By Aaron Buer
Guys Crave Respect
Yesterday I began a series on how to talk to boys about sex. Boys need much more than a one time talk or a once a year teaching on sex. They are constantly being bombarded with cultural messages about the nature of sexuality. If we as parents and youth workers remain silent we are condoning what they are hearing.
Today, I want to share something that all guys need to understand about sex: It’s isn’t actually sex that you really want. It’s something else. This is why many guys remain unsatisfied even if they experience a lot of sex. Want to know what it is that you really want? Keep reading.
As guys, we want our lives to matter. We want to be significant. And, this is the way we approach relationships. When it comes to a relationship, we want respect.
What is respect? We want the woman we love to be proud of us. We want to be considered worthy of her loyalty and love. It’s really that simple. If you think about it, that’s all we want out of life. We wanted our dads to be proud of us. We wanted our teachers and coaches to be proud of us and we want our girlfriends and wives to be proud of us.
If you are a woman, understand this: If you show your man that you are proud of him on a regular basis, it will revolutionize your relationship. All men have a little boy inside of them that just wants someone to be proud of them. Most of what we do is designed to make you proud. As childish as it sounds, the more you think of us like a little boy who needs a pat on the head and a proud smile, the better. Praise us, make a big deal about the things we do and we will put on that little boy grin and love you with fierce loyalty.
Sex is also essentially about respect. In the sexual experience, we feel a woman saying, “I find you worthy of my greatest treasure—my sexuality.” This is why sex is such a powerful experience for a guy. In an odd way, sex makes a man feel like he is significant.
- Most Impressive
Here’s the problem. Our culture is severely confused about what it means to be respected. Most guys confuse being respected with being impressive. Mistakenly believing that girls think like we do, we focus our attention on the wrong things—spending our time at the gym shaping an impressive physique or bragging about accomplishments in sports or our career. The thing is, being impressive and being respected are totally different things. Being impressive is about power. Being respected is about humility.
Many guys think that being a man has to do with power. Using power to control women is always wrong, whether physically or emotionally. If you’re doing this, stop. Yes, God calls men to lead women. But, your leadership should lead to the empowering of the women in your life, not domination.
- Becoming Respectable
So, if being respected isn’t about being impressive or being powerful, what is it about? Here’s the secret sauce: women will respect you when they feel safe and treasured. When she knows that you are more concerned about her needs and desires than you own, you will be respected. When she knows that she is the most important woman in your life, you will be respected. When you drop all other attachments and pursue only her, she will respect you.
You can’t fool her. Relationally speaking she’s about 100x more perceptive than you’ll ever be. If you’re faking she already knows. If you’re so afraid of failure that you have a second girl on the line in case things don’t work out, she already knows you’re holding back. She won’t respect fake. She will however, respect the heck out of authentic devotion.
Here’s the bottom line: You were created to want and need respect. How do you gain respect? You have to man up. Stop aiming for impressive and drop power. You need to develop real character. You need to learn how to love with vulnerability and devotion. Where does that stuff come from? Jesus. Learn from Him. Find some guys who hang out with Jesus and learn from how they treat their wives. Become respectable.
Aaron Buer is a student pastor for 10 years and currently serve as the senior high pastor at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. He is the blog/author of