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Women Living Well Blog: Mailbag Question: What is Respect?

Women Living Well Blog

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mailbag Question: What is Respect?

Anonymous said "I was wondering if you could write something on the topic of WHAT RESPECT IS. As a young woman, I have asked people in church for years what respect is supposed to look like, how do you respect you husband, etc...I even asked my husband what being respected means to him, but no one seems to have an answer for me or knows how to put it into words."


Ephesians 5:33 says "However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."


Since God commands respect - we must define it. In the Greek the word respect is 'phobeo' which literally means reverence, awe, or fear. It can also mean honor and esteem. This is an attitude of heart that will be displayed by our actions.

For many women these are hard words to swallow. And in this day in age, women are infuriated that I would even suggest such a concept - but let's pause...these are not my thoughts - these are God's. So if you are cringing and have a problem with this - your problem is not with me - it's with God.

Last night I played Jr. Monopoly with my children. It wasn't long before they were going too many spaces ahead, having trouble counting the money and starting to make up their own rules. As a result we had some chaos. I pulled out the rules and read them out loud and quickly they obeyed and we were able to enjoy the game.

Marriage has become like a Monopoly game with no rules. Everyone is doing their own thing - and the end result is chaos, fighting and divorce. Today we are pulling out God's plan for marriage and I think we will find that when we follow his plan - we will have joy and peace in our homes.

Remember, we are not always lovable and he is not always worthy of respect - but because we love God we must work hard to express it. If my husband said he loved me but never showed it - I would feel like he didn't really love me. In the same way, we must turn our words into actions so our husbands FEEL respected.

Here are some ways to display the respect, esteem, and honor you have in your heart:
1. Respect their knowledge, opinions and decisions.
2. Don't be a nag, criticize him, or assume the worst in his actions.

3. Watch for sarcastic and disrespectful teasing, rolling of eyes or bitter attitudes.

4. Respect his desire to work, protect, provide, and lead. Tell him - "I respect your hard work. I feel more secure when you are here and protecting the family."
5. Respect his need for physical intimacy. Do not get frustrated with your husband in this area. God made men differently than women. His lack of romance at times may be frustrating to you but you must remember that men were created with loads more of testosterone...and his desire is literally for you and he will continually persue you in the bedroom. Aren't you thankful he's pursuing you and not another woman. Respect his faithful and loyal pursuit! Give him what he needs...I'll stop here - because I do not want to be inappropriate but I have many thoughts on this subject!!! Respect your man in the bedroom. This matters to them.

Dr. Emerson Eggerich says "No husband feels fond feelings of affection and love in his heart when he believes his wife has contempt for who he is as a human being. Ironically, the deepest need of the wife - to feel loved - is undermined by her disrespect."

In the end, showing respect is a choice we make in obedience to God. When we push our husband away through disrespectful behavior - we are pushing the Lord away. Don't assume because your husband quietly accepts your joking or your leadership on decisions that he feels respected. He just may not have the heart to tell you the truth because he loves you so much. So let me tell you for him - please stop - and start to 'phobeo' him today!

Walk with the King!

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Tara said...

Wonderful post! I have to tell you that finding your blog has made a huge difference in my thinking. I see so many ways that I need to improve. Honestly, in my marriage it's me -not my husband-that is the problem. Much of it is from the environment I grew up in. Honestly though, when I see there is a problem and don't correct it, it becomes a problem of my own making. Recently, my children have started to speak to their dad in a tone that is rude and disrespectful.(and these are good kids) When I listen to them, I know it sounds just like me. I'm working hard to make these changes. I have been blessed with a kind, caring and unconditionally loving man that I have started to take for granted. I just wanted you to know that the time spent writing this blog really does make a bigger difference than you know.

November 13, 2009 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Tara - it makes all the blogging worth it to know that there are women who are reading and learning along side of me - we are in it together. I don't think we will ever master perfect respect - but we can always be striving for it.

A good marriage is hard work - but the reward is worth it!

I just said a prayer for you and your marriage!!

When our marriages are strong, our families will be strong, our churches will be strong, and our country will be strong!

Follow the King!
Courtney

November 13, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with you Tara! Reading Courtney's blog and attending a new church has made such a difference in my life.
I also have one of the best husband's in the world! God has blessed me so much for bringing him into my life but I know at times I also take him for granted.
Courtney's blog inspires me to be a better wife, mother, friend, etc.
Thank you so much Courtney for taking your time to write your blogs. You really are changing so many peoples lives.
Heather

November 13, 2009 at 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Julie@comehaveapeace said...

Thanks for speaking out such great truths today, Courtney. Such foundational principles for enjoying the marriage God wants us to embrace, regardless of the challenges.

November 13, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

It has taken me entirely too long to really realize what truly respecting my husband is...and I'm so thankful and blessed that our marriage has survived my imperfections. I look back and I am utterly amazed that I still have a husband...but I thank God I do...and Courtney I must say that your blog is a great help, encouragement and eye-opener for me. I may not always comment but wanted to tell you that. I haven't been reading long but I have "back read" many of your posts and bookmarked them for easy reference.

November 13, 2009 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger Lady Jen said...

Great answer! I wholeheartedly agree and have learned these things by trial and error over the last 10 years of marriage. God gave me a wonderful, forgiving husband that patiently waits for me to "get it" in the area of respect.

November 15, 2009 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Hi Courtney,

I ran across your blog at MBC. I am new to blogging and love reading testimonies, ideas and struggles of other Christian women. It's good to know we aren't alone in our walk with Him!
Hello!!! You addressed the intimacy issue with such grace! My mother talked to me about this on my wedding day and I am SO thankful that she did. After 32 years of marriage, she gives the BEST advice. She simply said that intimacy is a very important part of a happy marriage.
Thank you for your honesty; I can't wait to read more from you!
Erin
http://my-alabaster-jar.blogspot.com/

November 17, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article.I actually came across your blog because i nedded to know what respect was!I was desperate and decided i was going to do a study on it and read articles about it until it sunk in.Like Tara i realised that the problem was me and that was to do with the environment i grew up in.God in his grace showed me the truth about myself and i accepted it and decided to change things.Your blog really makes a difference.

November 19, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Anonymous - I love hearing your heart and desire to do what is right!!! God will bless your endeavours!!!

Cling to Galatians 6:9 "Do not grow weary in doing good for in due season you will reap a harvest IF you do not give up!"

Stay in God's word and do good - in time you will reap a harvest of a wonderful marriage!!!
Courtney

November 19, 2009 at 3:03 PM  

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