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What does respect look like?

September 11, 2009

Last night, I grabbed an ice cream cone out of the freezer that I planned to eat in bed while watching some Nextflix with my hubby.  (I’d earned it, OK?)  I walked out of the kitchen just as Eric said, “You should probably get a plate for that.”

“I probably should.  But I’m not gonna!”  I grinned and walked around the corner, then something in my brain went screeeeech.  (Like a record stopping.  Did you get that?  Anyway).  I turned right back around and got my plate.  “Of course honey, you’re right.”  What sparked this dramatic change in my response?

I have decided to “work on” being more respectful to my husband.  You know, I am commanded to do so by the Bible (Eph. 5:33).  I felt I had a pretty good handle on this one.  I always ask Eric before I make plans, stay within our budget, thank him for working so hard for us.  I felt like a pretty respectful wife!  That is until I read at list written by Karol Ladd in The Power of a Positive Wife. 

What does disrespect look like?


Rolling your eyes

Giving verbal put downs or snubs….

The list goes on and I’d highly recommending purchasing the book. I am definitely guilty of the first three.  I frown.  I am a habitual eye roller.  While I don’t exactly put Eric down, I can be pretty sarcastic and kinda sassy when I want to.  Oh darn!

I took my smart aleck self to the Lord and asked Him to remind me to show respect to my husband.  The thing about asking God something like that is He really does remind you.  And remind you.  And remind you.  Harps on it, even. Not that my head is completely thick.  Let’s just say I would not want to be God trying to teach me to knock these things off.

In place of the sarcastic (albeit, funny as heck!) comments, I am trying to show respect.  What does that look like?  Well the book gives lots of examples.  But these things are not new to me. Smiling at him, hugging him, and listening to him, I already do all these things!

On a side note, there is one thing on the list of to-do’s for respect that I had never done.  The book instructs me to look at him with a sparkle in your eyes that says, ‘After all these years, I still think you’re the greatest!’ I tried this, I really did.  But Eric got the wrong idea and thought my “sparkly” eyes were suggesting something else.  I finally told him what I was trying to say and we cracked up.  Now I just have to give him my sparkly look and we start laughing.

But, back to the respect thing.  What does it look like?   I have a pretty good idea.  For me, right now, it looks a whole lot like shutting my mouth.  All the hugs and smiles and encouraging words in the world won’t take away the sting that comes from my sarcasm. 

So instead of trying to increase the good things I’m already doing (though I can always use more!) I am going to keep asking God to remind me to shush!  To just stop with the sassiness, sarcasm, and rude comebacks.  I might think its funny, but it is actually pretty ugly.  Its disrespect at its sneakiest!   While it’s great to feel respect for my husband, I truly desire to show Eric that I respect him.  In every way.

So yeah, Lord, I mean it!  Please keep on reminding me….

One Comment leave one →
  1. mamala permalink
    September 12, 2009 9:00 pm

    Yup. It is a hard lesson learned, but also has one of the fastest success rates. I found this out awhile back when I discovered that my Babe was–duh duh DA! A person. Just a person who lived here. With his own ideas about his own life–who incidentally NEVER made the kind of remarks, or had the attitude of, his self-promoting wife.
    It took me a long time to reckon that just maybe I wasn’t right about every little thing. His way, right or wrong, was not up for my approval, it just WAS.
    I swallowed hard the first couple of times and forced myself to see ME through God’s eyes, which in my shame allowed me a glance of my gracious husband through His God’s eyes.
    Humbled and immediately rewarded with a relaxed man at my side–I was taken aback at the years I had wasted. However, I lament not– I learned and we are both much happier for it.
    Good on ya, Duck, for learning this so early.

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