To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
At least that’s what it seems like. Husbands need to get better at loving. Husbands have the high calling of loving like Christ loves.
Wives seem to not need to be called to love better. We are all called to love and to grow in loving. Husbands get a special or particular command to love their wives.
Wives get a different command, direction or calling. Wives need to be admonished to respect their husbands. The wife is called out to respect or give admiration to her husband.
Many husbands, after a period of time in marriage, strangely, do not feel like spending time with their wives. What happened?
You can view this article, based on Gary’s book, as being for women. But for men, this book and this particular chapter help answer the question of why you don’t want to spend time with or be around your wife. If you feel repelled, you may have a wife who does not respect you or does not know how to show her respect or admiration for you.
Gary Smalley makes the argument for women admiring their husbands to have a better marriage.
Many wives either do not admire their husbands, or do not know how to show it. They do not know that being admired is a huge deal for men.
Gary Smalley died in 2016.
- to respect or to honor
- to place a high value on.
Smalley says that people are attracted to those who admire them and are repelled by those who belittle them. Belittle means to look down on.
- Expressing more appreciation or admiration for other men.
- Criticizing your husband.
- Especially bad when you do it in front of his friends or children.
- Wives who critique their husbands in public mortally wound their marriages.
- Being nagged makes a man feel like a boy who is inadequate.
- Arguing about everything.
- Arguing makes him feel like he is not able and not smart.
- Questioning him, like you don’t trust his judgement.
- Complaining. This is repulsive to husband.
- Comparing him to yourself.
- Like you are expecting him to be like a woman.
- Saying, “you should have known, realized, or paid attention”; when he was just being a man!
With each of these points, especially if doing this is unnatural or goes against something in you, you might ask, “why?” And the answer always is, “because I admire him”. If you do not admire him, this is about cultivating admiration. Circle back to what the words says. Ask God to help you and give you a revelation about this.
Remember that admire means to respect and honor, or to highly value. Admire comes from respect, and both are something you do. These are some ways that you can respect or admire your husband:
- Ask your husband for advice.
- Remember what your husband’s likes & desires are, and fulfill them, when possible.
- Draw attention to or praise your husband’s positive qualities, around other people.
- Cultivate appreciation for what your husband does for a living.
- Help him know that you are in his corner and understand how hard he works and how valuable his work is: that he is worth-y and esteemed.
- Really listen to what he says, with a loving ear.
- Don’t disagree when you haven’t heard all of what he wants to say.
- Being submissive does not mean blind obedience nor unilateral husband decision making.
- Let your husband be a servant leader.
- You can object to his ideas, while being submissive and letting him serve you.
- Express your appreciation for something your husband said or did.
- Find out his goals and support him in them.
- Non-verbally admire your husband:
- Be attentive when he comes home.
- Look attractive for him.
- Cook delicious meals.
- Be interested and ask him questions about his world.
- Give him eye contact.
- Don’t multi-task when he is speaking to you.
- Genuinely desire your husband’s forgiveness when you offend him.
- Cultivate a life-style of forgiveness and saying you are sorry.
- Learn to say, “I was wrong”.
- It is harder to forgive someone and restore the relationship with them, who never admits they were wrong.
- Learn to say, “I apologize”.
- Cultivate a positive attitude.
- If prior abuse or brokenness hamstrings your ability to be positive, get into recovery and seek personal transformation.
- Become someone who is desirable to be around, for your husband:
- Find and cultivate mutual interests, that your husband enjoys.
- Take steps to be a more desirable to your husband.
- Make it your mission to be the most enjoyable woman to be around for your husband.
- Be interested in his interests.
- Make your home say, “Welcome home”, to your husband.
- Seek your husband’s opinion in your areas on interest.
- Ask him for help.
- Need his help.
- Never criticize the help he gives you.