March 5, 2013

Respect During Tough Times

May I speak just to the wives today?  In my last blog we discussed what unconditional really means.  I know how difficult the concept of unconditional respect is so today I want to share a testimony from a wife who figured this out, with powerful results. This woman’s husband endured an accident that left him unable to work.  Within that difficulty, she learned to be sensitive to her husband’s needs; despite what I’m sure was a very hard time for her.  I think her story will inspire you as it did me.  

I still marvel at how God has used Love & Respect to transform our marriage!  It really does work. I think the most unstated truth about relationships is how much men need respect from their wives, and how an unthinking comment can hurt them so much.

God has helped me a lot to try to say words that will help my husband, but today I blew it. My husband has been in a nursing home or hospital since January, 2007. He's not able to work at this time. This morning he was talking about letting me get on to my job. Teasingly I said, "Someone in this family has to get out and earn a living." When he responded, "You really know how to cut a guy to the heart," I knew I had erred big time.  

The busyness of the day got in the way, but in the few quiet moments I had, the Holy Spirit kept reminding me, "You have got to make this right." All day long this happened. When I left the nursing home this evening, my husband was getting ready for bed. On the way home, the Holy Spirit reminded me again, "Fix this." So I called my husband and said, "I need to apologize to you." He asked why, and when I started reviewing what I had said this morning, he got very quiet. I assured him I really was only teasing, but teasing comments can still be hurtful.  Then I told him, "Here is what I really know about you. If you could work, I know you would work very hard to provide for us. I know how important your work is to you, and I saw you work hard before we were married and before the accident. I know that when you are able to work again, you will work hard for us."  

Even over the phone, I could tell that my husband's spirit had been restored. For our anniversary, I wrote a card for him in which I reminded him that I had long viewed him as my knight in shining armor. Even though he was heavily medicated that evening, I could tell that the words of my respect and admiration for him pierced that fog.  

This is such a simple principle: the more I show my husband respect, the more love he shows to me. If unconditional respect is what my husband needs most emotionally, why would I want to deprive him of it? I most certainly need and want his unconditional love! I do not show him unconditional respect in order to manipulate him, I do it because it is right.  (Anonymous) 

Powerful words from a woman who truly understands her husband’s deepest need.  Wives, what are you willing to do today to show your husband unconditional respect?  Remember…unconditional means exactly that…NO conditions. Do you need to begin with a simple apology? 

In my next blog I’ll share a testimony from a husband who learned the true meaning of unconditional love, so resist the urge to say, “Well…what about him? Why are you picking on us wives?” Can you be the mature one and do what you can do to change the tone in your relationship?  I believe you can!


Cabernet wifey said...

"Why would I want to deprive him of it?" I find myself asking this question of me at times. Thank you for sharing! Real examples help real people. -|-

Anonymous said...

And am I required to show him unconditional respect when he is constantly unfaithful to me and when we go out and he checks out other women?

Anonymous said...

Required, no... It has to be a want. You have to want to respect him... As he has to want to show you love. It's a two way street

Anonymous said...

What if your Spouse uses the "D" word in disagreements. I am reading the Love and Respect book and refuse to get on the crazy cycle so here I do....I expressed to him how unlovable it makes me feel, forgive Him and give it Jesus. I struggled with the "forgiveness" because its hard to do when on repeatedly uses the "d" word after knowing how it makes me feel. Forgiveness each time this offense is done is the "choice" I make. Each time the offense is done I go back and repeat the "process" of my reaction. This is our 2nd marriage so feel this is due to the "wounds" from previous marriage. Anyone have gone through this??

DJF said...

Dear Anonymous May 1, 2013. I do hope things have calmed down and begun to work out a little better for you and your loved one. The "d" word--assuming this is divorce, yes, I can agree, you are packing those wounds from the 1st marriages. Someone once said to me that we hurt the ones we love the most and we speak out of our own greatest fears. Could it be that is what he is fearing the most?

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