Hi everyone! I’m so excited this month to be taking part in Fulfilling Your Vows…Marriage God’s Way. There are 14 bloggers who came together to host a HUGE Valentine’s giveaway and we’re also doing posts everyday until February 14th that will focus on encouraging you to have a fruitful marriage! To keep up with everything make sure to like the Fulfilling Your Vows facebook page and you will receive daily encouragement in your marriage and find out about all of the awesome giveaways going on!
So onto my topic.
Honestly it pains me to hear friends complain about their spouse, talk about how they aren’t receiving what they need, and how if they’re spouse would just do such and such a thing everything would be grand. All the while never thinking that they could be giving to their spouse without expecting all of these things in return. So today I thought I’d focus on something we can do for our spouse that will bless them in an eternal and unconditional way.
Keep in mind I’m writing from a woman’s point of view…sorry guys…but I’m well…a woman. So today I’m talking about ways we can respect and encourage our husbands. If you’re a male reader and feel like commenting if I’m off base, feel free…but please be kind!
So I have one word for you today…R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Ladies, our men need our respect. They need us to show it to them daily, in front of others, and especially in front of our children. Awhile back I read through a book called “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn. I have to say I was a bit surprised by what I read, and I was surprised to learn that I do things that are disrespectful, though unintentional, in regards to my husband.
Let me introduce the man behind Confessions…his name is Jason. And I love him. Isn’t he cute ;o)
Now, i would never intentionally want to intentionally disrepect this man. I love him with all my heart, and he’s a vital part of our family. So I thought I’d make a little list I could keep for myself to help remind me to respect my husband, and hopefully it will bless your families as well! The fact that my husband reads my posts will serve as my accountability. Yikes.
1. Pray for him! Our husbands are under constant attack and temptations. Here is a wonderful freebie that can help you get started praying specifically for your husband: 31 days of praying for your husband.
2. Show him respect at home! This is a biggie for me. I tend to feel more comfortable arguing my point when we’re at home, and I can forget that I have 8 little eyes on me. I need to show my husband respect in front of our children which will also confirm his authority in our home! I mentioned the “hampster incident” before. One day we were out getting dog food, when suddenly four extremely convincing kids and one VERY cute hamster (whom we now affectionately refer to as “Squirt”) managed to talk me into taking the little guy home. It seemed harmless enough at first, I mean he only cost $14, I conveniently forgot to think about food, bedding, a cage, toys, food dishes, yada-yada…. you get the point. I think it was a good $100 by the time I walked out the door for a $14 hamster. I realized that my actions that day were really showing my oldest daughter that it was okay to disrespect daddy and do what we wanted without seeking his approval first. I apologized in front of the kids for not seeking his opinion on the matter and had a talk with Strawberry Shortcake to explain why my actions didn’t honor God’s calling for a wife. It was a small incident, but one that I’ll remember. I’m a constant influence on our children and my actions as a wife and mother need to be a godly example to them.
3. Show him respect in public. I’m a sarcastic person. I like to joke around and sometimes it can be at the expense of those close to me. For example, I’m not sure how many of you out there doubt the capabilities of your husbands to find something that’s say right in front of their eyes. But in our house it’s a big joke. Both my husband and my son ask the girls to help them find things. I had to laugh the other day when my son exclaimed “Mom, where are my shoes? You moved the whole house around and now I can’t find anything!” My husband just looked at me and gave a slight smile as if to say “See! It’s not just me!” Now it’s okay for me to have a private little joke at home with my husband, however if I go around telling the whole world that he can’t find anything even if its right in front of his face, then suddenly it’s not so nice anymore. Degrading our spouses in front of others not only makes US look bad, but it makes THEM look bad to others. Not something I would ever intend to do. (Please immediately forget you read this example, I don’t want to bash my wonderfully awesome rock-star of a husband in public!)
4. Don’t argue with his knowledge. Yet another place I falter. I like to know everything, and for the most part I’m always right. Even if I’m wrong ;o). But arguing or questioning our husbands intellectual skills is disrespectful to them. I tells them that we don’t believe in them, that they’re worthless as a partner. For me this usually comes up when my husband is trying to fix something in the house. I typically suggest calling a professional just because it makes me more comfortable. Sadly this is showing my husband that I don’t believe he’s capable of taking care of our family, which he most definitely is!
5. Say what I mean. Men are fairly direct. They say what they mean and mean what they say. Women on the other hand have a type of internal secret code that can result in us saying one thing and meaning another. I’m sadly a prime example of this, although over the years my husband has gotten better about reading me. For example my “I guess, do whatever you want” response usually means “no way, I’m annoyed you even asked!” He’s gotten better and sometimes jokes with me saying, “Is that the ‘you can go’ as in you can really go, or the type of ‘you can go’ where you’ll be mad at me later?” I’ve gotten better about telling him what I mean, but its still a challenge. I think as women we want our husbands to be able to read our minds, but its an unreal expectation that usually results in disappointment for all involved. It’s really just easier to say what we mean without all the hidden pretense.
6. Be respectful to him even in his absence. Since I’m a stay-at-home mom, this usually means to speak respectfully of my husband in front of my children. But it can also extend to how I talk about my husband in front of my friends as well. Venting about my husband to a group of friends really only causes me to resent him more, and my friends to think less of him as well. Venting about my husband to my children is just out of the question entirely. They need to see me submitting to his guidance for our home even when he’s not present.
7. Don’t compare him to other men. Comparing our husbands to other husbands is a recipe for disaster creating only dissention at home. I think we can tend to take all of the best qualities of other peoples husbands and combine them all into one perfect guy that really just doesn’t exist! This man is my husband, God chose him for me, as a perfect gift from above. I need to treat him as the heavenly gift he is.
8. Make myself available to him. With four kids, a house full of animals, and a blog to run, I can be pretty worn out by the end of the day. Sadly that doesn’t leave much left for my husband when he gets home. Still, I need to make myself available to him. To talk to him about his day, fill him in on mine, and yes, make myself accessible intimately as well. I don’t want to embarrass anyone out there, but we have to face the facts. In today’s world there are temptations for our husbands around every corner, on every billboard, and in every workplace. It’s an important role that shouldn’t be overlooked.
9. Keep up my appearance. This isn’t too tough for me, I’ve never been a stay in my jammies all day with no-make up kind of gal. I really do shower each day, put on full make up and get dressed before ever leaving my bedroom. I don’t really do that for my husband, I think it’s because if I don’t “get ready” in the mornings, then I don’t feel good about myself. Thankfully it serves two purposes! However, even for my kids, I think that dressing nicely is a good value to instill. I don’t want to get dressed up only for special events, but instead I want to get ready for each day. My kids are a special event, and so is my husband. I don’t want him coming home to a wrecked house and a wrecked wife everyday. That wouldn’t be too appealing for me, and neither is it for him I’m sure. I’m not talking so much about weight here ladies, but more about showing our husbands that we care by making an effort with our appearance. I hope you understand what I mean )
10. Encourage him. I find that all day long I’m encouraging out kids. “Great job, buddy! That’s the best cursive z I’ve ever seen!” “Oh, good Teeny Tot, you’ve cut out your shape!” Why would I feel that my husband deserved any less? Telling him that I’m proud of his work, thankful for the fact that he takes care of our family so well, and that he’s home each night to be with us is important! Just like anyone else our husbands need to feel appreciated and valued. Encouraging them in the home, public, and in private are all essential!
I hope this list will encourage you to lift up your husband and marriage daily! If you’d like a printable version of this, click here to download:
If your looking for more ways to bless your marriage…here are some of my favorites:
- The Love Dare (Click here to see our journey through The Love Dare!)
- 31 days of praying for your husband
- For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
- For Men Only by Shanti and Jeff Feldhahn
- Married and How to Stay That Way by Steve Carr
Make sure to visit the Fulfilling Your Vows website to see the other lineup of contributing writers and learn about the giveaways!