Conditional Respect

One of the pitfalls that I've discovered, is the expectation that Michael has to earn my respect. He does this, this and this, and therefore doesn't deserve my respect.

This thinking is wrong on several accounts.

1. My respect toward him will encourage him to stop sinning. So by being disrespectful to him, I am discouraging him from making the changes that I want him to make. So, in essence, I am defeating the very purpose I lament.

2. When this is my mindset, it is impossible for my standards to be met. He will always have things he needs to work on, there will always be areas where he falls short. There will always be some reason why he doesn't deserve my respect. That's why respect should be unconditional. If it's not, there would never be a circumstance that would merit my respect.

3. Also, this mindset steals any ability to see the things he does that are wonderful. It blinds me and makes it next to impossible to see what he does well, and causes me to focus on the areas where he's not so great.

Respect for my husband should come from my love of God, not from my love for my husband. Even if there is absolutely NOTHING to respect my husband about, I can respect him simply because he is my husband and God has asked me to do it.

I became part of a forum for women a few years ago. It was sort of a support group, I suppose. Anyway, there were hundreds of women who participated. I joined because I thought I would receive encouragement. I left after only a few days. It was so disheartening to me that most of the women's lives were completely wrapped up in this one sin that their husbands had committed. Although it didn't encourage me, it did open my eyes. I saw myself in them and realized that I didn't have to be like that. I didn't have to base my life and love for my husband around whether or not he was feeling strong that day.

My husband is my husband. I can respect him simply on that basis. But when I make the extra effort to show him that respect, I see the tons of other reasons I have to respect him as well.

Popular posts from this blog

Who is Gonna Tell the Child?

The Story of Our House

What Freedom Feels Like