The book Love and Respect suggests that women are interested, primarily, in looking to their husbands for love. And for men, the bottom line involves the desire (from their wives) for respect. Even though such a hypothesis involves generalizations, there’s a lot of truth to the over-arching idea. It’s a theory that goes a long way towards explaining the desperate lengths and compromises made by women and men looking for both love and respect.
As All Pro Dads, it’s critically important that we approach the respect challenge with some careful thought. So, up front, let’s consider a couple of points: First, respect cannot be demanded. You will always be disappointed. Just like the coach who yells and intimidates, threats and coercion are always lose-lose. Respect is earned. Next, understand that fear and respect are not the same thing. Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, here are 7 ways to earn your wife’s respect.
1. Treat her with respect.
Make sure your wife knows how much you value and appreciate her. Don’t take a chance on this. Express it often. Take a look at this All Pro Dad Article for tips on how to Tune In To Your Wife.
2. Never demand respect.
When we raise our voice, berate, bully, and otherwise posture or attempt to coerce respect, then we’re moving in exactly the wrong direction.
3. Be a servant-leader in your home.
When men demonstrate humility, grace, and mercy at home, the strength of character that defines them as servant-leaders commands the kind of respect that is rooted in love and appreciation.
4. Consistently put other people first, including her.
Leaders who act like they are the most important person in the room get both obedience and rebellion. But leaders who put others first tend to be followed and loved. Are you putting her first?
5. Always follow through on your promises.
One indicator of integrity is a consistent level of follow-through when it comes to keeping promises. And a byproduct of integrity is respect. If your wife knows where you stand, and she can expect you to follow-through, then respect is part of the package.
6. Volunteer in the community.
Help organize a neighborhood cleanup, become active in the PTA, join a team at church, help out with your kids’ sports teams. Take consistent time and trouble to lift others up.
7. Carry your weight around the house.
Quietly, yet consistently, be a more visible, viable, and valuable member of your own household. That might mean taking responsibility for the kids’ homework, staying on top of the laundry backlog, being a leader in terms of respecting on-time dinner, organizing cleanup every other day, or being “chores king” every Saturday. The possibilities are endless, but the principle is the same.