You know, there’s been a whole lot written about respect. I don’t pretend to have any great insight that others wiser and more articulate than I have not written first. So why am I prattling on about something I’m not even very good at most of the time?
Well, let’s face it. It’s important. God wouldn’t have told wives to respect their husbands if it wasn’t. Come on, marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, right? Well, if the way I show respect to my husband is a picture of how the church should show respect for Christ, well, Jesus is getting mighty short-changed. I suppose that means Kevin is too. Gulp.
You know, it’s really easy to justify things. After all, I’m only human, right? Humans aren’t perfect. It’s just how it is. Sooooooooooo I’ll be just dandy if my husband shows contempt for me, ignores me, doesn’t bother to treat me in the way that he wants Jesus to love, honor, and cherish the church, giving Himself up for us. Right? I’m down with that. Totally awesome, dude.
I feel as though I have a lot to say but for once, I don’t want to say it. I don’t want to remind myself, much less anyone else, of my failings as a wife. I want to protest that for someone to receive respect that they and/or their actions must be respect-ABLE. Ahem. So, does that mean my husband isn’t? Oh, come on. Everyone knows Kevin better than that. The guy borders on perfect. Obnoxious twit that he is. There’s no excuse for being disrespectful– EVEN IF HE WAS A JERK.
God never qualified showing respect. He never told wives, “And so you wives, be sure to show as much respect for your husbands as they deserve.”
Let’s face it. We all deserve a big kick in the pants half the time. So, I sit here and wonder, with my parents’ excellent training in this area, and I did have a fine example in my mother in how she showed respect for my father (and required it of all of us!) as well as my father’s example of respect for authority and his training, I have no excuse. I’ve got everything going for me.
1. Early training.
2. Excellent examples
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT.
So, what’s my excuse when I look over the course of my day and cringe at the way I spoke to or of the guy who puts up with me day in and day out? Am I vicious? Not hardly. Am I snarky or snappish? Rarely. However, the fact is, I get frustrated. I let it show. I have no excuse. I know, I know, we’re not perfect. We don’t have to try to be it in ourselves. We’re being perfected unto the day of Christ Jesus. Yes. All of that is true. And it is also true that I will give an account for every wrong attitude, every time I sighed when he needed or wanted something– even if it was just inwardly– every time I wanted to argue, scream, or just let him have it for being human. You know, that’s probably the problem. I’ve got this guy who generally is pretty much perfect. I don’t know what to do with him when he starts acting all fallible. 😉
However, what shames me most is that I tell my children all the time (and I truly do mean it), you do what is right because it is right, regardless of whether the other person does. Sure, the flesh wants to excuse your failings with whispers of, “Well, if he hadn’t… blinked when I needed him to stare… the jerk,” but even if that stare was absolutely needed, my wrong reaction is not justified by his “wrong action.” I have a responsibility to him. I made it long before I ever met him. Do you get that? My responsibility to honor and respect my husband didn’t start the day I said, “I do.” Dad burn it, it began way back in Rosamond when I was sixteen and Connie Sladek buried me with Jesus in baptism. (Before people start dropping in shock, no. Connie was not a female preacher. She was just another sister in Christ who baptized a sister in Christ. Breathe!)
When I said, “I do” to Jesus, I vowed to honor and respect my husband. To be faithful to him. To submit to him as unto the Lord. I vowed to raise up my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I vowed to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit when dealing with my family, God’s family, and the people that Jesus died for who aren’t family yet. I vowed not to be a clanging cymbal and to bear all things, hope all things, believe all things about one another. I vowed to love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and my neighbor (husband?) as myself. When I put on Jesus, I may not have known the name of the man or the children who would be on the receiving end of those vows (and I bet there are days, weeks, months, years where they wish it was someone else– Lord please, not decades), but AS A CHRISTIAN, I made those vows.
Aw, man. I hate it when I give myself a sermon like this. It hurts. Especially because I know it’s true. I made a vow to respect regardless. Now– to do it. Because the last thing I want to do is be that man in my favorite book of the Bible– James. I do not want to be a, “Hearer of the word” and “not a doer, deceiving” my own self.