Monday, June 9, 2008

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (post 2)

To see the first post on this topic, click here.

Don't forget about the blog carnival, coming up on June 20 and through the weekend. Put a link to the first post in your sidebar and encourage others to pour out their wisdom for the benefit of us all!

We're talking about how men and women are different (men really are from Mars, I'm sure of it), and how God created us with these amazing differences. Because He created us, He knows the desires of our hearts and tells us the secret to meeting those desires in our spouses.

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

In the same way that we need to feel loved unconditionally - that is, no matter how we look or what we do, but simply for who we are - our men need to feel respected unconditionally (yes, no matter how they look or what they do, or don't do) just for who they are. This is a tough one to wrap my mind around because I've always learned that 'you have to earn respect.' I just want to translate that concept into girl language for a moment...

Imagine being told that you had to earn love. If you do a good job, keep the house nice and clean, make healthy and hearty meals, dote on your children (who, by the way, are perfectly-behaved little gems), never lose your temper - if you do all of these things, then you are worthy of being loved. But if you are lazy, if you gain weight, if you lose your temper and say things you don't mean - well, you don't deserve to be loved. Imagine your husband saying to you, "Are you kidding?! I don't LOVE you. You don't do anything to deserve my love. After all, love is EARNED!"

Now, to save my fingers, re-read that portion (but imagine manly-type duties in there and pretend it's you speaking to him, and change the word love for respect). How many of us have ever told our husbands that they don't deserve our respect? Just read the part in quotation marks one more time - he's saying this to you - feel what that does to your heart. Anyone else falling under some heavy conviction for past hurtful words of disrespect we've dumped on our men? OUCH.

In addition to finding creative ways to show our husbands that we respect them, we also need to know what kinds of things (that we do or say) communicate disrespect to them - so that we can stop making those mistakes!

I've said it before, but this is where my understanding hits a snag. Again, this is why I so desperately need YOU! We wives need to be there for each other, learn from one another's mistakes. I really believe that God can use this internet world for GOOD in our lives - He's already given us each other for fellowship, love, and support. So let's be intentional about our internet friendships and help one another in our everyday stuff! Are you in, or what?!

Okay, so here's where you all come in! I want good, concrete ideas. What do you do or say that shows your man that he's the thang in your life? How do you make him feel special, valued, necessary, even heroic? Also, what mistakes have you made that made your loved one feel crummy, unimportant, and disrespected? (Please, if you can save my husband from the same heartache, I beg you - as I'm sure he does - to share your wisdom.) So start thinking about it now...I'll post a couple more times on this concept in the meantime...and I'll put Mr. Linky up on the 20th so we can all glean wisdom from one another's experience.

(Though I only know of 2 men who blog, if any men want to participate - feel free! Just post on the things you do to show your sweetheart that she's LOVED.) And if you're not a blogger, you can still participate by commenting on the carnival post, okay?

FYI - I know I'm speaking about this in reference to how it applies to marriage, but I believe that this information can change the way we communicate with our children, our co-workers, and so on.

If you think you'd like to participate in this (or even if you probably won't but you think it's a good idea and you know someone else who might need help - like me - in this area), would you consider putting a link to this post in your sidebar?


  1. going completely off subject, i have tagged you:)

    are we supposed to answer these ?'s now or wait till the carnival??

  2. Okay, you're not the first one to ask... (I sometimes figure that everyone just knows what I'm thinking, lol.)

    Don't answer now. The questions I'm posting are for everyone to ponder between now and the 20th. Once Mr. Linky is up, you can post on your own blog on the topic (using some of my questions as a springboard, or not) and link up, and place a link back to me in your post.

    Then we can all read each other's great suggestions together at one time.

    (I'm just trying to give lots of advance notice so that I get more than two people linking up on the carnival. Like, how embarassing would that be?! LOL.)

  3. Wow...good stuff here girl while I am catching up wiht you. This gave me a lot of food for thought today.

  4. Okay -- so I don't know how I landed on your blog (wait yes I do...amazing how HE puts us in the path of perfect strangers to reach us :) - you are really hitting home. If ever you get discourage because I know posting takes time please know HE is really working through you to reach people like me. Short and sweet...I am a faithful follower every Sunday/Wednesday our family attend church and we (I) try and surround ourselves with those people who I feel like have the same love for the Lord but I don't share any of my marriage, parenting, etc struggles because I feel like I'm the only with struggles in our peer group...somehow I landed on your blog and just like that FINALLY I feel normal. Many thanks for all you do for those like me...I'm learning so much!!!

  5. Anonymous friend,

    I'm not sure if you'll be back here to read this comment, but thank-you.

    Almighty God just brought you to me, a year after this post was written, to encourage me!

    You will see on my sidebar that I am working on writing a tough book, one that requires me to share more "real life" stuff than I would like to put out there. And today I realized I am less than 2 months away from my publisher appointment, with only 10 pages in writing. And the discouragement I felt with that realization had me ready to call and cancel that appointment.

    With your words He is showing me that women NEED to know that they are not alone; that not one of us is perfect. And He needs me to put my sloppy imperfections out there to show them. And I can do this - I can write two more chapters in under two months. With HIM, I can!

    Thank-you, and bless you. (I'd love it if you could email me a link to your blog if you've got one, so I can get to know you a bit.)


I am so glad you stopped by! My hope is that we can engage in a conversation together. I love to reply to your comments, but I need your help to make that happen.

If you have a blogger profile, would you consider editing your profile to "show my email address?" Then, when I receive your comment in my email inbox, I can reply directly to you.

Alternately, you can check the box "email follow up comments to..." so that I can reply to you right here. (You will also receive other readers' comments using this method.)

I'm excited to get to know you better!