It started with reading Ephesians 5:22-33 (I'll skip the parts to husbands, but go read it if you need to!):
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit) in everything to their husbands...However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
The leader used four books in her preparations for this study. These are not recommendations, just a list of what she read.
- The Bible (I do recommend this one)
- For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn
- The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Dr. Laura
- Love & Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (many said this was not well written, including the leader. They did say the video series is much better)
She then used an achronym she found in someone's book/writings. CHAIRS. These will be very basic notes, throwing in what little I wrote down, and what I remember.
C - CONQUEST: Appreciate his desire for adventure and a project
- Mom's talked about how their sons turn everything into a project "This is my blanket project" said a 2 year old boy.
- The leader has 3 grown son's. She shared that her husband gave her this advice when they were raising them: "Never interfere in their fights with one another." Unless there is blood, he did add that. We are talking physical fights, not just verbal ones. Send them outside, but don't stop them, that is how they deal with each other. She said telling them to leave the house often stopped the fight, and minutes later, the boys were just fine. No grudges, just brothers.
H - HIERARCHY: Appreciate his desire to protect and provide
- One book suggested signing letters "with all my respect" rather then "love." The leaders husband whole heartedly agreed.
- Don't criticize him in public, instead find ways to build him up
- Many women commented that they feel really fake saying things like "Our towels are so soft because I have a great husband who fixes the washer." The leader said do it anyway, they like it :)
- NEVER ACT LIKE HE IS ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN. DON'T JOKE ABOUT IT, DON'T THINK IT, DON'T TREAT HIM LIKE ONE. How demeaning! It is something we women do, and probably one of the most degrading things we could do to the role as husband.
A - AUTHORITY: Appreciate his desire to serve and to lead
- She asked us "Who is the boss?" and reminded us to remember the answer
- When in need of his help, consider asking "Would you be willing to...?" rather then ordering, or expecting him to do your bidding.
- No pouting or crying when you don't get "your way"
- Defer to him. Let him make decisions and let him know you would like him to do so, that you will be behind his choice
- Be gracious if he makes the wrong choice, because he will sometimes
- Respect his dreams - don't bash them down out of your own fears, your own sense of practicality or any other reason. They are often only dreams or thoughts, not commands. And if they are something he really wants to do, we need to get on board, not undermine what God is doing in him.
I - INSIGHT: Appreciate his desire to analyze and counsel
- Don't make fun of what he says
- Remember it was Eve who was deceived, we need to be aware of where we are potentially being deceived now.
- Who is the spiritual leader? She said they have had many women come to them (pastor and wife) complaining that their husband isn't the spiritual leader of their family. Her husband would then ask, "Is he coming to church? Is he good with the kids? and so on... well, looks like he's doing a fine job" Women: "But he doesn't do family devotionals with us or pray with me every day!" Pastor: "Can you show me where it says he is to do those things in the bible?"
- YOU ARE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT. YOU ARE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT!
R - RELATIONSHIP: Appreciate his desire for shoulder to shoulder relationship
- Go sit and watch him in the garage, or wherever he is working
- Be quiet, don't talk
- Say encouraging things when appropriate
S - *****LITY: Appreciate his desire for _________ intimacy
- The devil will do everything to get you together before marriage, and everything to keep you apart after it
- He is tempted in ways you won't understand
- Many women use this as a power over their husbands, or don't realize its importance to them. She asked us, "How would you feel if he didn't talk to you for 3 days? How about 3 weeks? How about 3 months? Think about that"
ALWAYS ASSUME THE BEST... and you will find it easier to show respect.
He is our number 1 important relationship ladies (after God of course), let's make sure we are doing everything to let him know we respect him. This world, this society, teaches women and shows women doing anything but respecting their husbands. I pray to be growing away from that every day.