Our world is short on respect. It’s the norm to be offended, fuss a lot, and treat others rudely. I totally get that one. Most of the time, I don’t struggle to treat people respectfully, except when they get snarky with me. It’s easy to return snark for snark.
Here is where we need to become very counter-cultural. Let’s treat others with respect regardless of what they do or say. It’s a Kingdom dynamic and it brings healing and blessing.
I’ll own it’s not always easy to be respectful and can be especially hard in marriage at times.
When you are working to be respectful, it’s easy to worry you won’t be treated in kind. If you and your spouse have been fussy with each other then, yes, you will be respectful and they might not be. However, here is the fun part, your change to respectful speech has a very good chance of infecting your spouse. 🙂 We tend to respond in kind, so ongoing respectful speech is likely to rub off on him or her.
I think the other thing that I’ve worried about is being seen as wimpy or weak. If I’m being respectful, I won’t look tough and strong. People will think they can just walk all over me. And, honestly, sometimes people try. I just have had to learn to hold my ground (respectfully) and let people figure out who I am.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. It’s a culturally confusing topic and it’s going to be a bit more challenging than usual.
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When you are being as respectful as you know how, and the other person is being disrespectful and you need to hold your ground, I find that people begin to attack your character, like they say your not loving, you are not a Christian, and because I am a pastor, that is the first area of attack. It usually because I am unable to give them what they want, like free childcare, allow their child to act in unacceptable ways. And to show how disrespectful they can be, they will make sure every person around can hear them devalue you.
Been there, done that, can I return the t-shirt? We just had an incident like that at church because a newcomer wasn’t allowed to immediately join the music team with a very loud instrument. We are apparently bad Christians as well.
I’m grateful for my friends. They encourage me and commiserate when I have to deal with that kind of immature, hurtful behavior.
So thankful we get our validation from God and not man.
I am struggling to be respectful to my husband. Lord, forgive me and Holy Spirit help me to treat him as you would have me. You are my source…
Praying for you, Valerie.
English Standard Version
The Golden Rule
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
One day I listened to a friend of mine being bullied into changing her mind about a decision to not do something. She calmly and respectfully said, “I understand your desire, and I see how that would help you. But I think for now I will stick with my answer of “no”. But thanks for asking and sharing your thoughts.” And we walked away. Me marveling at her graciousness yet firmness.
Respectful behavior is so lovely.