Love and Respect

Psalm 119:161-163

“Princes persecute me without cause,
but my heart stands in awe of your words.
I rejoice at your word
like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood,
but I love your law.”

*Before I get into today’s lesson, I need to state this first. My husband and I agreed together in 2018 to make our testimonies public, to share our life stories, with the agreement that it was for the purpose to help others like us to heal and to be delivered from their past lives. So, I am not sharing anything here that is not already out in the public, on the internet.

I am 70 years old. I have been living under the authority of a lust (sex) addict all my life, first under the authority of my father for 22 years, and then under the authority of my husband for 48 years. So, when I talk about sex addiction, I know what I am talking about. I know the lingo. I know the patterns. I have them memorized.

So, today I read a Tweet on Twitter by a man who claims he is an addiction coach. He said:

“You may say you’re a Free American Man. But if you have to ask your wife’s permission to see friends, if she determines what you wear, if she ‘wears the pants’, You’re not free or a man.”

I responded:

“That is so demeaning of women. Yes, woman should not rule over man, but a loving husband will respect his wife, and her counsel, if it is godly counsel. They are to be one flesh. He is not to live as though he is still single. Love is considerate of others.”

And, he responded:

“This has nothing to do with ‘living as though he is single.’ It has to do with the man being head of his household and leading and not having his wife be a second mother to him.”

So, let me tell you about this, from God’s perspective. There is nothing loving or respectful in either of this “addiction coach’s” tweets, i.e. in his words. For, this is the attitude that often exhumes from a man addicted to lust and to porn. It is the thinking of a man who chooses to look at porn, for he is treating his wife with contempt.

This is about a man being a “macho man” and ruling over his wife harshly, and lording it over her, like the Scriptures tell elders they are not to do:

“Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.” (1 Pet 5:3-4 NASB)

Do you see the difference between what this addiction coach was saying to men, as his counsel to them, and these instructions in Scripture?

One is an attitude of contempt, which says to the woman, “I don’t have to listen to anything you say. You are not my boss. I can do whatever I want because I am ‘the man.’” He lords it over the woman, and he determines for himself what he can or cannot do, and she has no say in the matter. And, that is exactly the attitude of a man addicted to porn.

The other, the one stated in the Scriptures, is an attitude of respect and of honor. It is an attitude of nurturing and loving. It is a humble attitude. And, it leads by example, not by lording it over those under his authority. It does not see itself as superior, but as fulfilling a specific God-given role.

So, what is the husband’s God-given role, according to Scripture?

“For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.” (Eph 5:23 NASB)

So, what is that supposed to look like?

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

“So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Eph 5:25-31 NASB)

In Genesis, it says that man shall leave his parents and he shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. For one, it is to remain faithful to his wife, to stick to her closely, to keep close to her in an intimate and loving relationship. They are to be joined together as one. Yes, he is the head, but it doesn’t mean he lords it over her. He is to show her enormous respect.

He considers her needs as valuable. He cares about meeting those needs and nurturing her in the Lord. What is for her best is upmost on his mind and in his heart. He loves her as he loves himself, not as less, not as a doormat for him to stomp on. For, love does no intentional harm to others. Love does not use and abuse or cheat on others. A husband who loves his wife does not commit adultery against her via porn or self-gratification.

“You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7 NASB)

So, a husband is to be understanding of his wife, and he is to show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, not as inferior, not as less, and not as someone to stomp on and to disregard. He is to love her as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her. He is not to be harsh with her.

If he has been living in adultery against his wife for many years, then he should do all he can to regain her respect and trust, and he should be considerate of her feelings and of her concerns. I agree that a woman should not rule over a man! But, if a man has been cheating on his wife for a long time or even a short time, he should listen to her concerns.

Maybe the man’s friends are not good for him. Maybe the man’s friends are helping only to further his addiction or his wrong concept of how to treat women. Maybe his clothing is inappropriate, and she sees this. And maybe she is giving him loving and godly counsel to help him, not as lording it over him, but as being one with him, as one flesh, caring about him.

Also, if a man has been addicted to lust, sex, self-gratification and/or porn, he has been listening to the wrong voices. He has been listening to lies, maybe for many years. And, perhaps he is married to a woman who loves the Lord and who loves the Word of God, who can help him to see the lies and to adopt the truth into his life, especially if no man is doing that for him.

She needs to not be harsh with him, but there are times when she needs to be strong when he is shouting out the lies, and when she has to refute them as though she is refuting the voice of Satan, especially if they are the same lies he has told over again.

For, his wife may be the only voice of reason he is hearing, especially in our world and in our worldly church today.

When I Was Walking

An Original Work / January 16, 2020

When I was walking along the way,
My Lord was with me, and He did say,
“My child I’m with you. I hear you pray,
‘Oh, help me, Lord! Need You today!’”

He is my friend, near to the end.
Gently leads me. His servant be.
He helps me pray – knows what to say.
He’s all I need. On Him I feed.

When I am wond’ring of what to do,
He gently leads me to what is truth.
He is my helper. He strengthens me.
When I’m in want, supplies my need.

He comforts me with all His love.
Gives me His grace from heav’n above.
I heed His call to watch and pray,
To guard my heart throughout each day.

When He is calling to come to Him,
To let Him lead you, trust Him within,
How will you answer to Him today?
Will you say, “Yes, Lord, have your way”?

Do not neglect to let Him in,
Cleanse you from sin, made new within.
Leave all your sin, obey your Lord,
Trust in His Word – His mighty Sword.

2 thoughts on “Love and Respect

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