Truth must be balanced or we start veering off into the ditch. Take, for example, husbands being the loving men that God intended. We need such help. I know that I have needed a good swift kick in the rear end on several occasions, and I am grateful for some good reading that administered the said kick!
Even that wonderful truth, though, can be taken too far. I suppose the cultural tide that would wash manhood out to sea has come into Christian circles too. We overcompensate in fixing one problem just to create another.
Here is a blog post that I read that seems to honor men’s responsibility while seeking to fix the overreaching. Perhaps you saw it as it made a few rounds on my Facebook newsfeed at least. Without further ado:
Your Husband Doesn’t Have To Earn Your Respect
5 thoughts on “Did You See This Wonderful Blogpost On Husbands Earning Respect?”
Whether it is evident or hidden; justified or undeserved; there will always be a disapproving and critical attitude toward men. Why?
Men are aggressors. As with all characteristics there are positive and negative attributes. At times we champion the fighter; the soldier who faces imminent danger to rescue his fellow combatants or the police officer who is wounded when he places himself between the criminal and an innocent bystander.
Society desires, even longs for, heroes. We cheer the hockey player that slams his opponent into the boards, we shout for defensive lineman who sacks the quarterback and we enjoy watching the basketball player on the offensive who makes hard contact with the defender. We even look favorably on the aggressive entrepreneur who battles the odds to go from rags to riches.
Yes, we love fighters. Consider the words of General George S. Patton who said, “Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball players and the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Battle is the most significant competition in which a man can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base.”
So how does this admiration, or even love, for fighters, those who stand in the gap for us and those heroes that give us hope become displaced? William Shakespeare nailed it when he wrote, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”
Men are fighters, but they are also attackers. Men rape, murder, pillage and plunder; “The evil that they do lives after them…” The shadow that an evil deed casts is dark and long. Such acts permeate into the depths of our psyche and leave lasting memories.
The deck is stacked against men. Women are nurturing and men are aggressors. Both traits are necessary and both are indicative of gender. Of course, there an exceptions, but exceptions only serve to prove the rule. Even when we preserve a positive emotional balance that provides us with the ability to maintain equilibrium and flexibility in the face of challenge and change, there still exist cultural norms operating just below the level of our consciousness, intangible yet often overwhelming. These uncomfortable emotions can dominate our thinking process and give rise to inappropriate reactions that impair our ability to put things into a proper and balanced perspective. Why?
Unfortunately, the social order has failed miserably to address the imbalance of patriarchal societies. Men mentally reject certain topics with great disdain. Rape, murder, incest, pedophilia, inequity in the workplace because of gender are focuses that haunt us; hence, proving the premise of Shakespeare’s words. To maintain their comfort level men chose the path of least resistance which traditionally has been to simply avoid such topics. Avoidance of these emotionally distressing concerns creates within us a timid and tense demeanor which can be perceived by women; thus, leaving us open to ridicule. The very avoidance of male-dominated cultures to address these issues has opened the door for women to respond; sometimes appropriately and at other times, inappropriately.
Until patriarchal societies honestly and openly address those issues most often perpetrated by men, men should expect to be the recipients of appropriate and/or inappropriate responses from women.
You have clearly thought deeply on this issue and have some real points. As Christians, though, be need the balance of God’s design, which puts constraints on both sides.
Balance yes; therefore “respect” is the wrong word because the Bible clearly tells us, “For there is no respect of persons with God.”
Look at the very first usage of “wives” in the N.T. “He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” That hardness remains a part our character to this very day.
All subsequent uses of the word “wives”, specifically directed toward women, center on “Wives, submit yourselves…” The Bible never instructs children or wives to “respect” husbands and fathers.
Men are instructed: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” and “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” and “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
There are authorities that are froward yet I am commanded to be subject to them, but I do not have to respect them, nor honor them.
“Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.”
Balance? Yes, here in lies the balance: “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.” The disposition to do good; good will; kindness; charitableness; the love of another, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness. When men start being benevolent toward their wives, all the negativity will cease and the wife will again be in the husband’s corner cheering him on.
In all my years of marital counseling the most common complaint I have heard from the wife is, “My husband does not love me.” And when I ask the wife to list those words she knows to be the hardest for her husband to say, or never says, every time number one on the list is, “Honey, I love you.”
I was 42 years old and lying in the emergency room before I heard my dad say, “I love you son.” He was saved, taught Sunday School and sang in the choir.
If we are to be the leaders in our homes, we must be the ones to set the example.
I appreciate the article by Matt Walsh, because I do think media and our society has done a lot of damage to men, but I also appreciate Pastor Dave’s comments about men being both fighters and attackers and what women need from them. I think, too, that the balance is in not honoring a ‘fool’ and yet honoring a person’s position— respect the position and not necessarily the person. I find it interesting that wives are instructed in several places to submit, but it is husbands who are instructed to love and honor wives. Also, as Christians we are instructed to “submit one to another”, but the church, mostly in traditional settings, has focused more on wives submitting to husbands and not on both submitting one to another, leading some husbands to ‘lord it over’ their wives instead of loving and honoring her. Women are responders, and although not all women will necessarily respond with honor and respect toward loving husbands, so, too, husbands do not always respond with love and honor to honoring and respecting wives. In the same way, God, as our Husband is loving and honoring, and yet, we do not always respond to Him with the love and honor due Him.
There is much balance in your words. We truly need it both ways, or it would not be balance at all. Thanks for commenting!