Tuesday, May 13, 2008

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. , Part 1

Respecting our husbands...Where to start?

Well, because I am clearly such a brilliant scholar, I've chosen to start at the beginning.

Of the word.

Yes, nothing inspires confidence as much as someone who uses acrostics, right? Nevertheless...

Each day in this series we will look at words that begin with the letters in "Respect." It may not be the most impressive method, but I think that we can still learn some things along the way. So let's look at a few words that begin with the letter R which relate to respecting our husbands.

1) Recognize - One of the first steps in learning to truly respect and honor our husband is to recognize that it is not an option. It is something that God has called each wife to do. And, importantly, it is not based on anything our husbands do. Truly it has nothing to do with whether or not they earn our respect - it's just what we are to do regardless. Just as they are called to love us without conditions, so are we called to respect them without conditions. It's what they need in the same way that wives need to be loved.

You also must recognize that, in light of above, God's call to respect our husband doesn't mean that men are better than women or more important to them. It simply means that it's a functionary duty. Just as someone in a company has to be the one where the buck stops, for His own reasons God chose that person to be the husband and father in a family. It doesn't mean that you are any less valuable or worthy in God's eyes.

2) Resolve - Now that we know that it is our job to respect our husbands regardless of whether or not they deserve it, we must resolve to do so to the best of our abilities, regardless of the situation.

(Let me start by saying that if you are the victim of abuse, you must seek help and you DO NOT have to endure one more day like that. I am NOT in any way advocating staying in an abusive relationship. Please do not believe that God would want you to be treated that way - you are His precious child.)

Perhaps your husband has failed you, and your children, in the past. Maybe he can't hold a job or drinks too much. Maybe he hasn't lived up to your expectations in many areas. Remember that by respecting our husbands in these situations, when it's most difficult, it's not about him, it's about GOD. You are choosing to honor Him and He will bless that.

If it's simply a matter of you being a strong woman who, secretly in her heart, looks down a little at her husband (you are smarter, you are more educated, you know how to deal with the children better, etc.), please know that God looks at the heart. He knows (and believe me, so does your husband) whether or not you truly respect him. It comes across in your attitudes and looks.

Make the decision that you WILL respect your husband. Resolve to do so regardless of what's going on. This doesn't mean that you will agree with his every decision, but that you find a way to deal with it respectfully and that allows him the freedom to be the leader of the family. Even if he makes a mistake, it will give him the opportunity to grow.

Ask yourself, is it more important that you be right or that you build your marriage by respecting him? Does it really matter if you are late to that party because he wouldn't ask for directions? Or if he wears clothes that don't exactly match? And even if it is something that is important - is there a way that you can express your concern or opposing view with respect, acknowledging and even believing that he may ultimately be right?

3) Raise - Ladies, I cannot stress this enough: When you raise your husband up, he will raise you up. If we build up our husbands, they will feel so inspired to love us that we will be amazed at the results.

We get so locked into worrying about what we deserve, but if we would throw that mindset away and just focus on encouraging our husbands and building them up, many of our problems would be solved. They will be inspired to be more loving, more protective and they will gain the self-confidence that many men lack. Don't let this be a situation where you will only give as good as you get - pour out lavish love and respect for your husband. Do it without thought of what you will get back. I can almost guarantee that you will be blessed in return, but even if you aren't it will be the right thing to do.

As mothers, we teach our children to do the right thing because it's the right thing. We tell them it's not about whether or not someone is watching you or what you can get away with. We want them to have a desire to do the right thing.

Respecting your husband is the right thing.

(For more on this subject matter, I encourage you to read Fascinating Womanhood, by Helen Andelin.)


Karen said...

Good stuff! I am going to enjoy reading through this as you post it, although I expect it to be a little convicting and painful at times. I think this needs to be addressed more than it is. So, thanks!

Mrs. Annie said...

Great post and too often missing from our society!

Doodles said...

I have enjoyed your R.E.S.P.E.C.T. posts! I'm anxious to read more.

Amy said...

Great post. Thanks for such uplifting words. I'm sure to learn a lot.


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