Saturday, April 12, 2008

12 Reasons Wives Refuse to Respect Husbands

I've been visiting this issue of respect and uprooted this article that I think is from the Love and Respect website.. It's good. I imagine this is for someone today.

12 Reasons Wives Refuse to Respect Husbands
This idea of respecting a husband is tough. After all, many wives do not feel a husband deserves respect. So, why would a wife act respectfully when she does not feel respect?

I am for wives. I want their husbands to love them. I believe fond feelings of love are ignited in the husband when a wife let's her husband know that she respects who he is as a human being, even though he fails on many fronts. Though his flesh is weak, when she respects his spirit, he responds to her.

But, this idea of respect is unsettling because wives don't "feel" respect. Here are some of the "reasons" offered to avoid showing unconditional respect.

This is important to address for every wife. A simple axiom exists: No husband feels fond feelings of love and affection toward his wife when she shows contempt for who he is.

Though the Bible reveals unconditional respect can win the heart of your husband (1 Peter 3:1,2) and Ephesians 5:33 reveals this is your husband's need from you, are any of the following views reflective of your heart? This article is designed to help you consider the "wall" you may have erected against showing respect.

1. You Resent Him: angry at him, for whatever reason, you feel he does not deserve any such words of honor. Well, I agree at one level. You aren't to do this because he has earned it. You are doing this because the Bible has given this instruction in Ephesians 5:33. As odd as this expression seems, this is called "unconditional respect." Let's trust our Heavenly Father's wisdom in doing this. He cares about you.

2. You Are Preoccupied: You are fixed on your love needs and the needs of the family that expressing respect to him is a marginal concern. There's no time to get around to acting on this respect thing. Having said that, you know that isn't exactly true. You have time to talk to him about your emotional needs, right? Every wife is looking for more face to face time to talk and increase the feelings of love between the two of them. No wife is too preoccupied for such talk time. This web sight is designed to give you tools and knowledge so that when you talk you can introduce respect talk. You'll be encouraged that this can result in the feelings of love increasing between you. My goal is to create fond feelings of love in his heart for you. Showing "respect" is what motivates him to be more loving! You aren't too preoccupied for that!

3. You'd be Self-deprecating: Expressing respect to him would devalue and degrade you; he would be honored at your expense. Well, this is highly unlikely. That won't happen any quicker than if he loved you that you'd became a self-centered prima dona. He will seek to love and honor you in turn, not devalue you. Why would he dishonor someone seeking to honor him? That violates the honor code among men.

4. You'd be Neglected: Communicating respect could go to his head and he'd be even more self-centered and neglecting of you emotionally. But that makes no sense. Did that happen in courtship? Your glowing attitude attracted him to move toward you and to focus on your heart.

5. You'd be Ridiculed: if you showed respect he'd sarcastically say, "You're a liar in light of all the disrespect you've shown me!" If he said this, it would be for one reason: your respect is too good to be true and he is being flippant. Stay the course! Flip it around, if he did something very loving to you, like brought flowers home unexpectedly, might you say, "What got into you? What do you want?" You do this because when things are too good to be true, you protect yourself with sarcasm. You are not ridiculing him but guarding your heart. Your husband will do the same. He isn't ridiculing but exclaiming, "I hope this is authentic. Prove to me you are sincere."

6. You'd be Manipulative: Knowing that "respect talk" is powerful and opens a man up, better to say nothing than manipulate him to say and act in responsive ways. However, this isn't manipulation but motivation. Yes, if a wife's motive is impure, then that is wrong. But, the solution here is to be authentic. The solution isn't, "Well, since I'm an impure person, I won't do this." What if he said, "I refuse to love you at all since I cannot love you perfectly!"?

7. You'd be Unjust: Telling him you respect him is so unfair since he should be initiating love toward you; you shouldn't be the one acting first. Maybe it isn't fair to you. But who is the mature one? If you are the mature one, it is wise to act first and act on the wisdom that will achieve your goals. To hold back as the mature because you feel it would be unfair makes little sense. Further, it makes no sense to show disrespect until he is more loving.

8. You'd be Accountable: Claiming respect for him demands that you continue to state and show respect, even personally changing wrong attitudes; so better not get into this in the first place. This is true, there is a call to change disrespectful attitudes. But, those are held onto because one believes disrespect will motivate him to be loving. That is comparable to him being unloving to motivate you to be respectful.

9. You've Tried This: Thinking such "respect-talk" has been spoken in the past, it's pointless to say it again. I have found this questionable. Many wives tell me this whole idea is foreign, so I question if the kind of respect we are discussing was shown. But, even if true, I have also found husbands responding in extremely positive ways to this respect. However, because the wife was looking for "flowers," so to speak, and no flowers came, then it didn't work. Yet, the next day a whole series of new things were done by him, and she didn't pay attention because it wasn't what she wanted. "If there are no flowers, then it didn't work."

10. You'd be Weakened: Feeling you need control, telling him you respected him would empower him and bridle your power. Peter says you can win him through respectful behavior (1 Peter 3:1,2). Peter did not see this as powerless but powerful. I know what you feel but please allow me to side with Peter on this one. I happen to believe he is inspired.

11. You'd be Lying: Not respecting him because of his poor performance as husband and father, you'd be untruthful in uttering words of respect. The respect test focuses on what is true not on what is untrue. It also looks at the spirit of the man, not his performance. The 3 disciples failed Jesus at His darkest moment. Yet, he said, "Your spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." We guide you in looking at the spirit of your husband created in the image of God. We happen to believe God's creation has some things in it that can be honored.

12. You'd be Depleted of All Energy: You are feeling wounded and wiped out; you feel hopeless. However, you are not so depleted and hopeless that it kept you from reading this. You have the energy. You are not finished yet in spite of what you say to yourself and others. Bottom line: good willed husbands respond to respect like wives respond to love.

Would love to hear your comments on this.

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The Mother said...

If you don't respect your husband (and remember, respect is different from liking him right this moment), you need more than a list of why. You need a divorce.

MaryRose said...

The Mother~

What a sad statement!

You respected him at a time, did you not? There was something about him that attracted you, brought you into the bonds of holy matrimony. Draw upon that!

And I guarantee you, if you start saying out loud the things that make you joyful and proud of your husband, you will find more and more things to tell him about. You will find more and more ways to honor him, once you begin to open your heart to that honor.

This isn't a list of why you don't respect him. It's a list of why you shouldn't let that get you down!

Kathryn said...

I LOVE THIS!!! Thank you so much, Lylah. Wise words... I will be rereading this often. This is not easy but I know with God it can be done!

Lylah said...

Thanks for your comments Kathryn & Mary Rose. We often think that our husbands must earn respect when in fact God says that we are to show it because of their role - Ephesians 5:33. Everytime I show respect to Michael - when I don't "feel" like it - I get more good character developed and that's a good thing.

RubiaLala said...

I really needed to hear this right now. Thank you.

Mum-me said...

It is hard to show respect when you feel you are not respected or loved in return, when you are emotionally and physically drained every day and when it just seems so unfair. But I have recently found all that is written in this post to be true. I made the decision to respect my husband, regardless of how I was 'feeling', and it has slowly begun to turn our marriage around. I still feel it is unfair that it feels the success of out marriage depends on how I treat my husband - I still wish he would treat me differently - but the old saying that 'sometimes you can't change anything about the situation except your attitude to it' is certainly turning out to be very true.

Thanks for the list, the encouragement and the understanding to write this.

mollygib said...

Love this Lylah! Thanks for posting stuff like this. Always good to hear. Mum-me, I've been where you're at in the past. It's so hard, but good for you for not giving up! God will honor you for your faithfulness.

mollygib said...

Love this Lylah! Thanks for posting stuff like this. Always good to hear. Mum-me, I've been where you're at in the past. It's so hard, but good for you for not giving up! God will honor you for your faithfulness.

kari said...

Quite challenging, Lylah, and I will take the 12 reasons to heart. I'm sure I will come back to reread. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the feeling that respect is automatic based simply on a man being your husband (or father, boss etc...) Respect, like trust, is earned by both words and actions. Its a two way street and something every couple should explore and be sure they have for themselves as individuals, and for each other before the wedding day.

Great article. Very pleased to have found your blog Lylah!

Ali Harriman