Simple Respect

Gratitude Day 394

Tues., Jan. 28, 2019

Philippians 2:29: So, welcome him in the Lord with great joy and show great respect for people like him.

Recently, I recalled something that happened early in my marriage to Hubby Rick with two friends. These two women got such a kick out this little story, I thought you might as well.

Rick and I had been married just a few days. I was living in an apartment before we were married. We planned to move into a house owned by one of the churches that I served at the time. However, they were doing some remodeling to the house and it would be a few weeks. So, Rick “moved in” with me at the apartment after we were married.

At the time, I was attending seminary and gone several days a week. I use the words “moved in” rather loosely. When I was gone, Rick often stayed at the house where he raised his kids. If showing up with a couple grocery bags filled with a few items of clothing “moving in,” well, I guess Rick “moved in.” Honestly, I think his clothes stayed in a laundry basket most of the time we lived at the apartment because we knew that soon, we would be moving. Then, he would move more things.

We tried to get used to living with each other and not feeling awkward about learning each other’s idiosyncrasies. One day, Rick helped me with some of those. It was a weekend when I was back from seminary. I planned to get a few groceries and Rick shared with me three of his non-negotiables when it came to grocery shopping.

  1. There is only one kind of ketchup: Hunt’s. Don’t bring anything else home.
  2. It’s OK to shop frugally … but not when it comes to toilet paper. Buy the good stuff. Period.
  3. He would only eat creamy peanut butter. No crunchy for him.

As silly as these three “rules” sound, it really was very helpful for me to learn these things from the get-go. Rather than me showing up with Heinz and crunchy peanut butter, I knew from the beginning how to keep my new husband happy.

In reality, Rick gave me a huge gift. Rather than showing up with the wrong stuff and then telling me, he made it clear right away. Rick is a simple guy. He’s not really into flashy or high maintenance. By sharing with me what was important to me, he was demonstrating to me great respect. He was trying to make it easier for me. And believe me, I appreciated it!

Rick also established for us a way to share those things that ARE important. By including something as silly (but important) as TP in this early conversation, it became clear that he was OK exploring the topics that might see, well, uncomfortable. Suddenly, it became possible for us to share other little things that are important to us.

Too often, we dance around those things that may seem silly but in reality, ARE important. How much easier life would be if we could simply be honest, respect each other and share specifically how we feel about something. Of course, it MUST be done with care and compassion, not speaking down to the other person. Respect is only extended when the situation is handled in a way that honors the other person.

I have extremely hard to always fulfill Rick’s simple requests. Yes, they may see simple and silly. But is it not a great reminder that often, it’s not the BIG things that make a difference but the simplest of things?

May we discover meaningful and simple ways to honor and respect those that mean the most to us today.

For simple lessons that teach me about respect and honor, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – Thank you for placing it upon Hubby Rick’s heart to share those simple yet poignant choices he desires. Help us to extend respect and honor to those we love dearly by honoring them compassionately with how we treat them. Amen.

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