Tag Archives: respect

5 Ways I Disrespect My Husband When Asking for Help

There’s that heat rising up in my face again. The diet coke is foaming.

“I need your help!” I yell at my husband.

His face is aghast. Almost slack, like he’s seeing a creature from the black lagoon.

He springs into action, his shoulders slumped – all sense of manhood ripped from him by… his wife. The one woman who God purposed to encourage him, to point him to the Savior, to boost the spiritual-leader-ness inside of him.


Then my shoulders model his when I realize what I’ve done. I look back – Where was the root of this? How did this begin? All I needed was a little help!

The error, though, wasn’t in the words, “I need your help!”

5 Ways I Disrespect My Husband When Asking for Help

Source: Pexels

5 Ways I Disrespect My Husband When I Ask for Help

1. I tried to do it all alone to begin with.

Asking for help is needed, especially in marriage – a team sport. Too often when I need help, my independence kicks in.

“I don’t need help. I’ve taken care of myself most of my life.”

“Well, he’s not here to help me the rest of the time, so why give him the courtesy of helping me now?” (Wow, I’m such a peach, huh?)

Or, autopilot is simply on. I’m used to doing XYZ, so I just do it without making room for anyone else.

Now, what if I told you that all of the statements above actually have to do with our relationship with the Lord?

Uh huh. That one hurts. When we try to go it alone, we’re first saying that we don’t need God. We’re capable alone. All of a sudden, that lie emerges.

Staying connected to the vine is the first way to correct this error.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (John 15:4, NIV)

2. I’ve been hiding my real feelings.

Back to our marriage – how has my communication with my husband been lately?

I bet the answer is, “Not stellar.”

When little things irk me, like that off the cuff remark about my lack of athleticism or giving me a look when I pull out a late-night snack, and I let it go, am I really letting it go?

Hopefully, I’m in a place to be in on the joke myself and not take everything so seriously. Because really, my clutziness is hilarious. I can manage to rip off a fingernail (like, the bed of the nail) doing laundry. And I always eat something at night because three kids means I don’t eat enough during the day. But snack after snack in the evening looks like I might have a little problem haha!

But if I’m in a hurting place where I need a little more sensitivity, am I expressing that? Or, am I thinking, “That shouldn’t bother me, so I’ll pretend it didn’t.”

If I’m not letting my husband in, even with a simple, “Babe, I know I’m ridiculous, but can you lighten up a touch? Mama’s sensitive tonight,” how can I expect him to understand me?

3. Wrong time and place.

Whew – I feel like I just went through this with my husband. Before a “big weekend,” we always try to communicate before the weekend.

What is this going to look like?

What happens if I need help and you’re busy?

What are some ways I can step in to help you without us getting in a fight over it in the moment?

When we don’t do this, neither of us know what to expect from each other and one of us lashes out – a harsh word, a cold shoulder, venting on our guests… all things that only increase the disrespect.

4. My tone is rude and degrading (you knew it was coming).

My husband is not my child! I should never treat him like a child by giving him “the look”, “the evil eye”, the “mom voice”.

Likewise, commanding him to do something or giving him an ultimatum only shows him I plan to take control of this marriage, that he’s not good enough to lead, and that I don’t believe him to be a capable man.

Seeing the disrespect in our eyes, body language, and voice only pushes my husband into passivity or anger – the two things I want the least from my husband!

5. Not saying “Yes” to the help he offers.

Conviction here! My husband actually does offer to help me. A lot. But it’s never in the way I want to be helped! Sometimes, I just need to communicate the help that I need, but other times, I need to say “Yes!” to the help he’s offering.

Do I need to control every little thing he does? Must I always be right about where things go and how the baby is dressed and what route we should take? If he’s offering to help, I want to say “Yes!” and “Thank you!” instead of, “No, that’s OK” whilst mumbling (if only you would do this instead).

I know I’m not alone in this! I’d love to hear if you have a number 6 to add to the list.

How to Show Your Son Respect

One of my most popular posts of all time – the one that brings the most traffic to my blog – was one I wrote the second month that my blog was live. It’s called Don’t Treat Your Husband Like a Child, and it’s all about respecting your husband and avoiding the little ways we undermine the respect our husbands are to receive from us unconditionally.

…and I know I haven’t written a marriage post in a long time (but I haven’t written in a long time period. I am averaging about 20 minutes per day to myself which I’ve been using to read the Word)… so here is another mommy post – sorry!

But I read (and pinnedthis post on the Resurgence about respecting your sons, and it got me thinking about the little ways that I undermine the respect I can show to my not-quite-3 year old.

Now you might be thinking things like

Um… he IS a child, so isn’t it OK to treat him like one?

You’re not called to respect your son per se – you’re called to respect your husband.

And you’re right, but I still think it’s important for our sons to know what Godly respect looks like. For several reasons:

  • Boys/men yearn for respect, and they seek it out in all avenues of their life. I want my son to see what true respect looks like rather than a worldly, perverted form of it (e.g., always winning an argument because you have instilled fear in someone or belittle them, etc.)
  • Most likely, our sons will one day marry. If we teach them now what true respect looks like, they will be better equipped to choose a Godly wife who will respect them – which aids their daily choice to love their wife – which dramatically improves their marriage – which is one of God’s primary tools to show Himself to the world!
  • Also, most likely, our sons will have children. I want them to respect their children, not exasperate them or bully them. I want them to be a man worthy of respect.
  • Our sons, Lord willing, will be men who call other men to Jesus. They need to do that in a way that also respect other men in a Godly way. How will they know how to do this if we don’t show them what it looks like?
  • I want my son to respect and honor my husband, who is the only hero he knows since he’s not a Christ-follower.

I could go on. Respect is an important intangible that our boys need to see modeled.

The primary way your son will learn respect is in how you treat your husband and other male leaders in your life.

Yup. It hurts. Let the hurt lead you to action.

Beyond that, how do you respect your son? A child? One who needs much discipline?

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about and experiencing:

Let the consequences come.

My little guy is a busy one. And he’s almost 3. Which means (hopefully) that he’s in the stage of his life where he will need the most discipline – especially for the little things.

Lately, I noticed that when I told Samuel not to do something, I would then force that action. For example, I would say, “Don’t touch that,” while removing his hand from whatever it was.

That is not respect.

It’s been really hard, but unless he or someone else is in some danger, I have been restraining myself, providing the order, and letting him choose whether or not he wants to obey. He might be choosing punishment or some other pain (a broken item maybe), but he gets to make the choice. I have been surprised since doing this how he has increasingly made better choices.

This also comes into play in education, moms. If your son is doing homework, I don’t think it’s wise to go back and correct every mistake. Perhaps help him correct a couple and advise him which problems to re-work based on those corrections. Beyond that, it’s OK to let him get some bad grades. He earned them, not you. And you should be proud and honor that he does his own work. I have been practicing this idea when helping Samuel play educational games on the computer. I will tell him to “Try it.” (And you can’t just say that on the ones he is going to get wrong. They are pretty good at figuring out what you mean.)

Apologize to him as you would have him apologize to you.

If you have wronged your boy in some way, don’t say, “I’m sorry, BUT…” or simply ignore your offense. Look him in the eye, with true emotion, and tell him “I’m sorry that I … It was wrong for mommy to… Do you forgive me? I will now try to … ”

I started going down the slippery slope of ignoring my own sin against him. Bad idea, moms. That’s not respect.

Vocalize your respect.

Boys need to see respect, but they also need to hear it. When you are talking to him – about him – use words like proud, strong, Godly, honorable.

These are just a few ideas I’ve been trying and thinking about. I would love to hear how you would add to this? Could you comment below with more suggestions for me?

10 Ways You are Disrespecting Your Husband (aka What Not to Do)

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.


How to Dress in Modest Clothing and Modest Swimwear for Summer

Summer is coming quickly, and here in Austin, it gets H.O.T.! We pretty much wiggle between cold and hot with a very short lovely Spring.

And when it gets above 80 degrees, like it already has, it’s time to pull out the shorts and tank tops and flip flops! And don’t forget swimwear! But not the triangle bikini this summer, how about modest swimwear?

But how do you retain your modesty while still being fashionable? …Maybe I should start with the why first.

Why should I dress modestly?

Reason #1: Because it’s Biblical.

I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (1 Timothy 2:9-10, NIV)

In other words, our true beauty, even outwardly, comes from what overflows from the inside. If our focus is on the Lord and doing His will, then we are truly beautiful. There is no need for us to reveal ourselves physically in our dress.

Reason #2: Because I want to respect the men who see my daily.

Add to the above reason the fact that men are hard-wired as visual creatures, easily stimulated and tempted by what they see, and you can see the Biblical benefits for modest dress.

Is it ok, then, to dress fashionably?

Let’s look at the Proverbs 31 woman as an example:

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;    for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed;    she is clothed in fine linen and purple. … She is clothed with strength and dignity; … Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;    but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:21-22,25,30, NIV)

The Proverbs 31 woman dresses quite finely it seems, but if you read the rest of the chapter, you see what other magnificent things she accomplishes for the Lord – her husband is praised and respected in part because of her. Her family is abundantly taken care of. She is a savvy business woman. And more!

So if her fear of the Lord is overflowing into all of this business-savviness and care of her family, do you think she’s spending the majority of her time getting dressed in the morning? Do you think she’s thinking of a way to get away with showing a little skin? I don’t think so!

Since our beauty comes from our character and love of the Lord, it’s important that our dress be modest, pleasing to our husbands, and not the top priority in our lives.

With that being said, how do you dress in a way that honors the Lord (and your husband, if applicable), but is still fun and fashionable?

Here are my tips!

Dressing well is more about fit than wearing the most expensive or in-style pieces.

If your clothes fit well, they will appear more pricey and fashionable. This means it may take some time when you’re buying something at the store. You should try your clothes on before buying them! Otherwise, you will end up with clothes that just sort of fit. And you won’t feel good in them.

You can create great style by layering.

If you feel fashionaly incompetent, like I do sometimes, then always try to layer something. In other words, try to wear clothes not just off the rack.

For summer, how do you layer but still stay cool?

  • choose the right fabrics: loose and light
  • your bottom layer should be a tank or camisole
  • your top layer should be something you can take off (with modesty) if needed
  • embellish! Add a piece of flair to your outfit. For example, you can add a flower pin or use a light scarf to tie through your belt loops
  • for the pool or waterpark – choose a tankini. They’re much easier to take off than a one-piece, and still super cute and modest.

Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable with your 10 year old daughter wearing this.

Ask yourself if you feel good.

You should be comfortable!

Ask your husband if he likes how you dress and feels respected by how you dress.

Now, here are some of my tips in action! I would have put these outfits on to show you the fit part of my tips, but I’m pregnant and don’t have many summer clothes yet!

Look at this cute tank.

On its own, it’s cute, but ho-hum. Now, layer it with a cool top layer, and add a fitted pencil skirt:

This outfit shows an example of layering plus embellishing. And yes – you can mix prints if one of them is treated like a “solid” 🙂

And my last example combines layering with tailored fit – these shorts were inexpensive but fit like they were tailored:

And bonus: half of the items above are from Target, so they’re affordable, and you won’t cry when the mac n cheese ruins them!

Obviously, my tips are not exhaustive.  I could cover things like, Don’t wear words on your rear and  Watch out for your bra straps. What tips would you add?

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What is Submission Really About?

I really thought I would write about something other than submission this week, but I feel like my last few posts still haven’t gotten to the heart of submission.

So what is submission really all about?

Submission to our husbands is really all about us submitting to God.

In describing how submission is sometimes a trial of suffering, I pointed you to 1 Peter 2 and 3. There, we learned that submission is something that Jesus did when he went to the cross. To whom was He submitting? To the Father – to “him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

Did you know that we as Christians are called to “live a life of love”? Want to know how?

live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice for God. (Ephesians 5:2)

Christ loved us by submitting himself to the Father’s will! Even though he asked for the cup to be taken from him. “Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39)

We’re even told to “submit to one another out of reverance for Christ” – notice this is in Ephesians 5:21 – just down the page from 5:2 that I quoted above. Paul is calling the believers in the church to a life of holiness, and that includes believers submitting to each other.

Have you ever had someone call you to the carpet about a sin issue in your life? Yeah. That’s what Paul is talking about here. That includes when a wife, in love remember, points her husband to a sin issue in his own life. His spirit is supposed to submit out of reverance for Christ.

Why, in this case, is the husband to submit to the wife? Because he is actually submitting to the Spirit of God. He repents because he has offended the Holy God of the universe first and foremost. Most likely, his sin has also had an impact on his family, including his wife, whom he should love as his own self (5:28).

Can I bring up just one more verse? I promise I’m not trying to make you crazy with quoting scripture. I’m just trying to process this topic in the most healthy way possible – through the Word.

In James 4:1-6, James is revealing our selfish motives. That we want and never quit wanting. That we will harm each other to get what we want. That we ask God for things only out of the neverending want.

He is asking us to cast off the desires of the world that multiply in our hearts. Instead,

Submit yourselves, then, to God…Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:7a,8a)

And he continues to call us to repentance in the next verses. Do you see how God is faithful to us? When we submit to Him, he is right there embracing us and guiding us!

And this submission to God includes submission to the plan he set forth for marriage. A plan that includes us submitting to the leadership of our husband.

Out of reverance for Christ.

In submission to God.

It’s really about trusting that what He put into motion with Adam and Eve was the right way!

So if you’re struggling with submission to your husband, you’re struggling with submission to God. Let’s pray that we will trust God’s own, deliberate plan for marriage. If we start there, he will come near to us and guide us to submission in our marriage.

What Happens When We Don’t Submit?

I’m sure you’re so thrilled that I keep talking about submission! 🙂 Here’s where we’ve been the last few weeks:

Head and Helper in Marriage: Who is the Sous Chef?

When Submission is a Trial

I really wanted to address the practical consequences I’ve seen in my own marriage, but that last post was starting to get … ahem… long-winded, so I’ve created a post addressing only the consequences! Lucky you! If anything, I think this should help us see how much submission to our husbands, or the lack thereof, affects the health of our marriage.

And since I naturally am not a good submitter, I’m the perfect example of how this can go horribly wrong! Here is just a sample of the consequences I’ve seen in our marriage when I have chosen, in disobedience, to not submit to my husband’s leadership.

I make decisions, usually big ones, that negatively impact our family.

For instance, right after writing a series about finding my individual purpose, which included being faithful with what I was doing and not starting something new, I came up with another blog idea that I decided to pursue. My husband gently suggested that maybe this wasn’t the best fit for our family, but I was excited and didn’t listen.

I ended up way overspent, frazzled at times, definitely not making any money, and to top it off, an owner of another blog threatened legal action against me! YEAH – wake up call! I shut the blog down, taking that as a clear sign that God wanted me to close that door.

My heart moves away from my husband and toward something or someone else.

I have already publically proclaimed my struggle with the adultery that you cannot see – infidelity of the heart. It’s something that I don’t want to shy away from talking about. When you are not submitting to your husband, your heart may be tempted to find another leader to submit to – because it is designed to harmoniously follow the leadership of your husband.

And once your heart makes that cross-over, the sin is committed, and you have emotionally disengaged from your husband.

My heart moves away from my husband to another idol – my children.

Maybe you don’t struggle with having emotional attachments to another man, but a more common struggle for women is the emotional attachment we have with our children.

Not that we shouldn’t have an emotional attachment to them – I hope you do! – I’m talking about when you detach the love you have for your husband, and place those emotions on your sons and daugthers.

For example, you cuddle and kiss your kids, but you’re not having sex with your husband. You have in depth conversations at the dinner table about eating peas and which play dates are set up for tomorrow – all the while, you are talking “to everyone” but you are physically directed to your children. You make no eye contact with your spouse. You avoid setting up a date night, yet again, because you will “miss the kids” so much.

I avoid spiritual growth.

For me personally, when I’m not submitting to my husband’s leadership, I become passive spiritually. I say I’m “depending on him to lead us spiritually”, but really, I’m just using that as a cop out to check out from my relationship with God – which is my responsibility (it is his responsibility to lead me in that).

I might avoid spiritual conversations with him. I don’t desire to pray, especially out loud. I don’t read God’s word. I don’t want to write on this blog – because this is one of my primary spiritual growth tools.

I resent my husband.

I could keep going on and on with examples! But I want to wrap up with this – because I think it’s quite a common occurrence: When I deliberately avoid submitting to my husband, I begin to resent him.

I don’t like that he’s my “leader”. I don’t respect anything he says. Every nice gesture is written off in my mind. I think thoughts such as “He never helps me around here!” or “He’s always trying to get me to xyz…” The resentment is just a wall I’m putting up to avoid his leadership, and that wall is made of some very strong materials!

Sound familiar?

When this happens, it takes some real work to tear the wall down. I pray that if you are in that place right now, that you can take the blinders off, cast off the resentment, and see the truth: that God gave you a husband who loves you. Stop looking for the ways he is failing, and start acknowledging the way he is excelling for God’s glory!

Give Your Family Your Time!

 Sometimes a pastor’s wife’s life can be busy. You know, Sunday morning single parent, community group on Tuesdays, Brad gone to church business meetings (i.e., membership, interest meetings, planning meetings, etc.), and mornings and evenings alone while Brad is coaching lay leaders.

It’s not every day or anything, and some weeks are busier than others. But after awhile, it can get a little old. And my perception can magnify the time apart.

Well, let me tell you – my husband blessed me the other day! It was one of those weeks where every single night was marked off for something, and family was coming in for the weekend. For once, and by the grace of God, I was handling the week’s outlook pretty well.

On Thursday morning, Brad told me I “might” be getting a package that day. A package? That wasn’t really like Brad. He’s a words-of-affirmation kind of guy, not a gift-giving guy. He asked what our plans were to be sure Samuel and I would be home.

I sort of forgot about it until he called me at about 9:30.

“Did you get your package?”



“Should I check outside?”


“Nope, it’s not here! I’ll call you when I get it.”

Ten minutes later, there was a knock on the door. I tried to look out the window, but didn’t see anything. So I opened the door.

Brad was my package!

I think my grin was about as big as my head! Time with hubby and daddy! In the middle of the workday! During a very busy week! Wahoo!

We had 2 hours of family time – time we wouldn’t have had otherwise that week.

We did normal family things – went to the park, played outside, had a snack. What we did wasn’t the point.

We had time together, and that’s all I wanted.

It was a special blessing – the best package I could have gotten!

Guys, sometimes that’s all we want – just you. Home with us. I know we can’t all just leave work (and don’t worry, Brad works well over 40 hours every week, so he’s not slackin’) in the middle of the day. But anything you can do – do it! We will respect how you’ve made a sacrifice just to be with us.

Your Rock Star Hubby

In Don’t Treat Your Husband Like a Child, I encouraged you to try respecting your husband instead of smothering him with your ooey-gooey loveness.

Reader vsg asked for some practical ways to encourage her husband without belittling him. She doesn’t want to look at him like she does her two-year old and say, “Good job, sweetie pie!!” And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want her to do that, either.

Our role as wives has been such a hot topic, so I’m working on some ideas to keep addressing the issues that make us think we are from separate planets, rather than created from the same flesh.

But in the meantime, and probably all the time, I’ll be posting some practical encouragement tips, off the cuff style. As usual, I like to disclaim my tips by saying that these are NOT rules!!! Just because you do these, doesn’t mean you will have a happy marriage, and just because I say you should try these doesn’t mean they will work. My heart behind this is just to get you thinking in the right direction.

As you well know, I am a doer. I am always doing something. When Brad and I are together, like when he just gets home from work, or when Samuel is napping, instead of giving him the undivided attention that is present in my heart, there I am buzzing about the kitchen wiping counters, prepping food, loading the dishwasher, picking up toys, etc… Does this sound like you? Heh. I know it does. 🙂

But you’re not like me. Oh no, I am worse. Brad will be talking to me, and there is something that I just have to do right now or else – you know, like make sure the toilet paper roll is flipped exactly the right way. So as he’s talking, I find a break in the conversation, and, nodding my head, I will make some agreeing comment while walking out of the room to do said task.

Could I get any less respectful that this!? Does this show him that I love him and want to hear what he has to say? At best, he will think that I was bored by his conversation, and at worst, he will just stop talking to me altogether.

A very wise woman I knew told me that when her husband asked her to attend car shows with him (he loves cars), she always said yes – because she didn’t want him to hear all of those “No”s and one day quit asking.

So here’s the tip:

When he’s talking about work stuff or any accomplishments (like something he “fixed” around the house), be an intent listener. Really make eye contact and engage to let him know you think he’s a rock star. And afterwards, say something to empower him to continue doing things like that, such as, “That’s awesome! I’m impressed.” Or, “I really respect that you handled that. You make it easy to trust you.”

Caution!! If your marriage has a history of distrust and self-centeredness, this will backfire!! Your husband might look at you like you just poured hot coffee on your head and respond with something like, “I see what you think of me. You don’t think I can do anything, do you!?” If this happens to you, do not fight back. STOP THE PATTERN. Calmly, genuinely say, “Actually, I really am impressed. I mean that. Sincerely. I’m sorry I haven’t shown you that in the past.” Your marriage will change that very moment.

A challenge for you: Try this tip this week and post in the comments how it went for you.

Don’t Treat Your Husband Like a Child

Don't Treat Your Husband Like a Child

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aquamech-utah/ (changes mine)

When I was … less mature (ahem)… I had no idea that women were designed differently from men – in more than just the anatomical ways.

Some people will think the differences stem from strictly scientific means (hormones, etc.), but I think that is just part of it. From the beginning, man and woman were created in different ways and for different purposes within their relationship (Eve being created as a “corresponding companion” to Adam).

I say I had no idea, but rest assured, some very good Bible teachers had relayed this message to me while I was in college. I took it in, processed it, and stowed it away in my Very Important Biblical Information file in my brain. I then heard more very good Bible teachers preach on the very same message multiple times in my first several years of marriage.

And then I carried on my way doing one of the exact things I was created to do: Nurture. To my husband.

Right behavior, wrong subject.

So, ladies, you’ve already pointed your mates to Servant Leaders Are Sexy, now what’s our role in all of this? Let me tell you this very plainly:

  • My job is NOT to love my husband.
  • My job is to RESPECT my husband.

Let me also say this, if you’re anything like me, You don’t know what that means!!!! I truly thought that if I would just love Brad to death, then he would have everything he needs to thrive as a man. W.R.O.N.G. The reason I truly thought that is because that is what I long for as a woman.

I thought men and women needed the same things (and, you know, we just call them different things). No. Men and women need very different things. I need love; he needs respect. Our community group went through a study based on the book, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs*, by Emerson Eggerichs. And finally, I started to see what respect really looks like.

Ladies, there are ways you can encourage your husband (or boyfriend or fiance) to thrive in servant-leadership. In fact, even if your husband is not a good servant leader at all, you should still start with respect.

Now I am no expert, believe me (or ask my husband!). My heart here is just to share with you some things that have worked for us. In most situations, ask yourself what would empower your man. In no particular order, here are some suggestions.

  • Your husband is not your child. Do not offer to cut his meat for him. You do not need to ask his opinion on exactly how he wants his sandwich made for lunch; that kind of behavior is belittling, naggy, and makes him seem incapable. I’m pretty sure you already know what kind of sandwich your husband likes anyway.
  • When your husband leaves the house, don’t say, “Be careful.” He is not made to be careful. He is made to be a risk-taker, a wild man. I just say, “I love you.” He knows I want him to come home safely.
  • Pet names: Instead of “widdle widdle wammy poo poo”, call your husband by something that makes him feel like a man. I like “My Warrior”, “Strong Man”. FYI, I do have other gushy pet names, but they do not in any way make my husband out to be a child. E.g., “My One and Only”.
  • Trust him. If you’re anything like us, and you as the wife is the left-brained one, you might have the tendency to question his every decision. I’m not saying it’s bad to talk through decisions together; in fact, I hope you do! But you absolutely need to trust him in some things to give him room to lead.
  • STOP NAGGING. I have never thought I was a nagger, but then I found out that even “gently reminding” my husband of an undone project is a nag and makes him want to check out. Here’s the way we work around this. We have a list (yes, you probably have a similar honey-do list). The list is on a bulletin board. When there are projects, big or small, that need work, either of us can put it on the list. Once a week, hubby has a man-check morning. As part of this ritual, he asks himself some questions to make sure he is doing what needs to as a servant leader. One of his tasks is to check the list and make plans towards those projects. I don’t have to nag, and he is empowered in his efforts.
  • But DO communicate! We have a monthly “Team Pete” meeting where we discuss calendars, budget, spiritual goals, and anything “big” coming up. This is a great time to discuss things that are and are not working. This isn’t the only time you communicate, but it’s one big download session that we both mentally prepare for.
  • Don’t constantly correct him on how to play with the kids. His ways are different, and it’s supposed to be that way. (I hope you know that I do not mean that you should not be unified, but that it’s OK for him to be more rough and wild with the kids than you would be.)

Now, I’m sure some of you are much better at this than I am. Tell me in the comments what you do to empower your husband.

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