5 Biblical Ways for Husbands to Honor Their Wives


As a preacher, I have the privilege of teaching and counseling many married couples. One of the most important themes I’ve observed in Scripture is the call for husbands to honor their wives. In 1 Peter 3:7, husbands are commanded to “give honor unto the wife,” and this morning, I want to explore what that means on a practical level. Over the next two sermons, I’ll be sharing 10 biblical ways that husbands can show honor to their wives, drawing from both positive and negative examples in Scripture. Today, we’ll cover the first five.

Honor Her Purity (Genesis 12 – Abraham and Sarah)

In Genesis 12, we find a troubling example of a husband failing to honor his wife’s purity. When Abraham and Sarah journeyed to Egypt, Abraham feared for his life and told the Egyptians that Sarah was his sister. This deception put Sarah in a compromising position, as Pharaoh took her into his harem. Abraham prioritized his own safety over his wife’s well-being and purity.

Men, we must learn from Abraham’s mistake. Honoring our wives means valuing and protecting their purity above all else. This means avoiding any behavior or speech that could compromise the exclusivity of the marriage relationship. It means refusing to make inappropriate comments about other women or to engage in flirtatious banter. We must always treat our wives with the utmost respect and never put them in situations where their dignity or safety could be violated. Their purity should be our highest priority.

Be a Spiritual Leader (Genesis 22 – Abraham and Isaac)

Let’s look at another example from Abraham’s life. In Genesis 22, God tests Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham obeys without hesitation, demonstrating a deep faith and willingness to follow God no matter the cost. What’s striking to me is that Abraham apparently didn’t consult with Sarah about this decision. He simply obeyed God and trusted Him to work it out.

Now, I’m not suggesting that husbands should make unilateral decisions without considering their wives’ input. But I do believe that men are called to be spiritual leaders in their homes. This means taking the initiative in prayer, worship, and spiritual disciplines. It means being the one to gather the family for devotions, to ensure that everyone is in church, and to model a life of faithfulness and obedience to God. Sometimes this may require making tough choices that prioritize spiritual health over other interests. Husbands, are you leading your families spiritually, even when it’s challenging? That’s part of what it means to honor your wife.

Control Your Anger (1 Samuel 25 – Nabal and Abigail)

In 1 Samuel 25, we meet a wealthy man named Nabal who is described as harsh and badly behaved. When David and his men request provisions, Nabal rudely refuses, despite the protection they’ve provided for his shepherds. David becomes angry and vows to kill Nabal and all his men. Fortunately, Nabal’s wife Abigail intervenes, humbly approaching David with gifts and a wise appeal that diffuses his anger. Nabal, meanwhile, is oblivious to the danger, getting drunk at a feast while his wife saves his life.

This story reveals the danger of uncontrolled anger in a marriage. Nabal’s harshness and selfishness put his entire household at risk, while his drunken feasting suggests a pattern of neglect toward his wife. Men, when we indulge in fits of rage or drunken binges, we make our wives feel unsafe and force them to bear heavy burdens alone. Abigail’s wisdom and humility are commendable, but she shouldn’t have had to clean up her husband’s mess. Let us learn to control our tempers, to appreciate our wives’ contributions, and to protect them from the fallout of our own poor choices. That is honoring to them.

Prioritize Her Above Work (Genesis 13 – Lot and Sodom)

When Abraham allows Lot to choose where to settle, Lot picks the lush Jordan Valley, despite its proximity to the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He sees the economic potential but fails to consider the spiritual risk to his family. The next time we see Lot, he’s lost everything – his wife, his home, his possessions. He escaped Sodom with his life but not much else.

I know many men feel pressure to provide abundantly for their families, and that’s commendable. But if we’re not careful, we can become like Lot, so focused on worldly success that we neglect what matters most. We might take a job that requires too much travel or relocation to a place that could harm our family’s faith. Honoring our wives means being willing to make career sacrifices for their spiritual well-being. It means including them in decisions and prioritizing their needs above our own professional goals. No amount of money or status is worth jeopardizing our wives’ welfare.

Love Her as Christ Loves the Church (Ephesians 5)

In Ephesians 5, Paul devotes significant attention to the roles of husbands and wives. What’s striking is how much more space he dedicates to the husband’s duty to love sacrificially. Husbands are called to love their wives “as Christ loved the church,” giving themselves up for her. This is a lofty standard that goes far beyond mere romantic feelings.

To love our wives as Christ loves the church means continually laying down our lives for them. It means seeking to understand and meet their needs, even when it’s inconvenient or challenging. It means showing them the same grace, forgiveness, and servant-heartedness that Jesus shows us. Just as Christ nourishes and cherishes the church, we should nourish and cherish our wives, treating them as a part of our own bodies. This kind of love requires daily self-denial and a constant re-orientation toward our wives’ good. It’s not easy, but it’s the kind of love that truly honors them.


As we’ve seen, honoring our wives is a multifaceted responsibility that requires wisdom, self-control, and sacrificial love. The examples of Abraham, Nabal, and Lot reveal the pitfalls of neglecting this duty, while Christ’s love for the church sets the ultimate standard. I challenge every husband here to examine his own heart and actions in light of these truths. Are you protecting your wife’s purity, leading spiritually, controlling your anger, prioritizing her needs, and loving her sacrificially? By God’s grace, let us strive to be the kind of husbands who consistently honor our wives, both in word and deed.

As I close this morning, I want to remind you that none of us can love perfectly. We all fall short and need the forgiveness and transformation that only Jesus can provide. If you’ve never trusted in Christ for salvation, I invite you to do so today. Repent of your sins and believe in Him, and He will give you a new heart and the power to live out His calling, in your marriage and in every aspect of life. If you have any questions or would like to respond to the gospel, please come and talk to me or one of the elders after the service. We’re here to help you take that next step of faith.

  • 1 Samuel 25:32-35
  • 1 Peter 3:7
  • Genesis 12
  • Genesis 22
  • 1 Samuel 25
  • Colossians 3
  • Genesis 13
  • Ephesians 5

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