Unappreciated. Alone. Misunderstood. Invisible.
Have you ever felt that way in your marriage? As women that leaves us feeling isolated and our biggest fear becomes reality. We are unloved.
This is so huge because we are relational to our core. We are women. Love is the language that we speak. When we feel unloved our world doesn’t work. We shut down. We build a wall to protect ourselves because it hurts so deeply in our spirit. I know I am not the only one who has felt this. I know you get it.
God gets it too. That’s why he is sure to tell our husbands:
- Treat your wife with understanding as you live together (1 Pet.3: 7).
- For husbands, this means love your wives (Eph. 5:25).
I felt so unloved and insecure in my marriage that I responded with anger, bitterness and disrespect to my husband. My words were often sharp, critical and contentious.
Then my eyes were opened to a crucial truth. Respect is the core language of men. Respect is as life-giving to my husband’s heart as love is to mine. When I feel unloved I behave disrespectfully. When he feels disrespected he behaves unlovingly. Emerson Eggerich calls it the Crazy Cycle. And it doesn’t work.
The way I was acting didn’t draw out love from my husband. My disrespect fueled the crazy cycle. We rode that cycle until we collapsed.
So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Eph. 5:33
Respect revs up the heart of a man. Respect makes him feel like anything is possible. Respect makes him believe he’s got what it takes.
As much as feeling unloved disables you, feeling disrespected extinguishes the fire in your husband’s heart. God gets this too. That’s why he tells us:
- “The steady dripping of rain and the nagging of a wife are one and the same” (Prov. 27:15).
- “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife” (Prov. 21:19).
- “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives” (1 Pet 3:1).
- “The wife must respect her husband” (Eph. 5:33).
We disrespect him when we:
- Make fun of him
- Belittle him
- Criticize him
- Doubt his ability
- Take charge
- Talk about him behind his back
- Undermine his parenting
- Keep secrets
We respect him when we:
- Tell him
- Trust his decisions
- Praise him
- Support his dreams
- Ask his opinion first
- Make him a priority
- Believe in him
- Brag on him
Whether you want your husband to take out the trash or take his rightful place as the spiritual leader of your home, if he feels disrespected he simply will not. Build him up with respect. Today let’s do it together. Let’s resolve to respect our men.
You designed the intricacies of our hearts. Help me to respect my husband today. Help me to build him up. Help me to trust him, to praise him, to believe in him. Forgive me for being a nagging wife. Forgive me for criticizing him and doubting him. Please renew me and give me a heart that truly respects the man you gave me.
(This is the second in a series on building up our husbands. Be sure to check out the previous post, Build Him Up: How Wives Can Encourage Their Husbands.)