Men, I’ve written before about your greatest need.
You may not even admit it out loud, but I’d say it’s true most every time. You may use another word. You may even use the word love, but I bet if we could trace how you’d prefer to receive it we could easily translate that into respect.
The song says “All you need is love”, but that’s not true, is it? You need respect. It’s a man’s greatest need. I’m convinced.
If I’m right… (And why else would God command it in Ephesians 5?) …then it makes sense that if you ever received it you’d want to do your best to keep it.
How can you? Let me share a few suggestions.
Here are 7 ways for a man to keep respect as a husband:
Defend the family – Most every wife I know wants a husband who will defend the family. That’s not just against the bumps in the night, but against the blatant and subtle attacks against the family. Turn the television channel. Close the laptop. Say no to friends who distract the family from being healthy.
Be gentle – Men, you can’t talk to your wife with the same tone as you do your guy friends. Being gentle means being understanding in how she is wired and how to communicate with her. Remember your words can be heavy. Think before you speak. Protect her heart.
Be occasionally romantic – Let’s face it…most of us are not wired this way. Our wives know that. The good news is you get credit for trying, but every woman needs to know you are thinking of her unlike you think of anyone else. Be intentional to be occasionally a romantic. Surprise her. Spoil her. Make her feel special.
Don’t fix her – She’s not broke. God made her different on purpose. Don’t always have the answer to every problem. She isn’t always looking for one.
Let her know you’re in this…for keeps – You’ll do this one by being faithful. Do the right things, even when you aren’t with each other. Don’t let her see your eyes wandering. When she does (because we are visual and she notices when you look) quickly let her see you fighting temptation and focusing on her alone. Guard your heart.
Learn to listen – She likely equals love with attention. She knows when you’re listening and when you’re not. Show her that you care by listening carefully. Ask her questions, such as, “So are you saying…?”‘ just to show her you’re paying attention to her. She probably speaks in more subtleties than you do…most women do…ask questions when you aren’t sure what she means rather than ignoring her.
Tell her and show her you love her – Value her for more who she is than for what she does. Ask yourself, if she didn’t do anything for me, what would I love about her? Tell her. Do things you know she appreciates without being asked.
Those are some of my thoughts. Men or women…what would you add?