Show Respect – Value Your Spouse – How can that happen? This is the first of ten articles for a Marriage Tune-Up.
What makes a husband and wife relationship work smoothly?
Life moves fast. There are always so many issues and events in a day, and between our jobs, our kids, our neighbors, and co-workers, sometimes our relationship with our spouse can be put on the back-burner.
After all, we made a commitment – and we’re still committed. Nothing has changed there, right?
What creeps in when we’re not paying attention? Laziness. Complacency. If we act in our marriage with an attitude of distraction or complacency, we invariably succumb to some less than exemplary attitudes. And those attitudes are a slow slide into disrespect.
Have you thought about how to show respect?
I believe respecting your spouse is important. Emmerson Eggerichs wrote a thought-provoking book called Love & Respect. – Rob and I talked a lot about this book – it made us consider many things. Eggerichs’ premise is that husbands need to feel respected and wives need to feel loved.
However, I think we need to show our spouse more than respect. (Or perhaps valuing our spouse shows we respect him/her? A chicken/egg conundrum?)
We need to show our spouse that we value him/her.
How do we show and communicate that we value our spouse, despite our frantic lives? It’s not about huge actions, but rather through small and deliberate daily behavior.
Maybe your marriage interactions to demonstrate your value your spouse can be like a tune-up on the engine of your marriage to keep it running smoothly. There are 10 posts.
So. Here we go. #1 of 10
Match your tone & words to your body language. Show respect!
Life is hectic. Stress can color our responses. Our language and tone may not always reflect how we’d like to be if we were really paying attention.
For example, I’m sure you’re polite to your spouse and say please or thank you. However, it’s easy for your spouse to wonder whether you really appreciate something he/she has done if your “thank you” is muttered with your back turned to them because you’re busy with something else.
And how many single words (or small phrases) show respect? Just think of your tone of voice when you say,
- “That’s tough.”
These words can either show respect through tone… or the opposite. Try them out loud (if you’re by yourself) both ways – with respect and then say them with sarcasm or snippiness. Though these words might seem positive, it all depends on your tone!
Show your husband or wife that you value her/him, by giving your full attention – both when they are speaking and when you are responding. And then use your tone of voice to show respect.
I challenge you – tonight – after the long, busy day… drop what you’re doing, and pay full attention as your love shares their thoughts. Show respect through your body language and tone of voice!
What’s Next? See the other 9!