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Ladies, let me tell you a secret about the men in your life. You can meet one of their greatest needs. When you meet this need, you will see the men in your life changing in ways you could never imagine. You’ll see a Phil Dunphy morph into a Jack Bauer. It starts with you. It’s all about respect. Not the word you probably wanted to hear, but it’s true. Respect doesn’t mean obedience, being controlled, or a lack of boundaries. It does mean this:

I love you and I like you.

You are a grown man. I will not nag you.

I won’t say “I told you so” when you make a mistake.

I will not put you down in front of my friends or in public.

I trust you to lead and initiate.

Some of you are not convinced. Maybe you have a Phil Dunphy husband, Dad, or brother. Maybe you have no respect for the men in your life because of destructive habits or behaviors. What if he doesn’t deserve your respect? I’ve found that you can give someone what they don’t deserve. Showing respect does not mean you have to tolerate destructive behaviors or habits. You may have to fake it until he makes it.

I never thought I had a problem showing respect, until my husband and I bought the book Love & Respect. I realized I was not giving my husband one of his greatest needs. I hoped and prayed daily for him to step up and lead. I prayed for him to initiate and to meet my needs for security and affection. These prayers were not bad, but I also needed to look in the mirror. When I did, I saw my husband begin to change, too. He was motivated to lead and initiate when I began to meet his need for respect. I’m still a work in progress, but showing just a little more respect can make a big difference! If it doesn’t, you know you are doing what is right and pleasing to God. Where does the bible say we should respect the men in our life? Check out Ephesians 5:33 for wives and Leviticus 19: 3 for daughters. The media portrays men as dumb, useless, and undeserving of our respect. Sadly, many of us believe our men are destined to be Phil Dunphies. If we want our men to step up, let’s show a little respect. Let’s see what happens. Let’s lean into them, not out.

Men, how important is respect to you?

Check out more great posts on marriage at http://www.tolovehonorandvacuum.com. Every Wednesday is Wifey Wednesday.