Sunday in my husband's sermon, he reminded me (oh, and other people were there, too!) that men especially need the respect and affirmation of their wives. In fact, Shaunti Feldhahn, author of For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men, says that her research shows men crave their wives' respect more than anything else--more than love or laughter or commitment or even sex!
Not surprisingly, the Bible affirms these findings. In Ephesians 5:33, we read, "To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband." (italics added for emphasis) Why is it that God seems to call us to the one thing we find it the hardest to do? Does it strike you that way, too?
Well, that, of course, is because God sets the bar high for His children. He wants us, in all our weakness, to allow the power of the Holy Spirit within us to equip us to do the impossible. Why? So other wives (and husbands) will sit up and take notice and say, "Wow! That's amazing the way that smart, capable, savvy, and pulled together woman still shows her husband so much respect and honor. She doesn't demean him or lord over him (even though she probably could). But instead she gives him the privilege of wearing the pants in the house. She makes him feel like a man! Wow!"
Of course, the ripple effect doesn't stop there. For then, when you are asked, "How do you manage to show your husband such respect, even when he sometimes forgets things or doesn't do things quite the way you would?" you can say with all humility and grace, "I show my husband respect because I love him and because I am committed to honoring him. Now that I think about it, it's kind of the way Christians love and choose to obey God in all we say and do, even when we sometimes can't see what He's up to or how He's going to work things out."
Wow! The mystery of marriage. Well, I could go on and on about the way our marriages should reflect on our holy God and glorify Him to the world, but I won't. Instead I thought I'd give us 10 ways we can all show our husbands a little respect this week.
10 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband
- Thank him for providing well for your family financially. (Remember, well = enough. He isn't required to provide you a life in the lap of luxury!)
- Tell him what you like about his fathering style. Is he funny? Energetic? Sensitive? Involved? Creative? A good listener? A homework helper? Tender? Rough and tumble? A strong disciplinarian? There are positives to every style!
- Listen to him without cutting in. In fact, give his words weight and pause a little before you respond.
- Put down what you're doing when he comes in the house and greet him properly.
- Put his clean and folded clothes away for him if you're doing the laundry. Don't just pile them on his side of the bed. (Note to self!)
- Speak well of him to someone outside your immediate family. Resist the urge to berate him, and sing his praises instead.
- Speak well of him to your children. If they grumble about something he did or said, counter their complaints with positive affirmation of their dad.
- Tell him you're glad you chose to marry him, and tell him three reasons why.
- Prepare a favorite meal of his for dinner, complete with his favorite dessert.
- Ask him about something he's interested in and then truly listen to him as he tells you about it.
Disclaimer: These aren't meant to be some sort of litmus test of respect. I've made this list quickly and based mainly on my own need to step it up in this area. I'm not insinuating that you're not respectful toward your husband if you don't put away his clean clothes every time or fix his favorites for dinner every night. These are just meant to be some creative suggestions.
Do you find it difficult to show respect to your husband sometimes? Why is that, do you think? Would you like to add to my list? Please share any additional ideas you have for concrete ways we wives can show respect to our husbands.