Sunday, May 2, 2010

To Respect a Man

To Respect a Man
May 3, 2010
Ephesians 5:33 "However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

Yes, a man's job is to love his wife, taking precedent from Jesus' sacrifice for the church. And a man should love his wife, like he loves himself. A woman has scriptural responsibility toward her husband as well; a woman should respect her husband. It is probably harder for a woman to respect her husband than it is to love him sometimes. A woman can love a man without actually liking him. I've seen many a woman cry at her father's funeral, because she really did love him, even though she did not get along with him. I've seen many old married relationships where the woman stays with the man because she does love him, though she has, over the years, learned to not actually like who he has become. Women, by nature, love people; they were blessed with the aspect of God that men don't have, the ability to love almost everyone regardless of flaws. Women can love someone and yet not actually get along with him/her. But respect, that's a different story. If a woman does not respect someone, it shows, and everybody can see it, especially her man.

That is why a woman is directed to respect her husband, because it does not come naturally, unless she thinks he deserves it. News Flash: rarely is there a man who actually deserves respect! If a man has to love a woman, before she might be loveable, a woman has to respect a man before he might be respectable. Men have this innate ability to become what they are called, to do what they are encouraged to do. If a man is called a loser, he will become a loser. If a man is told he can't, then he won't. But if a man is respected, he will become more respectable. In a man's eyes, respect is more important to him than someone's love, as it tells him that he is worthy to be loved. Men like the feeling of being respected. They are empowered by it; they want more of it. If they are shown respect, then they will want more respect and start to act more respectable; he wants to earn it. It sounds backwards to women, but then again, men are backwards from women. It is a woman's act of love to respect him.

Respect for a man is similar in meaning to the directive that a woman is supposed to submit to her husband. This is in Ephesians 5:22, "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord." Before women everywhere, send me their two cents on submission, it is not what most think. Submitting to a man does not mean obeying him, it means respecting him and the work in the home he is supposed to do, as he is directed by God. If a man is functioning as the Lord directed him, then a woman needs to respect him in his efforts and help provide an environment where that can take place. A woman can only do this if she is first actually submitted to God; then she can set herself aside and respect the man for his work (be that spiritual or physical work).

There have been many times in my own marriage where I was not respectable, but my wife showed me respect. It humbled me, and made me want to actually be respectable. There have also been many times when I was hurt by her lack of respect and it made me not want to be respectable. And in my eyes, if she didn't respect me, then she certainly could not love me, which made it more difficult for me to love her in return. It creates a downward spiral in a marriage relationship and takes both to bring it back out. If a woman does not perceive that her husband loves her, then she has a harder time showing him respect. And if a husband perceives that his wife does not respect him, he has a harder time showing her love. On the other hand, it is the opposite that can bring a marriage back. If a man starts showing her love, then she will start respecting him more. And if she starts respecting him more, he will show her more love. It's amazing how a little effort on the part of both individuals can propel a relationship to new heights.

Though it is not very romantic to consider that a woman might not love her husband someday, and as much as I don't think love and respect should be mutually exclusive, the Bible is clear a woman should show respect to her husband, both privately and publicly.

1. How can men be respected even when they don't seem respectable?
2. How can respect for a man be physically demonstrated?
3. How can a woman submit to God and give her husband the freedom to do what he sees right in the Lord's eyes?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Eph 5:22 & 24, Col 3:18, Tit 2:2, 1 Peter 2:17

2 comments:

Ancient Stone said...

Very well written....you are probably right. i am a woman married for more than four years now.i have felt the same thing. i wish i had read this before i got married. it the duty of parents and all elders who have been married for so many years ...who know what problems can arise in a marriage ...to tell them to the newly weds. instead of wasting time on useless celebrations and dancing...marriage shud be a more solemn and serene affair....let man and woman be told their duties towards each other and what to do when problems arise..THANKS FOR SUCH WONDERFUL VIEW ON LIFE...IT WAS VERY HELPFUL.
-kiran

EaglesWings said...

I have been married to a man for over 27 years, who has actually improved in the last several years, so thank you for the compliment that I have been doing a great job with my husband. However, he has been with both of his marriages a wife abuser, during our marriage an abuser in every sense of the word, and also an abuser of my children, which has left me full of guilt for their abuse, and destroyed mentally and emotionally. I am genuinely praying constantly about and trying hard to heal and grow in confidence again, but it is both difficult to forgive fully someone who continues to err, and also to respect someone whose basic reason for abuse of women and children is a weakness of character, fear of dealing with situations on an equal basis and therefore takes his fears out on those vulnerable in his private life.