If you know the song, it was performed by a woman, but did you know it was written by a man! Although I do want my husband to have respect for me; what I truly want is to feel loved and be loved by him.
There are two words as women we tend to dislike: submit and respect both found in Eph. 5: 22-33. The Greek word for submit is Huppotasso, meaning to PUT ONESELF (I put myself, it is not Manuel’s responsibility) in rank (not value) under our husbands. The Greek word for respect is Phobotai, to fear or revere, meaning I respect, venerate or notice him, regard him, honor him, prefer him, defer to him, praise him and love and admire him. I want us to notice, they are two words, therefore, two different attitudes, and two differing actions. But I’d like to think of these two words as bookends. Bookends bring support, stability; bookends strengthen the whole by holding things together. Bookends work in tandem; they must work together for the greater good. They work better together. It’s a great privilege and a great responsibility. AND it’s not easy. So how do I do it? I had to learn several things.
My submission to my husband stems from my submission to Christ.
I must focus on God’s command to me, not on God’s command to him. The call of God to me is to trust and obey Him. My worth is not derived from my husband’s love for me. His love can affect how I feel about me, but it does not determine my worth. My true worth is rooted in God’s image of me (AS dearly loved children, Eph. 5.1) God’s image of me must be my image of myself. Since God loves me, I am to value myself as God does – or at least move in that direction as I mature in Christ. I won’t attain this here on earth. I can, though, experience a greater sense of self-worth as I commit to believing that God declares I have worth to Him. When Peter refers to us as a weaker vessel in 1 Pet. 3:7 like copper (stronger), I am like porcelain, if we clash, copper will break porcelain, but I do not lose value b/c I am more breakable. My husband’s view of me should not be the basis of my self-image or worth. God’s image should be the foundation.
I defined it above – I respect, venerate or notice him, regard him, honor him, prefer him, defer to him, praise him and love and admire him. Notice, it is unconditional. There is no condition or circumstance or situation that warrants my disrespect. But I think it is best learned (at least it was for me) to learn what it is not.
Disrespect means to hold in contempt—it is the feeling that a person (in this case, my husband) is beneath consideration, not worthy of or deserving my respect, consideration, regard, honor, preferences, love, admiration or praise…
If God is commanding me to respect my husband, He must need it. He wants it b/c he needs it. Remember, God created us different. My husband’s needs are not the same as mine.
I needed to see my husband as different, not wrong.
Respect is something I do, not feel. Respect is something I display from the inside out. It is about being a respectful wife, not about my husband being respectable.
I had to change the way I processed the issue of my disrespect. I could no longer think my husband needs to change his unloving manner far more than I need to change my disrespectful demeanor.
My disrespectful attitude/demeanor is manifested in my tone, my words, my look, my body language – rolling eyes, pointing finger, hands on hips, sighing or grunting w/ disgust or disdain.
Unconditional means there is no condition or circumstance or situation that justifies me to show contempt to my husband. Unconditional does not mean that you don’t confront issues. Unconditional means you respectfully confront. You give your husband a gift of a respectful delivery, you give your husband a gift of respectful demeanor and you give your husband the gift of respectful words. There is no conversation, no situation or circumstance that ‘causes’ you or ‘forces’ you to speak with contempt. That is our choice. Whether I like it or not, my countenance often reveals my heart. What I say is far less impacting than how I say it. I can be right, but wrong at the top of my voice!
My disrespectful behavior reveals that I am disrespectful. Manuel does not make me disrespectful. My response is my responsibility.
Are you struggling with respecting your husband? May I recommend the book, Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich.