Monday, February 1, 2010

Respect and Love

Women of Faith:

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, All I want is a little RESPECT. We have all heard the song “just give me a little respect” sung by Aretha Franklin. That is all Jesus wanted in today’s gospel reading: A little respect, from his people, from the Nazarene’s, from the people that were his family, which he knew and who knew him.

“He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’” And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Lk 4:21-30

Because his people would not show him respect, he chose to do his miracles in places other than his hometown. He was aware that because he was “known” he was not respected, he had become “ordinary” to them. When he went outside of the area, he was sought out, listened to, and respected as a King would deserve. And yet, even though he was rejected, he still continued to love them all, the least of his brothers.

In much the same way as Jesus expected his people to respect him, so too, we are instructed to respect our spouses. Our marriages are to reflect Christ’s love of the Church.

Paul sees Christian marriage as taking on a new meaning symbolic of the intimate relationship of love between Christ and the church. The wife should serve her husband in the same spirit as that of the church's service to Christ (
Eph 5:22, 24), and the husband should care for his wife with the devotion of Christ to the church (Eph 5:25-30).

As long as our husbands are not being truly sinful, or disobeying Christ’s word and actions, then we as their spouses should follow their leadership. We shouldn’t need them to prove anything to us, or even to give us anything more than the love they are asked to give us. Yet, why is it sometimes so difficult to believe the one we love the most, to fear their guidance and wisdom, to mistrust their leadership. As wives we have a power over our husbands that we aren’t always aware of, a power called, respect, or a lack of it.

Just as Jesus was rejected by his people, the Nazarene’s, so too can we be hurt by the ones we love the most, when we don’t receive mutual respect and love. And so too, are our husbands hurt, they feel rejected, when we don’t respect them.

It is appropriate that our readings today not only included the instruction to respect the ones we love, but also contained the famous instructional words as to how to love our spouses, “Love is Patient, Love is Kind …..
1 Cor 12:31—13:13.

Love and Respect go hand in hand. If as wives we don’t show our husbands respect, then how can we expect them to love us as Christ loves us. The instructions for our husband’s to love us, follow our instructions to respect them. And yes, we are to treat them as our king, just like they are to treat us as a queen. Respect and love….love and respect. We are to answer our “kings” call, to follow our “kings” lead, to care for them, to trust them, to give them our RESPECT! In return, they are instructed to love/care for us to the point of death, just as Christ loved us enough to die for us.
USCCB - NAB - Ephesians 5

Love and Respect, which came first? They are mutually exclusive just like the chicken and the egg. We cannot have one without the other in any relationship which is Christlike, that is how the sacrament of marriage blesses us.

Do we respect our husband in everything we do? Do we follow their leadership and treat them like Christ, a King? Or do we reject their leadership and only respect them when it is convenient to our own ends? Are our choices in respecting our husbands, similar to our choices in respecting the truth of the Bible, a faithful choice, an always choice? Or do we fear that some of their choices may not be the same as ours, so our respect is less than it should be?

Do we follow our friends (male or female) leadership rather than our husband’s? Is it more important to be right our self, than it is to think that our spouse has followed Christ and we should respect his decision/s? Do we take care of our own needs or someone else’s needs first rather than taking care of the needs of our spouse? Is our spouse our priority, or are we willing to lose our spouses love (let them die), because we don’t have time to feed and water them with our respect and love? Am I treating my husband as I would treat Christ? Do I pray for my husband so that he will be more Christlike, so that his love for me will be as strong as Christ’s love for the church? (For those of you not yet married, these should be the questions you ask about the commitment that you will take into any relationship that will continue and begin in marriage.)

Dear God, Help me to give my husband the respect which I am asked to give him by Christ. Help me to honor him in all ways. Let our love be patient, kind, never jealous, nor pompous. Let us not be rude to each other, to seek our own interests or to be quick tempered. Help me to not brood over injury (to forgive and forget) and to not rejoice over wrongdoings (human errors and mistakes). For without love, we have nothing. Let our love, bear all of our burdens, give us hope and belief in your truths and help us to endure all of our sufferings. Let our love and respect for each other never fail. Thank you for making my marriage a sacrament blessed with respect and Christlike love. Amen

Blessings, Charlotte
(Thoughts and ideas borrowed and paraphrased from “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George; “The Power of a Praying Wife,” by Stormie O’Martin; and “Chosen and Cherished” by Kimberly Hahn). Recommended reading and can be found in Catholic and Christian bookstores.

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