If we are not careful, we may just add respect to our arsenal of ways to attempt to control our men. 🙁
Yes, God wants me to treat my husband with respect and honor. But –
If I am just respecting him to make him change or to get my needs met – that is manipulation – not real respect. And it is sin.
The only motives that please God are if I am showing respect because:
– I want to please and obey God (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, I Corinthians 11:3)
– I want to bless my husband
No strings attached.
No matter what the outcome. I am not tied to a particular “result”or “what’s in it for me” but rather – I want to do this because Jesus is my Lord. That is enough for me. He wants me to do it. I want to find favor in His sight and hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant” when this life is over.
I cannot do this “godly wife thing” in order to feed the idol of me wanting to feel loved, or my having control or me getting my way. If those are my goals – I am not acting in the love of Christ – I am sinning against God and my husband.
(Reminder – I write primarily for women who tend to be controlling. My blog may not be as helpful for women who are abused or who are “too submissive” – please seek godly counsel if you have severe issues in your marriage.)
RG’s COMMENTS (a single Christian man) ON YESTERDAY’S POST on www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com from a young Christian woman who is just now beginning to learn to respect a new man in her life for the first time:
“I joined an online dating site and “met” an incredible guy (haven’t met him in person yet). He is my practice material for me to apply everything I’ve learned so far in the Bible and your site and I need to say, things are going awesome!!!!”
Please be very careful, not for yourself, but for him .
There is nothing wrong with the actions of “practice,” but the motivations for that “practice” need to be right.
- Don’t “practice” to obtain any of the outcomes you desire. That is very manipulative and painful for men. (And I’m not suggesting that you are.)
Become a trustworthy, open, honest book – no secrets, no games. Put all of your cards on the table (with wisdom), and let him decide what he wants without you resorting to using these new tools of “respect” as a means to control him.
- Only do respectful things to honor him and God, not to win points. Any positive outcomes are the SIDE-EFFECT of your respect, not the intended purpose to be respectful. Your purpose is to honor him and God.
Always remember, if you do want to become married, and you think this could be your potential husband, then your goal is not just to become married; your goal is to become a biblical wife and to honor, respect, trust, encourage, and cooperate with both him and God for the rest of your life.
You should know that most single Christian women don’t do these nice, respectful things (at least not intentionally) for the men they date. He will probably find it VERY different from any other dating experience he may have had in the past.
Dating from our perspective is pretty much always “give, give, give, without any expectations to receive anything in return, and women often have things they want from us, but only do nice things for us a small fraction of the time (or at least the things (actions) that register as “love” (respect) to men.)
Dating is a slow process of dying on the cross for us. Imagine a magician laying down on a “bed of nails” – that is what dating/marriage is like for Christian men. It is a very difficult, painful, and slow process at times, and requires the correct wisdom, timing, forethought, precision, and patience to execute well. Now compare that with Christian women who are often impatient and want their desired results NOW. They are, in effect, figuratively, using all of their weight and muscle to press and push him farther down onto that “bed of nails” before he is ready (before it is wise or even safe for him to do so), and they really do hurt the men they say they love. Christian women sometimes don’t think about or even realize the pain and damage they are causing men, because they are usually too focused on their own desires and outcomes – their wedding rings and dresses, the flower arrangements, or the joy of receiving so much personal praise from other women on their wedding days. His “slowness”, then, is seen only as a obstacle to her “happiness,” but her “happiness,” indeed, comes at the price of his “death.”
Please try to remember, respect, and appreciate this process in the men you date.
I believe that if some men here are willing to share valuable VULNERABLE information with you ladies about how to understand and meet our needs/desires as men, then women should take note of this OPEN, TRANSPARENT, HONESTY, and TAKE THEIR OWN STEPS to appreciate all that men take to make ourselves more TRUSTWORTHY to women.
And I REALLY DO HOPE that women here might HONOR THE OPPORTUNITY/RESPONSIBILITY given to them to respect men by never taking advantage of our willingness to become vulnerable or trustworthy to you. Please always be trustworthy yourselves.
“I realized that respecting him gives me self esteem and a sense of security, and it certainly takes a lot of pressure off of me.”
Women should be thankful for the new freedoms and reduced stresses they experience when becoming godly, respectful women. They should enjoy those things! But EVEN MORE, they should direct that thankfulness to God and their men. All of those burdens and stresses they had in life didn’t just disappear, they were transferred to the shoulders of God and your men. When Christian men date and marry women, we also take on many of the increased burdens and stresses that allow women to become more free and at peace. There is always a weight and a measure; there is always a personal cost.
We don’t do this for nothing or without reason! We do it because we love you! We want you to enjoy new peace and freedom. We want you to be happy – not for a mere moment, but for the rest of your life! But your peace and freedom comes at a significant personal cost to us as well. We pay a great price – for love – for you! And we don’t want that price to become worthless – meaningless. We only have one life to give! So, we NEED to know on a deep personal level that it (our one life/our investment into you and your life) has real worth to you! Not just because it makes you happy for the moment, but because we pay such a huge sacrificial price for love – for you – for your well-being – and for your life – and it must not count for nothing. It must not come to a mere breath of laughter. We want to see happy smiles on your faces because it shows us that our lifetime of sacrifices for you are not in vain. You mean that much to us!
I guess, to be fair, this realization/sentiment (quoted above), is very encouraging to men as well. We love hearing these types of comments from the women we date/marry, because we do genuinely want what is best for them. Hearing this comment of hers is wonderful, not just because those are all good things in her life now, but because it shows that she is learning to trust and submit to something that we already knew would be very good for her, and likely that only her unbelief in God/men was preventing her from choosing and accepting before.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE TO THE GENTLEMEN:
Just like we can’t know who God is unless He reveals Himself to us, we can’t know who men (in general) are or who our husbands are (specifically) unless they reveal themselves to us. We have absorbed so many lies about men (and women) by our culture and upbringing. We make many inaccurate assumptions. We as women need the input of godly men and our husbands to help us understand and know your hearts.
Most Christian women I know WANT VERY MUCH to understand men and WANT to be able to meet our husbands’ needs. Most of us are willing to change if only we knew what to change. We just don’t know what we don’t know.
When Christian women have the chance to understand our men, we are able to learn and grow. We are able to begin to understand and learn to appreciate real masculinity and we love learning about your world. It is such a surprise to most of us that this whole foreign world of masculinity exists right under our noses, and we never knew about it.
God is able to change us. I am SO THANKFUL!
Thank you for being patient with us as we try to break through all the wrong thinking and poison of our culture and our own sinful natures. This is a long journey that we must make to become the women you need us to be and to become the women God wants us to be. Women who are embarking on this journey today are pioneers in many ways. This is all brand new territory to us. We don’t understand your language – but we want to! It takes time for us to become “fluent” in respect and biblical submission. I know it is hard to wait as we struggle to figure things out. We need the godly leadership, wisdom and perspective of our loving husbands and Christian brothers. Thank you for sharing your hearts with us. I pray we will be godly stewards of the treasures you are entrusting to us.