Friday, November 2, 2012

The Gift of Respect

Been thinking this week about a speaker I heard over the summer.  When asked about how we respect our husbands when they are not respectable she simply said this:  "Respect is a gift that I can give my husband - whether he deserves it or not."  I have mulled that over for months.  This could be one of the best words of wisdom for a wife EVER.

The Bible calls for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church.  It calls wives to respect their husbands.  Check it out in Ephesians 5:22-33.  This is such a loaded topic.  I feel like so often we come to this discussion from the wrong perspective... with the burden on our spouses to be respectable before we even begin to think of honoring them.   We make them earn it first.  But God doesn't say, "When your husband is mature" or "when he is worthy of your respect" or "when he loves you perfectly".  God's Word simply says do it.  We need to change our thinking.  Stop thinking of respect as a payment or reward or even bribery.  Give it as a gift!  What a novel idea!

We all know how to give a gift.  Most of us take great pleasure in doing so.  We give gifts out of kindness - and often it is even more joyous to give a gift when it isn't expected or deserved.   Don't wait for your husband to earn this gift - although we know it would be easier that way.  Don't make him work for it - although we know that would have its benefits as well!  Don't wait for him to beg to be respected (and trust me, I have seen that, too!).  Give it.  Give it freely.  But you must know first and foremost that God freely gives you ALL THINGS in Christ.  You have been given so much. We can in return give our husbands this gift.

Change your thinking and give!

I know this is a loaded topic.  And I know many of you live in difficult situations.  I am not trying to over-simplify a complicated issue.  Just sharing some thoughts.  Would love to hear your thoughts.


Steve said...

I love this because I know the value of this gift.

It is often the case that when I am least deserving of respect that I most need it. There are times when I know I have not acted in a way that inspires respect - I have been selfish, or rude, or distracted when I should be fully present. It is then, when I know how little I deserve it, that I find myself so thankful for a wife who chooses to respect me in obedience to Christ instead of doing it only as payment for my performance. She gives me the gift of grace because she has received grace.

God has wired me (and all men) to need the respect of our wives. The problem is that I know, deep down inside, that I am not respectable. I know how far short I fall from being the man I should be. Even responsible, hard-working, devoted men know - when they look in their hearts - that they don't measure up.

This is why we so desperately need grace. And I can testify that the gift of respect - an act of grace - has done more to help me grow into becoming the man God has called me to be than all the rebuke or correction or bribery or manipulation ever could (because all those things would only serve to provoke resentment, fear, and self-protection in my heart).

Kristy said...

This is a powerful post...and with Steve's comment too. Please re-post a couple times a year (at the LEAST!), and, also, if I ever should be married, please send to me personally, every single day, with Steve's comment attached. Thankssomuch! :)