I think love and respect are difficult concepts for most men and women to put into practice because they seem like vague concepts to us.
I have struggled for a long time to understand what love actually looks like in action because it varies heavily depending on the context of different situations. No doubt many men have too in regard to their girlfriends or wives. Likewise, I think many girlfriends and wives have struggled with how to understand what it means to respect their husband. Submission is more straight forward, but it can be performed without respect.
Thus, I’ve been mulling these concepts over time and time again in my head over the past few months in order to find the attitude that underlies them. If we can correctly dicipher the attitude, it is much easier to implement the fundamental priciples even in disparate situations.
I want you versus I need you
- I want you is the underlying attitude of love.
- I need you is the underlying attitude of respect and submission.
A want implies a desire for a particular thing. In the case of God, it is that God desires us to come to Him.
1 Timothy 2: First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in [a]authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and [b]dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the [c]knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony [d]given at [e]the proper time.
What does God do in His want or desire?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
He demonstrates His love through the action of sending His son as a sacrifice to die for our sins while we were yet still sinners.
God doesn’t need us. But He shows His love for us in His desire for us. Likewise, does Jesus need His disciples? Certainly not. But Jesus still called the 12 disciples because He wanted them specifically. He told them to “Come, follow me” out of that desire. Husbands can demonstrate their love/desire/want for their wives through their words and actions.
On the other hand, a need implies that one cannot function or may cease to function effectively without it being met. This is the underlying attitude of respect and submission.
The reason why we, as Christians, respect and submit to Jesus is because without Him we can do nothing.
John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He [a]prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already [b]clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [c]of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so [d]prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Deuteronomy 8:3 “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.
In the second quote, Jesus also references that in His temptation with Satan.
A need is also the nature of the relationship between a teacher and his disciples. A teacher without any disciples is but a preacher. However, a preacher has the capacity to be a teacher once he takes on disciples under him. This is the entire essence of Christianity which is to go and make disciples of all nations.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [e]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.”
However, the relationship between that of the disciple to the teacher is one of need. You cannot be a disciple or student without a teacher. What is a student without a teacher but an aimless wanderer? A student needs the teacher much like we need God. It is in this need that the teacher provides instruction and guidance to the student.
This is the essence of the relationship between God and Jesus here on earth. The Father does not need Jesus, but Jesus needs the Father in order that He may accomplish His will. The same is true of Jesus and the Church. Jesus does not need the Church rather He wants the Church. However, the Church needs Jesus otherwise it becomes an the abomination known as churchianity. The Church does not merely want Jesus. It needs Jesus.
In the same way, a husband does not need his wife. But to truly love her he must want her and desire her to seek after the Father and him. Conversely, the wife does not merely want her husband but she needs him. Without a husband she is no wife. She cannot be a helpmeet to no one. It is for this reason that God created Eve for Adam.
This is men look at vulnerability as a highly prized attribute in women. It demonstrates that a woman is willing to lay herself bare such that the man will take up the mantle of headship. She will be able to put her trust in him. She needs him, and he will flourish in her need to protect and provide for her. On the other hand, a strong and independent women is a turn off for most men. If a woman can do everything by herself why does she need a man? She has indicated she clearly does not need a man. She places her trust in herself and is not willing to be open to trust in a man.
Promiscuity, especially in women, damages her ability to be vulnerable. The vast majority of women who are promiscuous put up barriers because their trust has been destroyed by many men. This changes her underlying attitude to be one of strength and independence rather than that of trust which makes her a poor prospect in terms of being respectful and submissive in marriage. Pair bonding does not even need to be mentioned even though it is important to a healthy marriage as well.
When women divorce their husbands they are ridiculing God. They are stating that they don’t need God who created nor do they need their husbands. They know better than God or their husbands, and they can get along fine on their own.
Hypergamy is one of the most discussed topics in the manosphere, and I am on record stating that I don’t believe it to be sinful in nature but as a facet of God’s good creation. However, like all facets it has the potential to go awry and become an idol. The nature for us to be able to be tempted is good because it allows us free will, but when we use free will for evil it gives rise to sin.
Hypergamy, at its core, belies a state of need. As Christians we recognize that we are sinners and can do nothing by ourselves. We need Jesus and accept Him as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. Given the nature of the relationships between God-Jesus, Jesus-Church, and husband-wife, it should come as no surprise that women are hypergamous in their search for a husband. When a woman meets her hypergamy, she is meeting a state of need. She is marrying into a better position via money, social status, or the like. This is the same as Jesus meeting our need as broken sinners and lifting us up out of our depravity to become sons of God.
This is why I don’t complain about hypergamy because complaining is a sin. Complaining about something that is created as good is evil. However, it is good and right to make the statement that unrestrained hypergamy often leads to sin, and to call out others if they go down this road toward entitlement syndrome.
For many men learning to be men, it is important to understand these two concepts. If you have had an attitude that you:
- need a woman/wife
- need sex
- need a woman to love or desire you [for who you are]
- or need anything
Then you are operating in the wrong frame of reference. This is the importance of Dominion over what you consider your needs. I don’t need a woman, but I desire to have a wife. I don’t need sex, but I want sex. I don’t have a family, but I desire to have a family.
Wives who don’t respect or submit to their husbands would be wise to understand that they need their husband, though not above their need for God. Without him they are no wife, and they are no helpmeet as long as they foster a strong and independent attitude. This will help to cultivate a godly respect and submission which honors God and her husband.
There is a difference between a need and desperation. Prior to marriage in the dating/courtship range wants and needs have to be moderated very carefully. A woman who comes across as desperately needing a man is as unattractive as a strong independent woman. The reason for this is because it is an idolization of a husband over God.
Likewise, having a wife having a need for her husband does not mean she does not have her own opinions or is a doormat. But I’m sure most of you understand that.