R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Tell You What It Means to Me

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Do you respect your spouse's needs and preferences as highly as you do your own?

Honor all people. 1 Peter 2:17

I (Teresa) am convinced that when you put toilet paper in the holder, you should do it so that the sheets come over the top rather than from below. I'm convinced there is a certain way to load the dishwasher so that you achieve maximum efficiency. I am convinced that it is much better to get somewhere early than to get there just on time. I am convinced that it is better to unpack all your things and place them in the drawers of a hotel room than to live out of the suitcase for the entire trip.

While I am convinced of all these things, they are my preferences. However, they are not necessarily David's. It's been a difficult journey, but I have learned that respect means regarding my spouse's needs and preferences just as highly as I do my own. It means I must consider that what is important to me may or may not be of natural importance to David. Even though it's important to me, it may not be all that important in light of eternity. Respect in a marriage also means I may have to give up some of my preferences.

For us, that means I may have to choose what is most important. Do I want David to show me respect by leaving for the airport in plenty of time, or could I choose to respect that he has many details to attend to before we leave for a trip? Do I need David to show me respect by loading the dishwasher a certain way, or could I choose to respect his need to feel appreciated and just be grateful he's helping out at all?

How could you show respect to your spouse by giving importance to his or her preferences above your own?

God, help me regard my spouse’s ways as highly as my own.

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