In most societies, this is an obvious one. There’s an etiquette for showing respect. Everyone knows it. And most people observe it. But, in the US, most people lack these formalities. So, let me give you some general ideas for showing respect for your husband.
- Pay attention to body language. There’s a way of looking at a person that implies contempt or defiance. The look is hard to describe, but we all know it in others. Now, look for it in yourself. Do you roll your eyes when your husband’s talking? Do the corners of your mouth turn up? And so on. This is in the Bible, Proverbs 30:17,
“The eye that mocks at his father and despises to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out and the young eagles shall eat it”.
- Listen to how you say it–as well as what you say. There is a way of saying, “Yes, Honey” that means “No way, Buster!” We call it sarcasm. Good words that connote bad things.
- Give your husband the benefit of the doubt. Assume he knows best. In other words, say “yes” unless there’s a strong reason to ask “why”.
- When you have to question him or even disregard what he says, do it without defying him. There’s more than one way to say No. Choose the humblest way.
- Never ever overrule him in front of the children!
• Express faith in his decision and ability.
• Leave him notes (men respond better to the written word) that tell him how much you value who he is as a person (and sometimes for his work).
• If he botches a task at home, don’t sigh, roll your eyes, and mutter at him; instead, thank him for trying.
• Make positive suggestions without demanding an immediate answer. Ask him to reflect on it for a while.
• Listen to his upsets and don’t take his anger personally.
• Let him vent when he needs to.
• Encourage him in areas where he doesn’t feel secure and let him know you stand behind him.
• When he makes a decision you’re not in favor of, listen.
• Talk about his positive strengths in front of the children.
• Praise him at least once a day.
• Discover the uniqueness of his personality and learn to understand him and communicate better with him.
• Accept his maleness and celebrate the differences that come from this.