“M y d a d’ s b i g g e r t h a n y o u r d a d!” I really believed that growing up. It seemed my father could do anything. Whatever the problem, Dad could fix it. It didn’t matter what broke. From cars and washing machines, to plumbing and electrical issues, Dad was the man! He even gave free haircuts to extended family members. No need for Quicky Lube, maintenance plans, or barber shops when Dad was around.
The oldest of ten, Dad took care of everything and everyone. His mom kept having babies, so he was put in charge. Younger siblings resisted his authority. The story goes of him using a handmade lasso to rope and reel the rowdies in on many occasions. As he dragged them down the streets of South Chicago cowboy style, he ignored their pleas for mercy. So to get back at him, the little rascals tied a horseshoe to the rope hanging from the porch rafters. Next time Dad needed his lasso to rally the troops for dinner, he got a blow to his noggin. I guess those little pranksters paid the price for that one. It was obvious from childhood that Dad was in charge.
Through the years, no matter what was needed in the family, Dad was always there to make things happen. His brothers and sisters continued to look to him, even after he was married and had kids of his own. He was one who made everything right for everyone, including me. He seemed to make my problems disappear. I grew up with a hero. My knight in shining armor. What man could ever measure up!
Interesting I should fall in love with a business major. He became an accountant, a CPA even. Fixing the washing machine, car or any appliance in our home was just out of the question. When things broke down, there weren’t many options. Call a repairman! “But my father could fix anything,” I mused.
God convicted me early on about comparing and complaining. He prompted me to look at my husband’s strengths. To pay attention to his gifts, not his shortcomings. My husband is a problem-solver with a keen business sense. He took risks my dad would have never taken. And both were born leaders. It dawned on me that he had truly taken my dad’s place in making things right for me (even if it meant paying for a repairman)!
As I noticed and acknowledged what my husband was good at, it seemed he walked a little taller. As I applauded his successes, he seemed to flourish even more. Funny how that works.
A verse in Ephesians tells us the best thing women can do for their husbands is to respect them. (I realize this doesn’t always apply to women in abusive marriages). The Amplified Bible helps us understand what respect looks like. Here’s a few questions I’ve come up with to help put this command in perspective.
- Do you NOTICE him… or do you take him for granted?
- Do you ADMIRE him… or want to change him?
- Do you APPRECIATE him… or complain about him?
- Do you ESTEEM him… or make jokes about him?
- Do you ADORE him… or put him down?
- Do you PREFER him… or contradict him?
- Do you PRIZE him… or wish he was like someone else?
- Do you LOVE and ENJOY your husband… or constantly nag him?
Okay, ladies, maybe, just maybe, our husbands would find us easier to love if we zeroed in on respect.
Take some time to acknowledge your husband’s gifts and abilities. Write down what you love about him. Please don’t ever put him down in front of others, even if you’re joking. Instead of comparing and complaining, try cheering him on.
Apply scripture to every day life. Think on the good things, the beautiful things, the things that made you fall in love with him in the first place. Then tell him what you admire. Try talking about his strengths, rather than criticizing or degrading him for what he can’t or merely doesn’t enjoy doing. Let others know what a great guy you married.
Respect is not bragging. It’s noticing, admiring, appreciating, esteeming, adoring, preferring, prizing, loving and enjoying your husband. This is what our guys need! Focusing on the good things will elevate your man in his own eyes, as well as yours. Who knows? You just might end up looking into the eyes of your very own knight in shining armor.