I’m pretty sure you’ve heard the word “respect” used in relation to marriage. When you’re talking about respect in marriage, it’s important to realize that you both might not mean exactly the same thing by “respect,” particularly in terms of its application. You also might not understand respect in exactly the same way as the author you’re reading or the teacher you’re listening to.
How do you define respect? Conversations like this are important because we don’t all look at things in exactly the same way. Our temperaments, experiences, and other factors affect how we look at concepts like respect and even how we, personally, define words.
How Do You Define Respect?
You’ve heard about the need for respect in marriage, but what is your understanding of respect? Understanding how you naturally think about respect is the starting point for understanding how to implement respect in your marriage.
So here’s the question: How do you define respect?
To help you each understand how you, personally, understand respect, grab a couple of sheets of paper and each write down your answers to these questions. Shhh! Do it quietly, so you don’t influence each other!
Hint: If Virtuous Weddings is totally your thing, subscribe below to get access to the VIP Resource Library which includes a printable worksheet for this word. Check your email for the Resource Library password and a direct link to the “How Do You Define” printables.
Answer based on your feelings, not just logic, dictionary definitions, or what you think it should be.
Most arguments, disagreements, hurts, and misunderstandings in marriage are based largely on feelings so don’t gloss over them here, in favor of something that seems more “correct.”
However, also be sure to get your philosophy ~ your principles, values, and ideas ~ in there. Your true inner beliefs, not what someone else said, because that’s what’s going to come out in everyday life, especially when there is conflict. If you need to change your understanding of respect, that can come later. Right now you need to understand yourself so that you can then try to understand each other. This is what respect means to you at a very REAL level.
What is respect? Use other words (or phrases, if you prefer) to explain respect.
What are the first things you think of when you think of respect? What does respect mean to you?
What are the opposites of respect?
What is respect not? What expresses or indicates the absence of respect? What is disrespect?
What does respect require? What things will make you question the presence of respect if they are missing?
What things will make you question the presence of respect if they are present?
What are signs that respect is taking place in a home?
What are signs that respect is not taking place (or is weak) in a home?
Who needs to respect and who/what do they need to respect?
What does respect (and disrespect) look like in each of those cases?
Now Talk About How You Define Respect!
When you’re both finished answering the questions, discuss and compare your answers.
How can you communicate with each other more effectively?
How will the way you understand respect affect your lives?
Tip: after you finish your comparison, grab a dictionary and see what that does to you!
The How Do You Define Respect? Worksheet
Did you get the printable? If not, here’s another opportunity!
So . . . how do you define respect? I’d love to know what you learned!