Respect in marriage is crucial to having a lasting and enjoyable marriage. In today's article, I will outline the basic characteristics and fundamentals that drive a respecter's treatment of their spouse.
Respecters have a set of core beliefs. These beliefs are quite different from those of a disrespecter. Being a respecter is not gender biased, so you will see me use both pronouns in this post. The respecter knows we are all equal in value.
We Are Equal
A respecter comes into marriage with an idea that his spouse is totally equal in value. His spouse can reason and have a different perspective, but there is still equality.
The value of a respecter isn't based on gender, success or education; it's based on the Blood of Jesus Christ. This core of equality allows the respecter to hear his spouse fully because he believes that if he doesn't listen carefully, he may miss something valuable.
Hearts Are Valuable
The respecter not only wants to know the mind of her spouse, she also wants to know how he feels. The respecter is focused on connecting heart to heart. She would consider that the person who attempted to rule over another person's heart in order to get to a goal or just to be right was very gross and immature. Staying in a connected relationship is more valuable to the respecter than closing the deal. The respecter values the person over outcomes.
Truth Is a Journey
The respecter truly knows and believes in his heart that he does not know all truth at all times. He knows that God distributes truth. He knows his spouse has some pieces of truth, and that together they may or may not have all the truth they need to move through an issue. There is humility in the heart of a respecter to seek truth and not presume he knows truth.
No Emotion Justifies Rudeness
A respecter is not perfect. She has emotions as well. She can dislike others, become hurt or get mad like the rest of us. She just doesn't allow herself to do it! The bottom line is that it's not right to be rude or unkind. It would hurt her so much more to act like a disrespecter than just to be quiet and try to be gracious. The respecter knows what my pastor tells us all the time: "Have manners and be nice."
We Are Allowed to Be Different
Being different, seeing things differently and even having different outcomes is normal for the respecter. What would you expect from any two people who have different life experiences, priorities and education, not to mention genders?
To expect two people to agree on everything or think that one of them is always right is absolutely insane thinking to the respecter. It just doesn't make sense to believe in sameness when God intentionally expertly made us entirely different from one another. For the respecter, it is totally acceptable to disagree because we will do that throughout our entire lives, anyway. Navigating differences respectfully is expected, but to assume agreement isn't even in the psyche of a respecter.
Your spouse is by far the most important person in your life. You can evaluate yourself by now. Are you more closely aligned to the core beliefs of a disrespecter or a respecter? Take a moment and really think about this.
At a core level, you know that it is best to treat your spouse regularly with respect. You also know innately that it is best to honor your spouse with your words and with your actions. You also know that it takes some effort not to demean, ridicule, or embarrass your spouse.
Respecting another person as God respects you is encouraging that person to operate in his or her strengths. Show respect for your spouse by encouraging him or her to focus on the gifts God has given him or her and show your appreciation for those gifts.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including The 7 Love Agreements. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on hisFacebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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