Men are wired by God to thrive on respect. (Ephesians 5:22-33) They are born to be leaders in families, in their marriages, and to make a mark on the world. They see the world from the perspective of respect, honor and duty. It’s a whole different world view from our perspective of love, relationships and nurturing. It’s a new language for many of us! When a man feels respected, he wants to serve and give of himself sacrificially for the person who honors him.
What are some ways you can meet a guy’s need for respect when you are interested in dating him, or he is your boyfriend or fiance? Here are a few ideas for ya!
- Listen when he is speaking. Look at him and pay attention like what he is saying matters to you. Smile at him sweetly while you are listening. Hang on his words! This also means, don’t interrupt him, correct him, or say he’s telling the story wrong in front of other people!
- Let him ask you out and pursue you. (Be sure to make it clear to him that you are receptive, friendly, smiling, pleasant and welcoming!)
- Let him pay when he offers to and graciously thank him. To refuse to accept his gift is demeaning and disrespectful.
- Say, “Thank you SO much!” and smile a big, glorious smile at him whenever he does something sweet for you. Be a gracious receiver. Accept his gifts and efforts with feminine receptivity, gratitude, poise and approval.
- Let him say “I love you” first.
- Let him be the one to propose to you. Don’t bring that topic up first!
- Tell him the things you genuinely admire about him. You don’t have to go into tons of detail. Guys aren’t into words as much as we are usually. But a short, “I really admire that you are so responsible on your job/with taking care of your little brother/when you drive.” or “I respect that you are honest.” “I respect that you are trustworthy.” “I look up to you because you try to do what’s right in God’s eyes.” “I admire your faith in Jesus.” These little things, one or two comments a week, even, will do wonders to meet a guy’s need for respect and make you very valuable in his eyes! Your admiration is intoxicating!
- Avoid arguing with him. That is beneath you if you are a godly woman! You can communicate without being quarrelsome. You don’t have to agree with him, but constantly arguing and saying you are right and he is wrong will REALLY grate on his nerves! Open your mind to see that he has his own masculine perspective that is different from yours, but not necessarily wrong. He has a lot of wisdom, insight and interesting view points to offer you that can bless your life! If you really don’t agree – you can say, “Well, that is an interesting point of view that I never thought about before!” or “Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.” “I see it this way…” You can certainly tell him your opinions and thoughts – but in a respectful, gentle, pleasant way – not cramming it down his throat.
- Don’t scold him and act mad a lot. Telling him he is “dumb, stupid, an idiot, etc” will shut you out of his heart. If he has that many issues that you can’t stand – it’s time to consider if you need to be moving toward marriage with this guy. Your negativity won’t change him. Period. In fact, it will probably only make him want to rebel against you! If you can’t respect the guy as he is right now, that is a BIG problem! His faults will be greatly magnified after marriage! So will yours! It is time for some serious prayer if you are upset with him a lot of the time.
- Don’t tell him what to do!!!!!! Really!!! He’s a smart guy. He’ll figure out what he needs to do. It is a HUGE turnoff to guys when their girl bosses him around, acts like he can’t figure things out for himself, or tries to tell him exactly how to do things. You can tell him what you want to do and what you don’t want and how you feel. But most men don’t like being ordered or bossed around.
- Don’t tell him how to drive or give him directions unless he asks you to.
- He needs to see your smile and that you enjoy him. Your praise, admiration, respect, encouragement and affirmation will motivate him to become more and more the godly man that God wants him to be! THAT is where your power is, precious girl! Your delight, your approval, your faith and trust in him – THOSE things motivate a guy, not negativity and criticism. (Be sure you choose a godly guy who loves Jesus with all his heart! That makes this whole respect thing MUCH easier!)
- Speak highly about him to others. This also means that you don’t make jokes at his expense (especially around other guys) – that can REALLY come across as disrespect to a guy if you “tease” him by bringing up his weaknesses and faults in front of other people. This also means you don’t bash him behind his back to other people.
- Support his dreams! Don’t squash them! Be a safe place for him to dream and imagine all that God may want him to do. Your faith in him can propel him to greatness!
- When he makes mistakes, give him grace. If you don’t make a big deal out of his failures, he can overcome them and learn from them much more quickly than if you rake him over the coals. Every guy is a sinner and will mess up. A lot. If he has SERIOUS issues, though, be sure you are talking with a godly parent or mentor. A guy with a criminal record, addiction or severe mental illness may not be a guy that is safe for you to trust and respect. Please do not put yourself in danger with a guy who doesn’t make your safety and wellbeing a primary goal!
- Be mature when you don’t get your way. Handle yourself with self-control, poise and grace. Be able to remain calm and peaceful when you don’t like a decision or his behavior. If you go hysterical and scream, cry, pout, throw things BEFORE you are engaged or married, your guy will see HUGE red flags and will find a reason to drop you. Trust God’s sovereignty to be at work for your good in all that happens, even when things don’t go your way. If a guy is asking you to sin, you must resist him. But unless he is acting in a dangerous manner toward you, handle situations with grace and maturity. You don’t need to MAKE things happen or FORCE them to happen. You are a treasure. You have power in your godly femininity. You attract guys to you with your admiration, respect and peaceful, gentle spirit. You don’t demand your way. You can handle it when you don’t get what you want. If the guy is asking you to do something that you can’t do for him, you can leave with dignity and respect in almost every situation.
THE SOURCE OF RESPECT
My level of respect doesn’t have much to do with the behavior of another person. It actually has everything to do with my intimacy with Christ and His Holy Spirit dwelling richly in my heart. Being respectful is a character trait in me that honors God. I respond with respect even in the face of hatred because that is how Christ responds. He loves those who are His enemies. He blesses those and forgives those who persecute Him. He always does the loving thing, the right thing, the respectful thing because that is Who He is! I want to be just like Him!
When you are choosing a guy – choose one YOU CAN RESPECT EASILY! This will spare you a lot of heartache!