Showing your husband that you love him
I had a pretty good handle on what it meant to put God first in my life, and even now, it is a choice I have to make everyday. My reading on the matter of priorities helped me understand that my spouse was the next rung on the ladder. Taking a quick look at how I was spending my time, my talents, and my money placed the man near the lowest step. It wasn’t like I was intentionally neglecting my husband, but you know how it is. Working full-time as a public school teacher meant that my days, evenings, and weekends were spent on lesson plans, grading papers, entering grades, preparing for the next week, and a myriad of other things. Then there’s my boys. Oh, how I love being a mom to boys. They are just precious. Sunday is coming and people are counting on me, so I had better look over my children’s church lesson for the week. I would hate for people at church to think that I was unprepared and didn’t have it all together. I’d make a mental note to call my family up north when my honey went to bed and send a text to friends to find a good time to meet for coffee…
It is so easy to take your loved ones for granted.
Respecting my husband was something I had to learn how to do. I already loved him, but that is different than respecting him. This transition of priority placement from last to second to God was a dramatic shift in thinking and doing. It was not easy for me. This is where I reached in my tool belt and relied heavily on my shiny tools of texts and my greasy tools of other women’s experience. Lord knows this was not an overnight experience; honoring my husband by respecting him is something I can choose or not choose to do everyday.
There is one thing that made the most impact in tangibly making my honey a high priority in my life:
I seem to have a knack for seeing how to make something better, even a little bit. This trait is called Developer in Strength Finder, but turned inappropriately on your husband it is called Nagging, Never Satisfied, Bitch, A Dripping Faucet, and the like. Telling my husband how to keep his closet organized, how to father his sons, what tone to use when speaking to his mom, what upset me that day about him and a list of things he could do to improve our marriage were common conversation starters during a long time in our marriage. I slowly realized that the words I was using to convey these points of interest to me were not seen as respectful from my husband’s point of view. Instead of complaining, I chose to thank, praise, question, and not speak at times.
I thanked him for driving the kids to practices, for working for our family, for leading at church or keeping up the yard. I praised him for his leadership of our family, for modeling discipline through his running, for taking time to show our boys how to maintain a clean garage. I questioned him about his favorite team, his favorite band, his work, and church. And I sat by him on the couch through games and tv shows. Did you know that sometimes guys like for us just to be by them? Without talking? I don’t understand it, but I did it.
I’m not advocating turning a blind eye to things that need addressed, but rather purposefully speaking life into your husband. Those other issues can be resolved SO much easier when your honey knows without a doubt that you love him and you respect him. Believe me.
Let me tell you that much of this was very unnatural at first. I felt weird saying some of the things and wondered if he would even buy it. I must have sounded convincing, because I kept it up and he responded warmly to my comments. After a handful of years, I delight in showing respect to my man in different ways.
I risk sounding simplistic and pollyannish on the topic for the sake of brevity in this blog post. Please know that my intent is to show that a well-meaning, intelligent woman can have it all wrong and then take steps toward making it right. Choosing my words wisely helped me to show my husband that he was of high priority to me. Much like making my Lord number one, making hubby a priority was a change in mindset.
There are a couple more things that seriously got the ball the rolling up the ladder, but I’ll save those for the next post. I figure this is probably enough for one day’s post. So, before the day is over, choose to respect your husband with your words. You might not even need a priority makeover, but I guarantee it will brighten his day, and maybe, even yours.