Did you know that having respect for your husband and showing it is one of the most important and loving things that a wife can do? Unless he feels that you respect him, he won't feel that you love him. Now, obviously, I haven't had much experience with this in my own life, right? But that's what I've read and heard numerous places, and while I haven't had a chance to try it out on a husband of my own, I have learned that showing respect to the men in my life (especially my dad, but also my brother, uncle, and grandfather) makes a world of difference.
One thing that we should get straight though, is that while you should show respect to the men in your life, you do not have to obey them all. The only men that you will ever have to obey are your father and someday your husband. (Of course, if they ever told you to do something evil like murder someone you couldn't do it... but that's a different topic.) But respect, when shown correctly, can make any relationship you have better.
A while back I posted some ideas on how you can be treated with respect, so I'm not going to bother talking about that again, I'm just going to give some tips and hints of how to treat your Dad, brother, and someday husband, with respect. (If any of the ladies with more experience in this area have any ideas go ahead and put them in the comment section, I'd appreciate it!)
1. Listen when they talk. Pay attention. (I told you that the different posts were going to overlap!) This, more than anything, seems to communicate respect to my Dad, brother, grandfather, etc.
2. Don't correct silly little mistakes. If they say it was on Monday that you saw an eagle, when it was actually Wednesday, does it really matter?
3. When you ask where they would like you to put something, don't put it somewhere else if you think of a better place. (Of course, you can ask if they mind if you put it somewhere else, but don't just say "No, this place is better")
4. Don't ever roll your eyes when he is talking.
5. Don't participate if other women or girls are making fun of their male family members.
6. Don't make him out to be worse than he is. We all have a tendency to exaggerate (illustrated in this sentence by me saying "We all"), but don't exaggerate his faults.
7. Don't tell the world about your problems with him. If you're having trouble and you really need to talk about it, choose someone you know can be trusted (I will often talk to my Mom if some guy in our family is driving me crazy) and will give you good advice or help you see that it's actually YOU that has the problem, not him. Anyone would be hurt if they found that someone was complaining about them to everyone, this is just common courtesy.
8. If you're having trouble communicating respect, ASK the poor guy if there is something specific that you're doing that is disrespectful. (But be prepared to humbly accept anything he says.) Then try to change what is causing the problem.
9. Pray for him, don't tell him his problems, ask God to convict him. Your dad is not going to appreciate it if you tell him that he always leaves his slippers in the middle of the floor. He is the king of the house. But if it truly is bothering you, pray and ask God to either change him or change your attitude about the problem.
10. Don't try to change him. God made him to be the loudmouth, or the quiet thinker, or the motivated doer that he is, and that is how he can bring glory to God. So don't change him, change the way you look at him. (This also can release you of the huge burden you might feel when you think of yourself as responsible for his actions. You are NOT responsible when he says something you don't think is appropriate to the situation.)
The bottom line in any relationship (excluding parent/child) is that, for the most part, we should change ourselves, not the other person.
If we put God first in our life, others second, and us last, we will have the right order.
(A quick note to the older girls: remember, respect is one of the most attractive qualities in a prospective wife. So practice on your father, brother, and other men in your life so that you'll be really good at it by the time someone special notices you!) ;-)
Any thoughts? (Don't forget to check the comment section to see what people have to say!)