Every other Tuesday night I meet with some amazing girlfriends who ask me hard questions, make sure I'm living rightly, pray for me, and challenge me. These women have become some of my closest friends. They have my best interests in mind and I trust them completely.
At our last meeting, when it was my turn to share, I offered how I was harboring anger and bitterness toward my husband over something he didn't do. [He didn't stay home from a personal trip when I felt the family needed him]. I was hurt. I was disappointed. And I disagreed with his choice.
In my brokenness, I muttered: "I lost respect for him."
As soon as I said it I knew it was wrong. Who did I think I was?!
My friends were quick to chime in. They lovingly, wisely reminded me that I am not perfect. I do not make every right decision. One friend likened respecting our spouses to that of respecting the President. She argued that even if you don't agree with your husband's "policies," and even if you're disappointed with his choice, and even if his choice hurt you, the "Office of the Presidency" is worthy of your respect. No matter what.
I couldn't agree more.
I found it interesting then, that just a day or two later, President Obama was heckled on the Rose Lawn while announcing his administration's new policy granting qualified legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
Who has the audacity to heckle the President of the United States? What kind of person would do such a thing, on national television with millions of people watching?
He might have been right. He might have been well intentioned. But the heckler ... he looked like a big jerk. (see for yourself).
What this heckler needed was to be put in his place. That is what my friends graciously did to me that Tuesday night.
Respect is something my man doesn't have to earn. It's something I give regardless. It should be the same for you. It is our precious, beautiful offering, and we extend that offering on our own free will, in obedience to God, having nothing to do with our husband's actions or behaviors. Like the Presidency, we maintain our respect for the person not because we expect him to be perfect, but because he's been elected into that place of honor.
He might have said some things, done some things, that were wrong (in your eyes). But he's still your one and only. Don't be a heckler.
[Side note: On the trip that he went on (that I didn't want him to go on), he heard from God on a few big things. I'm convinced he had to get away from our house, away from responsibility, away from work, and alone in the woods with a bunch of incredible men to be able to listen well and listen hard. He would have missed that if he would have stayed home.]
A little book suggestion on this topic: Love and Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerich.