I think Dr. Phil is credited with saying, “you…teach people to treat you with dignity and respect…you shape others’ behavior when you teach them what they can get away with and what they cannot.” (source) I don’t agree with that – the Bible teaches a much different approach to behavior. But that’s not the point of my post today.
I think it is true that we teach people how to treat our husbands.
If you speak kind, loving words of admiration about your husband – your friends and coworkers will assume that he is a good man who deserves respect.
If you refer to your husband as an irresponsible, forgetful, selfish idiot – your friends and coworkers will assume that he should be treated as such.
I’m speaking from experience on both sides of the spectrum. Most recently, I was introduced to a couple where the wife literally spit out disgust and disapproval toward her husband. I found myself behaving in the same way toward him, assuming he didn’t know what he was talking about. Why shouldn’t I believe the person that lives with the man?
Please don’t think I’m advocating that we live in a deluded world of fairy tales. I’m not saying you should lie or make up things so that your husband sounds like the perfect man from a Hallmark movie. I am encouraging us to consider what we say about our husbands in public. Choose words that build up your husband in the opinion of those around you – not words that will tear him down in their minds.
If this concept sounds like an impossible task – if there’s nothing you respect about your husband – I suggest you read this post, “Who me? Respect him?”
Let’s practice. Tell me something you admire or respect about your husband! I’ll start: I respect Paul’s tireless work ethic. No job is beneath him, and he never leaves until the job is done. Ok…it’s your turn!