The Respect Dare

Husband Cooking

And the wife must respect her husband. — Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Sharon was at a small gathering of women the other night when the hostess’s husband popped his head in to say hello and to ask if there was anything they needed. They thanked him for his inquiry, a little conversation developed, and he shared that he’d cooked dinner that night.

“It turned out pretty well, I thought,” he reported. “I had a salad, there was an entrée and pasta, and even a small dessert!”

His wife rolled her eyes and began, “I don’t want you all thinking he’s like this all the time,” she joked. “He’s really not that helpful, and on any given night, I’m the one doing most of the work.”

Her husband had a very subtle reaction—his body stiffened, he smiled through clenched teeth, and his brow furrowed just a bit. He left shortly after that comment.

While the other women were laughing at what his wife probably considered some good-natured teasing, apparently he didn’t agree. Sharon noticed a few of the gals looking at each other with a wide-eyed “Do you believe she just said that?” look on their faces. When she arrived home, she found her husband, Todd, reading in bed. She related to him what had happened and asked him what he thought about it.

“She embarrassed him in front of others,” he replied. “And he had to stand there and take it like a man; otherwise, he’s a wimp. If this were reversed, if he had said all that about her in front of his friends, she’d be having a fit. Men get made fun of by women all the time, and we’re expected to just take it. It bugs us though. He probably won’t be too motivated to make dinner for her again.”

“Wow. I had no idea,” Sharon replied.

“His wife could have taken the opportunity to say something nice about him in front of her friends and make him feel like a million dollars, or she could have done nothing, and that still would have been positive because you gals were impressed already. What she did was take him down a few notches in public. That’s really negative. Why should he serve his wife if all she’s going to do is degrade him for his efforts?” Todd replied.

Bottom Line: Respect your husband, and he will have more of a servant’s heart toward you and your family.

So What About You?

  1. When is the last time you publicly praised your husband?
  2. Ask your husband if he can remember a time when you publicly praised him and how it made him feel. Do not respond to the answer he gives. Just gather information, even if he says something negative. Be aware that this might be a challenge because your natural tendency may be to defend yourself. What was his answer?
  3. What did you learn by asking that question?
  4. When is the last time you publicly criticized your husband?
  5. Ask him if he can remember a time when you publicly criticized him and how it made him feel. Just listen to his response without justifying your actions—you are only gathering information. What was his answer?
  6. What did you learn by asking that question?

Today your dare is simple. Plan to compliment your husband. Write “CH” (Compliment Husband) on your calendar once or twice a week when you know you will be with other people, even if it is just your family. If you will be around other people today, do this exercise before you go to bed.

Keep it short and simple: “Dave, I really appreciate your caring attitude toward me this week when I’ve been sick. I noticed you have been coming home a little early to help with dinner and the kids. That has really helped me get through the day.” Tell him a strength he has (for example, a caring attitude), and support it with why that matters to you.

Pray that God enables you to recognize different opportunities to praise your husband in front of others once or twice a week, and thank him for the growth you are experiencing spiritually.

Photo by: Jupiterimages (Photos.com)

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Nina Roesner

Nina Roesner is the author of The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband, and is the executive director of Greater Impact Ministries, Inc., a Christian training organization. Nina has more than 20 years in the communications and training industry and has coached numerous executives, managers, individuals, wives, church staffs, and pastors around the country. She has been married to her husband, Jim, since 1991, and together they are privileged to be raising and homeschooling three children.

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