Respect or Submission?

So I read this piece called “25 ways to Communicate Respect” and I thought I would dissect it a bit to see where I stand …. in writing I guess. It’s got all this Bible back up which is troublesome to me as a non-christian, but some advise is universal and good, no matter where its origins.

“Actions speak louder than words. You can say you respect your husband, but he’ll have a hard time believing that unless your behavior backs it up.

What does respectful living look like? Here are 25 ways you can communicate respect to your spouse without uttering a word. If you’ll make it your habit to do these things, the next time you tell your husband how much you respect him, he won’t have to wonder if you really mean it.

“1. Choose Joy

It’s true: A happy wife makes a happy life. Please don’t use moodiness as an attempt to manipulate your man, but in all things rejoice, because that’s the right thing to do. (1 Thessaonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4)”

This one I like because it reminds me that I am responsible for my own happiness, not him. I choose how I react to things and how I think about things- positively or negatively. It reminds me that other people in my house are effected by my mood and my thought. Being positive will attract good things and make our lives better- and even if it doesn’t- where’s the harm in being happy?

“2. Honor His Wishes

Give weight to what your husband thinks is important. Make those things a priority that matter most to him, whether it’s having dinner ready when he gets home from work or keeping the house tidy or limiting computer time. Don’t make him ask twice. (Philippians 2:4)”

“Don’t make him ask twice” is just offensive. I am not a servant. I do like making his goals important because I love him and that how one ought to act about someone they love! You should naturally want them to succeed at their goals. I don’t think having dinner ready is his really the goal though- especially since he would get home an hour before dinner time. I tidy the house because I like to, and if it were expressed that I HAD to I doubt I would. Limiting computer time is crap. It’s like saying I need to make him my world, my ENTIRE world- and that’s too much pressure for anyone! Honoring his wishes would be more of a thing like if I cook something that disagrees with him, then cook something separate for him maybe?

“3. Give Him Your Undivided Attention

Yes, I know that women are masters of multi-tasking, but when your husband is speaking to you, make a point to lay other tasks aside, look into his eyes, and listen to what he is saying with the goal of understanding and remembering his words.”

That’s invalid since no one would give a man this advice. Not to mention that with kids and house care etc etc etc neither one of us hardly speaks to the other this way. So why should I be the only one that stops and stares at him every time he utters? Not to mention we do a bit of talking while he’s playing video games so… I’d have to stand in front of the TV to look him in the eyes!

“4. Don’t Interrupt

Have you ever been around a person who won’t let you finish a sentence? That gets old fast. Even if you think you already know what your husband is going to say, allowing him to say it without cutting him off mid-sentence shows both respect and common courtesy.”

Everything’s good but the title- Don’t Interrupt is what I tell my kids, not my spouse. That being said- no matter how well you know someone, do you ever REALLY know what they’re going to say?

“5. Emphasize His Good Points

Sure, he has his faults (as do you), but dwelling on them will only make you (both) miserable. Choose instead to focus on those qualities in your husband that you most admire. (Philippians 4:8)”

I notice women who gather to bitch about their husbands do seem to be a lot more unhappy. It is fine to blow off steam every now and then but doing it too much with just make his faults seem that more blatant. Besides, I tend to think it’s the imperfections in people that make them attractive as human beings. I don’t think enough is said about how telling someone how proud you are of them boosts their confidence to then do more things you can be proud of! We do it for our kids, why not other adults?

“6. Pray for Him

Ruth Graham advises wives to “tell your mate the positive, and tell God the negative.” Take your concerns to God. Faithfully lift up your husband in prayer every day, and you will likely notice a transformation not only in him, but in yourself, as well. (Philipians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)”

Christian’s way of venting. Have some place to vent, calm down.

“7. Don’t Nag

Your husband is a grown man, so don’t treat him like a two-year-old. Leave room for God to work. You are not the Holy Spirit, so do not try to do His job.”

I like this one, but I know I nag sometimes anyhow >.< I more think of it and tell it to others this way: he obviously could take care of himself before you came into his life, so reminding him to pay his bills and wipe his butt is degrading. I remind him to do things but I tell him in a “just checking cause it crossed my mind” kind of way.

“8. Be Thankful

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Don’t take your husband for granted. Be appreciative for everything he does for you, whether big or small. Always say thank you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20)”

This is advice that’s good for all relationships- even the one with yourself. Being appreciative can only bring good things!

“9. Smile at Him

Smiles spread happiness. Smiles have even been shown to create happiness. Smiles are contagious. And a smile makes any woman more beautiful.”

It’s been shown in studies that women get more relationship satisfaction when the couple is unhappy (because  she feels that they are sharing feelings freely) and men are most satisfied when she is happy (because he feels like he is being pleasing and fulfilling to her) This creates a lot of problems. Smiling and letting him know that you are indeed happy with him gives him more security I think. Now I don’t think burying feelings and bottling them up behind a fake smile is healthy … I would know. NOT mentioning something you need to work on as a couple because you’re too busy grinning your ass off is a horrible idea!

“10. Respond Physically

Did you know that the way you respond (or don’t respond) to your husband’s romantic overtures has a profound effect on his self-confidence? Don’t slap him away when he tries to hug you or make excuses when he’s in the mood. Your enthusiastic cooperation and reciprocation will not only assure him of your love, but will make him feel well-respected, too. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)”

“I’m not in the mood” or  “I don’t want to” is a valid reason! I since when does respecting him involve me enthusiastically COOPERATING with his sexual desires when I don’t want to???? That being said if I’m not “in the mood” but not completely out of it I have been known to cooperate >.< but good lord I ain’t a meat hole! This is one where communication is key. If I’m busy doing something or not- if I just don’t feel like being touched- and he wants a hug. HE SAYS SO, and I’m more than happy to oblige! People need lovin on 😀 sitting with him on the couch or cuddling up in bed works just as well. It seems goofy at first but physical contact (the G rated kind) works just as well!

“11. Eyes Only for Him

Don’t compare your husband unfavorably to other men, real or imaginary. It is neither fair nor respectful and will only breed trouble and discontent. Avoid watching movies or reading books that might cause you to stumble in this area, as well. (Psalm 19:14; Proverbs 4:23)”

Who compares their man to an imaginary man? This is dumb- AVOID WATCHING MOVIES OR READING???? yeah, that’s sound advice! pah! How about you accept you ain’t no Angelina Jolie too? or that the book is a FICTIONAL CHARACTER. I think it’s okay to eye-ball other mens. I’m married, not dead! Likewise, I think it’s okay and HEALTHY for him to eye-ball other women- I’d be worried if he didn’t! But keep it to that and move on! Be open and communicate- it can make it fun! That being said if we’re in the store and I’m feeling a bit chunky that day and don’t want to talk about that chick’s awesome ass, I say so and in no uncertain terms.

“12. Kiss Him Goodbye

I once read about a study done in Germany which found that men whose wives kissed them goodbye every morning were more successful than those who weren’t kissed. Success and respect often go hand-in-hand, so be sure to send him off right, and don’t forget to greet him with a kiss when he returns home, for good measure. (2 Corinthians 13:12)”

You never know when you’re last kiss is going to be, so kiss as much as possible 😀 I can’t believe there are people who don’t want to kiss their loved ones goodbye.

“13. Prepare His Favorite Foods

Although the rest of the family is not overly-fond of spaghetti, my husband loves it, so I try to make it at least two or three times a month as a way to honor him. Next time you’re planning meals, give special consideration to your husband’s preferences. (Proverbs 31:14-15)”

DUR. This is what families do. My kid likes fish sticks so we make them, I like ice cream so we buy it, why wouldn’t it apply to his preferences? THAT BEING SAID. If he liked something NO ONE ELSE LIKED, I’d make it but it would be his personal fill-in-the-blank. I’m not making the kids eat it (no more than 3 bites worth) and by gods I ain’t eating it if I don’t like it! I am grown dammit!

“14. Cherish Togetherness

I love to sit near my husband, whether at home or away. Our church shares potluck dinners every Sunday afternoon, and although the men and women normally sit separately to visit, I like to position myself close enough to my husband that I can listen to the conversation, as I think everything he says is so interesting. At home, I’ll take my book or handwork to whatever room in the house he’s working in, just to be close to him, because I enjoy his company, even when neither of us is talking.”

Men like this togetherness, I’m kind of so/so on it since it feels like we’re together but not and it becomes kind of like the “I’m not touching you” taunt. I highly doubt the writer of this article finds EVERYTHING her husband utters to be a frikin golden egg of enlightenment but yes, I love listening to him talk to other people- especially business folk since he’s just so damn smart and it’s a side I rarely get to see.

“15. Don’t Complain

Nobody wants to be around a whiner or complainer. It is grating on the nerves. Remember the serenity prayer: accept the things you can’t change, courageously change the things you can, seek wisdom to know the difference. (Philippians 2:14)”

I like this since it goes well with not nagging but I think there’s something to be said for expressing discontent with things since sometimes you don’t know what is changeable. The key I think is to discuss it in a fair way- how is anything supposed to change unless you speak up? Not to mention if something he is doing to make you happy is having the opposite effect then maybe you should tell him about your feelings so he can start doing things that do make you happy? Note that you really do appreciate the gesture, but the thing itself is just no.

“16. Resist the Urge to Correct

I know one wife whose spouse can’t tell a story without her stopping him fifteen times to correct inconsequential details: “It wasn’t Monday evening, it was Monday afternoon…. It wasn’t blue, it was turquoise…. He didn’t ride the bus, he took a shuttle.” Please. Please. Please. Don’t ever do that to your husband — or to anyone else, for that matter! (Proverbs 17:28)”

I only fill in details of a story if he draws a blank, that’s common courtesy- and while the writer of this article finds it annoying, I think it’s kind of endearing when I’ve listened to a couple trip over each other telling a story. They’re eyes light up and they get all excited like children. I dunno, I think this one’s up to the couple dynamic!

“17. Dress to Please Him

Take care of your appearance. Choose clothes your husband finds flattering, both in public and around the house.”

Dress in what you find flattering since confidence and feeling attractive is what’s attractive. – tip for husbands: a woman unable to wear sweatpants is not a happy woman, nuff said!

“18. Keep the House Tidy

To the best of your abilities, try to maintain a clean and orderly home. Seek to make it a haven of rest for your entire family. (Proverbs 31:27)”

In a house where both spouses work he needs to pull his own- why? BECAUSE HE LIVES THERE. Since I stay at home I like to do the lionshare of the work, but when i was working you best believe I was not going to do it all!

“19. Be Content

Do not pressure your husband to keep up with the Jonses. Take satisfaction in the lifestyle he is able to provide for you. (1 Timothy 6:6-10; Hebrews 13:5)”

I like this one. I too get struck by greed and envy but knowing that I have an awesome family and am not worried about where our next meal is coming from can sometimes put it in perspective. Not to mention if she’s all about keeping up with the Jonses, maybe she ought to be working towards it, not him 😉

“20. Take His Advice

Do not dismiss his opinions lightly, especially when you’ve asked for his counsel in the first place. Make every effort to follow your husband’s advice.”

Unless his advice is breathe underwater. Don’t consult him unless you’re going to at least listen. If there’s a flaw you see, then respond- i.e. he says you ought to stick a bone trough your nose, you worry about bacteria…. then he may have a better idea. I know MY husband has always had awesome advice, but in my previous relationships taking advice didn’t turn out so well at all!!!!

“21. Admire Him

Voiced compliments and heartfelt praise are always welcome, but you should also make it your habit to just look at your husband in a respectful, appreciative way. Think kind thoughts toward him. He’ll be able to see the admiration in your eyes. (Luke 6:45)”

As long as this isn’t a one way street, I think it’s good and valid ❤

“22. Protect His Name

Honor your husband in the way you speak of him to family and friends. Guard his reputation and do not let minor disagreements at home cause you to speak ill of him in public. Live in such a way that it will be obvious to others why your husband married you in the first place. (Proverbs 12:4; 22:1)”

I don’t think people will think less of anyone else because of a marital spat. So you guys had a disagreement and you’re married – join the club w00p w00p! “obvious to others why your husband married you in the first place” ??? Why? because you worship him? I’m all about defending him when I think he’s unfairly criticized and admitting when he has faults. I prefer to keep our business between us unless asking for advice from other married folks- and sometimes they’ve had the same situation and have a solution you haven’t thought of! So yes, don’t be like “oooohhh gurl you will not BELIEVE what this man did” but rather “we have this problem I was wondering if you had an idea on”  and take a certain amount of responsibility for that problem, after all, it can’t be all one person’s fault!

“23. Forgive His Shortcomings

In the words of Ruth Bell Graham, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” Please do not hold grudges against your husband. Do not allow a root of bitterness or resentment find a home in your heart. Forgive your husband freely, as Christ has forgiven you. (Mark 11:25; Matthew 18:21-35)”

ugh, religious poop. The forgiveness is good though! Good relationships ain’t easy and if everyone broke up every time they did something that needed to be forgiven, none of us would have marriages over 6 months!  That being said- I know doormat type people out there that ought to grow a pair!

“24. Don’t Argue

You are not always right, and you do not always have to have the last word. Be the first to say, “I’m sorry.” Be willing to accept the blame. It takes two to argue, so “abandon a quarrel before it breaks out.” (Proverbs 17:14; 21:19; 25:24)”

NOPE. I don’t think the wife should always be the first to say sorry. I think the person who was wrong ought to apologize. I’m an idealist like that. Don’t fight unfairly. Learn how to argue and communicate with out yelling and name calling like children. most times both people are wrong.

 

So I noticed what bothered me the most about this list: it’s the Bible verses afterward. Like because the book says so, it means it’s a good idea, or because it was written down at one point in my religion’s history I now MUST obey… I dunno, it seems like it there was a typo in the New testament and it said only white shoelaces were allowed, there would be black shoelace burnings. Just my two cents, or dime for that matter!

“25. Follow His Lead

If you want your husband to lead, you must be willing to follow. Neither a body nor a family can function well with two heads. Learn to defer to your husband’s wishes and let final decisions rest with him. (Ephesians 5:22-24)”

Key words: “If you want your husband to lead” We have a kind of working two headed deal but it mainly works because we have enough self awareness to know when something isn’t our strong suit. I defer to him and his knowledge and he does the same. I don’t think forcing a man to lead when he is unsure is a respectful thing to do. It’s a cop out is anything.

 

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