Monday, August 2, 2010

Oh No! The "R" Word Again...

I grew up in a household where everything had to be earned. Bringing home an "A" was not enough - I had to stay at the top of the class. Being second was simply not acceptable.

I am grateful for that because I developed a spirit of excellence where nothing but my very best would be enough. That carried me through many times and brought success to my career.

I am used to earning things. Earning a position, earning honor, earning respect. And I feel like everyone else should earn theirs fairly.

That means - when I got married - I expected my husband to earn the respect due to him. Whenever I felt like he was making the right decision - I would respect him. Whenever I disagreed - I didn't.

Respect can mean so many things but I loved the definition I found on Wikipedia, "Respect denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem." It's not just a feeling - it has to translate into how I treat my husband.

Courtney's challenge this week was to respect our husbands. It did not seem difficult at first. She said, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T! No complaining, criticizing, rolling your eyes, nagging, or giving him any friction this week. Enjoy a week of peace in your home!"

Whew, done, over. That was easy! Ha ha - anything is easy for a week - the real challenge is to keep it going for a lifetime.

Let me share another thing I read. "Respect should not be confused with tolerance, since tolerance doesn't necessarily imply any positive feeling, and is not incompatible with contempt, which is the opposite of respect." (this is again taken from Wikipedia)

The Bible commands all wives, "let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Ephesians 5:33). King James Version uses the word, "reverence". The word used in Greek is 'phobeo' where we get the word phobia from meaning fear (in later transcripts 'phobeomai'). The Bible is telling us to be in awe of our husbands, to fear them exceedingly (not as in being scared of them but as holding their opinion in such high regard similar to our understanding of 'fearing God').

In modern day culture women often tend to take the lead in their families (and they grow weary fighting battles that are not theirs to fight). Women feel like their husbands do not step up to the plate - and consequently lose the respect due them by the order of the Word of God.

We must be careful to lay aside every thought and understanding of marriage that is instilled in us by our culture, or by the family we grew up in - and dig deeply into the Word of God to find out what He wants. Amazing things will happen!

Your husband should not have to earn your respect
just as you would not want him
to make you earn his love.
(Courtney from Women Living Well)


Homemaker Honey said...

Hello! I'm participating in the Completing Him Challenge, too! May God Bless Your Marriage as you seek to respect your husband today!

Homemaker Honey

Joyfull said...

What a powerful encouragement for wives to give respect - earned or not! Loved the thoughts on where to get our instruction - from God's Word alone. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

Sharon Cohen said...

I loved this post! I can relate to being taught that everything in life must be earned. I could see that you had to face the same dilemma I did when I first began to grasp the command to respect my husband.

You are very wise and your words teach the message much better than I have. Besides participating in the Completing Him Challenge this week - it is a challenge I tackle and discuss on my blog every day. I have a long way to go but the journey is powerfully pleasing - to me and to God.

If you'll permit me, I would like to feature your post today as a permanent link on my blog. You have a way of teaching and reaching women who struggle with the "unconditional" aspect of respect. Let me know if this would be okay with you. Thanks again for your instruction. What wise counsel.

~Amy~ said...

Praying for God's richest blessings on your marriage!
Stopping by from the "Completing Him Challenge!"

Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Wow - very good and insightful post! Great job with the challenge! Keep it up!

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