Updated: Mar 11
Sis, Respect is everything to a man!
I had no idea what this even meant until I picked up the book: Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires. The Respect He Desperately Needs. It is a gem that every woman who is married or desires to married needs to read and thoroughly understand.
God dropped this little book into my hands at the exact right moment and it literally saved my marriage. It taught me that the same way that MY primary need in a relationship is love, my husband's primary need is respect. And it helped me to understand why when you're a wife trying real hard and speaking extensive Spanish (Love) and looking to interpret his efforts in Spanish. All while your husband is working real hard too, but he speaking and receives his information in French (Respect).
This book is very profound and I was amazed I had never noticed it before. It made sense to me because as I watched my Grandmother's respect for my Grandfather, I learned that in her wisdom she had learned to speak his language. She had learned the key to a man's heart was Respect (not Love). I couldn’t wait to try it out. Dating and especially in marriage is the perfect platform to practice what you've learned.
I can honestly say that I used our next phone call was the turning point in our communications and in our relationship!
I learned how to speak to my man in a way that built him up and showed admiration. I became an active listener and learned what words and actions that caused him to feel Respected. I implemented the tips that the book suggested, and even though it felt so weird and unnatural at first- it changed the course of our entire relationship and marriage! This knowledge positioned me with the power to change how my man looked at me, felt about me and the power of how I made him feel. All by how I thoroughly Respected him and how Respected I made him feel. All women understand and desires the concept of unconditional love. But while we may be good at showing our husbands unconditional love, we tend to show them very conditional respect. And we usually don’t even realize we’re doing it! Our display of respect, But if we would apply that same concept to the principles of Respect and make a conscious effort to show them Respect, regardless of their decision making, performance or actions, I think we would begin to see a completely different man. We could intentionally invoke the husband that we've always wanted, all out of the same man.
The bible was trying to teach us the magic secret, when it said, “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” –Ephesians 5:33
Nowhere does scripture tell wives to Love their husbands, and do you know why? Because it comes naturally to us!
We are natural lovers!!! And our natural language is Love!! But we have to build them up with the words from the language that they understand, which is Respect!
But if we would listen to the deepest cry of a man’s heart, we would see that it’s not the same as ours.
What men are usually crying out for is respect.
So here are some practical ways to show respect to your husband:
1. Admire him, support him and be his biggest fan.
In Eggerichs’ book he talks about how a husband wants his wife to be like his cheerleader, like when she was first getting to know him. Noticing when he does something worthy of praise, listening with admiration to his dreams, and just reassuring him of her approval. Men feed off of positive affirmation and we need to put time and effort into doing this. Letting a man know he is admired and affirming him means everything to him!!
2. Squash all the negative talk.
With men, what you focus on will flourish, so talk him up!! Talk him up to your family, your friends, you children and to him. Verbal praise goes a LONG way! And if there is an issue where you need help or advice, go to godly people for godly advice. Nothing kills respect quicker than negative talk or talking about someone behind their back.
3. Be on his team.
If you are on his team, he will open up and draw close to you. If you are always accusing him, he will pull away.
Your husband is an imperfect human being and makes lots of mistakes, no doubt. Lust is a huge issue that men typically battle with. Even good men. A lot of women make the mistake of using disrespect to try to get their man to open up to them. But disrespect makes a man shrink away and close up toward you. It sends the message that you’re not on his team. Remember that you're his wife and not his mother. Strategically pray over his strongholds and shortcomings and release him to God!
For a long time, I made the mistake of poking, prodding and trying to get my husband to confess all kinds of things, and it always made him pull away and become defensive. It wasn’t until I learned to put him in God’s hands, that I was able to find the peace, be on his team and encourage him to be a better man. Just as hasty disrespect makes a man close up, wise and well-intentioned respect helps a man to open up. If you want to dig deeper into this concept, and learn more practical techniques to show respect to your husband- or if you want to dive into a book that will help you both to be better in meeting each others’ needs- I would highly recommend reading: Love and Respect. In closing, I pray that you would have the humility to implement these principals in your marriage. And where you need help in humbling yourself, seek Christ for extra help, as that's why He sent the Holy Spirit to help us, if we open ourselves up to the changes. That you would allow yourself to soften as a woman and wife, and allow God to bring your thinking into a more beautiful and bright place. And that you would experience a plentiful harvest as a reward!!
“When a wife respects her husband she does not become a doormat, in fact, he starts rolling out the red carpet for her.”- Emmerson Eggerichs
Be bold sis, and learn how to implement your man's love language of Respect! It could call forth the husband in him that you've always wanted.
As a Wife that's Constantly Striving and Learning,
Author Adia Dozier
Called to be a Wife Devotional
Perfecting Her Craft, LLC
A Literary Company