Love and Respect. Two very intertwined entities. I decided to address these very important topics because they of just how important they are.
(You see how the man is holding the LOVE card and the woman is holding the Respect card but then if you look closer they both have one hand on the opposite card. That's how marriage should be!)
Regardless to your marital status, relationships need both love and respect, especially romantic relationships.
I read a status on Facebook that read:
Respect is NOT, I repeat NOT, given!
For this gave me pause for understanding. Then I had to look at the person posting. This is a young woman who is single and probably believes that a man has to prove something to her. And I thought about relationships in general. Many relationships tend to not last for many reasons but I think one of them has to do with the fact that women have made respect optional while retaining that love be unconditional. I will admit I was one of those women, I was raised around women who thought and believed such things, just like the young woman who made the comment.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)
Paul instructs wives to respect their husbands and husbands are told to love their wives as they love themselves. That is strong! Think about the implications of these words. Husbands when they love, they will do just about anything, move mountains for the woman they love. However I've noticed that women tend to take a privileged role when they love, they tend to take for granted their significant other. I know this because I was one of those women, who took for granted my husband's love. I knew he loved me so I cared but I didn't put forth the same effort I did when we were first married. Now I realize that as I want my husband's love, one thing that he must have from me is respect.
Men need to know that they are respected. Respect goes a LONG way. It will dictate how you talk to a man and how to respond to him. When you respect a man, you won't talk to him crazy, you won't talk down to him, why? Because you respect him and his position as a man.
Now let's focus on love. Don't we all want to be loved unconditionally? To know no matter what happens that we are loved and cherished and cared for? I think that tops the list for most people, especially women. That is the way we were made, to be loved. And just as we want love, I am sure we've had so very unlovable moments, unlovable days, unlovable phases.
How would we feel if we told a man, his behavior isn't so respectable so we can't respect him AND his response was well you haven't been so lovable and you don't look so lovable so I can't love you? That would NOT feel good. And guess what it happens, every day. I remember something similar nearly happening to me, I wasn't always so respectful to husband and at times I was downright disrespectful and guess what happened? The unconditional love started to distance itself from me. It was still there but it wasn't so easily reachable and tangible like it was before. And that snapped me into focus like NO! We have to be gracious and respect our men regardless just like we expect them to be gracious and love us regardless.
I address this issue because there are whole GENERATIONS of women who truly believe that respect must be earned. There are mothers teaching this to their daughters. And they are giving their daughters a head start in the WRONG direction. There are young women who can't keep a man and they wonder why, you believe he has to prove something to YOU when he only has to prove himself to GOD! And you aren't GOD. So relax on your need to control and be in control of your relationship. We are women, we were not meant to be the head of the relationship but the helpmeet in the relationship. I didn't always understand this but it has become a role I fill with grace and gratitude.
Ladies we were created as delicate and beautiful HELPMEET, we were not given the authority to head our relationships, to lead our marriages. We were made from the man's rib to be at his side not his head to rule over him or his feet to be trampled on. God himself warned Eve of this in Genesis 3:16:
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.
GOD warned her that she would desire for her husband (not desire him in a romantic sense, desire for him meaning to control him) and he would rule over her (meaning the man's position as the head of the household). To this very day, we women still deal with this, we will continue to deal with this. We will continue to want to control our men but that is NOT the way it is to be. We are meant to be led by him and be submissive to his leading.
I don't remind us of such things to hinder us but so that we can be free to respect and be loved. So we can be free to experience joyful unions and be delighted in and honored by our men. So we can honor them and be thankful for the men that they are. But also so our marriages can survive and blossom. So our families can stay in tact and grow. So we can leave behind a legacy of godly marriages!
~love to you all!
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