I continued to feel ridiculous each time I affirmed Clayton, but each effort became easier because he knew I was trying. He heard my heart and not just my words, and he’d try to help me. If I was complimenting him and stopped, he would ask more questions in a show of mock arrogance. Like, when I’d say he was the best husband ever, he’d say, “How do you know? ’Cause you can’t even pay attention to anyone else when you’ve got such a magnificent specimen of a husband right here in front of you.” I’d laugh and continue, disarmed. He was grasping more and more just how much I respected and loved him.

I had always felt it, but didn’t know how much hearing it encouraged him, and how much not hearing it caused him to question my feelings. Sophistication is overrated. When we take ourselves too seriously, we miss the opportunity to grow and to help and encourage each other. Giving respect benefits the relationship, not just the individual.

And guys, remember this: “Most women really do feel great respect and appreciation for their husband or boyfriend but don’t always know how to show it. In fact ninety-three percent of women may not always show it well, but actually deeply need, respect and desire their husband or significant other.”  4

Why Do We Give Respect?

…Because We Are His Creation

So many times we miss opportunities to honor each other. Maybe we’re missing this call because we’re forgetting where we’ve come from. Why should we respect one another? Because of who we are in Christ! We are children of God—redeemed by Him. Each one of us carries worth because we are loved by our Savior. Why did God value our lives enough to save us? Because we are His creation, made in His likeness. We respect each other first because of where we’ve come from. We came from God.

I’m an oil painter, and hope soon to experiment with acrylics also. My works are an expression of me. Often what I paint is an outward expression of what the Lord is doing in my heart. If I were to share a painting with someone and they took out a knife and began slashing the canvas, I would be heartbroken and angry! In the same way, people are a display of God’s work of creativity: “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do good things he planned for us long ago.”  5

We treat one another with honor because He created our inmost being; He knit us together in our mother’s womb. We praise Him because we are fearfully and wonderfully made; His works are wonderful, we know that full well.  6 Why are we called to respect each other? Because each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made! Your mate is God’s creation, whether man or woman, he or she needs to feel important and valued. God placed tremendous value on your mate and planned good things for them long ago.  7 He has a plan and purpose for them, and when you affirm them, they are better equipped to fulfill that purpose. You are worshiping Him by honoring the person He created. You get to share life with a creation of God. Do you know that “full well”?

Honor isn’t passive, it’s active…Honor not expressed is not honor.  8 —Gary and Betsy Ricucci, from Love That Lasts

Article excerpted from 12 Questions to Ask Before You Marry (Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon). Copyright 2011 by Clayton and Charie King. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Clayton and Charie King have been married since 1999 and share a passion to serve Christ through ministry, missions, and marriage. Clayton is a pastor, evangelist, and missionary, the author of Amazing Encounters with God and Dying to Live, and the founder and president of Crossroads Worldwide. Charie is an artist, an author, and a popular speaker at youth and women's conferences. The couple has two sons.