Couples who make a habit of showing respect in marriage will likely avoid the divorce court. When husbands and wives strive to honor or present their mates in the best light possible, it goes a long way in building a happy marriage. Boosting a spouse's ego through admiration or public praise can actually be a deterrent to adultery or fornication. A man whose wife openly praises his ability to invest money wisely or succeed in business will be slow to seek attention and validation outside the marriage. Similarly, women married to doting husbands need not look for affirmation from other men. Reverencing and cherishing one's mate builds self-esteem and boosts confidence in a spouse who is not ashamed to extol a husband or wife's virtues. "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands (Proverbs 14:1).
An escalating divorce rate among Christians and non-Christians may be evidence that showing respect in marriage has become a lost art. Nearly 50 percent of all first-time marriages end in divorce. One of the reasons for marital failure is alienation of affection sometimes caused by constant berating or faultfinding by a disgruntled spouse. Couples should understand that no one is perfect and humans are prone to make mistakes. A husband who has failed at numerous business ventures may still possess positive qualities or winning ways. A wife may be the worse cook in town, but have a personality that puts everyone at ease. The key to finding marital happiness is to overlook faults and focus on the positive traits a husband or wife possesses. Otherwise one or both parties will always be discontent in the marriage. Sooner or later eyes will begin to wander in search of that "perfect" potential mate, only to discover that there is no such animal.
Accepting positive and negative characteristics in a husband or wife makes showing respect in marriage easy. Wise men and women understand that in order to have the perfect mate, some imperfections may need to be remedied. How do you remedy character flaws, by helping to building positive character traits through encouragement or compliment. For example, Jane is a college graduate married to a hardworking general contractor named Sam. While Sam dropped out of high school, he learned the carpenter's trade at the local vocational school and built a successful construction business. Jane's husband is confident on the job, but feels ill at ease when she has some old college classmates over for dinner. Even though aware of Sam's lack of education and confidence, Jane has cultivated the habit of showing respect in marriage by pointing out Sam's professional expertise as a home builder and downplaying his lack of higher education. A wife like Jane wisely "covers" the husband's shortcomings while extolling the virtues of a self-made man.
Showing respect in marriage can help husbands and wives overcome negative traits. Instead of belittlement or faultfinding, partners can help mates become better. In the example above, Sam may respond to Jane's confidence and compliments by enrolling in a community college to pursue a degree. A wife or husband who shows respect in marriage can be the impetus to compel a spouse to achieve great things or accomplish goals that may be seemingly unattainable. Mates who are constantly encouraged to excel eventually do! It takes a spiritually astute, sensitive spouse to recognize shortcomings, but unselfishly build a mate's self esteem until the minuses become a plus. How does one begin to cultivate showing respect in marriage but by simply beginning to notice a spouse's positive personality traits. Couples can take a piece of paper and make two columns. Above the columns, label one as "good" and the other "bad." Husbands and wives can list a mate's positive and negative qualities, then take the bad qualities and tear that half of the paper into pieces. Next, take a good hard look at the list of positive qualities that are remaining. Day by day, as partners focus on a mate's good traits, a new outlook will emerge that enables spouses to extol their virtues. It won't be long until the list of negative characteristics fades from memory.
When husbands and wives focus on showing respect in marriage a defense is built against outside influences, especially the temptation to cheat. Unscrupulous or flirtatious men or women seeking to infiltrate a good marriage may not stand a chance in a relationship between two people who constantly build one another up. There are no loose ends, no lack of affection or admiration, and no open door to flattery from a strange woman or man. Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;" (Proverbs 2:11-16). By developing a habit of showing respect in marriage, couples can not only build the home from within but also safeguard against negative influences like infidelity. A man who is reverenced by a loving wife need look no further for affirmation. Similarly, a wife who is openly loved and praised by an admiring spouse need not fear losing him to another woman.
Respect In MarriageRespect in Marriage means feeling safe, having a best friend, someone who is a confidant and a soul mate. Distrust usually exists when there is lack of respect. Partner's who do not fully trust probably do not want to share their most intimate thoughts with each another. Secrets are only told to those that will not betray us. Emotional distance can put a wedge between two people. Respect in marriage exists when partners feel free with each another. They are not hindered by outsiders and know that they have each others back. Connectedness exists between partners who respect each other and they often feel lonely when their spouse is not close by. A relationship built on mutual respect and trust is one that is strong and not easily shaken by outside sources. "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil" (Proverbs 31:11).
Valuing a mate is important if there is going to be respect in marriage. Partners need to value each another. Sometimes we can experience a separation that takes place with our partners and not realize at the time what has happened. A wedge can form between two people and gradually get bigger and bigger before a person realizes that something is wrong. People can grow apart and all the sudden realize that they have nothing in common anymore. Relationships have to be nurtured everyday in order to keep them alive. Communicating everyday and having a heart to heart talk can help keep partners in tune with what is going on. Show your spouse that he or she is loved and valued by listening and making the effort to show respect and trust.
A man and woman are different but not inferior to one another. They just have different roles. Respect in marriage should come from both partners towards each other. God's word tells husbands to love their wives "as Christ loved the church" (Ephesians 5:25). This love should be sacrificial and protective. Trust and respect are both important if a relationship is going to be good. The responsibility that a husband has towards his wife is one of a role model and protector. A husband should help his wife to grow in the Lord. Loyalty, devotion, and respect are all associated with the role of a husband to his wife. He should value her opinions and seek her advice and counsel.
As fellow heirs with Christ, both partners should be able to understand respect in marriage (I Peter 3:7). A wife is a helper to her husband. Submission as mentioned in God's word has to do with subjecting oneself. This can be used in comparison to Believer's in submission to God, or Christians to each another. Again, this speaks of respect. Listening attentively to one's husband is part of respecting him. Christian women should not get caught up in the feminine approach of equality. Being fellow heirs together in Christ is the best way to look at equality but this involves walking in the spirit and putting God as first in your life. A Christian wife should not be seeking to dominate or control her husband.
A marriage partnership is all about seeing to each other's needs. Respect in marriage means that neither partner would ever do anything that would hurt the other one. Couples should never mistreat each another physically, mentally, or spiritually. If a spouse tries to entice the other spouse to sin then the relationship has a problem. Engaging in sinful ways will work to destroy the respect that should be prevalent in a marriage. Couples need to pray for each another that they will remain strong against any type of sin that might serve to hurt their relationship. There are many temptations that are in this world and even just one slip can start a cycle that might lead to irreparable damage.
Disagreements are going to happen between partners. Each spouse should keep respect in marriage by listening attentively and reverently to the other spouse. Each spouse should disagree respectfully and learn to be supportive even when the disagreement has not been solved. Pray and give the other partner an opportunity to think about the disagreement. God will help to bring the truth to the surface. Try to be open-minded when there is a disagreement. Do not think that you have all the answers and the other partner is wrong. Communication is very important when there are disagreements. Do not get mad and just refuse to communicate because then nothing will get solved and there can easily be a misunderstanding when this happens.
Abusing each another is not showing respect in marriage. If there is abuse going on then the person doing the abusing needs help. The spouse who is being abused should pray for the partner and try to communicate in order to understand what is going on. If that is not possible then intervention may be necessary. A relative, a close friend, or pastor might be able to help. Just remember that God will work out everything even went there does not seem to be an answer right away. God is more powerful than the abuser. He can work everything out and bring healing to the relationship so do not give up. In retrospect, the spouse who is being abused needs to make sure that he or she is not egging it on by being disrespectful, nagging, or making insults that degrade and humiliate.