Respecting Your Husband is a four-part series. We’ll also look at: Acceptance, Appreciation, and Making Him Feel Like #1.
Somewhat recently, I recalled an incident in my sixteen year marriage that was the height of admiration for my husband. We had probably been married four or five years. I scored some major points! (I’m reflecting back to the B.C. days ~ Before Children. I was so much more creative then!)
We were going out of town with some friends and business associates for a fun weekend seminar that was both business and pleasure. It was at a nice resort in Ohio along Lake Erie.
I was reading a book at the time, called, “Fascinating Womanhood,” by Helen Andelin. It’s a thick, in-depth book about men, women, how they relate, and marriage. It’s like a merging of several other books I’ve read on relationships. It’s an old title, too, with the first printing in 1963. My idea stemmed from this book.
I had made a list of everything I could think of that I admired about my husband. Then, I took red, pink and white construction paper and cut out different size hearts, enough for as many things as I had listed. I wrote one of my listed things on each heart. I punched holes in the tops of each heart and tied yarn through them so I could hang them up.
When we got to the hotel, I took charge of unpacking and arranging the room. I decorated the bathroom by taping my hearts all over. (I don’t recall if I had any other decorations with me.) I shut the door and we left. When we got back later, and ready for bed, he went to use the bathroom and was bowled over by the hearts.
My husband, who is my hero…and incidentally, looks very much like Clark Kent…my Superman, was rocked by this display of admiration. After all, one of his primary love languages is words of affirmation. Giving that language of love to him has always been a challenge for me. I do it best by writing it. This was like a much needed rain shower in a dry and parched land.
He was on cloud nine, bursting with love for me. I had shown him a huge display of respect through admiration.
Many years later, I read the book, “Love & Respect,” by Emerson Eggerichs. It focuses on Ephesians 5:33 and outlining the love cycles and respect cycles that either work or don’t work in a marriage. (I highly recommend it.) Emerson shows how when a man feels respected, he will naturally love his wife. And when a wife feels loved, she will naturally respect her husband. But if the respect for the man or the love for the woman is not there, things go haywire.
“However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].” Eph. 5:33 AMP
My initiative that weekend proved the love and respect cycles to be true. (To be clear, it wasn’t a test. It was motivated by genuine admiration for my husband.) Over the years, I have seen the cycle work as it should and also times when things are out-of-whack.
Whether you are newlywed or have been married for a long time, it is always good to incorporate ways to keep the respect coming to your husband.
I encourage you to start making a list of everything you admire about your husband. To get started, you can use areas of his life as a guide and then list more specific things that you admire. Here are some broad topics: His spiritual life; As a dad; As a husband; As a provider; His talents/hobbies/abilities; His ministry; and His personality. Then, think of some creative ways to convey that to him.
“The center of a woman’s happiness in marriage is to be loved, but the center of a man’s is to be admired.” ~Helen Andelin
© 2014, Kristen Hamilton. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.