Maybe you’re thinking, “Really… another blog about respect?” If so, please bear with me. ~smile~ Lack of respect for men in our culture is an ongoing issue that eats at me. When I watch television and see another father being treated like an idiot, it gets under my skin. When I spend time with women who find it hilarious to make fun of their husbands or fathers, I have to hold my tongue. So many women want their husbands to rise up and be men, but they treat their men like fools. How many people do you know that thrive when they are constantly beaten down? There may be some, but I haven’t met many!
Anyway, the reason I am harping on this topic once again is because of a revelation I had recently. It’s not the most amazing of revelations – in fact, you may have already realized this – but, lately I have realized that I have more respect for men who are openly respected by their wives. When I meet a man who is obviously respected by his wife and children, I automatically think, “He must be a fine gentleman.” When I meet a man who is treated like an idiot by his wife, I feel sorry for him, but I don’t naturally have a sense of trust or esteem for him. (This respect is also engendered by girlfriends and fiancées too!)
While women are not called to generally unconditionally respect all men (rather, only her father and, later, her husband), you can do your husband or future husband a huge service simply by showing him respect in the presence of others. Respecting him is not only good for him emotionally (respect is as much a need for men as love is for women and should not have to be earned in marriage – just as women don’t think they should have to earn love), but it is also good for his standing in the community. How many male officials would be elected if their wives reprimanded or belittled them in public? Not many. They would be seen as weak and foolish.
Before I was married, I was advised by someone that when a lady gets married, she should let her husband think that he’s getting his way and then she should go behind his back and do whatever she wants. Let me just counter-advise all you brides-to-be out there: this is one of the quickest ways to harm your marriage. You don’t only bring harm to your husband by disrespecting him, but you damage your relationship at the root. Do you really want to be married to a man you don’t respect? The good news is that you can choose to respect your husband. When you make an effort to respect him, you will be amazed at how many traits you find in your husband that you can respect. (And the ways he will likely eventually naturally love you back!)
No matter how angry or hurt you become with your husband or future husband, you will likely be furious with anyone else who has the nerve to bad mouth him. If you are in the habit of rolling your eyes behind his back when he’s talking, correcting his grammar, or making jokes at his expense, you are robbing him of the respect of others. There are men in my life that I deeply respect because their wives have supported and admired them in my presence. There are other men who I struggle to respect simply because of the way their wives have portrayed them to me. The men I struggle to respect may be more talented, more loving, and more valiant than the men I do respect, but my understanding of them is forever tarnished by their wives. We can automatically assume that a man’s wife knows him better than anyone else and if she thinks he’s stupid, it’s difficult to not let that impression affect our opinion of him.
There are 1,001 reasons to respect your husband or future husband. So, here is one more: Respect your man so that others will respect him. Your children, your friends, and other men will respect your husband more if you do.
Ladies, do you struggle to show your future husband respect? Gentlemen, do you feel respected by your future wife?