Why He Needs Your Respect…Desperately.

This post disturbs me (http://on.fb.me/1VRoBkO). It’s not because of the 14 points; I agree with every one of them. It was sad to read through the comments. Today, what is pro-man is often taken as anti-woman. If I saw a list of 14 similar points for “how to treat a woman,” first, I’d likely realize quickly that I was missing a few! However, what I wouldn’t do is assume women were trying to control or make me feel weak. No, it’s a peek into their hearts, as is this article. Perhaps, male privilege and gender-based inequalities play a role, but maybe I would see as a Christian man that this is how I’m ordered to treat my wife by God, regardless of whether I feel she deserves it or not.

Ephesians 5:25
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her…

1 Peter 3:7
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

In love, feelings and how people act have nothing to do with it. Nowhere in Scripture does God allow for me to say, “Well, she did this so therefore I will withhold…” Nowhere. Every time I blame my wife for something, I disobey Scripture—the command of God. Every time I focus on my wife’s behavior to the detriment of the relationship and fail to show love and empathy, according to God, I fail. God is not looking for excuses. He’s looking for love because that’s what He modeled on the cross.

1 John 4:10 NIV
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

God didn’t wait for us to get right before He gave us His best. No, love came first. Men, if we’re sitting around waiting for our wives to act out any or all 14 points before we love fully, then we’ve got it backwards. We should be on our faces daily asking God for a greater understanding of His love and grace because that is the only way we’re going to receive power to change.

This is no shot at the ladies, but most women have no idea how hard this is unless they are wise enough to ask and listen. Essentially: a Christian man is called to get beat up by everybody…and take it, to love through it. He is designed by God to bear in partnership with Him the weight of criticism, abuse, shame from failure, missed opportunities, feelings of insecurity, resistance against sin, etc. and to bear the responsibilities of leadership, righteousness, prayer, loving pursuit of his wife and family, church, career, service, etc.

Not that women don’t have their own burdens and responsibilities to bear: they’re just as important to God. The point is, he’s going through things you’ll never know about, carrying weight you never see, bleeding and healing from emotional darts he doesn’t even know how to communicate. That’s why these 14 points are so important and why God orders you to respect him unconditionally. Rarely does a man have a safe place where he can “struggle forward” with God: a place where he can make mistakes in the process of growing and know he won’t be reprimanded, ridiculed, or abandoned. Respect is creating a safe place for a man’s ego to land after he makes a mistake and creating a launching pad through your affirmation and praise that catapults him to higher levels of productivity and faithfulness.

The fact is: as good as a woman can be on her own; she’s even better with her man’s sacrificial love. As good as a man can be on his own; he’s even better with his wife’s unconditional praise. That’s how God designed it.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Amen. Don’t think this is about man vs. woman; that’s exactly what Satan wants. He wants us squabbling about “who carries more weight” and demanding things from one another. How can you have an effective partnership through that? How can that ever be an effective team? I used to get suckered by Satan into these stupid arguments all the time, and only by God’s grace have I begun to recognize Satan’s plan. The only fighting we should be doing is together in the prayer room because if that’s not happening coupled with obedience to the Scriptures, there’s no marriage anyway.

Matthew 7:1 NASB
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

Matthew 16:23
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Romans 14:13 NLT
So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

1 John 4:7 NASB
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love…

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