Just yesterday I met a wonderful woman who is the mother of ten children. She encouraged me so much as I listened to so much wisdom and love flow from her mouth. One thing she said is that having children causes you to eat much humble pie. As each new child comes along we are forced to eat more of it as we realize we are totally dependent on God's abundant grace in all of our relationships whether it be with our children, our family and friends and especially our spouse.
I had a lady from another state email me and ask me what to do in a marriage where the husband is emotionally disconnected. When there are strains in relationships, we tend to go to the Lord in prayer for the other person who seems to have the problem. Even though the other person may have a problem, I believe the Lord wants us to change the way we pray. Do we stop praying for change in the other person? No. However, we need to add to our prayers by asking the Holy Spirit to change us first.
This is so important in marital relationships as it is the most challenging relationship there is. As wives, our greatest need is to be loved. Therefore our tendency is to operate out of our need by showing our husbands that love. Our husband's greatest need is respect. History and experience shows that this is a difficult area for wives to demonstrate to our husbands because it is not our strongest area.
Showing respect to our husbands is not at first a natural action, but it is a choice of obedience. The definition of respect is to show honor or esteem for, consider or treat with deference or courtesy, to show consideration for.
I did some research a while back and came up with a list of practical ways to show respect as it is an action way before it is a feeling. Many times we must first do things before the emotions are there. I will share this list in 3 parts as it is long. Be on the look out for part 2 and 3 of this important truth.
Ephesians 5:33 says to let the wife see that she respects her husband and that she reverences him. (A woman who respect's her husband notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, and loves and admires him exceedingly).
1. A respectful wife notices her husband. She thinks only of him and does not compare him with other men. She is content and pays attention to his strengths and the things he is growing into. She also compliments him in this.
2. A respectful wife regards and honors her husband. She does this by supporting him whether she agrees with him or not. This helps him to succeed by knowing she is on his side. She appeals to him if she does not agree and approaches him with courteous conduct. This is not done with harsh or a controlling tone. In addition,she does not "mother" him. This may make him feel smothered in addition to feeling as though his wife does not believe in him or trust him.
3.She prefers him. She chooses him above all other relationships and puts away all distractions such as phone calls, computer and TV. As he shares with her, she gives him her eyes. In addition, she puts him at the top of her prayer list and prays also for changes in herself.
Remember, respect is something displayed by the way we treat our husbands. If we feel respect we must show it. If we do not feel respect, we must show it. Let us be grateful for our husbands. Thankfulness clothes our husbands. It drives away discontentment. Respect and honor build him up. When we build up our husbands, everyone wins. Let us all choose respect.
Check back soon for Part 2 of respecting our husbands. You will find more nuggets to apply everyday in a practical way. In the mean time sisters, think on these things. Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.(Phil.4:8)