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Restoring the Love of Respect

By Steve Wickham

There is a sanctity of respect found in courting days that's so quickly lost when the relationship 'settles in' to the groove of companionship. For men, those sacrosanct areas of their woman partner's body become home ground - not that she's that rapt in that - and for women, hubby's now expected to provide in many unsaid ways. These are just salient examples.

What's lost is respect - one for the other, and for the marriage union itself.

Another way of seeing it is the safety of marriage is taken advantage of. It's not honoured as it was intended, initially, to be honoured. To go this way, unfortunately, is a default-of-complacency; we've learned to take each other for granted.

But restoring the love of respect is just as easily learned.


Going against a myriad form of relational complacency is about intentionality.

Can love be defended more positively or effectively than via respect - a matchless honour, one to another?

It starts as an idea, then something is communicated; an ardency of candour - a regal wish. Respect is a thing bringing meaning to love. It gives it safe, positive, and behavioural direction.

A respectful intention is a note of honour bestowed on another person.

This intention, however, needs to be taken beyond intention to actuality; a re-commitment.


Once a decision has been made, a commitment decided, action is planned, and execution is commenced. A new day can now dawn - a revisitation to those times when our partners were truly special and little effort was ever really needed to be expended.

Love was intended to grow, not shrivel, and now love - fuelled by the hallowed nature of respect - takes on new meaning in the re-commitment.

Accountability measures are designed in, to make this new power of respect stick.

Re-commitments are fine, but they need to be backed up in a plan for fruition. Plans can comprise:

  1. Soliciting from the other the behaviours that are felt personally respectful and disrespectful.
  2. The giving of permission to our partners to hold us gently to account.
  3. The establishment of "go" and "no go" zones which are agreed together, bringing delight to both at mutual acceptance.
  4. Regular dates to check on progress.
  5. The giving of feedback for encouragement purposes.

Re-invigorating our marriages is appreciating the sanctity of life itself. This is never more directly done than via the love of respect, which is the language of honour - the apportionment upon which every marital partner deserves.

Copyright (c) 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Steve Wickham is a Registered Safety Practitioner (BSc, FSIA, RSP[Australia]) and a qualified, unordained Christian minister (GradDipBib&Min). His blogs are at: and

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