Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unconditional Respect: A Man’s Love Language

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Ladies, when was the last time you showed your husband unconditional respect? A respect where a woman reverences, regards, honors, notices, prefers, venerates, esteems, defers to, praises, admires and loves her husband exceedingly despite the fact that he may be behaving unlovingly.

I know for a long time I didn’t. I did not believe that Kevin had earned the right for me to respect him and neither do a great many of my women friends. Many are still fighting against respecting their husbands for a variety of reasons, but none justified by what God calls women to do. Yes, I knew and Kevin knew that I loved him, but respect wasn’t coming his way at all. I had always heard that men were to earn their respect; however, never did I decipher that respect in the world or work place was totally different from respect in the home and in his marriage. In the world, yes men must earn their respect, but a man’s wife must respect her husband “just because.”

I put Kevin through it for a long time. We argued for any reason we could think of. I knew I always felt hurt and abandoned, but I never concerned myself with his feelings. It never dawned on me that the reason I didn’t feel loved by him was because he didn’t get respect from me. He shut down and would not respond to me at all. I was in HELL and so was he!

At some point in our lives, we’ve put so much emphasis on “unconditional love” that we’ve made respect something our husbands must earn and failed to recognize it as something that’s rightfully theirs. How do we justify making him earn something that’s already his? We’re wives, not the judge or jury. How inappropriate to think, ladies, that just because we love our husbands, we’re respecting them. Have we mistakenly redefined how, when, and why we should respect our men? What if they did the same to us when it came to loving us?

I remember about 5 years ago specifically sitting Kevin down and telling him that I didn’t respect him. What a blow that must have been to him as a man! I wasn’t revealing this to him to be disrespectful, but more importantly, I had recently realized that I had been consistently disrespectful to him. My tone of voice, my dissatisfied facial expressions, my constant usurping his authority, my refusal to follow his lead, my unwillingness to let him make decisions without my questioning him and even my stubbornness to simply follow him were all signs of my disrespect and the birth of his frustration and shutting down. I easily saw what Kevin was doing to me, but he was exacerbated trying to get me to see what I was doing to him.

Although some may think so, love is not the only thing necessary in marriage; our men need respect. Stop putting limitations on his respect and just give it to him. Stop trying to make him earn what God has already said was rightfully his. We define love as love and men define love as R-E-S-P-E-C-T

It’s no mystery that God commanded men to love wives because they just don’t do it naturally; as well He commanded women to Respect their husbands because, it too, is not a natural action for us. We love to love, but we don’t love to respect.

In order to love our husbands in a way that they will rceive it, we must seek the help of the Holy Spirit. They are nt our fathers, ex-boyfriends, or any other man from our pasts, they are our HUDBANDS. Will you do it; will you begin to respect your man unconditionally?

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