I believe nature has assigned each sex its particular duties and sphere of action and to act well your part, there all the honor lies.
But on to the chapter!
Hmm.. I have to admit that Noelle's words rang true for me "The truth is that I have not always respected him nor do I always respect him now. The Lord has worked in my heart and change me, and I know that the work he has begun he will bring to completion in Christ Jesus". (p. 120)
It's true. It's hard to respect each other sometimes. Sometimes it's ever so easy to do so. Not just because I get my own way... heavens to be.. far from it. But this man of mine LOVES ME, he cares for me in ways that I don't always see. And oddly enough, when I do see it, my respect for him grows by leaps and bounds.
Back to the chapter. :)
I found myself intrigued by her seeing that God made her and her husband one flesh.. and from that perspective she learned to respect her husband more. Not two individuals living together, striving against one another, but ONE flesh with two bodies working together for the good of each other. Having that perspective brings about mutual respect.
The question, therefore is asked, what is respect?
Webster defines respect "an act of giving particular attention and high or special regard, esteem".
Respect is seen in the wife who publicly and privately as the living representative of Christ in the home. If you see your husband this way it changes how you think about him, and react toward him.
Submission and respect are different things... respect is how you see him, how you regard him as the embodiment of Christ in your home. Just as your husband is called to love to live a life of sacrifice to his wife (loving his wife as he loves himself), we are called to show our deep regard for him.
We are not to be like Michal, who despised King David in her heart. This she followed by openly rebuking him. (1 Sam 6)
Rather we should look to the example of Sarah and her relationship with Abraham. She trusted God, so she was able to trust Abraham... because God oversaw their marriage, she knew that it would all work out okay in the end. But even if our husbands are not God-fearing men we are still called to respect him. And if our husband IS a God-fearing man, we should submit meekly BECAUSE of our respect for him (rather than getting angry with him, or giving him a "look" as you give way)
We can go to our husbands with our concerns and worries, letting his counsel be a guide. When we do this, we are a guide to the women of our congregations. Showing them what respect looks like in a Christian marriage.
It also helps to respect him openly because it helps him in his ministry. Seriously. If he knows that you have his back (so to speak), when people argue with him, misunderstand him, hurt him, don't listen to him dispensing God's wisdom, knowing that you are there, helping and not hindering will do him a world of good.
If you struggle in this area, remind yourself of all the good things about your husband, from how he provides for your family, to how he opens doors for you, or helps with the dishes, or kisses you goodnight. All good things yes? Ask the Lord to help you see areas in your life where you could 1. show respect for your husband and 2. learn to respect him more.
My thoughts: I liked this chapter. It challenged me to reconsider my thoughts in regard to some internal changes I can make (through the Lord's help), but it also showed me how far I've come in the relationship between my husband and I. The key for me? Reminding myself of his love for me and how it so often catches me off guard. I'm always so surprised when I see it...makes me respect him and love him all the more. A good thing yes? :)