Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Individualizing Respect

Respect can be confusing for us women. We want love. And lots of it, please. Respect? What's that? What does it look like? What does it mean to my husband? How do I show it to him? These are all questions that many wives I know (including myself, and I'm sure every wife ever, actually) have. 
If you have never read the book Love & Respect, I would highly recommend it! It gives a great perspective on how men and women are wired differently and we have different needs. Our pastor had my husband and I read this when we were engaged and I am so thankful. I learned so much that I didn't have a clue about. Of course I am not perfect and still fail to respect my husband all the time, but I have learned a lot over the last almost 6 years of marriage in the respect area.
The most important thing I have learned is that respect is so individual. What respect looks like to your husband, may look completely different to my husband. My husband feels disrespected when I correct his driving (surely I'm not the only back seat driving wife...anyone else struggle with this?!), but maybe your husband doesn't care. Maybe your husband doesn't like when you purchase something without talking to him, but my husband doesn't mind that. There's no one way to say 'this is how to respect your husband'. Because respect looks different for every husband, it also may look different than what you think. This was the mistake I made for the first several years of our marriage. I respected him in ways that I would want to be respected and had no clue when I was making him feel disrespected. Of course it wasn't intentional and I wasn't trying to disrespect him, I just didn't know. Ladies, talk to you husbands! Humble yourself and ask him what makes him feel disrespected. It may be a hard pill to swallow, but you want him to be honest so you can take it to the Lord and change it! I would be willing to bet that every single wife is disrespecting her husband in at least one way that she has no clue about. Maybe I am way wrong there and it is not that high at all, but it seems to be very common. Not because we don't care or because we don't try, just because we don't know. So let's find out, wives! Open up that conversation. Ask him with an open heart and an open mind. Don't be offended if he tells you something that you don't agree with. Remember, it's what respect looks like to him. Not to you. Let him know you want to know. Let him know you want to change it. Let him know you want to respect him! My husband is an incredible man, and he loves me well. The least I can do is find out his "respect language". 
Remember that it is a work in progress. You may never get to the point where you know every single thing that does and doesn't make your husband feel respected. It's OK! Give yourself some grace. You are trying. Your husband will appreciate that, and it will glorify the Lord, which is the ultimate goal, right?! 
I'll be back soon with some ideas for ways to show your husband respect, BUT I want to hear from you. How do you show your husband that you respect him? 
 photo SBHHSignature_zpsd24269b1.png

1 comment:

  1. I learned more recently that how I talk about him to others was disrespecting him. I've always made an effort to only say positive things about him, because how awkward is it when a wife insults her own husband, but recently I learned that some things I say portray him to be a way he isn't, and he was really uncomfortable. It was humbling for sure! I thought I was speaking his praises but he felt like I was painting him in the wrong light. So you never know what you can do differently I til you talk about it.


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