Respect One Another
Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband. - Ephesians 5:33 (nasb).
Do you remember the comedian who used to say, “I just don’t get no respect”? We laughed about it, but how many people really know what respect is?
Dictionaries say “respect” means to feel or show honor or esteem for a person, to hold them in high regard, to treat with deference, to show consideration for.
In marriage, respect means you notice things about your partner that no one else does. God’s Word calls you to love one another as you love yourself and to respect each other.
Will you have a respectful marriage? This is part of our calling as believers. The Scripture passage for today instructs both husbands and wives to respond to one another with respect. Do you understand what that means in marriage?
Respect in marriage means ministering to your partner through listening, a loving embrace, a flexible mind and attitude and a gracious spirit.
It means looking past faults and differences and seeing strengths and similarities. It means sharing concerns mutually instead of attempting to carry the load yourself.
Consider the following questions as you evaluate your respect for one another now and in the future:
• In a tense situation, do I cut off my partner when he or she holds a view different from mine?
• When I think my partner is wrong, do I become offensive and harsh trying to put him or her in place?
• In trying to get a point across, am I gently persuasive or opinionated and demanding?
• Am I driven so much by the need to be right that I try to pressure my spouse into my position? Do I intimidate my partner?
• Do I ever interrupt my partner when he or she takes too long to respond?
• Do I ever put my partner down in public or make fun of him or her so that it hurts?
• Do I get irritated because my partner’s thinking or communication style is different from my own?
Yes, these are questions that meddle. But answering them is a good step toward building a respectful marriage.
As one author said, respect begins when we “learn to practice careful listening rather than threatened opposition, honest expression rather than resentment, flexibility rather than rigidity, loving censure rather than harsh coercion, encouragement rather than intimidation.”
True respect creates space for your partner to develop individuality and potential.
It creates rather then restricts freedom. How will the respect be in your marriage relationship?
H. Norman Wright is a licensed Family Counselor and child therapist and has taught in the Grad. Department of Biola University. He is the author of more than seventy books