Here’s the clincher…I thought I was respecting him.

Respect 1.9.15

God: “I want you to share about that.”

Me:   “Please, not that. No one knows I struggle with that.”

God:   “That’s what I want you to open up about.”

The argument went back and forth in my mind as I waited for the alarm to go off this morning. I knew I had to sit down today and confess my struggles in an area that most ministry wives don’t know how to admit. Here is it:

I don’t respect my husband the way I should.  

I really want to delete that last sentence…it’s really embarrassing and very uncomfortable.

My husband, who willingly provides for us, who leads others in a closer walk with Christ, who models hard work and integrity to our children…yeah, that’s the great guy I struggle to respect.

You need to know it’s not his fault.

It’s mine.

Here’s the clincher…I thought I was respecting him. I thought I was doing it right…not contradicting him in front of the children, sharing in his ministry goals, supporting his schedule to minister to others, budgeting and spending wisely to reach that financial goal we were working towards. Isn’t this what conveys love and respect to him?

No. He saw the real me…the ugly me, the part that was not trusting, not honoring, not respecting.

“You don’t trust me. You just don’t respect me.”

What in the world did he think I was doing for the last 15 years of our ministry life together! My mind reeled words at him defending how I had respected him and put his preferences above my own!

But, something was definitely wrong if he was telling me that his need for respect just wasn’t being met.

Something was definitely wrong.

I prayed. I prayed hard. And I cried, more out of a pity party for myself. But, God pointed out my disrespect.

This is what God has shown me so far:

  1. I add to almost every comment and interaction between my husband and my children. Interactions between them are always sprinkled with my two cents. Letting my husband speak to, deal with, play with, or teach our children without my input speaks respect.
  2. I always have the last word….whether positive or negative. I didn’t realize my last word was cutting his last thought/comment down. Letting my husband wrap up our conversation without my finishing touches conveys respect.
  3. I talk over my husband…often. At first I just saw this as “adding to the conversation”. But in hindsight, adding too much can create frustration on his part, feeling discredited and maybe even disrespected. Leaving time for him to complete his thoughts and genuinely listening to them shows respect.
  4. When discussing something sensitive (money, decisions with the kids) I tend to steer the conversation. When he doesn’t take that path I’ve laid out for him, things become heated. Staying open to his perspective, ideas, and thoughts and trusting God with the outcome conveys respect.

This certainly isn’t exhaustive…exhausting yes!, but not exhaustive. Our husbands are all wired differently, and it’s taken me some time to realize how my unique husband needs me to show respect.

What are ways your husband needs respect? Share your ideas!

~Chloe

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