His Perspective…On Respect

February 14, 2009 at 1:00 am (His Perspective) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Valentine’s Day conjures up thoughts of red foil, powdered candy hearts, oozing chocolate cakes and over-the-top sentimentalism all wrapped up in a hazy misunderstanding of the word “love.” To the world, love is a feeling, coming and going on the winds of time, age, business and beauty, pronounced in words that pass away and proudly displayed through things destined to perish with the using. The disciple Jesus loved gives those of us who would understand true love a great reminder: “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in action and truth.” (1 John 3:18 ) English teachers will insist that love is an abstract noun—an idea. Scripture tells us it’s a verb. Sisters, let’s stop just using empty words to express love. Let’s really get active about loving according to the truth of scripture!

Paul, the bond-slave of the Lord, never mentioned flowers or chocolate or candlelight dinners, but he did give some excellent advice for godly love and relationships. “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church…and let the woman see to it that she respect her husband.” (From Ephesians 5:22-33–we really recommend reading the whole passage). In the literal Greek the word for “husband” is really just “man”, plain and simple, and we believe that the respect factor applies to young women under the authority of their fathers, as well. After all, what better way is there to prepare for respecting a husband, some day? Could there be a better way to prove respect for the Lord than to respect the authorities He has placed in our lives?

Some of the men who are seeking to work out this Biblical pattern graciously agreed to help us in digging up some great insights on the issue of respect. We’ve included a few prime quotes below as a sort of appetizer and we’d encourage you to take a look at what they had to say and put your love into action, guided by the truth of God’s word! Just follow the link at the bottom to visit the “Respect” page and see the whole survey! Feel free to share what you find, and don’t be afraid to ask your own men the same questions to discover what honors them and proves to them your love and respect–for God’s glory.

Are candy hearts and red roses wrong? Not at all. They are thoughtful. They are romantic. They are even pleasant. Only to call those things “love” or even “expressions of love” which never even come close to scratching the surface of the love of God, who sacrificed His Son for sinners, is to cheapen a word which should be reserved for gifts of much greater worth. This Valentine’s Day, we challenge you to give more. We challenge you to lavish your man with respect—all year long.


“Biblical respect is the humble, intelligent, joyful response of a wife to God’s placement of authority expressed by esteem for, encouragement of, and submission to her husband’s leadership.”

Shai Linne, Philadelphia, PA


“It is possible to have a surviving relationship without respect because I could choose to love them [wife/sister/daughter] even if they refused to respect me, but to have a really healthy flourishing relationship both must fill their biblical roles.”

–Moriah Day, Altamont, KS, age 16, eldest of 10


“Leaving me would be the highest rejection of my leadership and provision. But in absence of legal separation, complete emotional and relational separation would be basically equivalent.”


–Nathaniel, Tulsa, OK, married to Lauren for 1 year, 4 months and 4 weeks 😉

We hear much about men having a built in need for respect and similarly women having a built in need for love … as if men and women are designed by God with the frailties of tiny egos and frail emotions that need constant stroking by the other lest we suffer the consequences. This is nonsense. Respect and Love in the context of Marriage have everything to do with God given roles and authority structure. Respect and Love are what bring about God’s desire that we use our position selflessly for the benefit of our Spouse.”

–John Day, Altamont, KS married 18+ years, father of three daughters (so far)


“’Love is of God,’ I John 4:7 says. God’s love is not natural to man, as the Scripture continues: ‘everyone who loves has been born of God.’ So husbands are to love, not by human product, but by the love of God. Likewise are wives, according to Titus 2:4, to love their husbands, not by natural love, but God’s love.”

–Glenn Schreiber, Central Illinois, (very happily) married for 18.5 years, father of two daughters


It is the ‘picture’ of Christ and His bride. The relationship for the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Sacrificial love, a love worth respecting because it is wonderful and it knows the love is acting in the best interest for the wife. How do they differ? The love is the leading action which makes the respecting enjoyable.”


–Gabe Graham, Tulsa, OK, married 5+ years, father of three daughters


“The Bible says that Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. I think this word is a great way of summarizing how a wife is to respect her husband. She treats him as someone who is very important; as someone who she means to serve and obey, and who is worthy of her service. No other person trumps him; he is the #1 person she is meant to help, to love, and to give her time and affections to. What is important to him becomes important to her, simply because he values it. This all comes out of an ultimate desire to serve her Heavenly Lord, because this is His command to her; ultimately, she is serving Him through demonstrating a giving over of her desires to the desires of her husband, and treating him as the authority God has given her.”

John A. Moss, Morgantown, WV, married almost three years, a daughter due in April (!)


“God’s originally-stated purpose for creating mankind was to rule over the earth (Gen. 1:26). His special purpose for man was to cultivate and keep the garden (Gen. 1:26; 2:15) and for woman was for her to be a suitable helper of her husband (Genesis 2:18). It follows that she must learn to help her man. This is the major distinction between the husband and his wife’s roles–he is the leader and she is the helper. More descriptively, he is to be her loving leader and she is to be his reverent helper.”

–Lane, Rural AR, married 31 years, father of Abigail (and Lydia)


Trust and respect can be shattered by failure to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.”

Zach Welchman, Arkansas Tech University

We found the answers sometimes surprising, often enlightening, sometimes encouraging, often convicting.   We’d love for you to take a look at the comments and the survey (when you can) and tell us your thoughts!

His Perspective on Respect: The Survey

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What Are You Waiting For?

September 26, 2008 at 8:11 am (Articles, Godly Living, Marriage, Purity, Singleness) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Posted by Abigail

what-are-you-waiting-for“It is not good for man to be alone,” God said, surveying His highest creation. “I will make a helper suitable for him.” Putting Adam to sleep, He took a rib from his side and fashioned a woman. Truly a match made in heaven.

But in a world filled with more than one man, how can we know whose helper we are meant to be? In the tale of the Three Weavers, Huberta flirted with many and ultimately fell short of the standard for a prince. Hertha settled for a handsome page until she discovered him to be less than perfect. How did Hildegarde keep her heart pure, control her emotions and wait patiently for her true prince? She kept ever before her the silver yardstick which her father had given.

Many Christian girls seem all too willing to “settle” and cast a critical eye over their choice only after taking the plunge. “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” seems the only standard in scripture-a pitifully low standard for manhood, though slightly higher than that of paganism. If you were created to be a suitable helper, are you willing to wait for a suitable husband? It wasn’t until Adam had been placed in the middle of God’s garden (his work field) that God brought Eve to him. Wisdom and scripture stand witness to the powerful service that a suitable husband/wife team may have. Priscilla and Aquila trained Apollos in the truth of Jesus Christ. Francis and Edith Schaeffer opened their home to scores of wounded souls. The sphere of a godly single man and a godly single woman combine to create manifold sphere of ministry. A husband and wife together may enter the house of a single woman, adopt orphaned children or open their door to a drunk man. Do you desire to serve the Living God as a married woman? Marry a man who is serving God. Do you desire to raise a family that glorifies God? Settle for nothing less in choosing the leader of your family than God’s standard for those who will one day lead in His family.

Paul gave his disciple, Timothy, some clear qualifications for the men who lead God’s household. “He must be above reproach, married once…not a new convert…he must have a good reputation with those outside the church…holding to the faith with a clear conscience.” (Please take a look at 1 Timothy 3:1-10 to put the rest of this article in context.) The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 had a husband who was known in the gates-as he sat among the elders of the land. The virtuous young woman is willing to wait for the man who will prove himself qualified to serve the Lord. Measured by the silver yardstick, her husband must measure up to every last inch demanded by scripture:

  • Reputation: He should be above reproach. No accusation will stick because he lives his life with such purity that everyone knows his high morals. Those who work with him and around him can speak no evil of him unless it concerns his love for God (as Daniel experienced). Don’t be afraid to ask! Many men tell dirty jokes or flirt on the job. I know women who have discovered, after marriage, the pornography, drug or alcohol addictions that others could have told them before. Wait for the man who has been tested and has proven his character.
  • Purity: His sins are as far removed as East is from West and yet the Lord is clear that a divorced man commits adultery when he remarries. A godly man’s current state should be radical purity-fornication in the past may be cleansed, adultery in the present (by remarriage) becomes a guilt you share. Wait for the man who asks you to be his only wife.
  • Faith: He should be rooted and grounded in Jesus, having proven his obedience, his stability through time and his understanding of the commands of Christ. Many fiery young Christians swing back and forth between legalism and lawlessness in the course of their early conversion. Some are too quickly elevated and fall into sin or pride. Wait for the man who has slowed the pendulum to a right division of God’s word and an accurate understanding of God’s ways.
  • Leadership: He should have learned to discover and become able to teach truth, demonstrating a love for God’s Word and a lifestyle of obedience to it. For the health of your relationship with him and with other believers he should understand Biblical discipline and accountability, and embrace Biblical roles. God commands husbands to wash their wives with the water of the Word. Wait for the man who will take your hand and lead you in pursuit of the Holy One.
  • Hospitality: He should be willing to open his home to believers for fellowship and unbelievers for outreach. He must understand that he is to imitate Christ, who came not to be served but to serve, not to the healthy, but to the sick, not to invite those who could repay, but those who couldn’t and who is preparing His home for us above. The home is the epic center of ministry-a haven for all who enter, a rest for strangers, a hospital for the broken. Wait for the man who will open his door and heart to those whom Jesus loves and who will take up the basin and towel to serve his guests.
  • Generosity: The man of God is not driven by money. Instead, he is a diligent worker, joyfully serving the Lord in whatever he does and eager to share whatever the Lord provides. Remember that he who gives to the poor lends to the Lord, and the Lord repays with great interest! Wait for the man who stretches out his hand to the poor and shares his bread with the hungry.
  • Self-control: Evidence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling is an essential. He should not be easily angered or offended, given to conceit, wasteful of time, money or other resources, given to addiction or gluttony. He seeks to be at peace with those around him, keeps his emotions from ruling his tongue. Wait for the man whose every action and word demonstrates his sense of responsibility as God’s steward.
  • Humility: Does he accept correction from God’s word? Does he shun glory for himself? Is he slow to consider his opinion or feelings weighty? Does he admire and defer to older men? God gives grace to the humble. He dwells with the humble. He commands us to associate with the lowly. The conceited understands nothing. Pride goes before destruction. Wait for the man who owns his complete dependency on God for everything-his character, his life, his livelihood.
  • Commitment: When you marry, you marry for life and you promise to honor and obey, to joyfully join in your husband’s decisions and visions. He should not be hasty to make decisions or commitments, but careful, wise and willing to stand by his word, even if it hurts him. Wait for the man who has demonstrated that his word is good-the man you can trust to keep his vows to you forever.

Wisdom and scripture speak also of the blessing in honoring your parents, in seeking their counsel, their wisdom. Run to your father and share with him your desires, your goals, and your standards. If he loves the Lord, he will be delighted to encourage and uphold you. With revelation comes accountability. Is he not obedient to the Lord? Does he seem to discard your convictions? Still he should know for whom you wait. And perhaps your silver yardstick may become a standard to which he will aspire. Or one which he can respect. One which he can recognize as a wise choice for you. At least you will have offered him the responsibility he should accept. If the Lord can turn a king’s heart like water, can turn the Red Sea to dry land and turn the tide of history for His glory and for the good of those who love Him, He can work through your parents, no matter who they are. Wait for the man who has gained your parent’s full confidence.

Do you find the yardstick so tall that you think you could never measure up to be the partner of such a man? My sisters, may I remind you that your faithful waiting is the very tool by which the Lord can fashion you into a woman of worth. All too often I have seen a young woman eagerly clutching the silver yardstick in her youth only to lay it aside when the waiting became irksome. Trust the Father who has never yet deceived you. Your faithfulness while waiting will prove you faithful in marriage. Your commitment in singleness is honoring your wedding day vows. You are worth the price you place on your forehead. Set it high and accept no lower offers. In the meanwhile, seek the Father’s training to teach you to weave a mantle suitable.

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Stop, Drop and Roll

August 22, 2008 at 10:34 am (Articles, Godly Living) (, , , , , , , , )

Imagine you are a little mouse in the home of the average American family, where two children sit coloring at the kitchen table. “You stole my pencil!” one exclaims. “I did not!” the other replies indignantly. “You stole it yourself!” You, the mouse, sits to the side, contentedly munching the missing pencil. Behold the epic tale of the false accusation.

The issue caught my attention the other day while browsing the Rebelution forum: What do you do when you’re on the receiving end of the accusation? Here’s my recommendation for becoming fireproof.

Stop before you answer. Think about the accusation to be sure it’s false–that there is no truth in it. Answer gently–not affirming the accusation, but also not denying it or if you feel you must deny it, deny it gently once. Don’t argue about it. Siblings are rarely persuaded through argument. Parents should be honored. Husbands should be respected. Proverbs says to leave the arguing to fools.

Drop to your knees and pray for wisdom, gentleness and forgiveness, insight into why the other person may have accused you, understanding of what they may currently be going through and for the truth to be made known. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood–pray that the Lord would do the battling and the debating for you.

Roll with the punches. Remind yourself that you may falsely accuse at times as well. Remind yourself that your relationship with this person is too valuable to risk harming by fighting. Remind yourself that God knows the truth and He will bring all truth to light eventually. If the person is angry, you won’t be able to reason with them anyway. Give them some time to think it over without irritating or increasing their anger. Shrug your shoulders, thinking of the bigger picture—eternity. How important is it really whether you stole the pencil or not?

Sometimes, at a later time, an opportune moment arises to discuss the issue–take it then and calmly express yourself, respectfully. Even siblings deserve respect and honor. But don’t force an issue and always give it time to cool! If it becomes an argument, bow out. So many misunderstandings resolve themselves when set on a shelf for a little while. Many false accusations are quickly proven to be false without a struggle. In fact, if you maintain an attitude of humility and gentleness, you’ll find that people are less likely to accuse you, more likely to listen to you and more likely to acquit you and come to your defense. For me, I find the root of my defenses usually lies in self-righteousness, pride and anger. King David had an excellent attitude toward false accusations, of which he found himself the frequent butt. “But I, like a deaf man, do not hear, and I am like a dumb man who does not open his mouth. Yes, I am like a man who does not hear, in whose mouth are no arguments. For I hope in Thee, O Yahweh, Thou wilt answer.” (Psalm 38:13-15) The Lord will vindicate the righteous. And He does so with much more finesse.

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