Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

I Put My Followers First

Friday, April 30, 2010

Reverence and Respect

I've been thinking (a lot) about respect over the last month.  It has revealed itself to be a broader topic than I had at first considered.   It is so broad and so varied that I was finding it extremely difficult to maintain focus.  I am designing a line of greeting cards to support the directive to wives as found in Ephesians 5:33b:

King James Bible
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

New International Version
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

“. . . and the wife see that she reverence her husband” or “and the wife must respect her husband.”  Call it reverence or respect, it is much the same. 

adoration, appreciation, approbation, awe, consideration, courtesy, deference, dignity, esteem, favor, fear, homage, honor, recognition, regard, respect, reverence, tribute, veneration, worship

As a child I was taught to respect my elders.  Now that I am an elder I am astounded at the occasions that call for my respect, regard or consideration.  I also realize how little people respect one another anymore.

I realize that the origin of all my pet peeves is “lack of respect”.  For example, children who curse at the tops of their lungs on trains, men who sprawl across a seat while a woman stands and holds the strap, or people who rush in front of the disabled to board a crowded bus.   I call that disrespectful.

I walk a lot in this city.  It requires that I cross streets - at intersections, with the light and in a crosswalk – often.  There is not one day when I do not have to stop and yield to a car that steals my right of way.  I call that disrespectful.

Waiting in line for a “12 items or less” register with more than 12 items is disrespectful.

Driving with your windows down and your radio volume so loud that it shakes every pane of glass in the neighborhood is disrespectful.

Blocking the sidewalk to register people for voting or to sell your wares is disrespectful.

Disrespect is epidemic around me.  I was amazed.  I discovered that I could not stop counting the situations.  

Now, before I go any further, I confess that I don’t have this respect thing completely licked either.  I am just now learning how to respect my own husband.  My husband!  I must learn, step by step, how to respect my husband.  How does anyone get to be my age without knowing how to do that?  (Don’t answer.  That was a rhetorical question.)

And I am not alone.

There are others out there, like me; wives who are unsure of how exactly does one respect her husband?   We all have one thing in common.  We all know that God has asked us to respect our husbands.  He asked our husbands to love us.  He put no conditions on these directives.  He did not say “respect your husband if he mows the lawn” or “reverence your husband if he pays the bills”.    He did not say “respect your wife if she keeps a clean house” or “reverence your wife if she cooks a fine meal”.  There are to be no conditions. 

Unconditional respect is the goal.  I have taken it on as a project.  I am excited because there are other women searching and sharing the same desire.   If you are a woman who wants to learn with us, I can recommend a good book that will take you step by step, day by day.  The book, the e-course and the Facebook page are all called “The Respect Dare” by Nina Roesner of Greater Impact Ministries.

Nina says “. . . when we aren't respectful to our husbands, we misrepresent Christ and the church - marriage is more about being like Jesus than anything else.  We are called to be a reflection of the life of Christ - as God made us in His image...”

So that’s it.   I’m trying to be like Jesus.  

Can I get an Amen?