June 3, 2011

Through the Lens of Respect

As a husband, you notice matters of honor.

The movie Saving Private Ryan, about the invasion of Normandy, tears you up as you fixate on the incredible heroism.

You follow the world champion sports team, feeling part of these guys who say, "We respect one another more than anybody on the planet. We'd do anything for one another. One for all, all for one! We're going to be number 1 again!"

The note from your growing son that says, "Dad, I respect you more than anybody" penetrates your heart like few things. That card is kept as gold.

The Purple Heart you won in the Gulf War sits on your shelf. A picture of your war buddy who gave his life that you might live is center stage in your home study.

These things are about "strength and honor," the phrase from the movie The Gladiator. God designed men to be so moved by honor that they give their very lives. Men serve and die for honor.

You look at the world through blue sunglasses. You see the presence of respect. You scout for it. You can find it without looking for it. We believe God designed you this way.

Ephesians 5:33 commands wives to respect their husbands. Husbands need to feel respected. Husbands look to be respected. Respect colors what husbands see.

Conversely, men can be destroyed by contempt. Men pick up on the absence of respect. He looks at the world through blue sunglasses. Not wrong – just different.

Friends, a wife needs to feel loved for who she is. A husband needs to feel respected for who he is.

A husband has two choices. He can either condemn his wife for her pink lenses, or he can appreciate God's design of her pink outlook. And, I might add, if he seeks to see through her pink lenses, she tends to engage him on his blue perspective. If he is sensitive to her need for love, he can appeal to her to soften her disrespectful reactions.

A wife can either judge her husband's blue lenses as stupid, or thank God for His design of this man. Too, if she seeks to see through his blue lenses, he tends to respond to her pink perspective. If she is aware of his maleness, she can appeal to him to be tenderer in his reactions.

Who is right and who is wrong? A husband is right when needing to feel respected. He is wrong when reacting in unloving ways.

A wife is right when needing to feel loved. She is wrong when reacting in disrespectful ways.

A beautiful discovery a couple can make is this: my spouse is not wrong just different. Pink is not wrong for being pink. She is simply different from blue. Blue is not wrong for being blue. He is simply different from pink.

The Love and Respect message enables couples to put on the other's sunglasses during conflicts.


Kathy D said...

Thank you for this great teaching. I'm in my 30's and this is the first time I have heard that a man needs respect. Boy, it'd have been nice to get this sooner, like when I was 10!

Bless you Emerson and Sarah.

Connie Westbrook said...

I just finished the book and loved it. In fact, before I eve finished it I ordered one for my daughter who has been married several years and is an LPC with a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

My comment is, I need more examples of what to say to show respect. I do respect my husband and am very willing to do it but I can't put my finger on what to say that doesn't sound fake. On top of that he just retired so there isn't a job to compliment him on.

Thank you for this wonderful message of Love and Respect!

Anonymous said...

I do love and respect my husband, but there is a point in which love and respect must stop for self preservation, self-worth, and ones general mental (and sometimes physical) health. After many talks, professional help with us both, there was a point in which both of us stopped loving and respecting each other. No matter how hard we tried to look through our "colored lenses" and find out where we went wrong, sometimes it just doesn't work. I don't know where the love and respect went. But I can chance a guess that something was lacking from the beginning. The above is a tool in which a couple can use to help form a good foundation to a happy healthy relationship. Maybe if I had seen this before, we'd be in a different place as we might know what we needed (and didn't have). It did strike a cord with me. A concept sometimes difficult for us to grasp, yet easily explained and understandable. I believe, in hindsight, my ability to look through his "lenses" was impaired and his ability to look through mine. It takes a huge amount of selflessness to truly look through and understand someone else.

Lisa said...

Just finished the two day conference...it was a most humbling experience...I admire you for sending out this message, Emerson and Sarah...and praise our wonderful God for allowing me to hear it! It had a profound effect on both of us and I am looking forward to growing my relationship biblically.


Stone21 said...

Great teaching. This should be spread around the globe! Wish I´d known this earliere. It would have saved millions of marriages and eliminated mountains of pain. Wish to pass this teaching to the next generation. So important!

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