The best parenting oftentimes comes through building our marriages. Soak up these truths in Walt’s wise words on how respect can practically play out.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
“What you want, baby I got; What you need, Do you know I got it? All I’m askin for is a little respect”. Do you hear Aretha Franklin singing?
I love the expanded thoughts of Ephesians 5:33 in the Amplified Bible. “However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness], and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear].”
The expansion of what respect includes is a challenging list: noticing, preferring treating with loving concern, treasuring, honoring, and holding dear!
Men, let’s strive to do this:
- Respect her publically. I recently entered a co-worker’s office and noticed his screen saver photo of his three adult daughters and one granddaughter. I said you have four of your favorite girls, but what about your fifth? He responded without a pause – she is present in all faces in this photo. Both his words and the delivery indicated his intense love and admiration for his wife, their mother and granddaughter. He spoke “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” and “what it means to me!”
- Respect her practically. Ask them what words and actions cause them to feel respected. Do they want to be noticed with thoughtful words verbally spoken or written notes? What speaks loving concern to their heart? One suggestion on becoming better at practically respecting your wife is to take the 5 Love Languages official assessment to begin improving your relationship. Learn better how to show your wife loving concern in ways which fill her “love tank”.
- Respect her spiritually. Honor and encourage your wife’s commitment to the Lord and His leading in her life. Recently my wife and I were meeting with over forty mothers of preschoolers. Two troubling items stood out to us afterwards. These women were working so very hard to “do it right”, and they were exhausted! Directly related to this, they also expressed great confusion and angst over what was expected of them by other important people in their lives. When the most important people in our lives (husband, closest friends, parents) all treasure a woman’s focus on loving God well, and loving their neighbors well (Mark 12:30-31) this clarifies what is truly honorable and worthy of great focus!
No one has loved me better than Jesus. While I was dead in my sins and very unlovely (Eph. 2:1) Christ died for me and made me alive and raised me up and “seated me with Him in the Heavenly places” (Eph. 2:6). No person on earth has loved me better and believed in me more than my godly wife of 35 years. “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”! Let’s get after it, men.