Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How My Husband Handles Disrespect

If you’ve been following Lori’s blog for at least several months, you’ve probably had a chance to read my story {thejoyfilledwife} and know the dynamics of my marriage and family. For those of you who are brand new here or haven’t ever read my posts, I am married to a man with a very strong personality and high expectations. I am a strong woman, but not a difficult one. I can handle confrontation well, but I definitely don’t prefer it. I’m a peacemaker at heart and am sensitive by nature, but I try not to allow my emotions control my actions. I am far from being the perfect wife, but I’m so grateful for the Word of God that guides me and shows me what I should be working toward every day. I’m also grateful for my strong husband, who doesn’t let me get away with disrespect when it comes up.

A few weeks ago, my husband was playing with one of our children and I thought he was horseplaying too roughly. I find that, whenever I am struggling with disrespecting my husband, it’s usually in regards to the children. So I said to my husband in a frustrated tone {in front of our child, I might add}: “Stop that! Don’t be so rough with them!” My husband stopped, turned toward me and said, “I’m sure you meant to say, ‘Honey, I would like to SUGGEST that you play more gently with them.’ ” Point taken. I was being disrespectful in my tone, so I apologized to my husband and child and said, “Yes, I would like to SUGGEST that you play more gently.”

The example above is admittedly more charming than what is usually the case in situations of disrespect. There have been many times when my disrespect was in response to my husband saying something rude to me first. I’m sure we can all agree that it’s not right to repay sin with sin, but those kind of scenarios are often the more frequent ones in marriage. Even in these types of situations, my husband does not allow me to get away with disrespect. Even the times when he has not lived up to his role as loving me like Christ loves the Church, he doesn’t shirk his responsibility to hold me accountable for my sin of disrespect. As you can imagine, this usually brings out of me a “that’s not fair” response, and the desire to point out the fact that “you’re not exactly leading by example!” Ouch. Not a respectful way to respond when he’s sinning against me. Two wrongs don’t make a right. We have to remember that we are not accountable for our husband’s sins, but we ARE responsible for ours, even when we are sinning in response to being sinned against. Also, remember that our husbands, as head of the household, are held responsible by the Lord for the state of their flocks. When a husband’s wife is living in constant sin and rebellion, he is held to account if he is allowing that behavior to continue unchecked. That is why, even if our husbands are unloving to us first, they are obligated to call us out and correct our disrespect in response. That may not FEEL fair to us, but that is what their position requires.

If the Commander In Chief were to come on television and make a rude and insensitive statement about a particular class of people and the outrage over his comment manifested itself in the form of riots, vandalism, and violence, does that exempt him from the authority -- and obligation -- to call in the National Guard to stop the behavior? Should he, instead, say, “No, no...I can’t tell that group of people to stop their behavior or interfere with their activity because it was my comments that provoked them in the first place”? Surely not! He would have a DUTY to use his authority to stop the situation from escalating and, after the orders have been given, apologize for the wrongful things he said.

I know it can be challenging to be second in command, particularly when our leader is a sinner just like us. But this is God’s will, God’s order, and God’s plan for our marriages. For those of you who have husbands who are not as quick as mine to correct your disrespect, I would encourage you to ask your husbands {respectfully} if they would be willing to hold you accountable when you are disrespectful toward them. Then I would implore you to thank your husband when he does correct you, even though you don’t like the way it feels, because his act of obedience to God’s Word will bring about blessings and God’s favor on your household. If your husband is provoking your disrespect by being insensitive, hurtful, and unloving, ask the Lord to help you repay evil with good, and allow the Lord to work on your husband’s heart. After all, your husband may be the leader of the household, but he will have to answer to the ultimate Commander In Chief. Pray for him to submit to that leadership daily as you fulfill your role with submission and humility. May your household be truly blessed by your obedience! 

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Ephesians 5:23,24

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