Been busy with Thanksgiving and traveling! Back to writing.
One of the things I’ve discussed before although not extensively is that men and husbands often fall into the trap of thinking that their girlfriend or wife should love them for who they are. This is one of the more difficult concepts to understand because it means having a firm knowledge of the differing roles and responsibilities and the attitudes that come with them.
There are multiple instances and people in your life that will generally love you for who you are:
- The Father because He created all of us in His own image. This includes Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
- Our parents will tend to be the role models for showing us that we are loved.
In general, love is interrelated with authority. God is love. God is good. God has the ultimate authority. Therefore, He that is all authority, all good, and all love displays it in all ways.
The trouble begins when men and husbands believe that their girlfriends and wives should love them for who they are. There is a general command that Christians love one another. This is good. However, it is not specific to the husband-wife relationship and is instead a general Christian command.
The reason why wives are commanded to respect their husbands and not to love them because that is the important part of the specific roles and responsibilities of the wife. Indeed, respect/fear and trust is what leads to submission. Respect and fear in particular are key to fixing dysfunctional marriage relationships. Headship/authority and submission bring about order within the marriage relationship as the two are one. Thus, the specificity of particular relationship commands has priority over the general commands. Indeed, the problem with mutual submission has been well explored.
I am not against women or wives loving their husbands. Women and wives will often express that romantically in a relationship. However, it is important to note that respect is more important.
Love does not feed and nourish men and husbands. However, women and wives can nourish their men and husbands with their respect.
- Men are to love women
- Women are to respect men
This is a key for relationships between men and women. If a man is feeling unloved by his girl or a husband is feeling unloved by his wife he should check his priorities. It is more important to be concerned about a lack of respect than a lack of love from a wife. There is an interesting subtlety of this dynamic that you can only see in hindsight.
The two relationship dysfunctional mindsets
Now that I have laid a bit of the groundwork lets move on.
Dysfunction #1: If a husband is feeling unloved by his wife that that means he has already seceded headship to her by some measure because he is in the wrong mindset.
If the primary relationship was for wives to love husbands and for husbands to respect their wives which is often the case in dysfunctional relationships, then this will lead to obvious conclusions.
- Husbands that respect their wives will submit to them.
- Wives that love their husbands will be the head over them.
We already know how the attitudes of love and respect accurately convey the nature of headship and submission. Thus, it only proves how you approach the relationship out of a particular mindset will lead to a dysfunctional or good dynamic within a particular relationship.
Dysfunction #2: On the the other hand, if a husband feels disrespect by his wife that should lead him to the opportunity to exert headship by admonishing her. Fearing the response of his wife in admonishment is a sign of a dysfunctional relationship.
What is missing in this case is often that the husband needs to get over his fear of his wife. Note that this “fear” of the wife is the same type of fear of authority. If you fear your own wife that is the same as putting her on a pedestal and setting her up as the head of the relationship.
This leads to two conclusions:
- If you see a lack of respect from your woman or wife you can see your own failure. You fear your woman/wife and how she will react because you have put her up on a pedestal and head of the relationship.
- If you feel unloved by your woman or wife you are deceived. You incorrectly believe that in a relationship your woman or wife is supposed to love you when that simply is not the case in a godly relationship.
Both of these dysfunctions may result in a myriad of different dysfunctional relationship patterns. Identifying which dysfunctional relationship mindset you are in will go a long way to fixing it.