R E S P E C T

In the song by Aretha Franklin called R E S P E C T, we see her sing these words, "R E S P E C T Find out what it means to me R E S P E C T Take care, T C B...Oh, a little respect Yeah, baby, I want a little respect Now, I get tired, but I keep on tryin' Runnin' out of foolin', I ain't lyin' Yes, respect, all I need is respect..." broken

 

 

 

 

 

 

Major stresses in marriage are:

  • Money
  • Sex
  • Children
  • Time
  • Household demands

Major mishaps in marriage

  • outside influences/improper relationships
  • lack of communication
  • lack of intimacy
  • broken trust
  • being selfish
  • pornography

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As a men's ministry leader, an elder and a husband and father and a legacy dad, I can tell you from my limited experience that I have seen all spectrums of relationships - both good and bad and some in between.  There is no clear cut blame to either spouse because if we are honest then we can all say that it takes two to break or make a marriage (barring adultery and brutality, of course).  I would like to modify the last statement by changing it to say that it really takes three to make a marriage - now don't go nuts on me here because when I say three, as Christians, I mean to say that we need Christ in the center of our marriages.

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Signs of healthy fruit in a marriage

  • Communication
  • Honesty (even when it hurts - but not brutal rather with respect)
  • Intimacy
  • Friendship
  • Loyalty
  • Husband or wife in the other's corner
  • Husband or wife being the biggest fan of the other

And so much more fruit

Let's take a look at what scripture says for Legacy Dads (for those of us that our husbands):

Ephesians 5:21-33

New International Version (NIV)

Instructions for Christian Households

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Men, don't miss this here:  A lot of us get stuck on JUST the first part of this, "wives SUBMIT..." that we forget the rest of the command.  We ought to love our wives (do not be harsh, do not be cruel, do not neglect) and we should love our wives as we take care of our own bodies.  We are no longer self, but one flesh - this is key!  Our bodies no longer belong to ourselves, but to our spouses.  Men, remember that Christ gave himself up for the church, he died to self and sacrificed himself for his Bride - the Church - which is what we ought to do for our wives.

Let's put it this way:

1 Peter 3:7

New International Version (NIV)

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Respect does not mean:

  • "Listen to me, I am the man and the Bible says that you have to SUBMIT to me, woman"
  • "I am in charge"
  • "How dare you not respect me"
  • Holding love from one another
  • Being cruel and cold to the other

I do not want to broad brush this here, but in talking with both men and women, one can conclude that it is not rocket science in figuring ways out to foster a healthy marriage.  As we are each created fearfully and wonderfully and we are all different, please do not take this as final.  For the most part:

Men want:

  • To be Respected
  • To be Loved and to feel trusted
  • To feel secure
  • To be intimate
  • Romance (even though we may not know how to be romantic)

Women want:

  • To be loved
  • To feel secure
  • To be valued and respected
  • To be listened to (the art of true conversation)

 

Biblical Respect means:  To put Christ in the center of our marriage.  We are to die to selves in our sanctification pathway.  We are to put away the old self and put on the new self.  We could learn to listen to one another, to love one another and to respect each other for who we are.  That means that I do not expect my wife to become what I want her to be for me, nor should my wife expect me to change into someone that she expects me to be.  We are who we are.  That doesn't mean that we can keep our old selves on, rather, we are to put on Christ and to die to self as Christ died for us.  When we exemplify this then we truly understand agape love.  We understand God's plan for marriage.  We can understand that marriage is a blessing and not a curse.

So what do I do if I am not doing marriage God's way:

  • Repent
  • Pray
  • Do not expect your spouse to change over night because you found God's pathway and repented
  • Serve
  • Serve more
  • Love
  • Love more
  • Pray continually through this process that your spouse will be led by Christ to change your marriage (knowing that we cannot)

So what if you have this biblical marriage:

  • Pray more
  • Love more
  • Serve more
  • Reach out to couples who need this love and respect

Your thoughts?

Blessings,

D