Calling Something Respect Doesn’t Make it Respect
When I saw the title of Sheila Wray Gregoire’s 10 Signs You’re Respecting Your Husband Too Much post, I wondered how one could respect someone “too much”.
As I read the post, I realised the things Sheila was talking about were not really respect.
Some in the church have defined respect as blind, unthinking “obedience”. Any questioning is wrong and a sign of “disrespect”. Some use this perverted definition of respect to cover for leaders who are abusing those who follow them. The definition is also used to allow husbands to be something God never called a man to be.
Lori and I are (soft) complementarians. We believe God treats men and women a bit differently because He made us differently. Men are neither better nor more important than women, but we are different. God called men to servant leadership in marriage. Please, please see the word servant there, it matters! Servant leadership is not about getting one’s way; it’s about sacrificing for the good of those you lead. It’s much more about responsibility than authority and doesn’t make one infallible or beyond question.
I know some of you find it easy to respect your husband because of his actions. Others find it very difficult to respect their husband, again because of his actions. Beyond that, there’s what your culture tells you. Maybe you were taught to never doubt or question, or perhaps you have been told to challenge and fight every bit of male authority you can find. I don’t think either of those can be supported biblically, and I know neither of them results in the kind of marriage God wants couples to have.
Members of the CMBA have recently been discussing the issue of how women are treated. There are some really bad things going on out there, and some of it is done in the name of Jesus. All of us should be concerned about any kind of abuse, and that includes abusing women in the name of Christianity. Expect to see more on this in 2017.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I see far more responsibility than right associated with that.