Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How Do I Respect Thee? Let Me Count The Ways...

This post is part of a "blog carnival" about showing respect to our husbands. I stumbled upon this fun idea from a new blogging friend at Titus 2:3-5. The idea for this came from the book, "Love and Respect," by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. (To read more about the book and the original idea for this carnival, read this post. Saves me having to type everything!) Joshua and I had the privilege of attending part of one of their Love and Respect conferences about 4 years ago. It was eye-opening for both of us, and one of the most truly helpful marriage conferences we had ever been to. We bought the book a couple of years ago, meaning to read through it together, but that never happened... Then, I read about this carnival and I started thinking about this thing called respect again. It sounds so simple - to respect your husband - but why is it so hard? I was glad this was brought to my attention, because I know I haven't been doing the greatest job in this area lately. On Titus 2:3-5, ET had some questions to answer about respecting our husbands, so I'm going to just go with that.

What do you do or say that shows your man that he's "the thing" in your life? How do you make him feel special, valued, necessary, even heroic?

Like I said, I haven't been doing such a great job, so here are some things that I know I need to start doing or doing again like I did at some point in our marriage.

I can almost see Joshua stand up straighter when I simply thank him for doing things like mowing the lawn or taking the car to get washed or packing the car for a trip, etc. In the past, I've tucked little notes in his lunch box to say thank you for working so that our family can have all the things we need and even so many things we just want! I also try to listen closely when he talks about work and actually ask intelligent questions in response - you know, instead of "um-hmm."

Something that I actually do on a regular basis is to get up with Joshua every morning (O.K., most mornings) and make him breakfast. Nothing fancy, just tea, peanut butter and honey toast, and a piece of fruit. I also put together his lunch and snacks for the day. The girls at work are always teasing him about it and calling him a spoiled baby, but they're just jealous! I know it really makes him feel special and respected when I do that for him every morning.

Another thing that makes him feel respected is when I clean up and organize the clutter spots around the house. I'm not so good at this one either because I usually just get defensive or make excuses. This one is really important to him and I know it makes him feel respected when I treat it like it's important to me too.

I'm not sure about the heroic part - I'll have to ask him about that one! I'm pretty sure he felt heroic when he built the railing on our deck this spring, complete with built-in benches! (I made sure he read my blog post about that one so he could see that I was bragging on him to everyone!) And when he planted 3 new trees in our yard all by himself!

What mistakes have you made that made your loved one feel crummy, unimportant, and disrespected?

I don't like this one as much... I do way too many things to make my sweetheart feel disrespected, I'm afraid. Like when I correct his parenting - in front of the kids. Or when I don't make an effort to clean up the house before he comes home in the evening. (I said "make an effort" not "have it perfect!") Or when I criticize him when he's trying to help me around the house. Or when I just simply take him for granted and never say "thank you." Or when I ignore his physical advances. Or when I'm too busy with the kids to notice him. (His love language is quality time.)

So, I have some work to get done around here - it's called RESPECT. I'm praying for God to show me how to do this more diligently and consistently on our marriage.

How about you? How would you answer these questions? If you want to be involved in this RESPECT carnival, the instructions and questions can be found here. This is just a place where we can all gain insight, share ideas and encourage one another so that our marriages may be strengthened in some way. I hope you'll join in!


ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

I'm so glad you joined in, Peggy! You have some great suggestions.

I really love the idea of putting thank-you notes in his lunch. It's so creative and fun! And I definitely think bragging on your blog makes every husband feel like a hero! :)

I'm with you on the tidying the house before he gets home thing. I know that this tells my hubby he's special, but some days I don't even try. Sigh. Work to be done...

geisme said...

Peggy, I'm sooooo behind in bloggy world. I'm slowly trying to catch up.
Good post. I have so many other blogs I read, that I don't know if I'll have time to check out the Titus blog, but I know that I've been praying about my life. Respecting my husband, being a better mom & wife. I find myself apologizing a lot lately to my girls. In fact the other day we prayed for everyone to have a heart/attitude change.