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Mothers, Respect Your Children’s Father


Note: The following message is a continuation of the previous topic: "Fathers, Love Your Children's Mother"

The word ‘woman’ isn’t a sign of weakness but a living example of meekness. She is not a reflection of inferiority but of humility. She has been created by the Living God, not to manifest either smallness or haughtiness, but gentleness and kindness. What's more, she has been blessed with a grand privilege to exemplify submissiveness. Therefore, is it not unfitting for a mother to behave disrespectfully towards her children's father?

Disrespect
One major problem husbands have with their wives is-DISRESPECT. And this problem had jeopardized many families, including the lives of children. I once came across a true incident of a successful doctor who had an affair with an office secretary who wasn’t nearly as good looking as his wife. When asked by the counselor, “What did you see in her?” he replied, “She made me feel more comfortable.” “Whenever I went home, my wife would belittle me and talk down to me.”[1] Although his adulterous action cannot be justified, the triggering factor, which is lack of respect that he got from his wife which drove him away from her, cannot be ignored. O, how many husbands have been driven into illicit relationship with other women because of their wives improper conduct towards them!

Men cannot endure disrespect from their wives, but they have great admiration towards a woman who is respectful. So terrible is the disorder and disturbance in the house caused by a disrespectful woman that it is written, “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” (Pro. 21:19) For this reason it is exhorted, “each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Eph. 5:33). Emerson Eggerichs wrote a powerful book titled, “Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs.” Sharing about his unhappy home built by his parents, he painfully writes:

My childhood years were filled with memories of yelling and unsettling tension. I saw and heard things that are permanently etched in my soul, and I would cry myself to sleep at times. I remember feeling a deep sadness. I wet the bed until age eleven and was set off to military school at age thirteen, where I stayed until I graduated.

As I look back on how my parents lived a life of almost constant conflict, I can see the root issue of their unhappiness. It wasn’t hard to see that my mom was crying out for love and my dad desperately wanted respect.
[2]

Unconditional Respect
There may be a reaction, “I am not going to respect my husband until he behaves in a way I expect him to be.” While the problem with men is to treat wives like slaves and dominate over them, the issue with women is to treat their husbands like kids and often grumble, nag, yell and unkindly correct them, even in little issues. Is it not unwise for a woman to try to “mother” her husband? Men mightily resent being mothered, especially by their wives.[3] She need to understand the difference between being a wife to her husband and mother to her children and conduct herself accordingly.

In "mothering" their husbands, wives cannot make a difference in their family life; in fact, they worsen the atmosphere in the house - all with good intentions to change their husbands. There is a great hope of change to occur in your husband when there is initiation on your part to be a model and show unconditional respect. As Emerson Eggerichs writes, “Such respect lets him feel his wife’s love for him and ignites in him feelings of love for his wife.”[4]

Obviously, respecting your husband does not mean nodding your head to everything he says. But even when you disagree with him or express your hurt, you do so with respect. Remember, your quality of character should not be changed by the behavior of your husband. Character is a state of your being, not a situation. You don’t have to change for worse when you cannot change your partner for better. The Holy Scripture counsels, “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands, so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives” (1 Pet. 3:1-2).

Unfading Beauty
It is commonly known that women are most concerned about how beautiful they appear, just as men who are most cautious about how strong they show up. The cosmetic industry thrives on the feelings of women’s insecurity to appear more beautiful. Although it is good for women to appear beautiful (and men like it), the bottom line is that the ultimate beauty of a woman is not how glamorous she looks but how well she adorns herself with gentleness and excellence. The Holy Scripture exhorts, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight" (1 Pet. 3:3-4). How hard it is these days to find wonderful women with such unfading beauty!

It is rightly written, “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels” (Pro. 31:10). To such an excellent woman, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Pro. 31:28). The appreciation a woman seeks to receive is dependent on the kind of woman she is. It is written, “A kindhearted woman gains respect” (Pro. 11:16). A woman whose speech is gracious and whose conduct is respectful towards her husband is appreciated by all and causes envy in other women to become like her.

If the reader is a wife and a mother, I courteously ask you these questions: Do you conduct yourself in such a way that your husband praises you and your children call you blessed? Do you speak respectfully to your husband, even during conflicts? Do you respect your husband in a manner that your children would love to imitate you and your daughters wish to become respectful wives like you? Are you aware that your respect towards your husband has an incredible influence on how your children respect their fathers?

Mother's Influence on the Children's View of their Father
Children learn to honor their father from their mother’s respect towards him. They even honor the mother who is respectful towards their father. So if a woman has anything negative to talk about her husband, it is unwise for her to do that with or before her children. Doing so would create a bad image in the minds of the children about their father. Isn’t this practically noticeable in many families? In case of conflicts with her husband, it is better for a wife to discuss her problems directly with him or share her hurtful feelings with some elders who would offer good wisdom and help, but it is unhealthy to complain to children and expect from them to fill her emotional needs.[5]

Research has shown that mothers are the basic filter through which children view their father’s personality, character, and integrity.[6] James Dobson made this observation, “Children interpret their father the way their mother thinks and feels about him. If she respects her husband, they will respect their father.”[7] A woman who is domineering, disrespectful and unsubmissive to her husband has a harmful impact on her children.

Mother's Impact on Children
It is also true that a disrespectful and quarrelsome mother is most likely to produce disrespectful and quarrelsome daughters. Charles Swindoll says, “Often a daughter is contentious because her mother is contentious. Like begets like, all things being equal.”[8] I know a woman who used to always scream at her husband when something went wrong. She didn’t know how to speak politely and respectfully with her husband in spite of his weaknesses. Later, I have observed that her conduct is nothing but an exact reflection of her mother’s behavior towards her husband. Since she grew up observing her mother often screaming at her father, she too learned to manifest the same attitude towards her husband.

If mothers understand how profoundly they can influence their daughters’ marital life and if they are concerned about the welfare of their children, there would be a considerable difference in the manner they behave with their husbands.

___________
Notes:

[1] Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Mike Yorkey, The Act of Marriage After 40 (Grand Rapid, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000), 163
[2] Emerson Eggerichs, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2004), 7-8
[3] Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Mike Yorkey, The Act of Marriage After 40 (Grand Rapid, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000), 163
[4] Ibid., 19
[5] Of course, she may share her feelings with her children if they are older and mature enough to guide her to cope with problems she has with her husband rather than stir up her bitterness.
[6] Cleveland McDonald and Philip M. McDonald, Creating a Successful Christian Marriage (Grand Rapids: Bakers Book House, 1981), 196
[7] Ibid., 12
[8] Charles Swindoll, You are Your Child (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990), 125

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Comments

  1. Why would wives behave disrespectfully toward their husbands in the first place? Will it be their fault all the time?

    What does 'submissive' or 'submit' to your husband' mean in the New Testament?

    If wives need to 'submit' to their husbands 'uncondtionally' should not husbands 'love' their wives unconditionally?

    ReplyDelete
  2. It may not be the wives fault all the time but wives should respond in a biblical way to the faults of husbands and of course the husbands too.

    John MacArthur explains "submit" (hupotasso in Grk) means to relinquish one's rights, and the Greek middle voice emphasizes the willing submitting of oneself.

    Wives and husbands alike should love and show respect unconditionally. I first addressed to the fathers on loving their children's mother and later to mothers showing respect to their children's father.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Both the articles read together gives a truly balanced Biblical position.I can vouch for the truth of the teaching from my own family life and many other families I minister to.
    Mathew George,Thiruvalla.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Recently, God showed me to respect my husband more from my heart eventhough his shortness. I am practicing repect and love him more, believing that it will bring hormony and maturity between me and my husband.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for this article.
    Recently, God showed me I have to respect my husband although his shortcoming.
    I am practicing that respect him from my heart, believing that it will bring harmony and maturity between us.

    ReplyDelete

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