You are about to get a sneak peek into the mind of a young husband and the very different ways that men and women can look at the same situations and how different our unspoken expectations can be that might create conflict.
The purpose of this blog is to help wives to learn to honor God by learning to respect their husbands and to cooperate with their husbands’ God-given leadership (God’s design for marriage is found in Ephesians 5:22-33). I only address wives on this blog – for more information for husbands, this author’s blog is available, or www.brentriggs.com (he gives very biblical advice to men and women) and, men can check out my husband’s blog www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com.
Respecting our men is a VERY counter-cultural and counter-intuitive approach for most women. We don’t naturally think, speak or act in respectful ways – we are usually thinking about being loving, not being respectful. Unfortunately, much of what we think is loving, comes across as disrespectful to our men. And much of what they think is respectful, comes across as unloving to us. And we sometimes unintentionally communicate a lot of disrespect to our men, and then we don’t know why our men get angry or unplug from us. But God created men to need respect even more than they need love, so we are wise to learn all we can about this subject! (Ephesians 5:22-33)
First, we have to learn what disrespect looks like to them – and it is a surprisingly LONG list! For more husbands’ comments about what is disrespectful to them – read here.
Then, we can learn what respect looks like to our men and replace our disrespect with respect. For more about what is respectful, check out this post!
When our men feel respected, honored, admired and trusted – they will almost always respond (eventually) by being loving, selfless, kind, generous and servant-hearted. Now, if a man has felt very disrespected for years, it will probably take months or even years for him to begin to trust that his wife has, indeed, changed and that he is safe again. So this is a LONG term commitment to show respect to our men, really, out of reverence for God and a desire to obey His Word primarily – not to try to change our men. They need our acceptance, our grace, our faith – and to do that, our strength, joy and purpose must be in Christ alone!
This is a guest post by Daniel Robertson. He writes about Christian marriage advice over at God’s Help For Marriage. He also has a free report available for download: “The 7 Pillars of A Godly Marriage”.
THE SHOPPING INCIDENT EARLY IN OUR MARRIAGE
One day my wife and I went shopping at Costco. I began to lead her in one direction fully expecting her to come along with me, but instead she seemed upset and asked me where I was going. Being the boneheaded man that I am, I didn’t tell her, but instead just motioned for her to follow me. Now she was beyond upset. In fact, she actually stormed off in the other direction. We did most of our shopping separately that day.
I was floored. I went to grab the double loaf of bread I had been aiming for, wondering what on Earth I had done wrong. I remember feeling very frustrated.
Why couldn’t she just follow my lead, I thought. Did I really need to explain to her that I just wanted to grab some bread?
Apparently, I made one other fatal mistake as well. The bread was at the front of the store. You never start at the front of the store. You go all the way to the back and work your way forward.
The point of the story is that I felt completely disrespected. All I wanted was for my wife to follow my lead through the store and not question which direction I was taking her.
HUSBANDS DESIRE RESPECT
Ladies, your husband thrives on respect. Without it, he can’t be fully confident in the relationship. It is just as important to him as feeling loved is to you. When he feels that you respect him he is strong and confident.
SOME WAYS WIVES UNKNOWINGLY MAY SHOW DISRESPECT TO THEIR MEN
But it can be so easy to do something that feels disrespectful to him. Many times you might not even have a clue what you’ve done wrong. You can just see it in his deflated expression. Could it be that you’ve made one of these 5 respect mistakes? (each husband will have his own personal list – it might be a great conversation starter to ask your husband his feelings on these issues! – Peacefulwife):
- You act like his mommy: This is a common mistake that almost every wife makes. You want to help him, but in the process you treat him like a child. You remind him to brush his teeth or put deodorant on. You set his clothes out for him before bed. You wipe a smudge of food off his face with a napkin you spit on. But guess what? Your husband didn’t marry you to get a new mommy, he married you to get a partner. He needs you to support him without making him feel incompetent to handle his own affairs.
- You undermine his decisions: You tell your husband you want him to lead, but every time he tries you end up questioning him or going against him. He sets his foot down but you find sneaky ways to get around it. He doesn’t want a certain TV show on in his house but you argue about how it’s not so bad and watch it anyway. Let your husband lead already! Nothing communicates disrespect like when you put up a fight against his every decision.
- You take over with the kids: Your husband is trying to discipline or instruct the kids and you just have to step in and take over. Unless your husband is being dangerous, there is no need for this. He is perfectly capable of handling them.
- You answer questions for him: When someone directs a question at your husband he is fully capable of answering for himself. He doesn’t need you to interject with what you think his answer is. In fact, you might learn something new about your husband’s thoughts if you let him speak for himself.
- You don’t consult him on major decisions: Marriage is a partnership. And yet, you make major decisions without checking with your husband first. Where to go for the holidays or how to spend a tax return are big decisions that your husband should have a say in.
Do any of these sound familiar to you? If so, it might be a good time to apologize to your husband and set things straight.
Did you like this post? Hate it? I wrote a follow-up over on my blog: Do Husbands Need to Respect Their Wives? While you’re there, go ahead and pick up a free copy of The 7 Pillars of a Godly Marriage.