He walks in, tired from work, bracing himself for the barrage he know will come.
“Where were you?? Didn't you know I had that meeting to go to tonight? And where are the things I asked you to pick up? I have enough stuff to do around here myself, and you can't even do the one thing I ask you to!” And on and on...
“Men are hurt just as much by abuse, or hurtful words, as women. Any form of coercion to get a man to do what you want is not only unproductive, it is damaging. Just because I am married does not make me a slave. Men are human beings.” So spoke a listener named Steve calling in to Dr. Laura Schlessinger's radio show. (p148-9)
This is a subject you don't often hear much about, but turn on just about any sitcom, new or old, and you'll see the woman bearing down on the man, belittling him—making him into a doddering fool who can't do anything right. And what does he do? He takes it like the good red-blooded American male he's supposed to be!
To quote Rodney Dangerfield, he don't get no respect!
Women have a bad habit of trying to control just about everything, and even when we claim to be easygoing, we are so often guilty of holding a double standard.
Just watch a guy try to pass something off with an excuse commonly used by women! Feel disrespected? If we had a true sense of respect for our husbands, why the double standard?
If there is one thing a man needs, it's respect. Especially in his own home. If he is respected, looked up to, treated like the man he is, then he will flourish as the man God intended him to be.
Not respecting our husbands is sin! If God has placed you with a man who fears and loves Him, then your husband will look to the Lord's will.
Author and speaker Arlene Pellicane talks about things that spelled respect to her husband, saying, “To me, [respect] means honoring him, giving him weight—that what he says matters—that of all the other voices in your life, that his voice is the most important in terms of people—and not about God—but in people. That he is the one that, above anyone, should be honored in my life.”
What does God say?
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
Earlier in Ephesians 5:25-26, it commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church—and that means all the way to death! Put that way, it's a lot harder to bear down on him needlessly, isn't it?
Sometimes respect means remaining silent. In one of Bill Cosby's books, he mentioned how on a trip home his dad missed their usual exit, and he asked his mom why she didn't say anything about it. Her reply was, “Your father knows what he's doing, dear.”
Sometimes it means going along with his idea when you don't think too much of it. As long as it doesn't go against what God has laid out for us in His Word, is it really worth nagging him and making him feel like his ideas just aren't good enough? Let him be behind the driver's seat, where he belongs. Certainly he should value your input—but as God places him at the head of the house, the decision is ultimately up to him.
Am I respecting?
Arlene also had a good analogy: if someone is wearing a shirt with an ink stain, our eyes are drawn immediately to that stain, however small it may be. But the rest of the shirt is clean! Stop staring at that stain and pay more attention to the 99% of the shirt that IS clean!
No one is perfect, but as a man's helpmeet, we need to lift him up in prayer, support him, love him, care for him, boost his self-esteem. Because when we respect our men, they will rise up to be even more of what God wants them to be—treat him like a man, and he will act like a man.
See You In The Round,
*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.