Aside from the sensationalist title, this is going to be an interesting post.
When I first wrote on fear, respect, honor, and truth (phobeo and timao), I only hinted at this reality. However, I want to be exceedingly clear on this point because it has the potential to change the mindset of many men in their interactions with women.
Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects (phobeō) her husband.
G5399 — φοβέω — phobeō — fob-eh’-o
From G5401; to frighten, that is, (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, that is, revere: – be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence.
Out of the 93 times that phobeō is used in the NT, this is the only time that it is used in reference to reverence or respect. The rest are in either fear of God, fear of the king, to be afraid of things, and the like.
Interestingly, it is also used in 1 Peter 3 which talks about how wives are supposed to act even if their husbands are unbelievers:
1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right (agathopoieō) [b]without being frightened (phobeō) by any fear.
G15 — ἀγαθοποιέω — agathopoieō — ag-ath-op-oy-eh’-o
From G17; to be a well-doer (as a favor or a duty): – (when) do good (well).
The phrase for women stems from what is doing right. Or rather, agathopoieō is a conjunction of agathos and poieō. Agathos is a fruit of the Spirit for goodness, and poieō is a verb meaning to make or do. In other words, agathopoieō literally translates to mean one who does what is good. One who does what is good is like God because God is good. What is good in reference to the husbands is outlined in the prior verse which is to operate in submission to their husbands.
This is the dichotomy with which women operate:
- Women are to respect their husbands in that they submit to them. Women who submit to their husbands fear God and fear their husbands, and thus are paradoxically cleansed of their fear because they do what is good.
- Women who do not respect their husbands do not submit to them. Women who do not submit to their husbands do not fear God or their husbands, and thus have only judgment from God and their husbands for not do what is good.
This is a rational fear from a lack of submission and obedience to the headship and authority structures that God has implemented on the earth.
This is one reason why husbands are not to respect their wives. They are called to love them.
Respect in other forms
It is sufficiently clear that respect in terms of the husband-wife relationship in the Scriptures leads a man to never respect his wife but to love her instead. But what about with other people?
Here are some other verses where respect is used on occasion, but it does not mean the same thing.
Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons (prosōpolēpsia) with God.
Ephesians 6:9 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons (prosōpolēpsia) with him.
Colossians 3:25 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons (prosōpolēpsia).
James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons (prosōpolēpsia).
James 2:9 But if ye have respect of persons (prosōpolēpsia), ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
G4382 — προσωποληψία — prosōpolēpsia — pros-o-pol-ape-see’-ah
From G4381; partiality, that is, favoritism: – respect of persons.
God does not “respect persons” in terms of favoritism. Not respect in the sense of headship or authority.
Matthew 21:33 “Listen to another parable. There was a [i]landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to [j]vine-growers and went on a journey. 34 When the [k]harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35 The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37 But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect (entrepō) my son.’ 38 But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Titus 2:8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame (entrepō), having nothing bad to say about us.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (entrepō): shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
G1788 — ἐντρέπω — entrepō — en-trep’-o
From G1722 and the base of G5157; to invert, that is, (figuratively and reflexively) in a good sense, to respect; or in a bad one, to confound: – regard, (give) reverence, shame.
I including the Hebrews passage given that the author of Hebrews is an excellent orator and uses words clearly and concisely. Entrepō is an interesting word in the sense that it’s primarily used to show a contrast in behavior. As you can see above, it is used in both terms of authority, between generations, and between peers. It’s not a unversal based respect in terms of the one that exists with headship and authority.
Why I don’t respect women
It’s common for many feminist women to demand respect. Such women demand respect because they are disabused with the notion that they want equality. As we all know, there is no such thing as equality.
Respect in the Biblical sense is never between peers. It is always between a headship or authority figure and the one submissive to the headship or authority figure. It is given specifically only by the one in submission.
We can see how this plays out in relationships. If a husband begins to respect his wife instead of love her, he starts to question his own decision making and he will start to cater to his wife. He will inevitably base his decisions off of her input and her feelings. Thus, the husband starts to live in respect, reverence, and fear of the wife. This creates an inverse to the relationship such that the woman becomes the husband and the man becomes the wife. The woman is throw into the position of loving her husband and the man is thrown into the position of respecting his wife. This is unScriptural and it makes the vast majority of couples extremely unhappy.
However, what we forget is that we see the same notion play out between a woman and her beta orbiters and white knights. The beta orbiters and white knights respect the woman they are after. Thus, they cater to her needs and feelings. They wonder why the woman will throw all they’ve done for her away in an instant when she meets a man who does not respect her. The answer by now should be quite obvious. Men should not respect women in general.
There two exceptions to this:
- Parents — we honor (timao) and respect (phobeo) our parents because they have been endowed by God with such authority. This is why we as men should respect our mothers.
- However, as we become of age our parents do not have authority over us anymore which means we do not endow them with respect, but we still honor them because they are our parents. This is difficult for most to understand. For those of age, it’s easy to disregard our parents advice often brutally because we are responsible for ourselves, but we still need to honor them as it is God’s command with a promise that does not expire.
- The only other exception is an institution in which you are submitted to. For example, if we were living in the time of the Victorian era with Queen Victoria then men would be required to submit and have respect for the queen because she has the authority appointed by God.
- Likewise, if you submit yourself to an intitution such as a university you are required to respect those appointed as teachers. This is why we are to respect the female teachers lest they hand down punishment upon you or expel you from the university.
As a rule, however, I do not respect women at all. Ever.
If I were to rephase this, what it means to respect or reverence another is to place them in authority or headship above yourself. This is the essence of what it means to pedelstalize a woman. You set herself up to have headship or authority over you — married or unmarried — and, thus you are setting up a false idol over yourself in place of God.
The authority I submit to is God, and He has outlined in His Scriptures which authority and headship structures to which I am to submit myself to and thus also respect, reverence, and fear.
Additionally, I respect men because the Bible submits:
1 Peter 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
In other words, submit to those who are elderly because of their wisdom in the faith. This is a specific kind of submission and respect that is given.
Otherwise, I generally am not a respector of other men. What I mean by this is that I acknowledge a common existance between myself and other men such that we face the same trials and hardships to become men in this life. However, I do not set them up with authority over myself unless I am an institution to which I submitted myself to learn. Outside of these institutions, I submit and therefore do not respect any man or woman regardless of their experience or expertise. Instead, I acknowledge their expertise and experience to learn from them.
Respect/reverence/fear in the Scriptures is directly associated with authority or headship. It should only be given in the instance of certain circumstances, and rarely if ever to women except in the case of mothers while you are still under your parents authority and in submission to earthly institutions.
Every time a woman demands respect from men or from me, especially Christian women, it is a good idea to remind yourself of this face. Women who say such things want to put themselves on a pedestal, and if you respect her you are complicit with setting her up as a false idol in your life and complicit in building up her pride which is sinful. You would be wise to avoid such sin.
In the context of courtship
This post is a long time in coming, but Free Northerner recently had an experience where this is highly applicable in regard to courtship.
Fourth, for those of you saying I should have not have submitted to the father, but instead taken the girl agains. t the father’s wishes, you are wrong. If she was the kind of girl who would disobey her father and abandon her family for a man she had known for only a month, she is not the kind of girl I would want to marry. The woman who will rebel against and abandon her father under the influence of passion is the same woman who will rebel against and leave her husband under the influence of passion. Once the father had denied the relationship, the only way we could have had a relationship is if she was the type of girl I would not want to have a relationship with.
FN is indeed correct to submit to the father’s decision. This goes along with the part of the Scriptures about submission to elders, especially with things in their jurisdiction such as family.
Prior to this, the relationship between the father and the suitor is that of peerage which some of the commentors mentioned and he agreed with. The husband is eventually going to be the one that the father passes his daughter off to, and thus it is important to operate with him on the level of a peer.
This is what it means to talk to someone man to man. However, it is also important to acknowledge that he is an elder over you and he is responsible for his daughter. Thus, it behooves you to speak man to man but clothed with humility.
Respect/reverence/fear is clearly delinated in the Scriptures by God to be given only in specific circumstnaces.
- Men should never respect women, except in two situations:
- If they are under the authority of their mothers, and
- If they are submitted to earthly institutions such as the government, school, or the like.
- Stay far away from women demanding respect, unless you want to enlighten them.
- Giving respect to a woman is akin to pedestaling them and setting them up as a false idol. Single men, boyfriends, and husbands beware. You are the wife in the relationship if you respect your wife.
- Men should respect their elders.
- Men shouldn’t respect other men or peers. They should acknowledge common hardship and trials especially in this life.
- Men should acknowledge expertise and experience from which to learn in a humble manner, but not submit themselves or pedestalize themselves to the person. This is where the classic logical fallacy “Appeal to Authority” comes from.