A woman’s respect motivates a man’s love (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in “Love and Respect”).

This is true in marriage, but it can be true in almost any relationship between a man and a woman.  Respect motivates men.  That’s how great coaches motivate their players and how really good fathers motivate their sons.  And it is how almost any woman can motivate almost any man.

A WHOLE NEW MASCULINE WORLD AND PERSPECTIVE UNFOLDS AS YOU LEARN RESPECT

If you really commit to studying godly femininity, God’s design for marriage and godly masculinity – it is like learning a new foreign language.  At first, it feels extremely awkward and it’s hard to get the words and dialect right.  It can be a bit overwhelming as you first learn, but eventually, with practice, you can become quite fluent in the language of respect.  This gives  you a HUGE amount of power in the world of men – power that must be tempered with caution!

There are some surprising insights that come with learning to hear and see disrespect and learning to speak  the language of respect:

  • You’ll realize just how incredibly rampant disrespect is for husbands in most marriages and in toward men in our society in general.  It’s mind boggling and pretty depressing.
  • You’ll see just how much pain a lot of men endure daily – how starved for respect most men are all around you. 
  • You’ll hear the cutting, damaging remarks of women so clearly and you’ll feel incredible empathy for the men who are enduring disrespect daily, attempting to restrain their justifiable anger and respond with dignity and respect in the face of contempt, disdain, criticism, judgment and hatred.
  • You’ll learn to look at men with admiration and respect in your eyes – and they will be drawn to you.
  • You’ll learn to speak with respect and admiration toward men and they will be drawn even more to you.
  • You’ll understand exactly what these men need and how to give them what they need.  You’ll understand their hearts and souls. 
  • You’ll appreciate their masculine, God-given design.  
  • It will be very obvious to you that if these men had the proper respect of a godly woman, they could really soar and become such amazing men for God.

This is where things get dicey.  We may be tempted to begin to build up other men with respect at work, at church, in the neighborhood…  We may want to praise the good we see in them.  We may want to show them we admire their wisdom, creativity, intelligence, spirituality and ideas.  And the more godly the men are – the more we may feel compelled to show our respect and admiration for them.  We see their needs so clearly – and now we know how to meet them.

We probably can give SOME amount of respect to most men around us without causing any problems for us or for them. But… 

YOUR FEMININE RESPECT AND ADMIRATION EASILY FUEL ADULTERY AND POSSIBLY SERIOUS ROMANTIC FEELINGS FOR YOU AND THE MAN YOU ARE ADMIRING!!

All men DO need respect in order to thrive  and blossom and become their very best selves… BUT

There need to be limits as to where I may use my “super powers” of respect!  Once I am married, I can probably only safely use my respect “full-strength” on my husband.  Before marriage, I need to be sure NOT to use my whole package of respect skills on married men, ungodly single men, unavailable men or anyone who is not completely future godly husband material.

If we begin to show respect “full-strength” for men, spending a lot of time praising them, admiring them and encouraging them – please understand that this is how people fall in love!  It is just the smallest little jump for a woman when she greatly admires and respects a man for her to begin to fall in love with him or entertain romantic feelings.  And a man who feels admired can also easily develop intense romantic feelings for his admirer.  Please only use these potent abilities full-strength on qualified, Spirit-filled, godly, Jesus-approved, available guys!  And once you are in a committed relationship – you’ll probably want to focus your talents primarily on your man.

RESTRAINT IS VERY NECESSARY

We can  and should certainly be polite and generally respectful toward men (and women and children!) out and about in the world.  But we must guard our hearts and the marriages of others!  Maybe we can use our awesome respect skills at about 5-10% concentration out in public?  (that is my scientific estimation, anyway!)   🙂

MEN ARE STARVING FOR RESPECT IN OUR CULTURE

We can’t give most men all that they need – even though we can see how distressing and how critical their needs are.  We can pray that God will change and heal broken marriages and families.  We can pray for God to save those who are lost.  But once you learn how to look at the world through the masculine perspective of respect,  it would be extremely easy to feel a great amount of empathy for a married man who is feeling disrespected and then begin to shine your respect and admiration on him to “help” him.  He would probably enjoy that a lot!  But in the end, a relationship with a married man is going to destroy you, him, his marriage and his family.  NOT WORTH IT!  We MUST guard our hearts against sin.  And it would be very easy to show a lot of respect and admiration for an unsaved man and to want to witness to him – but we have to be SO careful!  It is EASY for us and for them to fall in love and we have to be sure we only give our hearts to a godly guy who will be a loving, Christlike servant-leader in our future marriage!  If a man wants you to tell him all about Christ and the Bible, invite him to talk to a guy friend or the pastor at church or to at least have another believer there with you as you talk with him at length.  If he is truly interested in Christ – he doesn’t need just you in private talking with him for hours on end.  Guys aren’t stupid.  They’ll sometimes act interested in Christ sometimes just to keep you alone because you are a huge challenge.  Please guard your precious heart!

WE NEED TO USE CAUTION EVEN WITH VERY SPIRITUALLY MATURE MEN

We need to be aware that godly men especially may be temptations for us because they are so easy for us to respect – pastors, Sunday School teachers, deacons, ministers, Bible teachers…  A godly Spirit-filled man is ATTRACTIVE!  Women are built to be drawn to the qualities of Christ.  We need and depend on male pastors, ministers and teachers as a church – we all benefit from their wisdom, teaching, example and instruction.  But we as women MUST be VERY careful not to become emotionally entangled with romantic feelings for married or unavailable men here!  And if we notice this is happening, it’s time to flee and get some distance between us and the temptation and make sure we leave NO provision for the desires of our flesh. 

MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL MARRIED MEN (INCLUDING PASTORS AND TEACHERS), UNGODLY SINGLE MEN, UNBELIEVING SINGLE MEN, CARNAL “CHRISTIAN” SINGLE MEN AND UNAVAILABLE MEN (ANY GUYS WHO ARE NOT PRIME GODLY MARRIAGE MATERIAL RIGHT NOW): 

  • avoid private emailing/texting/phone calls.
  • avoid being alone with a man in any of these categories if at all possible (if you must meet with a guy, meet in public and be brief).  I would try to avoid riding in a car alone with one of these kinds of guys and I would not want to be alone behind closed doors at all.
  • if you know a certain guy is potentially a temptation and not God’s best for you, or if you know that he is tempted by you, try to stay as far away as possible and minimize all communication and contact.
  • tell a trusted godly female friend and/or female mentor if there are any temptation issues for you.  Be immediately accountable.  Let a godly woman know THAT DAY that you have the tempting feelings.
  • repent to God immediately and take every thought captive to Christ.

AFTER MARRIAGE

Once I am married, I concentrate on using my awesome respect skills to build up my own husband and focus on breathing life, power and strength into this one incredibly important man in my life.  In the future, teenage or adult sons will benefit from my respect – but that will look a bit different from the way I treat my husband. 

I can use respect in all of my dealings with everyone in the world (male and female) – but I need to keep the doses lowered (if that makes sense!) so that I do not create powerful romantic feelings in dangerous places outside of my marriage. 

Lord,

Please help us to be vigilant to guard our hearts and to keep our thoughts pure, taking every thought captive for Christ.  Help us to be wise as we learn about respect and use it only for good and the edification of those around us.  Help us have Your wisdom about how to properly handle relationships with other men and keep a healthy distance that would honor You.  Help us to use our respect well with our own men and become the women they adore and who empower them to become all You desire them to be!

Amen!

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