If i need to know i am loved and cherished to thrive in our marriage, my man needs to know and feel he is respected.
There is a great book that talks about the need of a women to know she is loved and the need of a man to know he is respected. These needs run deeply in each of us, so much so that this author uses the analogy of a hose providing our means of survival being pinched shut when we choose to withhold respect from our men. This may be the area i have most miserably failed in our 33+ years of Happily Ever after. My natural bent is not towards a quiet and gentle spirit, nor do i easily consider my opinion as having little value to this world. i think the best way for me to share what this respect looks like is to share some ways i have fallen short in respecting my man.
1. Be Nice. Stinkin, be nice! Much of our marriage i have functioned in a “witchy” state of mind. Without getting all psycho as to why or how this has come to be i will just say, We wife’s need to be nice! Treat your man as kind and considerate as you treat the dentist who is about to extract a tooth. You don’t have to ‘feel” kind to be kind. If i am in a “mood” Tim is bound to be the one i blame and Tim is going to get my wrath regardless of how uninvolved he is in the issue of angst.
2. Be Really Nice. Be Stinkin Nice! If there is one place and person you need to invest all of your very best, it is in your man. Don’t withhold kindness, being cautious and guarded. Compliment him on at least one great thing he does today. “Thank you so much for getting up and going to work to put a roof over our heads today!” would be a great place to start. Go out of your way and comfort zone to make coming home to you and your home his favorite part of the day.
3. Tone of voice. You all know we can say “Why did you choose to put your shoes over there?” In a way that clearly and loudly communicates respect and honor; in a way that says “We are on the same team.” You can say those exact same words in a way that questions intelligence, implies disapproval and erodes the foundation of respect your marriage needs to be built on. There is nothing that needs to be said with a condescending, judging and doubting tone. Don’t do it girls, you are shooting yourself in the foot or perhaps more accurately in the heart. A man who hears disapproval and lack of respect will quickly learn how to avoid the bearer of those messages, if you want your man to pursue cherishing you… you better commit to communicating deep respect for him. i speak from painful experience here. Sassy is my forte’. It is not good ladies, not good!!
This is just a start my girls, but it is enough to start!
This weekend i had the joy of visiting with my mamma and little sister. Between the three of us we have a lot of years of marriage stacked up. We have a divorce or two, we have a lot of tears and heartache and doubting and questioning but when it was all shuffled through and sorted out between the donuts and fresh brewed Keurig, we all agreed…we have to respect our men, we have to read and seek help if the path seems unclear. Some days we need to be reminded that the covenant we made to forever was not a vow to happiness, or easy or i feel “in love” , it was a covenant to a Holy God who has promised he will lead the way and He will provide the Grace if we will trust and obey. There is little that is sweeter than to hear my 70 something mom ache to pass along these truths to her grandbabies as they are making their own lifetime commitments to forever.
No one ever promised anyone a rose garden with no thorns, but we are promised beauty from ashes and eternal joy if we are willing to commit to the sweet with the thorns, Forever.
Determine to respect your man today…be intentional, be generous, be the girl who fell in love with him and find something in him you know he needs to hear you value, then tell him!