Welcome to day 21 of our 31 day journey to becoming better wives. Today we will be discussing what every man wants and desires most from his wife..and no, it is not SEX! I know, that surprised me a little to, but research has found that a high majority of men listed respect over sex.
Ephesians 5:33 (NLT): So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Men should love their wives, while wives should respect their husbands. I think this is touching close to what each of us, men and woman, need the most. I believe that most women honestly long to be loved, I mean truly loved by their husbands. This is why we are constantly making our husbands prove their love for us over and over again. Likewise, there is something in a man that needs the respect and admiration of his wife. Little boys play “superhero” growing up and those little boys grow into men who never lose the desire to be the hero.
Notice Ephesians 5:33 does not say that we are to feel respect for our husbands. No, it says we are to respect our husbands. We may not feel it all the time, but we are called to show it all the time.
Often times, we woman think that our husbands have to earn our respect. However, our respect for our husbands cannot be based on their actions but rather on who they are. Our mammas didn’t gush over our childhood artwork because our artworks were masterpieces and deserved high acclaim but rather because we made them. We want our husbands to love us unconditionally, shouldn’t that mean we respect our husbands unconditionally?
Our men need to know they are respected even if they fail. Not only will this support encourage them to lead, but it may even help them to open up. A husband who knows his wife respects him no matter what, may be more inclined to open his heart because he trusts he will not be criticized. This is the kind of intimacy we women long for, but we fail to see how our actions, reactions, and words are bringing about the opposite effect.
Proverbs 14:1(NLT): A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
Ladies, are we busy building our husbands up or are we tearing them down? Are we wrongly assuming we are encouraging them when we nag or criticize? This does not work! It just causes them to shut down and quit trying. If my husband feels like he can’t please me, he will quit trying to do so.
We need to respect our husbands always with our words, but there are also other areas of great importance.
Respect him as head of your household-once again, our husbands are supposed to be the leaders and we need to be allowing them to lead (please go back and visit older posts in this study to get some ideas on how to implement this into your relationship).
Respect his provision-show your appreciation of what he can provide instead of focusing on what he cannot. I imagine it is hard on a man knowing he cannot provide his family all of their wants, let alone if he cannot provide even their basic needs. It is also means being responsible with the finances and being resourceful whenever possible (Proverbs 31). Now, I know a lot of us are working moms, but we must be careful to think too highly of ourselves. When we did the Proverbs 31 Woman study, we found that woman of biblical times helped their husbands financially as well. This did not earn them the title of co-head of household nor did it get them out of any of their biblical responsibilities. It should not be any different for us.
Respect his strength-give credit where credit is due. Appreciate the fact that your husband is stronger than you. Appreciate his maleness. Appreciate our differences. Yes, I can be a strong independent female, but I am so thankful I don’t have to mow the yard, take out the trash, fix things, and such. Yes, I may be capable of doing all of those things (okay, maybe not fix things), but I am grateful I don’t have to. We need to make sure we show appreciation for our differences and accept their our some things each one of us in better at than the other. Embrace your differences!
Respect him with others-do not put your husband down in front of others. Once again we are to build our husbands up and not tear them down. This is especially true regarding your own children. You want your children to respect their father and you want them to have confidence in him.
Furthermore, we must be careful about sharing our business with others. Now, I have some friends I use as accountability partners, but I must be careful not to share to the detriment of my husband. To know that boundary may not be easy as sometimes we can cross over the line to working hard to “save face” or create a mask. However, I believe there is moderation in there somewhere and we must work to find it.
Respect his home-we must be careful to take care of what God and our husbands provide. We must work hard to keep it clean and organized. Like I mentioned before, we want to make our homes places our husbands want to come home to. Refer to Proverbs 31 if you feel like you don’t have time in your schedule to do this.
Respect yourself-our husbands do not want to hear our endless complaint about our looks and other shortcomings. If there are areas you don’t like about yourself and can do something about, then do it; otherwise, shut up. Okay this may be a little touchy for some, but we need to take some pride in our appearance. Even the Proverbs 31 Woman did this! We want to be a jewel for our husband.
I know this is all much easier said (wrote) than done, so tomorrow we will look at the application side of respect.