Is your husband starving for respect? Part One in the Respect Your Man series

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Maybe your man is all skin and bones, starving for your respect.

And maybe his appetite for sex, usually ravenous, has dwindled drastically.

Many women believe that sex is all a man wants {and it does rank high, rightfully so!} but their #1 need is for respect. And your lack of respect for your husband can reduce his desire for you as his one-flesh partner.

That kind of hunger can open a door to a smorgasbord of sinful temptations.

And more serious than even that is your disrespect is flat-out disobedience to your God who loves you best of all.

So if you are not mindful towards your man and his need for respect you just might tear down your house with your own hands. In my first marriage I was not respectful — but rather angry, fearful and controlling — and it helped bring divorce and disastrous consequences for me and my children.

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So what about your words, attitudes, expressions and actions towards your husband? Honoring or not?

Do you nag him about everything under the sun, poking and prodding, treating him more like a child than a husband?

Do you lose your temper with him or scold him in public spewing mean words molten?

Do you withhold sex to punish him over something you don’t like? Or manipulate him seductively to get what you want?

Do you constantly speak ill of him within your circle of friends, complaining often about his lack in various areas?

Do you complain to his face letting him know just how unhappy you are with him?

Do you give him directions, and not just when he’s lost, but in many areas each day?

Do you dismiss his words of guidance to you saying or thinking that you know best?

Do you poo-poo his job where he works hard to support his family because it may not be as prestigious or as career-worthy a position as you want?

Do you rant in prayer before God listing all your husband’s faults forgetting to thank God for the man who stands faithfully by your side through all your good and bad?

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Have you ever stopped to consider that as you choose to honor your husband you honor Christ whom you say you follow in love?

And this last point is the first-things-first foundation of respect, love, and trust in any relationship and especially marriage.

Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.
Matthew 25:40

Jesus the perfect Lover of your soul who always loves imperfect you. And me! And our imperfect husbands.

It’s a crying shame to grieve the Holy Spirit by disobeying in the way you behave towards your husband.

And ladies, I am not above any other wife who struggles with the issue of respecting one’s husband! It’s something I work on and pray about often, playing catch up after a long line of mis-steps in this area. And it can be a challenge for me especially when I forget that God is ultimately in control of my life, always watching over me, and I give in to fear-filled thoughts that torment.

When I began my Be a Better Helpmate series in January — with the focus my spouse’s specific prayer requests — I had no idea that the task of improving my respect for my husband that God assigned for February would need to carry over into March! Surely it will be an area that I will prayerfully guard for as long as I am a wife. You, too?

But God! And Him always for us no matter if we stumble. So kind, so gracious. Such a Love!

And every new day brings His mercies all new and every moment with every breath is a chance for you — and me — to change if you dare. Because changing and healing and growing as a wise wife takes surrender to God, commitment to His ways and hard work.

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And don’t be surprised if you smell your flesh burning!

Because hell hath no fury like a woman wounded.

Yet you love your husband and you value your marriage, seeking to preserve and strengthen it. But maybe you don’t really know how.

Maybe you never saw your mother respect your dad. Maybe your dad didn’t behave like he deserved respect as a dysfunctional head of your family of origin. Maybe you got an early start on disrespecting men {distrusting them, too?} from your parents’ marriage model or your own poor choices.

And the early years are formative years which sometimes form very bad habits that can play out as cycles of chaos even in Christian marriages, sometimes for years.

It takes faith in Christ and lots of grace, along with patience and determination, to break free of the former things. God wants to make you and me and our husbands and our marriages brand new.  Wholly holy. One day at a time.

You can train your heart and mind to honor, respect and obey your man as an act of love for God.

So let it begin with you…

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Watch for Part Two of the Respect Your Man series offering how-to tips and practical advice for wives who want to honor God more by respecting their husbands better.

Photo Credit: Compliments of Michael Kimball on assignment in the Catskills!

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14 thoughts on “Is your husband starving for respect? Part One in the Respect Your Man series

  1. Aah! This is so good and just what I needed to read this morning! I often am guided by my flesh instead of the Holy Spirit when it comes to respecting and honoring my husband. Thanks so much for taking the time to share and remind me of how I should act this morning. I am glad I found you at the Soul Survival link-up.

  2. I so enjoyed your house photos -I want to leave in each one of them!!!! I believe that no matter how long I’ve been married, how successful I think my marriage is, I am always having to tweak me in my marriage. A marriage like a house so does need maintenance – like you said – or it will fall down. It seems, too, that each of us takes turns being supportive and nurturing – because we each have our ups and downs. This is such a good reminder and encourager right now because I’m in a tweaking time, focusing on supportive! Shalom, Shelia!
    ~Maryleigh

    • Hi Maryleigh –Love how you said “having to tweak me in my marriage.” So true! Always. And if we think we don’t need to stay alert and open to those times of tweaking we better watch out! Your words encouraged me in that you have one long time marriage and you still work on it. Your house analogy is so on point! And yes, weren’t those places charming!! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs.

  3. Wow, you have a lot of good things to say here, Sheila! for me a big thing I have to constantly check is giving my husband directions! We don’t even always interpret that as disrespect, but to them it does, especially if we do it often! I read Karen Ehman’s “Let it Go” about letting go of control. It wasn’t about marriage perse, but many things in it were helpful to marriage. Let go of the need to control how the house is run, etc. I found it so helpful.

    • Letting go and Letting God…one of the first things you learn in a 12 step program! Control usually is a signal that we are fearing. And we both know that fear is not from God and everything goes back to our heart in His and us rightly related to our precious Lord. Whether in marriage or life. I will have to check out Karen’s book. Thanks for stopping by. Always good to hear from you.xxoo

  4. Sheila, all those frozen photos and images of icicles remind me how easy it is to take one’s spouse for granted, maybe especially if they are always loving and kind toward us, and how inclined I can be to hit mine with words as sharp as daggers. They fall like icicles, revealing a coldness in my heart and making his own warmth shrivel and shiver for a while.
    Past experiences which have breached trust, where innocence was stolen and guilt and shame set in instead, can hold us captive to resentment which manifests as a lack of respect for our husbands. I’m finding the more I ask God to grant me His love for my beloved and eyes to see him as He does, then the more I slowly learn to value the wonderful (and oh so patient!) man God has placed by my side. Thank you once again for powerful words which promote healing and deliverance to help make marriages grow stronger. Blessings to you. 🙂 x

    • Thank you, Joy. And I love reading your thoughts. Always so poetic in your descriptions! And our past can hold us captive with really bad results in our present and then we wind up throwing away our gift of now. Forgiveness of our past offenders is so key. And then I like to remind myself that I need to REMEMBER to FORGET and flip the switch in my brain which I control with my choice of will and think on EXCELLENT THINGS!! God is so good! Bless you for stopping by. Sending healing prayers and hugs your way! xxoo

  5. Sheila,
    I think you’ve hit on an important topic! Only in the last few years have I started to understand how important it is to let my husband take the lead on things sometimes. It can be SO hard to let him have the final say, but I can see that it makes a difference in our marriage. Of course my resolve to do this waxes and wanes over time, so thank you for the encouragement to persevere!
    God bless!
    Jenni

  6. Amen! I’ve been working on this ever since I read Love and Respect and God convicted me that while I was great at loving, I hadn’t been the best at respecting. It’s made a big difference in our marriage.

  7. Cheers Sheila! Another great post. Wise words spoken from a wise woman for sure. You got me at – you honor Christ when you honor your husband! I cheer you from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.