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Some friendly suggestions for honoring your man at family get-togethers (I am assuming you are in a committed relationship with a godly guy for this post) You are welcome to share tips on these issues that work in your relationship!:

– Smile and look at your guy when he is talking and listen to him with interest.

– Don’t interrupt him.

– Don’t correct his story-telling.

– Don’t tell him how to drive unless he specifically asks for you to be the navigator.  But even then, please don’t critique his driving skills.

– Let him decide what to eat and don’t lecture him or give him THE LOOK!

– Allow him the freedom to go talk with the men if he wants to or to watch the football game he is interested in.  You can ask for what you want, “I’d love for you to sit with us in the other room for awhile, please” with a pleasant, friendly tone of voice.  But then be gracious no matter what he chooses to do.

– If people get nosy and start asking things you don’t want to answer,  “When are you going to get engaged/married?”  “When are y’all going to have a baby?” or other personal questions – smile and look at your man and let him field those questions if you are feeling pressured.  If he’s not there, then smile and say something to deflect the question, “Maybe you can pray for God’s will about that.” “Children are a blessing, aren’t they?”  ”We’ll be sure to let everyone know if we have any news.”  And change the topic sweetly.

– Praise him genuinely in front of others (not constantly – but a few sentences during the day would be great).

– Do not criticize him, speak negatively of him or use non-verbal disrespect (eye rolling, sighing, looking impatient, scowling, daggers in your eyes).

– Do not join in with other women bashing their men/husbands!!!!  Even if your man never knows about it, putting him down in front of other people is extremely disrespectful and it will taint your ability to respect your man.  It will also hurt his reputation among  your family and friends.  And – it is sin in the eyes of God.  If the women won’t change the topic off of husband bashing or gossip, go in and join the men!  Or go play with all the children.

– If people want you and your man to agree commit to something, check with your guy first, or if he is there, look at him and let him answer.

– Uphold your man’s parenting decisions – if he has children – ESPECIALLY in front of others!

– Smile and enjoy the blessing of being with your guy and family.

– Do not complain or argue – that ruins your witness for Christ and it can ruin the whole atmosphere for everyone (Philippians 2:14-16a This is a command from God for all of us as believers so that we may shine for Christ!  Great passage to memorize.).

– Do not be a martyr!  Ask for help if you need it!  If you can’t make a certain dish without feeling resentful – don’t make it!  Just say, “You know, I would love to, but I just can’t this year.  Here is what I can do…”

–  Once you are married, you have a covenant with your husband.  Your first responsibility will be to him, not your family.  You don’t have a covenant with your family.  I hope you have wonderful relationships with everyone in your family and his.  But if you have to choose, honor your husband first over your family.  He must be your first priority.  If a family member will not allow your husband to visit them, you will probably need to not go to their house until your husband is welcomed with respect.  If you allow them to, your family will likely insist on first place in your heart.  That is not right!  Once you are married, God commands you to leave your parents and cleave to your husband.  You need healthy boundaries for your marriage or family may barge right into your relationship and expect you to submit to them instead of your husband.  Your husband and family need to see you set clear, healthy boundaries up to protect your marriage.

– Don’t correct his manners.

– If there are family members who mistreat you, stay in the same room as your man – most likely, they will only attack you if they can get you alone so there are no witnesses.

– Don’t correct his pronunciation.

– Don’t insinuate he doesn’t make enough money.

– Be content with him and what you have.

– Find your strength, joy, identity and purpose in Christ!!

– Don’t try to force your guy (or anyone that is an adult) into doing something they don’t want to do.

– Make sure there will be some of your man’s favorite dishes if possible.

– If possible, go where your guy wants to go when he wants to go there.  Of course, say what your preferences and desires are – in a friendly, non-pressuring way.  But, it would be awesome if he could have the final say – particularly if you can’t agree on the plans. If you are not married, you are not commanded to submit to him.  Your greater commitment will be to your parents if you are just dating.

Remember, ladies, WE have the power to set the emotional temperature for our relationships.  Let’s use that power constructively to make Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations pleasant, harmonious and peaceful!  It is our choice to make.

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