|Jan 29 17
Marriages Need Respect
By Sam Wilcutt
The Lord is interested
in our marriages,and unfortunately, Satan is
also interested in our
marriages. To far too many couples, he is having
his way, and the church
is reaping the unfortunate consequences of
marriages falling apart
at the seams. Godly marriages do not just happen; they are not easy to
obtain. They are built, and they are built one brick at a time. Thus, we
want to examine some godly traits and attributes that we find in the word
of God to build
Marriages need a respect
for God and one’s spouse.
According to the New Webster’s
Dictionary & Thesaurus of the English
Language, the term “respect”
means, “the special esteem or consideration in which one holds another
person or thing; the state or quality of being esteemed.” Of course, we
find this concept in the Bible. In the Old Testament, one Hebrew term (sha’ah)
denotes the act of regarding or showing respect (cf. Gen. 4:4-5). With
regards to their sacrifices of worship, God showed respect to the offering
of Abel, but did not show the same respect to the offering of his older
brother, Cain, because we learn that Abel listened to the divine instructions
and acted “by faith” (cf. Heb. 11:4).
Another Hebrew term (panah)
also denotes the act of showing regard or respect. In the New Testament,
a Greek term that may fit with our discussion is hegeomai, which means
to consider or esteem (cf. Phil. 2:3). Naturally, one should not be surprised
that the apostle Paul will exhort servants to demonstrate this quality
to their respective masters (1 Tim. 6:1). It is also this attribute that
Christians are to have toward the elders of the congregations, realizing
their role as the shepherds of the flock and overseers of the assemblies
(cf. 1 Thess. 5:12- 13; Heb. 13:7, 17).
There are a few other
terms of significance to seeing this trait in the New Testament. The root
word of each is the Greek verb blepo, which is one of many Greek words
to indicate seeing in one way or another. This particular term signifies
the idea of seeing or beholding. Yet, when a modifying prefix is
added, it can take a greater meaning. For example, in Luke 1:48, Mary responds
to Elizabeth that God “hath regarded” her in choosing her to bear baby
Jesus in her womb.
The term is epiblepo, which means, “to
gaze at with favor, pity or partiality, to look upon, regard or have respect
to.” She knew that God had shown favor and respect towards her! Another
term is apoblepo, which with this unique prefix added, means, “to look
away from everything else, to have respect.” We see this term in Hebrews
11:26, when in speaking of Moses, he “had respect unto the recompense of
the reward.” Could you imagine if husbands and wives demonstrated
this type of
respect to each other? If husbands
looked at their wives with such narrow focus and tuned every other woman
out completely, and if wives looked at their husbands with such narrow
focus and tuned every other man out completely, we could eradicate all
adultery and fornication completely!
Thus, this leads me to
contemplate the following—
when we consider the
many attributes that the Bible uses to describe godly marriages, such as
unconditional love, honesty, commitment,
trust, kindness, and
so forth, husbands and wives are to show respect for each other. Husbands
are to respect their wives as the weaker vessels (1
Pet. 3:7). Wives are
to respect their husbands as the heads of the households (Eph. 5:22- 24).
Each is to respect the role that God has given to the other. Yet, in so
doing, each is to lift up the other with favor and regard (Phil. 2:3).
I firmly believe that if married couples would follow this
simple principle: “…but
in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves,” then
marriages would be well on their way to enjoying the blessings that God
designed for the home.
Let us conclude with one
final thought. Some people are easy to respect, but we are to respect others
who may not deserve our respect. It should not be conditional, but unconditional—a
hard lesson to learn and implement in our lives.
Consider the life of David
as a glimpse of seeing what it means to respect one who does not deserve
respect. King Saul demonstrated time and time again that he did not deserve
respect, for he tried on multiple occasions to kill the younger man, David.
He looked upon him with envy, and even tried to divide the relationship
between his son, Jonathan, and the one who would become his successor.
Yet, although he did not deserve respect by his actions, David knew who
he was and respected him as the king nonetheless, sparing his life on several
occasions. He never spoke against him, even in the private communications
of his mighty men.
I truly believe that the
grand example from the man after God’s own heart shows how one may still
pay respect and regard to another who does not deserve such. May God bless
all godly marriages who strive to show respect to each other!