Good question.

If you’ve lived with a man for more than ten years, chances are that you’ve managed to observe him doing something that makes you think of him with disdain, or has lowered him in your esteem, or just downright disgusts you.

And just as predictably, chances are that you haven’t managed to hide your true feelings!

How do you let him know that he’s blown it? Do you turn away in disgust? Do you roll your eyes? Do you scoff at him? Do you belittle him in front of your friends? Do you openly criticize him? Do you secretly sigh and turn to that perfect man in the romance novel or in your fantasy world?

Well, what’s a girl to do? We have needs.

We need a man who is tall, dark and handsome. We need a man who will slay dragons for us. We need a man who writes gushy love letters, and brings us flowers and chocolates. We need a man who can protect us. We need a man who can provide for us. We need a man who is a good father. We need a man who is suave and charming, and well-groomed, and is clean-shaven, and smells good, too! We need a man who adores us and never looks at another woman. We need a man who can be strong and courageous, but sweet and sensitive. We need a man who takes the leadership in the family, but doesn’t step on us if we get in his way. We need a man who has absolutely no faults, who never blows it, and who is perfect in every way.

Well, sorry girls, but that man is already taken!! 😀

But to be honest, in the course of twenty-seven years, I’ve seen more of my husband than I wanted to at the time. I’ve seen him at his better, and his worse. I’ve been with him in sickness and health. I’ve been with him through richer and poorer. I’ve been with him in good times and bad moments that I won’t share because they are so personal and private and intimate — and they have made us one flesh because we know things about each other that no one else will ever know.

And part of respect means that I keep his secrets, and he keeps mine — he’ll never tell you about the times he’s seen me at my worst, either.

Respect does not have to be earned in marriage, it is a gift we decide to give our husband whether he deserves it or not. And don’t do it just because I said so. This comes from a higher power!

And the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33

Every time you disrespect your husband, you sin against God. It’s true. It’s disobedience to God’s command, and if you have been disrespecting your husband, then you need to repent. You say you haven’t been disrespecting him? Well, take this little test — would I want my (future) daughter-in-law to treat my son the way I sometimes treat my husband? If the thought of that brings tears to your eyes, then you need to spend a few minutes at the feet of Abba Father, in a prayer of healing repentance.

And when you get up off your knees, here’s what you do. If he’s clipping his toenails with his teeth. . . just quietly turn away, and the moment will pass. If he’s had a momentary lapse in judgment or completely flubbed up the home repair project, or tracked in mud, or screwed up the financial portfolio, well, that’s worse, but better will come again. And in his worse, he needs your better — more than ever.

Meanwhile, you are commanded to treat your husband with respect. He needs respect more than you need chocolate, and just as much as you need his adoration.

And men are so EASY. Your husband is easily captivated by your respect for him. I’m telling you, that it’s an immediate  love potion! Don’t believe me? Just try it. Today, sincerely tell your husband how much you admire him and respect him, and see how it affects him.

Your husband can become the man you need for him to be when you begin to treat him as though he already is the man you need for him to be.

And, don’t worry, love follows respect. The first part of Ephesians 5:33 will come about in time. You just be obedient — and respectful!!! You can do it!


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Won Without Words by Shari Popejoy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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