Recently my handsome husband sat on a back row of a "for guys only" break-out session at a youth retreat. The speaker posed this question to the boys: "What is the one thing that guys need more than anything else?" There was a smattering of incorrect answers that the teenagers offered, but then Mark spoke up with the correct answer, to which the speaker complimented, "That young man in the back is right." So what is the one thing guys need more than anything else? You guessed it: respect.
We have heard over and over that women need love, men need respect. I think many times women recognize this in their heads, but we don't always know how to tangibly live by it. Many times we confuse love with respect. After all, if we are showing love, doesn't that mean our husband feels respected? Well, not exactly.
I respect Mark. I respect who he is as a person, his hard work, his sacrificial love he continually demonstrates toward me and Karlie, his encouraging spirit, and his brilliance. But sometimes I don't communicate with or show respect. And this took a long time for me to realize.
There are times that I have said, "Will you just let me do it, please?" because I felt I had a better solution. I thought if I solved whatever the problem was it would just make things easier. It didn't. I have said things in different ways that on the surface might not have seemed that bad, but they were.
There were incidences when my hubby felt like his wife did not respect his actions, his choices, his ability to complete a task, and ultimately, him. Mark Gungor said in Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage that "men need to be respected for who they are, not for what they do. If they don't feel respected, they can't survive." That's a pretty big time statement.
So how do we know when our husbands feel disrespected? I sure didn't know. I didn't know why he didn't see my commentary the same why I did. After all, I was just trying to figure out why he did something a certain way - I was just offering suggestions! It was love vs. respect at its finest. So, a year or two ago we had a brilliant idea and decided Mark would tell me when I said something that made him feel disrespected. Who woulda thought? (-: But here's the deal: instead of Mark just getting hurt and me not understanding, he now says, "I feel really disrespected when you say things like that." And then I feel that little twinge in my heart - knowing he is right - I wasn't being respectful.
And you know what the cool thing is? I get it now. I now realize before I say something that it might be something that would make my sweet husband feel disrespected. And unless my sin nature wins over - I don't say it. I think. I change my words. And I understand now more how my husband feels. And now, he says much more rarely that he feels disrespected.
I can also assure you that a husband who feels respected as a person is much more willing to accomplish those things you were upset about in the first place. A respected husband is in a much better frame of mind to be loving toward his wife. A respected husband makes for a happier home and a happier marriage.
How do you show respect to your husband? Can you tell a difference when your hubby feels respected?