Transformational Truths

How to Respect Your Husband When He Doesn’t Deserve It

You’ve heard the Bible verse, “the wife must respect her husband” Ephesians 5:33. Does it make you want to cringe? You know you “must” do this, but you sure don’t feel like it and he absolutely has not done anything “worthy” of your respect.

How can you respect your husband when he’s disappointed you for the 1000th time? When he’s been uncaring, selfish, and absorbed in his own affairs, where do you muster the “respect”? Did God really say “must”? I’m sure He’ll make an exception for me, right?

There’s not a woman who’s been married for more than a few minutes who has not felt the temptation to not respect her husband. Even the nicest husband disappoints his wife from time to time. The issue of esteeming our spouse, regarding, and honoring them is one that must be addressed. If God told us to do this, there must be a way and there must be an example for us to follow.

Yes, there is a way to respect your husband and there is an example to follow. We find it in 1 Samuel 25. The wife was named Abigail and her husband was Nabal. He was widely known as a man who “railed”. He complained bitterly to everyone and about everything. Nothing was ever his fault and “why should he stop what he was doing” to help anyone. He was only concerned for himself and his own affairs. He had no regard for anyone else or their needs.

This man Nabal was a man who deserved zero respect, yet his wife Abigail respected him. How did she do this? We learn she did the following from the account in 1 Samuel 25:

  • Made haste to appease the ones her husband had offended.
  • Worked to give what she had within her hands to provide.
  • Asked for help from people who were willing to help her.
  • Humbled herself before the ones her husband had offended.
  • Waited for the right time to confront her husband.

She respected her husband by doing what she could to honor him and she left the results to God. The end of the story is that her husband was struck by God and died. Then, she lived happily-ever-after with a man described as “being after God’s heart”.

Your story may not have the happily ever after ending as quickly as Abigail’s story. However, I assure you the light and momentary afflictions of this life are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed at the coming of our Lord and Savior. Take the opportunity to do God’s will today by following the instruction “the wife must respect her husband“. When you’re spending eternity in Heaven with the lover of your soul, you’ll be glad you respected your husband even when he didn’t deserve it. Follow Abigail’s example of how to respect a husband that deserves zero respect.

If you’d like a deeper study in the life of Abigail and how to respect the difficult people in your life, take advantage of the Revive Our Hearts study on Abigail.

Abigail: Living with the Difficult People in Your Life Bible Study

by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth


Each of us can point to someone who makes life complicated. It could be a coworker, a family member, or even a spouse. Sometimes it’s easy to let circumstances like this control our thoughts, words, and actions. We react, rather than act . . . and find ourselves frustrated—at ourselves and the situation.

But does this have to be the way it is? One woman of the Bible shows us that there is a better way. The way of wisdom. The way of hope. The way of Jesus.

In this six-week Bible study, journey along with Abigail as she uses her influence in two men’s lives—with different results. See how the empowerment of the Holy Spirit can help you deal with difficult people . . . without becoming difficult yourself!

Another option is to Listen and Learn from the Revive Our Heart teachings.

Abigail Study Lessons

  1. Abigail – Week 1: A King, a Fool, and a Wise Woman
  2. Abigail – Week 2: A Reasonable Request; A Rude Response
  3. Abigail – Week 3: Defusing the Situation
  4. Abigail – Week 4: God Will Be the Judge
  5. Abigail – Week 5: An Eternal Perspective
  6. Abigail – Week 6: Death Brings Life

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