My husband was watching a singing competition on TV recently. There were many contestants auditioning. Most of them got the same bad news. “You’re not good enough. You’re not going to make it to the next round. It’s a ‘no’.” Some people accepted that answer with sadness and humility. Some people could not accept what the judges said and argued and argued and argued – trying to control the judges. And some people became extremely disrespectful arguing, cussing and yelling.
Why is that?
“IT’S WHO I AM”
Disrespect and trying to control others is a lifestyle of sin – there are degrees of this sin. Some people go to more extremes with it than others. I think that is part of why I didn’t recognize this in myself, because many people looked “way worse” than I did.
Disrespect and controlling behavior is the outpouring of what is deep in my soul – and it affects all my relationships, not just my marriage. It is an indicator of my lack of relationship or fellowship with Christ. Apart from Jesus, I can’t change my sinful nature.
No one MAKES me act disrespectfully. No one makes me try to control them. No one can force me to sin. It is not about what others do to me. I sin when, by my own evil desire, I am dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:14-15)
When I am stressed, pressured, pushed, prodded, sinned against, unloved or mistreated (whether in reality or in my perception) – what is in my heart comes gushing out. My sister calls it “the jelly donut effect.” I think she may have gotten that from John Piper – but I’m not sure! It’s a great analogy.
I am not disrespectful and controlling because of the way other people treat me. I am disrespectful and controlling because I am a sinner and don’t have God’s Spirit filling me up and controlling me. My disrespect and control has NOTHING to do with other people and everything to do with me.
Another way to say that is – THE OTHER PEOPLE OR MY CIRCUMSTANCES ARE NOT THE PROBLEM! I AM!
When I began to study respect and biblical submission in marriage – I realized something awful. Not only did I have a MOUNTAIN of pride, disrespect, controlling behavior, idolatry of self/having control/my husband/my feelings of being happy…. I had a MOUNTAIN of these same sins in my other relationships with people, too. Mostly the people closest to me caught the worst of it.
APOLOGIES ALL AROUND
I first had to repent to God – once I really understood the magnitude of my hideous sin.
Then, I apologized to my husband for my sin against him because I had rebelled against God’s Word for me as a wife, I had been unforgiving, resentful, prideful, disrespectful, uncooperative with my husband’s God-given leadership, and had gossiped and held on to hatred and bitterness.
Later, I realized that I had committed many of these same sins against others in my life. So I went around and personally and privately apologized to my father, my mother, my father-in-law, my mother-in-law, my brother, my brother-in-law, my sister, my sister-in-law, my children – and anyone else God showed me I had sinned against.
WE TREAT GOD AND PEOPLE THE SAME WAY
However I treat God and respect and love Him – that is exactly how I will treat people. God counts the way I treat people as if I were acting towards Him. These people in our lives are tests – they are pop quizzes, mid-terms and final exams in our faith. They are there for us to learn to practice the love of God, to trust God, to learn to forgive, to learn to show mercy. They are there to expose the depths of our own sin and depravity.
The way I treat the person I dislike the most, reveals how much I love God.
This is why God says,
If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother (any human), whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” I John 4:20-21
MY Husband Doesn’t Deserve MY Respect! A 6 minute Peacefulwife Youtube Video
Apologizing for my Disrespect a 7 minute Peacefulwife Youtube Video