It’s been awhile since I posted anything about marriage, mainly because it’s a touchy subject and I’m chicken! Jumping in where angels fear to tread… Remember, the best thing you can do for your kids is have a good marriage!
In his book His Needs Her Needs, William F. Harley names respect as one of a man’s top 5 basic needs in marriage. The Bible concurs. Ephesians 5: 33 says, “…let the wife see that she respects her husband.” I’ve listened to a lot of wise ladies through the years who have given me good advice about how to be married. I thought I’d scratch down a few things they’ve told me about respect.
Even if your husband isn’t an honorable person, it’s possible to respect his position. But most of us aren’t married to real scoundrels. Most of us are married to imperfect people just like us. And in spite of whatever flaw you might see in your husband, in most cases there is also much to admire and respect.
DO look for the best in him.
DO compliment him about absolutely anything you can, even if it’s as mundane as his crack shot or how well he takes care of the truck.
DO brag on his strengths to others, including in his hearing or when you know it could get back to him.
DO support his judgment and decisions. If you disagree, be pleasant about it and let him know you’ll ultimately support whatever he feels is best. Be willing to lay aside your better judgment, even if it means he makes a mistake. If he does make a mistake, don’t rub his face in it. We girls make mistakes; it’s not the end of the world if our men do too. (Obviously we aren’t talking about immoral, illegal, or abusive activities.)
DO show a united front in front of the kids. Don’t question his decisions in front of them.
DO support his interactions with the children. Resist the urge to “rescue” them from him even if you feel he’s being a bit unfair. If you have concerns about how he’s interacting with them, discuss it privately, not in their hearing. (I know, it’s hard! You can do it!)
DON’T run your husband down in public (even little “joking” remarks).
DON’T complain about him to your mom, sister, or best friend. You’ll forget, but they won’t.
DON’T look for the worst. If you look for the worst, you will find it.
DON’T be critical and nit-picky. Ask yourself: Will this matter 100 years from now?
DON’T compare him to others, including your dad or some guy in your office.
DON’T let yourself think of him as stupid or fall prey to the idea that men are imbeciles who need women to tell them what to do. (Warning: If you find yourself rolling your eyes and saying, “Men!” a lot, that’s a good clue that you’ve fallen into this.)
DON’T boss him.
Related: Heavenly Marriage: Sex