Today’s post is the second response about how to respect a man that does disrespectful things. You can find the first post here.
My eyebrows lifted in amazement that someone would know me fairly well, and still say, “I can’t ever imagine you smarting off to (your husband), or getting mad at him, or having any sorta bad attitude…”
Oh, my. I have done those things more times in our marriage than I care to remember.
I’ve asked the Lord’s forgiveness, and praise His name, those scenes will never be brought up before me again. I mention them here, not to glory in my sinful actions, but only to say, we do not have a perfect marriage. We have to work at it every single day. I also want to encourage you that there is hope, because if the Lord can change me, He can change you!
I wish I had learned the power of respecting my husband years ago! Wives want to be loved, but when they don’t feel loved by their husband, then they withhold respect. It’s what Emmerson Eggerich calls “the crazy cycle” in his book, Love and Respect. Someone has to stop the cycle. The wife can do that when she chooses to respect her husband regardless of what she is feeling from him. The question from my friend (and perhaps you as you read this) is, “But HOW?”
Aside from thinking on the things we can respect him for (no matter how few or how small), we must also remind ourselves how undeserving we are of his love. If we are really honest with ourselves, we know what we’re really like. We are sinners saved by grace. We don’t deserve anything! It’s by God’s grace that we are saved and have the hope of heaven.
Because I’m still a sinner, I…well, I sin! I’m often selfish, unkind, thoughtless, sarcastic… and many other unloving things! Yet, I want my husband to love me (my greatest need). Why should I look at his life and disrespect him (his greatest need)? We’re on the same ground! I need to obey Proverbs and choose to hide my husband’s faults rather than parade them in my own mind or in front of others. I often ask myself, “Would I want my husband to pick apart my sinful actions, my habits, my mannerisms, or my personality? Of course not! But that’s what we as wives often do. That’s not really playing fair, is it?
So, when you are tempted to disrespect your husband because of this, and this and this, take a quick inventory of your life and see if you’re perfectly loving. I think the answer will be a negative one. If that’s true, then let up on your expectations of him.
I’ll go a step further with this next Thursday.