Thursday, May 15, 2008

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. , Part 3

So you know for the letter S there are LOTS of words we could look at today in our search for better understanding how to respect our husbands, right? Like a zillion.

Well, I'm not going to look at a zillion. I'm going to keep it down to, oh, say, 100. LOL!

No, really, we will be looking at just 5 words that can make a difference in your marriage.

1) Study - Study your husband. Know what makes him tick. What is his "love language?" That will help you greatly in knowing what is really important to him. Does he get cranky if dinner isn't ready at a certain time? Does he feel unsettled if the house is a constant wreck? Does he turn to jello when you give him a backrub? Does he need help getting organized and getting out of the house in the morning?

Find out those things that both please and displease him and try to honor them. Now I know that we won't always be able to do everything he wants, but we can make the effort.

2) Submit - Whoa! Hold on! Don't click away just yet!

I know that submission is a hard subject. I've tackled it more in depth here. But it is something that Christian wives are called to, regardless of who or what your husband is. He might be a great guy, or he might be a drunk. He might be a CEO or maybe he hasn't held a job for more than 6 months. But you can still submit, because...

When we submit, we are not putting out trust in our husbands. We are putting our trust in God.

It's that simple. When you submit to your husband, you are doing it as an act of obedience to God and His word. And He will be the one to take care of you. Now, that doesn't mean that everything is always going to turn out just the way you want it. Sometimes there are lessons that God is trying to teach our husbands, and maybe even ourselves. But you can trust that you are under the umbrella of God's protection when you choose to submit to your husband.

3) Serve - Ok, coming on the heels of submission this might be hard to take as well. But I don't mean to be a servant. I mean to serve joyfully and with love.

Remember the early days of your courtship and marriage? You LOVED to do things for your husband, I bet. Anything you could do to make life easier for him, you were there! But somehow the joy of serving each other fades away over time.

Picking up dirty socks no longer brings you a giggle about being a new wife, but now incites anger that he left them out. Again. You opt to sleep late in the morning rather than getting up and making him coffee and breakfast. You have more important things to do than help him with the bills.

If we begin to serve our husbands again, out of a heart overflowing with love, I think it will bring back some of that joy and tenderness that we used to feel.

4) Support - When your husband makes a suggestion or has an idea, what is your reaction? Do you instantly shoot him down, listing off all the reasons it won't work? Or do you encourage him, striving to find a way to make his dreams come true?

Do the latter whenever possible, ladies. Even if it is a wrong choice, you will have built him up. He will feel free to come to you, rather than withdrawing into his own shell.

If you have concerns about his goals, share them, but share them with love and compassion. Allow him to be the one to decide whether or not to pursue them. If he does, jump on board and enjoy the ride!

Several years ago, my husband decided he was going to be the next Donald Trump and, like millions of other Americans, began to invest in real estate. I was initially very skeptical and, often times critical. Eventually though, I came to my senses and saw the wedge it was putting between us. I stopped complaining and did whatever I could to help him. While we did, and still do, have one property that is a constant problem, the vast majority of his investments paid off and he was right.

5) Show - Be demonstrative with your love. Allow him no doubt about how you feel. Hold his hand, rub his back. If he's not into public displays of affection, do it at home. Send him love notes in his lunch or hide them in his wallet. Write a message to him in lipstick on his mirror. Kidnap him for a dinner out, just the two of you, to spend time talking. Tell him often how much you appreciate him - for every little thing he does.

I highly recommend The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. It will help you and your husband make sure that you express love in a way that is meaningful to each other. What you may do as a loving gesture may not even register as love to your husband and vice versa. This book will help you "fill each other's love tanks."

Tomorrow we'll have some good words to work with as we look at the letter P in respect. Be sure to come back and join in the conversation.

3 comments:

Erica Herzog said...

Thanks for this series, it's been very interesting and helpful. Missed you at Bible study yesterday!

Ivy Vega from www.ivysmind.com said...

Lori.

This is great what you are doing. Sometimes homeschooling, life, work gives way for our marriages to go on the back burner. I try and make an effort to always edify him, and know that I need and love him.
Thanks and great post series. Please keep them coming.

Jess said...

lori, i've been meaning to comment all week. i've read this whole series with increasing interest...and conviction. this is the first time that God has used a blog to speak so directly to me. thank you. this whole issue of respecting my husband is something the Lord is really starting to work with me on - and i so appreciate you taking time to give me a roadmap.

love

jess

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