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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Did you ever wonder why this verse is written the way it is:

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

Seems awkwardly imbalanced, doesn’t it? I mean doesn’t everybody need both love and respect? Well, yes, but it seems to me this verse is written like it is for a good reason, and it has to do with a difference in the common core needs of men and women.

Big shocker men and women are DIFFERENT.

For more reflections this topic, here is a link to an article written by Emmerson Eggerichs, the author of one of my favorite marriage books, Love and Respect.

  • Not Wrong, Just Different – A wife typical notices the presence or absence of love. A husband typically sees the presence or absence of respect.
Dr. Eggerichs asked over 7,000 men and women this question, “When you are in conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected?”  83% of the men said “disrespected.”  72% of the women said “unloved.”

Now let’s take a separate, deeper look at the topics of love and respect.

Day 3 for Wives 
Respecting Your Husband

Did you know that respect is probably more important to your husband than sex? You may doubt me on this, but I would bet it is true.

In a poll conducted for her book For Women Only, author Shanti Feldhahn discovered that three out of four men would rather feel unloved than disrespected.

In fact, if your husband feels disrespected, he will feel unloved. Period.

What should you do with this knowledge of your husband’s deeply felt need for your respect? Well, give it to him, of course!

I’m challenging you to spend the next 24 hours going above and beyond when it comes to showing your husband respect and appreciation.

For some of you it will be easier to come up with ideas than for others of you. So I have put together a few suggestions to at least get your creative juices flowing:

  • Don’t correct him for a whole day – not even once (unless it involves life or death). Be aware of every time you are tempted to do so.
  • Ask his opinion about something and follow his suggestion, even if you don’t agree. Note: don’t ask him unless you are willing to take his advice.
  • Tell him how much you appreciate how hard he works to provide for the family. Acknowledge the sacrifices he makes on your behalf.
  • Tell him you want to make him something special for dinner as a show of appreciation. Ask him what he would like to have, and make it for him
  • Give him a kiss (yeah one like that challenge kiss from Day 1) and tell him how handsome he is. Yes, ladies, your husband needs to know he is attractive to you.
  • Tell him something he does that really turns you on (something not explicitly sexual).
  • Ask him what he would like you to wear to bed and then wear it cheerfully and proudly for him (yes I said proudly - you know what I mean).
  • Wrap your arms around him and tell him how happy you are to be married to him and why.
These are just a few specific suggestions. Pick a few of them or come up with your own. Be creative and have fun with it!

If you try a unique way to show respect to your husband, leave a comment on the blog or on my Facebook page, and help out the other wives taking part in the challenge. We could all benefit from each other’s ideas!

Explain to your husband that you read an interesting article about how strong a husband’s need for respect is. Tell him you want to do better at it, and then ask him, 
“Are there things I do or say that sometimes make you feel disrespected?"

Listen to what he says, and try not to be defensive.

Day 3 for Husbands
Loving Your Wife

Of course you know you should love your wife. But I’m not talking about mushy feelings here, as great as those are. I’m talking about consistently showing her tender affection, that you care for her and her needs. It’s harder to do than you might think.

In researching for their book For Men Only, authors Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn asked women the following question in a survey. “When you are feeling insecure about his love or the relationship, which of the following are true about your feelings?” The wives’ answers might surprise you:
  • I need reassurance (44.4%)
  • I might become quite preoccupied until I get that reassurance (19.5%)
  • I withdraw emotionally (31.6%)
  • I become depressed (27.9%)
  • It affects other areas of my life (34.3%)
  • It confirms my suspicion that I'm not very lovable or not worthy of his love (10.1%)
  • I feel like I'm not valued in his eyes (26.4%)
  • Nothing helps, I just need time to process alone (9.4%)
  • I never feel insecure about his love or the relationship (17.8%)
Your wife needs your love, and she needs you to show it.

Because your wife’s radar is tuned to naturally and easily pick up “unloving” words and deeds, it is easy for her to feel insecure about your love, even if you tell her and show fairly consistently. (It’s the same way your radar is tuned to pick up disrespect.)

If you are like me, you are probably often surprised at how easy it is for your wife to slip into being insecure about your love.

There are an infinite number of ways to convey your love for your wife. For the next few days, I am going to have you focus on different areas where  you can and should express love to your wife.

Today's challenge is to give her a day full of small gestures of love.  Often times a bunch of small love expressions scattered throughout the day will do more to say “I love you” to your wife than a single grand gesture, such as bringing her flowers (no I’m not saying you shouldn’t bring her flowers!).

Below is a list of suggested little love expressions. The point is to do as many as you can scattered throughout today. Have fun with it!
  • Put a little note on the dash of her car that says “I’m thankful that you are my wife.”
  • Prepare her coffee or tea. As you hand it to her say “I added extra love.”
  • Text her and say “I can’t stop thinking of how much I love you.”
  • Invite her to have lunch with you, if that is possible for your work situation.
  • On your way home from work, buy her a small treat you know she’ll enjoy for tomorrow’s breakfast.
  • When you get home from work, hold her extra long. Say “this is the best part of my day so far.”
  • Offer to rub her feet or shoulders while you are watching TV.
Of course my list is just a starting point. Come up with your own to add to it. If you care to share your unique love gestures, leave a comment on the blog or on my Facebook page and help out the other guys taking part in the challenge. We can all benefit from each other’s ideas!

Late in the day hold her tight, give her a kiss, and ask,

“Are you getting the message that I really am totally in love with you?”

Explain to her that you really want to do a better job of showing your love for her and ask,

“So out of the little ways I showed you love today, which ones stood out?”

 Make a mental note of her response.


sunsk8 said...

Great idea. Would love some more pointers on how to feel and show respect..

Anonymous said...

Husbands can feel disrespected in ways that seem odd to us. Of course, flaunting ourselves in front of other men is disrespectful, but so is frumpiness, at least to my husband. He likes me to look like he cares about and for me and not a beaten down doormat.

Hubby asks me every so often if I know that he loves me. It is a great time to shower him with examples of what he does that makes me feel loved.

Unknown said...

These are excellent, Scott. Spot on. So glad you're sharing this message because it is so needed!

Kate Aldrich said...

I have just been rethinking over this whole subject and challenging myself not to get lax in it. I get stuck in taking care of the kids all day long and need to make sure that when my hubby comes home, his place as head and daddy is clear! Thanks for the great reminder and perfect timing! God is good!

Unknown said...

Awesome post. If we would just try to out serve our spouse each day our marriages would be like God designed them to be.

Lori said...

Love this concept, Scott. My husband and I have had this discussion just recently, and he's said that to feel respected, he would like me to validate his need to achieve.

I was unknowingly showing disrespect when I urged him to take time off, or slow down, or have some fun. I wasn't respecting his need to achieve his goals.

Since then, I've been very careful to contribute in any way possible to his reaching his specific goals - large and small. This has made life in last few months much more smooth as he sees where I'm making a deliberate effort to respect him.

The realization came because we talked about it - and he was able to tell me what made him feel respected. (and where I was unknowingly sabotaging our relationship)

Sojourner said...

Excellent. I recently wrote about the same verse, the dichotomy of LOVE vs RESPECT and why were are commanded differently as husband and wife.

CassandraSalamone said...

Thanks for the ideas!!! I will be putting them to use:)

Anonymous said...

I love these ideas. I am careful to not undermine his needs or authority in our household, especially verbally. As a woman, and I'm sure all ladies can attest to it, I like to talk, but I've become so much more aware of how my speech sets the tone of a conversation and how it affects his confidence in himself. I strive to build him up continually with my words, and when necessary, keeping my mouth shut when I know that if I open it I will be disrespectful. Thanks for writing these!

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