Many moms are discouraged by a lack of respect from their children. This is contributed to by children’s negative words, tone of voice, facial expressions, or not doing what they are to do. Recently one of my unmarried sons asked some profound questions on this topic. He said, “For those moms whose children don’t respect them, I wonder if she respects her husband. What are the children seeing in her responses to her husband? Could it be that she has set a negative example for her children through her interactions with her husband?” This young man has been watching and observing families—husbands and wives, and moms and children.
Those questions hit the core of the wife part of this verse. “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).
When your husband brings something up, would he say you will be on his side and agree with him? Or would he be pretty sure the opposite would occur—disagreement and opposition? If we, as wives, are negative toward our husband’s ideas, what will our children learn about how to respond to us? Doesn’t that teach them to disagree, make excuses, and tell why something won’t work, or they don’t want to do it? Would you view that as disrespectful from a child to his mom?
What about when your husband says or does something you don’t think is so good? Do you point it out to him? Do you tell him what he should have done? Do you correct him? If so, what does that model for your children? Does that encourage them to do those same things to you? Would you see that as respectful or disrespectful toward you?
If your husband were to give you advice or counsel, would you ignore it or make excuses for why it wouldn’t work? If so, do your children obey you when you give them directions? If they don’t, could it be because they haven’t seen you happily and willingly receiving input into your life from your husband?
An Encouraging Story
This was shared with me after the recent Mom’s Corner about being an “I Can” mom.
“At my bridal shower, women wrote advice on 3×5 cards. One woman instructed me to be a ‘Yes, Let’s’ kind of wife. So that no matter what crazy scheme (or sedate suggestion, your mileage may vary) your husband suggests, be quick to have a ‘yes’ attitude instead of thinking of all the reasons why it is a bad idea/won’t work/would be too hard/etc. Oh, the stories I could tell. But 14 years in, our marriage is amazing, and sometimes he even asks what I think about a crazy scheme before he launches it and is shocked when I say, ‘Why are you asking me? I’m in.’”
I love the advice that was given and this young mom’s grabbing and running with it.
Steve and I attended a Love and Respect marriage conference by Emerson and Sarah Eggerich earlier this year. Over and over as Dr. Eggerich gave husband/wife scenarios that included wives not respecting husbands, the audience laughed. We could relate well. He also shared many examples of husbands not loving wives. We recommend their marriage conference and book if you would like to grow in respecting your husband.
In my audio session Loving Your Husband, I go into more depth about specific ways the Lord showed me that I wasn’t respecting Steve in our marriage and what He was teaching me to correct that. (Between now and Thanksgiving, November 23rd, if you order Managers of Their Homes, we’ll include Loving Your Husband free.)
We also recommend two of Dr. S. M. Davis’ resources: The Attitude No Lady Should Have and How a Wife Can Use Reverence to Build or Save Her Marriage.
In this Mom’s Corner, I am trying to get you to think about a correlation between your children’s attitudes toward you and your attitudes toward your husband. What if you were to grow in respect toward your husband? Is it possible it would give your children a new role model in respect to you? Certainly once patterns and habits are established, they can be hard to break, but wouldn’t it be worth trying? Are you the “I can” or the “I can’t” mom? I wonder how your husband might respond too.
Trusting in Jesus,