Marriage Is Hard, Part 1 - Pursuing Godliness
Marriage Is Hard, Part 2 - Advice From Wise Women
Marriage Is Hard, Part 3 - A Challenge
Marriage Is Hard, Part 4 - A Refuge
This Christmas, give your spouse something eternal - a gift of affirmation. Here is my Homemade Christmas challenge for you:
Write your husband a letter that details (very specifically and genuinely) why you respect him. Perhaps you can think of ten reasons you admire him, look up to him, or trust him. If you are single, consider writing a letter to your future husband sharing with him how you long to love him well by respecting him, and how you hold it a dear privilege to one day have him to honor.
“Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband..." Ephesians 5:33
If you struggle respecting your husband, ask the Lord to show you areas that in his life that are respectable Think upon those things and then write with a heart of love. Remember, God doesn't ask us to respect our husbands, He requires us to, whether we think they are worthy or not.
Respect - To regard highly; think much of; to consider worthy of esteem; to regard with honor.
Sometimes the affirmation and encouragement from a wife is just what a husband needs to step up and be a man worthy of respect.
Here are some very practical tips to help you respect your husband from the article Living Ephesians 5: Wives, Respect Your Husband: (I recommend taking the time to click on the link and read the whole article. Below is just an excerpt.)
Respect him Verbally, Intellectually, and Physically.
Cut out (ok…cut back) complaining and add in compliments.If you want to have a peaceful, happy marriage, learn the art of the compliment. Compliments are like magnets and the more you compliment your husband the more he will be attracted to you. Begin to notice when he does it right and verbally encourage him by complimenting him at least once a day. If you are having a hard time thinking of anything to admire, consider these categories: physical traits, mental skills, financial strengths, spiritual growth, or healthy relationships with others (children, parents, or friends). You may be asking “Hey, why should I compliment him when he NEVER compliments me?” Because, if you want your marriage to grow and bloom, you’ll have to water it with kindness and encouragement. Then, as he sees your sincere efforts, he will begin to change too. Don’t give up.If you do need to bring up a difficult issue, place it between two compliments, also known as a “Compliment Sandwich.” Here’s an example, “Honey, I know how hard you work for our money and that Sally’s braces will be expensive, but I need your decision before her appointment tomorrow. I hope we can do this for her, but if you want to wait, I trust your judgment. What should I tell the orthodontist? ”
Men like to solve problems and fix things. So appeal to his intelligence by asking him to help you solve a problem. Instead of saying “This garage is a mess, clean up your camping stuff!” Try, “I’d like your help with something. Could you figure out a storage system for all the camping supplies?”Don’t imply that he isn’t smart. Instead of saying “I think you are wrong about…” Say, “I’m confused about…please explain it again” (Remember to keep your tone of voice sarcasm-free.)Request his help on Spiritual matters too. Ask him to explain a passage of Scripture or ask him to pray for you when you are going through a difficult time. If your husband is not the spiritual leader in your home, continue to pray for him and ask him if there is anything you are doing that is hindering his relationship with God.Men don’t give a lot of weight to feelings -- show them facts and they’ll be more likely to listen. For example: if he wants to buy a car that you think is too expensive, don’t launch into a hissy-fit, write out your monthly expenses and ask him what other things should be cut out in order to buy his car. Let the facts speak for you. When you cannot reach an agreement, instead of trying to wear him down by nagging or crying say, “Is that your final decision or can I still try to convince you?" If it’s his final decision, then honor it. It’s freeing — let him carry the responsibility of your family.
Physically -- ask what he would like you to do and then, do it. Find out what his top three needs are. Ron likes the laundry done, physical intimacy a least twice a week (guaranteed) and he likes me to keep my “girly-make-up stuff” off of the bathroom counter. If these top needs are met, he’s content and easy to get along with. I know it sounds simple, but each of us have different things that make us feel loved and appreciated. You won’t know what he wants unless you ask him.Be aware of your body language. You can communicate disrespect by rolling your eyes, crossing your arms, or slamming doors. Reflect your new decision to respect your husband in your heart, mind, and body.
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