I Had No Clue What Respect Was

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We would like to thank Aimee for sending us this heartwarming testimony of how she came to understand respect. What power it had in her marriage as well as the marriages of everyone with whom they shared this message! Thank you, Aimee!

I Had NO Clue

My husband and I have taught your video series 3 times at our church.  Every time we go through it, I learn so much more.  Can I tell you how stunned I was to fully understand what God meant by respect?  I had NO clue.

Every time I glean more and more that is changing my life.

I Loved My Husband But Had No Respect

I am a very strong woman – a “Type A” personality and my husband is a “Type B.”  You can imagine our relationship I am sure.  We were both good willed and I loved my husband but I had no respect for him.  As a “go-getter” type A, I was frustrated by his employment choices, felt like he blew off and ignored the things that I asked him to do, and that he too easily accepted the status quo.  

Granted, I recognized and appreciated other amazing things about him like his never ending patience, his ability to read people, his love for the Lord, etc. but I was growing more and more in contempt for him. He was beginning to push back.

I Asked Him to Make Me a List

When we first went through your series, I was blown away at the concept of respect. I realized that I was disrespecting him and set about to change that.  We had some progress but not tons.

One day I asked him to make me a list of 10 things that I was doing that felt disrespectful.  I knew a couple of them but I was not at all prepared for the list that came back to me.  There were things on that list that blew my mind – ways I was disrespecting him – tiny ways – that I had NO CLUE.

I Figured He Was Just Being Silly

One example – he felt disrespected when we were late for church.  He explained to me that he feels that it is disrespectful to the church to walk in late and he was embarrassed when we did so.  In my mind, as long as we got there before the sermon we were good to go.  I knew he didn’t like being late, but it was really hard for me to get up early, get myself ready, get our kids out of bed and make sure they were ready.

I “sort of” made an effort to get to church on time, but I also didn’t worry about it if we weren’t. I figured he was just being silly and controlling about something minor.

I Decided to Make a Change

When I realized that he saw my lack of real effort to get to church on time as disrespect towards him, I decided to make a change.

I began to wake up earlier to make sure I was ready, I put consequences in place for the kids if they were late, and I made sure we were in the car on time every week.  

I never said anything to him, I just started doing it.

It was a small thing, but it was a turning point for our marriage.

They Always Come Back Blown Away

As a side note, we now ask our couples to go home and make a similar list of what feels disrespectful to the husband and what feels unloving to the wife.  They always come back blown away at how they have been stepping on each other's air hoses without even knowing it!

Our Marriage is in an Amazing Place

To make a long story short, our marriage is in an amazing place after 16 years together. Love and Respect has changed our lives.  We can look at each other and say – “Wow honey, that felt unloving…did what I just said come across as disrespectful?”

Potential issues are almost always instantly disarmed.

I have to add that 100% of the time when I say those words, I am thinking to myself  “there is no way what I just said was disrespectful” and 100% of the time he responds, “yes it was” and I am once again blown away at pink versus blue!

I Finally Gained Understanding

Reading through your book for the 4th time, I finally gained understanding of my husband in another area.  He is a thinker and I finally realized that when he walks by the full trash can, or tells me he will put gas in my car and then doesn’t, he isn’t blowing me off.  He is just a thinker.  His mind gets absorbed in whatever he is thinking about and everything else goes away. It “only” took me 4 times reading the book to get that one!  It was late in coming, but was one more realization that has set me free.  My good-willed husband is truly just the absent minded professor. Knowing that allows for so much grace!

My Relationships With People Have Transformed

One of the things I just recently realized, was that not only has my relationship with my husband transformed, my relationships with people in general have completely transformed.

Understanding the concept that most people are good willed and therefore anything they do that is hurtful is probably not intended has changed my life.

I Truly Don’t Take Offense

I am finally able to walk in that place the Lord asks me to where I truly don’t take offense at things.  Sure, there are times when someone does something deliberately hurtful and we have to work through those emotions, but most of the time, our petty disagreements with people are truly just miscommunications and misunderstandings.

It is such a freeing way to walk with the Lord.

The Lack of Understanding

In the last 4 months, the Lord has begun sending me women – one after another – whose marriages are in trouble mostly from the lack of understanding of Love and Respect.  I have started a Love and Respect study in my office every Monday morning.  It is so amazing to watch the transformations.

He is Watching

One of the women in the study is my best friend who has resisted what I have been trying to tell her for years.  Now watching her lay down her pride and begin to respect her husband and hearing her testimony of how their marriage is changing is so thrilling.  He isn’t even reading the book, but he is becoming more and more interested every day by just watching her transform.

My husband and I believe so strongly in your ministry and I just wanted to let you know.

We will start leading our 4th class through your study in January (my 5th including the women only study).  Thank you for hearing from the Lord and being a vessel of truth.

Aimee

We are thrilled when we hear stories like Aimee’s. Her testimony proves that no matter how much we apply Love and Respect to our marriage, God will continue to reveal new things to us, even if we are leaders of marriage groups!  

Challenge: Are you ready to make some personal changes that will positively affect your marriage?

Wives: If you are ready to make some personal changes that will positively affect your marriage, and can do this with a mature and teachable heart, ask your husband to make a list of things you do that feel disrespectful to him. Then commit to work on one of the items each week. Do this quietly as Aimee did. Do not give your husband your list of things he does that causes you to feel unloved unless he voluntarily asks you to!

Husbands: If you are ready to make some personal changes that will positively affect your marriage, and can do this with a mature and teachable heart, ask your wife to make a list of things you do that feel unloving to her. Then commit to work on one of the items each week. Do this quietly as Aimee did. Do not give your wife a list of things she does that causes you to feel disrespected unless she voluntarily asks you to!

~ Emerson