Respect Motivates

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How would your spouse respond today if you were to shower him or her with acts and words of respect, particularly respect shown in front of others?

Now we ask you . . . to respect those who work hard among you. 1 Thessalonians 5:12, NIV

During our almost forty years of marriage, Teresa has faithfully built me up in front of our children, family, and friends. I am always secure that when she is with her friends, Teresa doesn't participate in "male bashing" or join other women in disparaging their husbands.

I can always count on Teresa's respect for my perspectives and ideas. When Teresa and I decided to redecorate the living room, she consulted me about the kind of furniture that I would find most comfortable. She asked me what fabrics I liked for my chair, and she asked me what style of chair I would most prefer. I felt so respected when she took the time to understand what I would most like.

Teresa feels free to communicate her own ideas and at the same time not devalue mine. She is careful to include me in discussions about Christ­mas gifts for the kids and grandkids. Even when she knows what kind of toys would be best or what colors the girls most prefer, she still listens care­fully to my ideas and includes them in her decisions.

I'm never afraid that Teresa will put me down in front of others. I don't have to worry that Teresa will tell embarrassing stories about me or point out my flaws through sarcastic jokes. She is careful to poke fun only in areas where she knows I feel secure. She's careful to tell only the stories she knows I'm comfortable with her telling.

This security I feel in Teresa's respect has often motivated within me a renewed faithfulness and dedication in my daily walk as husband and father. Her respect has motivated me to continue working on our marriage and myself.

How would your spouse respond today if you were to shower him or her with acts and words of respect, particularly respect shown in front of others?

Father, thank You for the blessing of a respectful spouse.

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