On the contrary, women are subjected to thousands of scenes that depict disrespect between spouses simply through the television and movies that they watch. Transforming any experience into an opportunity for learning requires intention. A wife can intentionally watch for opportunities, missed or taken, of when and how a message of respect was appropriate.
A recent repeat episode of "The Unit" provided an opportunity to observe both the wrong and the right way to respect your spouse. As with most television shows, if it had shown what a wife should do, it would not be entertainment. Conflicts and reconciliations drive episodic television scripts and ratings. However, if the viewer uses the episode as a case study, there is much to be learned.
The recap for the episode (taken from the online television guide) reads, "Pregnant, Kim is put on bed rest for 48 hours after a minor scare but Bob seems to be incapable of taking care of the kids without her."
Based on the actual facts of the episode, if taken in light of the teachings in Ephesians, the recap should have read, "Bob is berated by Kim who makes disrespectful accusations. Bob attempts to please his wife and takes responsibility by selling his prize antique car. Later, Kim fails to respect Bob's sacrifice".
Fans of the show will remember that Bob came home from work to an exhausted and pregnant wife. For the sake of her health and that of the unborn baby, he insists that she remain in bed for 24 hours. Meanwhile he promises to watch the children. He is not expert at the task but the children were being cared for. Kim leaves her bed to push Bob aside and demonstrate the proper care and feeding of their daughter. Bob takes the chastisement in silence. Later, Kim wants to sneak out, go to work and do her radio broadcast. Before leaving the house she finds Bob working on the antique car he inherited from his father instead of being inside with his sleeping children. She scolds him again for not knowing how to care for their children and takes the children to daycare. While Kim is gone, Bob sells the car. The viewer is left wondering if Kim truly comprehends the magnitude of Bob's sacrifice.
As in most marriages, both husband and wife failed to respect the other at first. In the end, Bob does respect his wife's wishes by eliminating the one major distraction that seemed to be bothering her. Kim, after disrespecting, humiliating and lying to him, has little to say in gratitude for his sacrifice.
Any wife who wants to learn what disrespect looks like and what it sounds like can easily learn from this episode. She can see where the mistakes are made and how they might have been corrected. The least that a wife can walk away with is an understanding that no one is perfect, not herself and not her husband. A purposeful viewer can also imagine what might have been had the wife been concerned with the instructions in Ephesians 5:33.
In your own marriage, has your husband made sacrifices that you have overlooked? Has he abandoned or limited pleasures that were once so all-important to him? And if he has, have you shared appreciation with him, for him, or about him to others for the sacrifices he has made?
There is only one thing more devastating than to be unappreciated and that is when you have not been appreciated for your sacrifice. We sometimes wallow in self-pity when others do not seem to notice all that we do.
Do not fail to respect and recognize the times that your husband has sacrificed his pleasures or his choices for your sake. Such sacrifices or submissions are demonstration of his love for you. As soon as you can, tell him that you appreciate him or give him a card that says it for you.
Your husband longs to hear of your appreciation. To receive your respect is your husband's deepest desire.
TO READ THE MESSAGE FOR YOUR HUSBAND