I am lifting up all the families and people who have been impacted by the tornadoes in the Midwest of the United States. I am praying especially for my readers who may be in harm’s way. I hope you will let me know if you are safe.
Here are a few scenarios I have witnessed at various times in the past year that I think may be helpful for us to talk about:
1. A couple was looking for seats for themselves and their toddler at a children’s show. The husband pointed to some seats towards the back. The wife went up towards the front. The husband started showing some body language that he was frustrated – quickly tapping his hands against his legs. He pointed towards the seats in the back again, and his wife went and sat on the padded floor near the front. The husband’s body language showed he was not happy. They ended up all sitting on the floor.
Sometimes, if we are not careful, we may miss the subtle signs that our husbands are feeling disrespected. Sometimes it is a subtle clenching of the jaw, or a slight movement of his hands or feet.
I know that this is a simple thing, it may seem small to us, but, I love to try to honor my husband by allowing him to choose where we sit when we go somewhere. Of course, many times, he will ask me where I would like to sit. If I have a preference, I will share that in a pleasant way, but if he has a strong preference about where to sit, I cheerfully allow him to lead and I sit wherever he feels is best.
2. A couple was walking in front of us to a public building with two young children. They were approaching the corner of the building, one young child took off running to the left in the front of the building. The dad followed the child, which I thought was very responsible of him. His wife called out in a very annoyed tone of voice, ” Babe, WHY are you going THAT way?” She told him he should go the other way. At that point he was already very close to the doorway on the front of the building that went to the same area inside that the door on the other side of the building went to. Maybe the mom hadn’t seen their child take off and didn’t realize her husband was keeping up with him and keeping him safe? I don’t know.
If both doors go to the same place, and my husband is already near one door, I would have to ask myself, “Does it really matter what door any of us use as long as we all get to the same place?” At this point in my life, that is a non-issue in my mind.
My goal now is that when we are walking somewhere together (a store, a park, a city, in public, in the woods…), I try to let him lead and I try to follow whenever possible. Of course, if there is somewhere I want to go or something I want to do, I share that. But I don’t run ahead anymore or try to make him follow me around. And I encourage the kids to stay behind or beside their dad since they don’t know where he is going. It is much easier to follow someone when you walk beside or behind him instead of way in front of him!
3. Sometimes we as wives will say, “I love you” to our husbands, and we think we are just stating our love. But, there is a way that we sometimes say this, a certain tone of voice and inflection of our voice that shows that our real motive in saying “I love you” is that we want our husband to say “I love you” back to us. It is really not just a statement that we are content to share. It is a test. Does he love me, too? Will he say he loves me, too?
I personally vote to not say anything if we are tempted to say “I love you” in that pressuring, expectant, strings attached kind of way. Some husbands may like to hear “I love you” but for a lot of husbands, those words aren’t a big need. Our honor, respect, admiration, faith and trust mean a lot more than those three little words to most men.
What do you think? Am I representing the husbands accurately here? Or do you disagree or want to clarify anything? We would love to hear from the men on these issues.
if you know how your husband feels about any of these issues, or similar issues, you are welcome to share his point of view and anything God has shown you about how to honor and respect your husband in these issues.