Hi Georgette – I love NY’rs –my husband is one!
Thanks for commenting on The Centered Woman post with a great question:
Can a centered woman be equally respected by her husband as she respects him?
Here's my direct answer to your question: a woman’s centering has nothing to do with if she’s respected or loved or not, it has everything to do with how she reacts or responds in those moments when she doesn’t feel ‘respected’ or loved or accepted. My responses to what I might think are some of life's injustices are indicative of me being centered or not.
But, I’m wondering if there aren’t some underlying questions here as well and so I’ll take a blog owner’s liberty to expound.
Language and Semantics
I like to use the language that God uses: love and respect (Ephesians 5:22 - 33). He tells women to give men respect and he tells men to give women love.
The thing we need (love) is the thing most misunderstood by men (they understand respect) and the thing they need (respect) is the thing most difficult for them to understand how to give us. That's why God tells men in 1 Peter 3:7 to DWELL with or to live with their wives in an understanding way.
God did it this love/respect order thing in marriage so that we both could grow into maturity and develop character. My husband and I alway say that it’s character over convenience in marriage.
From what you write, I bet you give your husband respect and I imagine he shows you love.
Next, you mention sharing responsibility in the home. That’s beautiful and can work well when there is agreement between both partners to partner together and clarification as to what that looks like.
Like you and your husband, Michael and I both share responsibility with finances. After years of failure, we finally have a system that works for US according to our styles and we're excited about it.
We, like you and your husband, partner together. We enjoy doing things together. I love being outside helping him when he’s doing yard work (and he LOVES it too) and I have no problem asking him to vacuum the carpets or clean the hard wood floors and he has no problem serving me by doing that. It's the WAY that I make that request (respectfully or naggy) that matters.
I notice on your very cute blog (btw) that you spent a stint in the army. Having been in the army, I know you understand what authority and submission is. You were required to come under in rank to your superior officer.
When a man and woman understand that biblical principle of headship (authority) and submission (following in rank) it can be BEAUTIFUL.
I fully understand that my husband has been positioned by God to be the one in authority in our home (for my benefit).
With a good and godly man, that means (and my husband says this) it's a wise man who listens to the advice/counsel/suggestions (and the way it's said MATTERS) of his wife. He says it's a fool who doesn't take in what she's saying, seeing and sensing.
So, as his helper, my responsibility is to give voice - again, the way I say it matters. If I see something that I don't think is a good idea - I'd better express that - respectfully.
We seek for agreement and in our WHOLE married life (21 years) we've NEVER disagreed expect on two issues - one being Michael buying a motorcycle. I hated the idea, but after expressing my fears, concerns, etc. I left the discussion at the table (so to speak). He had/has the final authority and he bought the bike. Funny thing is, I've been talking to him about us getting some scooters (women ride them all over the place in Spain and France).
There was another financial decision that after Michael listened to my fears and concerns he made the decision without mutual agreement and for both of us there were some good lessons to learn that I'm thankful for.
The beauty in marriage is when a husband and wife DO work together as a team - partnering together for the sake of the Kingdom. I have my homefront responsibilities (creating sanctuary) and he has his provider and protector kinds of responsibilities. I support his vision. I follow him and I'd do that if we had to live in a card board box.
Michael and I do work together as a team. We are partners. I do not nag or bitch at him. I work on NOT telling him what to do or how to do it. I respectfully make requests and leave that request for him to choose to do or not. to his choice – he can honor my request or not. 99% of the time, my husband LOVES me (in his language – respect) he honors what I’m asking. I DO NOT take advantage of that and that’s how I RESPECT (love in my language) him.
How the authority thing works – the way God intended it – in marriage is that the husband has the final authority and the RESPONSIBILITY for that authority of which he will answer to God (ultimately – whether he thinks there is one or not).
Hope this might answer the question you asked and those you didn't! By the way . . . you are a gorgeous 19 year old and I imagine a fantastic wife and mother.