Sunday, March 6, 2011

Safeguard Your Spouse Sunday: When you have a great one-liner...

My lifelong BFF, Anna, gave our family a subscription to Thriving Family for Christmas last year and we love it. If you aren't familiar, it is a wonderful magazine by Focus on the Family that ministers to every family scenario (single parent, divorced family, blended family, "traditional" family).

This article convicted me not long ago. I'm sure I'm not alone. :)
When You Have a Great One Liner
by Janine Petry

I don't have a problem with respect — it's showing respect to my husband that I can't quite get the hang of.

Showing disrespect has become a modern marriage pastime. We laugh as our favorite on-screen wives make fools out of their husbands, and before long we're talking like these leading ladies.

Here are some ways we show disprespect:

  • Witty one-liners are clever ways to get the last word. Example: "You can tell me how hard work is after you birth three children."
  • Sarcasm uses mocking words to strike at him personally. Example: "That's your best idea yet; got any more?"
  • Misplaced laughter ridicules him, whether or not he's around. Example: "He actually thinks those look good together."
  • Demeaning reminders imply a lack of trust. Example: "So are we actually going to see you on time today?"
I've come to understand that the phrase "Women need love and men need respect" is more than just a slogan — it's Scripture (Ephesians 5:33). So I try to use encouraging words to show my husband respect. The opportunities are endless, and my words have the potential to empower my husband to be more of the man God wants him to be. When I'm sincere and he accepts my words, our marriage is strengthened.

Here's how I've been making the transition from casual disrespect to intentional respect: I start with prayer, asking God to change my heart and my attitude. I also listen carefully to my words. Finally, I replace rudeness with words that exhibit honor for the husband God gave me.

These alternatives show respect:

  • Ask questions: Give him a chance to express himself. Example: "What made work so difficult today?"
  • Keep it simple: Make clear statements about issues. Example: "I'm not sure that's going to work. Are there any other options?"
  • Encourage: Choose words that highlight his individuality. Example: "I love that he's daring enough to wear that."
  • Tell the truth: Express concerns and affirm positive changes. Example: "It's been really hard for us when you're late; I appreciate you making the effort to get home earlier."
I show respect to my husband because God brought up the subject. It's His way of leading me into a marriage that is blessed as it reflects the loving relationship between Christ and His bride, the church. Marriage has a purpose far greater than my husband's and my relationship. Our unity expressed in love and respect is nothing short of God's witness to the world of His great love.

This article originally appeared in the January/February, 2011 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Janine Petry.

I think one of many great "hands on" examples of implementing below is CC's (aka Musing Foodie) recent post on "Chicken Parm-With or Without The Attitude?"

If you want to put yourself "out there," feel free to encourage your fellow sisters on the Roof  through the week by sharing the way God blessed the "filtered" feedback/reaction you gave your husband vs. a reaction you wanted to give. Cue the song "It's Only Graaaace..." :)

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Thanks for this article! It's amazing how subtle disrespect can be, but my husband is very sensitive to even subtle comments. I've noticed that men rarely talk to each other that way...they value respect too much!