In the world today you will find that respect is not something commonly practiced anymore. There are not many people who teach their children how to respect. The world today is very self-focused with a ‘self-achiever, successor, and crush anyone in the way’ mentality. This has greatly flowed into marriage relationships.
Respect can be a game changer that can bring a strength to your marriage that God intended it to have. God created male and female to be equal with their own differences. In their differences there are strengths and weaknesses, and they are made to HELP one another.
With helping one another, this means being able to see, know, and understand each other’s good and bad qualities. Focus upon the good qualities and see beyond the current things and look to where your spouse is going to be. Get to know what their destiny in God is and what assignment God has given them here on earth and respect the process on how they will get there.
When respecting your spouse, you take their lives into consideration when doing even daily tasks and how it may affect another person. This goes from what they like or do not like to eat, little pet peeves they may have, to knowing what makes them smile. You cannot be self-focused.
This does not mean you will not have an opinion or have an opposite perspective than the other person. When you do say something, say it and let it go. Do not try to force the other person to take on what your opinion or view is, and show them respect.
There are times you step back and let your spouse make a mistake or fail at a particular thing to learn from the experience. When you try to fix, control, or push your spouse to do things your way without taking their feelings into consideration it can make things worse instead of fixing it.
Your spouse is equal to you even if you believe that you are more spiritual than them or smarter in a particular area. If this is true, you may have to be the one who does more stepping back and allowing the other spouse to learn and experience things to “get caught up” and in the process respecting them by encouraging them to move forward and love them through this journey. It is not respectful to point out their flaws and criticize or demean them as they are figuring things out. Pray for them. Reach out to help when they ask. Offer kind words and give them space to breathe and know that you are there if needed.
The truth is none of us know all the truth. We all know in part and we have to keep our hearts in a place of humility where we seek truth but we do not presume we know all truth. There are times that it is our opinion or way of doing things that may be wrong.
It is not respectful to make a spouse feel dumb or that they are unable to do something just because you think you know how to do it. Again give them the chance to learn. Work together as a team and this will bring a stronger bond between you both. Unity will grow stronger and your spouse will be more comfortable and confident in their ability by your encouragement.
Each one of us is different. Be respectful in letting the other person be themselves. You will not like all that your spouse does, but remember love covers a multitude of sin. With this comes overlooking the process and seeing the final product.
Respect should be a daily part of your life in interacting with your spouse. You show your spouse respect the best through your words and actions. It is not ok to embarrass, ridicule, or demean your spouse to make them feel less than. Instead encourage them to focus on their gifts God has given your spouse and show your appreciation for those gifts. This can make a big difference. Encourage your spouse in their strengths and keep in prayer their weaknesses.