Early on in our marriage I asked friends and family, newlyweds and those married for decades what their best marriage advice was. Answers ranged to a degree, but there was a common theme. Then, this past week I asked readers on my blog, True Agape, what was the key to a happy marriage. In both cases I heard over and over again that having a mutual respect for our spouse was the most important thing to make a marriage work. Some people even described it as having a “deep respect” for the other person.
In both instances, I immediately started thinking and questioning my own thoughts and behaviors. Do I continually show Ryan, my husband, respect? In every situation do I remember the importance of respecting him? This then led me to ask myself, what is respect? “Respect” seems so vague. I don’t yell or lie. I communicate openly and allow him time to do his hobbies. Isn’t that respect?
Yes, indeed those things are respect, but there is more to it than that. After really thinking about this topic for a while I came up with five behaviors that would ensure I was respecting my man in the best ways possible. Today I want to share with you what I came up with.
Top 5 Behaviors to Show Your Spouse Respect
1. Honor Their Wishes: The things that matter to your spouse should matter to us as well. We should give priority to the things that they deem important. Sometimes these things could be eating dinner together or limiting electronic time in the evenings. Our mate should not have to request things over and over.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” ~Philippians 2:4, NIV
2. Give Them Our Attention: Not only should we give them our attention, but our undivided attention. In such a busy world we tend to multitask. However, when we have set aside time to connect with our spouse we need to use that time wisely. Giving our undivided attention allows us to fully connect with our significant other.
3. Eyes For Them Only: We should not compare our spouse to others, weather that be someone we pass on the street or a movie star playing a lead role. When our mate has never heard us make comments about others in that way or comparing them to others, yet they hear others do it daily, they feel respected and loved. It is the same if they notice our eyes on them only.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart by pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” ~Psalms 19:14 NIV
4. Take Their Advice: Our lover is our confidant. They are there to help shape us into better people. We should always take their advice seriously, especially when we asked them for it. If we do not agree with their advice I believe we should discuss things further, as their advice may change with more understanding. Following our significant others advice does indeed show we value their opinions and thoughts.
5. Protect Their Name: We should speak and act in a way that only brings glory to our spouse’s name. Even if there is a disagreement we should never do things that would make their reputation questionable.
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Proverbs 22:1, NIV
When I really analyzed what respect meant these where the top five things that came to mind. I feel like these behaviors do ensure the feeling not only of respect, but love. I will not say these are easy to accomplish. They will take time to make into habits if they are not already. But I know respect is one of the most important things to make our marriage succeed so therefore it is worth it!
What is the top behavior you use to show your mate respect?
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