About once a month a group of women I was a part of used to meet for what we called Marriage Monday. Sometimes it was Marriage Monday on Thursday due to our schedules, but the purpose was the same no matter what day it fell on. For part of our discussion, we used Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, For Women Only. In it, she used extensive research with men to write about 7 key needs for a man.
The first issue we addressed was the man’s need for respect, even above love. For him, respect shows love. Shaunti says that, “Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected.” Ephesians 5 seems to confirm this when it says that women are to respect their husband, not love him! As women we want to sometimes control things which indicates to the man that we do not trust him to handle them.
Now I don’t know about you, but I know I often do not show respect to my husband as he needs and deserves.
Shaunti tells us to respect his judgment instead of always questioning his ideas. I remember when Pat and I first got married, I questioned every decision he made. I always had a better way of doing something. Winning each battle was important to me since “I was surely right!” Shaunti says we are to respect his abilities to figure things out for himself. She also tells us to respect him through our communication and, maybe one of the most important ones, respect him in public. I always hate to see women put their husbands down in front of others. It makes me wonder how she talks to him in private!
In 2009 my mom passed away after several years of ill health. I had been care taker for her and all her business for several years so when she died, I immediately went into planning mode for the funeral, travel for all our family to West Texas for her funeral, and all other details. When I went into “take charge” mode, I stayed in it. After the funeral, without my conscious awareness, I’d begun bossing my husband. It was just so hard to turn it off after having to deal with all the funeral arrangements and make the decisions. At one point, I was “directing” him to tell my sister goodbye at the hotel the night before she was flying back home and he let me know I’d ordered him around enough! When I innocently asked him what he was talking about, he told me, and only then did I realize that I’d really left him out of things and had treated him disrespectfully…and in front of others family members! I had not meant to do it, but sometimes we aren’t aware that how we talk to and about our spouses has a huge impact on them.
She concludes the chapter on respect with this comment, “Just as we love to hear ‘I love you,’ a man’s heart is powerfully touched by a few simple words: ‘I’m so proud of you.’”
My husband is a great handyman. He can fix almost anything and has saved us thousand of dollars in repair bills over the 38+ years we’ve been married. Every time he does, I go on about it, not just to make him feel good, although I want him to feel good, but because I really am grateful he can fix so many things. I talk to women all the time whose husbands don’t fix anything around the house. We actually have a friend that has to borrow my husband’s screwdriver!
If you are married, tell your husband today how proud you are of him. If you are single, what other men in your life can you tell? A father? A son? A brother? A fiancé or boyfriend? Don’t wait till later, do it now!
How do you show respect to the men in your life?