Thursday, October 28, 2010

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Happy Friday (or late Thursday night....since I do not know how to auto-publish my blog)!

Today's Family First Friday theme comes from Ephesians 5:33

"...the wife must respect her husband"

A few years ago, I read a wonderful book called Love and Respect. It really opened my eyes to what the Lord meant to convey in Ephesians: men need respect more than they need love.

What??

As a woman, love comes fairly naturally. Respect, on the other hand, is much harder (in my experience).

Disrespecting your husband is the equivalent of him not loving you (wife). Can you imagine never feeling loved? There could be no worse of a feeling.

Our culture, in large, disrespects men. Commercials, television shows, and many women often degrade men. Think about sitcom dads. Most are lazy, forgetful, stupid.

But that is not who God created men to be. He created them to be warriors, confident, leaders, faithful, brave. Yet, if a man is living with a woman who disrespects him, he will feel none of this.

And, sadly, he will go where he feels respected: into the arms of another woman, overwork, or to his friends. (Please do not reverse that: I am NOT saying that men who cheat, work too much, or hang out with friends a lot are feeling disrespected. I am saying that a man who is not respected at home will find respect somewhere.)

What a joyful opportunity to make your home a haven for your man, where he can become all that God has created him to be. Even if it goes against your nature, respect your husband. Honor him as the man of the house. Unfortunately, in this passage, God did not give disclaimers on this respect. He did not say, "Respect your husband IF he is loving, IF he is kind, IF he is helpful." He said, "Respect him."

The cool thing is that if a man feels respected, he will, in turn, be more loving. (Please read the above mentioned book if you want more information in this area. It is a fabulous read.)

So how can you actively show respect for your husband:
- NEVER EVER EVER criticize your husband to your parents, sister, or friends....and definitely not in public. Always speak well of him to others. The only exception I have for this is your one or two "go-to" friends...the friends with whom you share everything. There are times you need to vent or share something to get advice or want to tell someone (that is healthy). Reserve that for one to two trusted confidants. Otherwise, never criticize your husband.

- In addition to speaking kindly about him, speak kindly to him.

- Convey respect in your body language. Early in our marriage, I rolled my eyes at Brett a lot. I realized how disrespectful this way and worked hard to stop. Ask God to show you ways your body language is disrespectful and change it.

- I often say to our kids (when Brett is both around and not around), "Daddy is our hero. We have an awesome daddy (or things like that)." Honoring Brett in front of our kids is both healthy for them and shows them I respect him.

- Do not nitpick. No man is perfect, but we do not need to constantly be pointing out their flaws. Instead, encourage them in their strengths.

- Trust him. Trust him to make big decisions for your family. Trust him to become the man God intended.

- Believe in him. Tell him, "I know you can do it" if he has a big meeting coming up or an important event.

Respect is so important. Just as important as love is to a woman. Respecting your husband will do wonders for him.

How do you respect your husband??

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