of servant leadership in the way they treat their wives.

Wives represent the church

In the marriage relationship, wives represent the church in relation to Christ. The church submits to Christ’s authority and follows his leadership. Similarly, wives are instructed to submit to their husbands’ leadership in the marriage.

This does not mean that wives are inferior or less valuable, just as the church is not less valuable than Christ. But there is an order of authority established for marriage, just as there is order within the Trinity.

When wives submit to loving, sacrificial leadership of husbands, it reflects the relationship between Christ and the church. However, if a husband is not fulfilling his responsibility to love his wife as Christ loved the church, the wife is not obligated to submit in ways that harm her or enable sin.

The church submits to Christ

As the bride of Christ, the church willingly submits to his authority and leadership. The church follows Christ’s direction because he has proven his love by sacrificing himself for her benefit. Though Christ is the head, he does not force the church to submit – she does so voluntarily out of love, respect and trust.

The church knows that Christ wants what is best for her and that his plans are perfect, so she joyfully aligns herself under his leadership. The church’s submission allows Christ’s love and grace to flow through her, impacting the world.

Just as the church submits to Christ, wives are called to graciously submit to their husbands’ loving leadership in marriage.

God’s Design Leads to Marital Harmony

Respect Facilitates Love

When a wife shows respect to her husband, it makes him feel valued and builds his confidence to lovingly lead the marriage and family. Respect communicates that his thoughts, feelings, and ideas matter. It demonstrates that his wife trusts and believes in him.

This motivates a husband to strive to be the best man he can be. According to research, 96% of men say they want to be respected by their wife more than loved.

Disrespect Damages Unity

On the flip side, when a wife is rude, belittling, or contemptuous toward her husband, it makes him feel disrespected, attacked, and unappreciated. This kills his motivation and causes him to withdraw. Over time, the resulting loneliness and isolation damages the emotional intimacy in the marriage.

The common saying rings true: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. “ Nagging or trying to control a husband is ineffective. Respectfully sharing hurts or concerns is the wise approach.

Biblical Roles Avoid Conflict

God’s design for marriage roles is not about superiority/inferiority or dictatorship. It’s centered around responsibilities not rights. When the husband loves, leads, provides, and protects – and the wife respects and supports her husband’s leadership – the marriage thrives in harmony.

Each spouse maintaining their biblical role avoids the common conflicts caused by competing leaders or no leader at all. They complement each other perfectly. Studies confirm couples who follow biblical roles report significantly higher marital satisfaction.

Blessings from Following God’s Marriage Design

Joy in marriage

When a wife respects her husband as the spiritual leader in the home, it brings great joy and satisfaction to the marriage relationship. According to research, couples who follow biblical principles for marriage, with the husband loving and leading and the wife respecting and supporting, report higher levels of marital happiness and fulfillment (focusonthefamily.com).

Respecting her husband allows a wife to appreciate his leadership rather than challenging it, leading to less conflict, more teamwork, and a deeper friendship in the marriage.

Family stability

Submitting to her husband’s leadership creates security and stability for the whole family. Children whose mother respects their father’s headship are more likely to honor and obey both parents, research shows. This leads to less stress and anxiety for kids growing up.

Following God’s design where husbands lead with love and wives freely submit also results in better communication, greater trust, and more mutual understanding between parents (psychologytoday.com). Overall, God’s marriage model provides huge benefits for couples seeking to raise children in a healthy, nurturing environment.

Example to others

A wife who respects her husband can powerfully demonstrate to others God’s life-giving principles for marriage relationships. Over 50% of marriages today tragically end in divorce, leaving behind broken families, wounded spouses and devastated children.

But when a wife willingly yields to her husband’s headship – and he loves her unconditionally in return – their union shines as a beacon of hope. It shows the meaning of true oneness in diversity, with the husband and wife complementing each other’s roles (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).

This real-life example can encourage single young people dreaming of a future soulmate or prompt struggling couples to rediscover God’s perfect pattern for marriage.


In conclusion, the Bible clearly explains that God has designed marriage with the husband as the leader whom the wife is called to respect. This reflects Christ’s relationship with the church. Following biblical principles for marriage roles leads to greater joy and harmony.

While counter-cultural today, God’s design for marriage has stood the test of time. When lived out in the power of the Holy Spirit, wives respecting their husbands can powerfully demonstrate Christ’s love to the world.

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