It has taken me several years to begin putting skin on the idea of respect.
Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, and I’m SO hard-wired to desire love that I take respect for granted. Maybe it’s because I didn’t see respect in the flesh growing up. And respect wasn’t… Well respected anyway (remember noncomformity – yeah, that was my time period).
Now that I’ve been married for 9 years, I feel like I’m just starting to get the hang of it (never fear newlyweds! There’s hope!!)
If you’re anything like me, you don’t get respect until you get disrespect. So instead of defining respect and theologizing it (since I’ve already tried that! [and yes I made up that word]), let me give some examples.
Now, the title of this post is “10 Ways You are Disrespecting Your Husband,” but really this is a list of 10 ways that I disrespect my husband (in no particular order). And I’m just hoping that I’m not alone and we can all learn together. 🙂
1. Backseat driving: Yup. I’m talking to you. Will it kill you to not correct your man at every turn? Or to not suggest alternate routes that would be faster? Or to just enjoy the scenery since you’re not driving this time?
I know some of you will answer yes, but backseat driving can totally be a metaphor for the entire respect and submission scenario. Even if you don’t think this is disrespectful, I bet your man does. (In fact, go the next step and ask him about it. Then apologize for not letting him take the lead.)
2. Stepping in when he’s with the kids: Ooooo this one is SO hard for me. Maybe the baby is crying, and you know exactly what she needs, but daddy needs the chance to figure it out too, ladies. Give him some space to do so.
This also happens with discipline. Do you interrupt him every time he disciplines the kids? Do you let the kids run to you when they’re crying from daddy’s discipline? Instead of undermining him, tell the child you love them and that they need to talk to daddy. Let daddy soothe them after daddy’s discipline.
3. Saying no to his plans: So dad has decided to lead in some family fun, and he says, “Let’s go camping!”
Is your first thought, “Ugh. Really?”
Remember, the more you say no to his suggestions for fun, the less likely he is to ask again. It’s like he’s asking you out on a date, and you turn him down.
4. Not initiating sex: There’s a lot that could be said about how respect and the bedroom go together, but withholding or never initiating sex are a couple of the biggies.
I don’t think I need to say more here, do I?
5. Leaving no room for shoulder-to-shoulder time: Let’s face it -( sometimes) the man just wants to watch the game. But he also wants to watch it with you (sometimes). And you need to make the sacrifice – if that game isn’t your thing – to be there (sometimes).
For me, that means no tackling the To Do list during the game. No calendar syncing during the game. And no blabbering on about other stuff during the game. Blabber time is for later. 😉
6. Forgetting to say Thank You: This is another big one for me and my words of encouragement husband. When he is manning up around the house, tackling things, helping with the kids, grabbing something from the store, I just kind of gloss over it instead of stopping him to say Thanks.
But if I were peeved about it (or anything else!), I sure would let him know all of my feelings wouldn’t I? So maybe I should tell him how it makes me feel when he’s being a hero of the small things.
7. Treating your best friends and family better: Your husband should be your best friend. I never realized that this was lacking in so many marriages because this is one of our natural strengths.
So if you’re treating your girls/guys and mom/sister with more time, attention, respect, and care than your husband, it’s time to evaluate why.
8. Interrupting him: Oh my goodness, could I just keep my mouth closed sometimes and let him finish a story without trying to correct it or finish it off and give my spin!? Self control, lady! Let the man talk for a minute. (Maybe this one is just me??)
9. Calling him out in public: Do you have a beef with your husband? Talk to him about it first. Don’t bring it up when company is over or at community group. Not until you have talked about it, tried to resolve it, and agree to share your story with others.
10. Pre-planning every step you will take: If you want your husband to lead, you need to make ROOM for him to do so.
So when you’re pregnant or house-shopping or checking out schools or budgeting, don’t do 100 hours of research and then come to him and say “I did this and this and this and here’s what I think we should do.”
He has no room to even try at that point. What if, before all of that research, you asked your man how he thought you both should tackle the situation?
And what if you actually trusted him if he said, “I will look into that.”? What if you gave him time and space to do so rather than rushing in to undermine?
What if he fell flat on his face? Because he will – and it will still be OK… And he might get a clue about his need to lead.
What if you prayed for your own self control in this? Today? Right now? What if you prayed for your husband’s leadership? Right now.