How to use respect and love to create synergy in a marriage.

I am very intrigued by how gears work to pull weights that are many times more than the weight of the equipment itself. Gears help propel and move things forward quickly, especially when the gear teeth align and set. Have you ever seen a gear that is misaligned work well?  A piece of misaligned equipment does not work well and would not move forward; sometimes, a lot of cranking noise will occur if the gear is being forced, and eventually, it will break down. This is precisely the picture I got when I was researching RESPECT and LOVE in a marriage. 

Respect and love in marriage go together in a marriage

Respect and love in marriage go together; the fundamental need of a man, as identified and confirmed by many studies, is respect. In contrast, the most crucial necessity of a woman is love. If you think of it as a critical need and not a desire or want, then husbands and wives would appreciate the necessity to understand and meet their partner’s demand.  When a man feels that he is being disrespected, it is like cutting off the food supply for a hungry man. He will not function optimally and would not show love to the woman as he would want to. When a woman feels she is not loved, it is equivalent to cutting off her energy supply. She will be incapable of becoming her best and eventually will start losing respect for the man. If the matter is not nipped in the bud early enough, it will become a challenge in the marriage. 

One of the many reasons’ marriage seems complex is this dynamic of respect and love.

One of the many reasons’ marriage seems complex is this dynamic of respect and love. The bible has given the final say on it. Still, many believers choose not to follow this principle, often time not deliberately but because it is a narrow path and counterintuitive.  God has commanded men to love and live with women in understanding; he did not add any condition that men should only love her when she submits or respects you. That is what unconditional love means to love with no requirement. The bible also gave the woman command to respect her husband. There was no condition attached to respecting him, whether he earns, deserves it, or not. However, it can be tough to respect a man that misbehaves or love a disprectful woman without the fear of God. 

A marriage that operates at this level has attained the expression of what God wanted in a marriage.  

A healthy and good marriage really means to be able to love one’s wife without any condition and to be able to respect one’s husband without judgement.  A marriage that operates at this level has attained the expression of what God wanted in a marriage.  Christ loved His bride while we were still sinners; He died to present us to Himself, spotless.  Why am I writing this today? It is to encourage you to meet the need of your spouse. Men must recognise women need love like air; women must recognise men need respect like oxygen.  I will encourage you as a man to concentrate and learn how to love your wife without waiting for her respect. As a woman, focus and work on how to respect your husband without waiting for his love. I will say that is one area where I have struggled in my marriage, to be able to keep up respecting my husband irrespective of his actions or inactions. By default, I want to go one way, but I quickly pull myself back to ensure I am obeying and honouring God as I respect my husband. 

Love is a decision and not a feeling.

We must realise, everyone deserves respect and love but due to our gender differences, males’ function best when they are respected and females more when loved. Would you decide to love your spouse unconditionally? Love is a decision and not a feeling. If you are waiting to feel ok before you start loving your wife, you are stalling the gear. I would like to call you to action; women we must deliberately choose to respect our husbands irrespective of whether they earns it or not. You will be starting the gear if you don’t learn to love and respect, and eventually, the synergy will return and turning the wheel of your marriage in the right direction. Having a good marriage is a choice; we can put so many things in place and ask God to bless and keep our home. 

I hope you will decide today, be in control of your negative emotions and take steps to take your marriage to the next level of bliss and peace. Amen

You may need someone to hold you accountable and support you on this journey, as a certified SYMBIS assessment facilitator, I can support you virtually. 

I invite you to take the pre-marriage assessment if you are single or engaged to be married soon or the SYMBIS+ Assessment if you are married. I will help you unpack the result and point out areas of strengths, weakness, opportunity, and threats (SWOT) in your marriage. Every successful business conducts SWOT analysis in other to continue to grow. 

To apply for the assessment, please click

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Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.

Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counselors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.

My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here


Value and Respect (Part 1)

Value and respect go hand in hand, most people who are highly respected are people who are valuable to society. They have earned that respect by the body of works they have done, either academic achievements or philanthropic or even just being good mentors due to their wealth of experience and sharing that experience with other people. Value attracts respect and value commands respect. In a marriage, one the most important need of a man is respect, God knows that when he created man and put that craving in his heart.

However, God also commanded man to work, he commanded him to love his wife and not to provoke his children, these will ensure a man becomes a man of value and therefore becomes a respectable person. There are three areas in a man’s life which are significant but when they are not properly handled, can erode the respect and adoration, man craves so desperately. I want us to examine these three areas to reveal how a husband can erode respect or fail to command respect in his marriage. 

‘A valuable and respectable husband must be a man of honour, he must respect himself, respect his children and respect his wife’. 


Matthew 5: 13 says “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. A man that does not have self-respect will find it hard to be respected by other people, including his wife and children. As a man and husband, you are automatically in a position of respect. There are actions and behaviours that ensures a man maintains and commands respect, he is treated with respect because he has self-respect. For example, having a means of livelihood, being able to provide for and protect his family, behaving in a respectable manner and so on. A man who does not have a means of livelihood and he is not trying to make a living as a married man has already disrespected himself. A man who cannot provide for his family is worse than an infidel the bible says. A man who cannot handle a crisis, make a decision and keep his family in order without violence, has lost self-respect. An alcoholic or a man who is addicted to drugs, games, illict sex will eventually lose his self-respect. As a man, you must realise, your value is linked to your values and behaviours, hence you must be disciplined to guard yourself and preserve your self-respect. If you lose your self-respect, it will be difficult for other people including your wife to add respect to your life, just as it is difficult to restore salt’s saltiness if lost. It is therefore important to have self respect as a husband in order to be respected and valued in your marriage as it should be.

1 Timothy 3 is a summary of a respectable and valuable husband. “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his household, how will he care for God’s church? There are so many points in the scripture above to be considered by any man who wants to be adored, valued and respected by his family.

The bible says he must be above reproach. A reproached is someone who has received criticism, disproval, or disappointing others that is justified by their actions. Sin brings reproach, any sinful action will bring reproach, therefore as a husband who deserves respect, you must choose to live a lifestyle free of reproach. When you embrace sin, then be ready to lose our respect. You cannot continue in sin and ask the grace of God to increase, sinful actions will erode your value in the face of God and also in the face of your wife, children and other people. A man of one wife means you are not looking elsewhere for love and satisfaction; you are investing in your marriage.

Once a man starts to cheat on his wife whether emotionally or physically, his value begins to depreciate. I want you to know as a man, that the marriage bed is sacred and undefiled, the moment you are crossing the line to engage in infidelity, then you are disrespecting yourself, your spouse and your marriage. You can no longer be adored and honoured and so you begin to lose your self-respect. God knows you will be tempted but he gave you a will and a choice and a way of escape. Violence is a very fast route to losing your self-respect, situations will occur in a marriage that will make you angry, but the choice to respond with violence is solely yours. When the bible says be angry but do not sin, he makes allowance for our emotions, yes, we can be angry but to be violent is sin and not of God. As a husband, realise your spouse can act in ways that will make you angry, you must, however, be disciplined, self-controlled and honourable enough to know, responding with violence means you will erode the respect and honour you want from your marriage. Learn how to handle tense situations, plan, prepare ahead of it happening and be aware you cannot afford to lose your dignity for mere arguments. 

A good father respects his children

The bible admonishes fathers specifically in Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” and again in Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. This means a father can provoke his children. Please as a father, do not shout, scream or make your children respect you out of fear. Do you know that respect comes out of love and adoration? When you love your children, they will adore you, honour you and hold you in the highest esteem. Love for children means time and provision together. If you have no time for your children, but provides all the money they need, you will miss it. If you have time but unable to meet their basic needs, you will also miss it. You have to provide for their basic needs and spend time with your children.

They are judging you on your character, how you treat your wife and other people. The greatest mistake some men make is to maltreat their wives and expect their children to love and respect them. Your actions speak louder than your words. The best gift to a child is to be raised by two loving parents who love each other, as much as they love their children. Fathers respect your children, do not provoke them to anger by your actions.

The Lord Jesus has provided you with the best manual on how to be a respectable father, He loves and never forces His will on His children. God gives and gives out of the expression of His love for us, we come to fear Him and honour Him, not because he is an angry God but because He is a loving and forgiving God. Do not use fear to get your children to respect you, it may work for a while, but you will be provoking them to anger, which they will later turn on you when they are older. Respect your children, they have their minds, they are small people who deserve to be heard and respected. Don’t take away the dignity of your children because of your authority as a father, treat your children as our heavenly father treats his children.

Be loving and kind. Discipline them without violence, but gently instruct and admonish them. The best way you can teach and discipline your children is by being a role model to them. They see what you do and copy that quickly, more than what you tell them to do. 

We will look at the third point in part 2A husband that respects his wife.