So the word “RESPECT” (and DISrespect!) has been on my mind nonstop since i read the blog post about it and mentioned it to you before too.
There is so much in that one word i can’t even quite organize my thoughts or know what i want to say, but i am going to try to do it justice! (Which is why i have worked on this post for ages now and haven’t actually produced anything for you to read. Hopefully that ends here.)
The definition …. “Respect”
The word respect comes from the Latin respectus which means ‘attention’ or ‘consideration’.
RESPECT can be a noun or a verb.
As a noun, it is a deep feeling of admiration for someone, elicited by their abilities, characteristics, or achievements.
As a verb, it is to actively admire someone deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
i would argue that anyone in a relationship should actively RESPECT and find ways to show it toward your spouse so that your spouse KNOWS you respect them!
In thinking about respect for my husband, i would say it should be used as a verb. i want to ACTIVELY respect David. He deserves it for his abilities, AND qualities, AND achievements. But also because he is the head of our household… and that includes Me!
Recently i heard David say to me, “That was very disrespectful. Wasn’t it?”
And i had to agree.
He had previously asked me to carry the car keys in my purse, and just before being told i was acting disrespectful, he had asked me if i still had the keys. And i answered, “yes… you put them in my purse before…..”. And when i spoke, i had a “don’t you remember??” Or maybe even a “duh!” kind of tone about my response, not to mention i probably had a matching look on my face.
He was not thrilled, and i didn’t blame him.
Of course, i did not do any of this on purpose, or maybe i subconsciously did.
That’s where the ACTIVE part of RESPECT starts too. If i did this intentionally, it was not consciously. i was not aware of my actions until it was too late. And sometimes that’s the problem. i need to be more conscious about my words and tone
The words and tone matter
i googled, “how to show respect” and a bajillion sites came up. i clicked on a handful just to see what someone else thought this might entail. Most of the sites were fairly consistent and the #1 thing that seemed to be constantly repeated all revolved around the use of our words.
Some examples include….
- Say please and thank you,
- Praise him in front of others,
- Apologize when you are wrong,
- Compliment him,
- Let him know he matters.
i could keep going, but you see the pattern. Use your words wisely. And with intentionality.
The age old childhood words, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is so NOT true. Okay, the first part is true, but the second part is worse than the first part!
Words are permanent. Once they are out there, they can’t be taken back. While the sticks and stones do indeed cause broken bones, they heal. Sometimes the hurt from harmful words never heal.
Use your words wisely!
For David, most of my respect definitely comes in the use of my words, especially the word “Sir.”
This is even more true when he’s asked me a direct question where the answer is a simple yes or no, my answer should be followed by “Sir.” For example, “Did you sleep well?” My response should be, “Yes [or no] Sir.” My answer should absolutely NOT just be a “yes.”
To even take it a bit further, he would never want to hear, “yeah” or “uh huh,” or some other similar version of the word “yes.” The same goes for the word “no,” where alternative words are not acceptable. It should be a “yes (or no) Sir.” He doesn’t like alternative words as they seem lazy, which is also another form of disrespect.
So without the right words and intentional use of them, i am lazy and disrespectful in David’s eyes. And while i do agree, even if i did not, my opinion is really irrelevant because how he feels about it is what ultimately matters. And to accept that he doesn’t like it, and to avoid using words that he doesn’t like (and use one’s he does like), is actively showing respect.
There are other ways to show RESPECT that include …..
- Spend time with him,
- Spontaneously touch him,
- Smile at him with love,
- Let him be a leader,
- Ask him for advice.
Did you notice that NONE of these things require spending of money? Oh, a gift is also another way to show respect too, but it isn’t required.
Money is not necessary or required in order to show RESPECT towards someone. Respect is an action, much like walking or running or breathing.
If showing respect isn’t a nature part of your day, then maybe add it to an your to-do list today to build it into your daily routine and to be intentional about it.
Maybe your (or my) To-do List should look something like …..
- Go to the store,
- Clean the bedroom,
- wash clothes,
- SHOW RESPECT TO MY HUSBAND.
But then it shouldn’t be LAST on the list either because let’s face it, the most important to-do items are always the first ones listed or the ones we tackle first.
If “show respect” is last, it may not get done. We don’t always get the entire list checked off. You may not intentionally let him know he matters, you care, you love, and you RESPECT him if you don’t get to the bottom of the list if that’s where this to-do resides.
Make your spouse a priority and make “show RESPECT” be the first to-do that you do today!
Because when you fail to RESPECT him, now you’ve DISRESPECTED him.
(i have another part-done post on another idea relating to respect. Hopefully i will get it finished soon… stay tuned!)