The Rambam (Hilkhoth Ishuth) writes that a wife must express extreme respect towards her husband and honor him like a king. The Rambam gives us a deep insight into the psyche of men: men are created with a built in need to feel respected. Therefore, the smart wife should make a conscience effort to treat her husband with utmost respect. In return, when the husband's needs for respect are met, he will reciprocate in the same manner towards his wife, and treat her like a queen.
The Midrash (Menorath Hammaor) speaks about a wise mother who, while accompanying her daughter to her husband’s home, told her daughter the following: "My beloved daughter, when you stand in front of your husband, imagine that you are standing in front of the king. If you will be his hand maid, he will be your servant and honor you as royalty. If you rule over him, he will rule over you against your will, and look down upon you like a maidservant."
Often times, when I quote the above advice, women regularly raise the following question and concern: "Isn't this going to turn me into a doormat?"
This concern is understandable, especially in the world in which we live. The wisdom of the Talmudic sages is not dependent on the whims and fancies of the world, which come and go, but rather it is eternal. How then can we understand their advice?
The more we are able to give of ourselves to our husbands and put their needs before us, the more we exhibit our inner strength and refined character. We may not fit into the category of being a powerful woman in the eyes of the world, but we will definitely be crowned as queens, both by the King of the world and by the king of our homes - our husband!