“Honor one another above yourselves.” -Romans 12:10
The other day, my husband and I overheard an advertisement for a popular “family” show on TV. My husband commented to me, “On TV, they always have to make the Dad the idiot.” I asked what he meant but quickly saw as in the 30 second clip of the show, the wife and the children all treated the father as if he had no clue, turning their backs on him and rolling their eyes. Even the children were openly making fun of him. That sparked a discussion between us and we reminisced about the older shows on TV-“Leave It To Beaver“, “My Three Sons“, “The Andy Griffith Show“. In all of those shows, the father figure was respected and the one who gave sound advice and helped the children figure it all out in the end of the half hour. Even the title of an older show “Father Knows Best” says it all. Since when did our culture take a turn from viewing the husband/father with such disrespect and even disdain?
As we talked, we realized that from the time those shows were aired until now, two significant things had happened. The first, the 10 commandments was taken out of school; reflecting the culture’s change and turn away from God and His Holy Word. Second, the feminist movement. The movement that said women are not only just as good as men, women are better! The fact is, the Bible is very clear on both the male and female roles. It is the Christian view, in fact, that always reveres women and respects men. The Bible says that “man is not good alone”. In the New Testament, women are to honor their husbands, but men are to treat their wives with love and even as they would themselves! Only in cultures where the Bible is not followed are women treated as property…and worse.
I think, the demise of society and all the problems we see now (homosexuality, broken families, fatherless children, men who seek admiration outside the marriage and lead to infidelity, pornography, even the drug and prison problems) largely stem from society as a whole telling men they are not good enough, not admired, not respected, and ultimately less than women. We have told them they must be like women to be worthy. They must behave like women, think like women, get in touch with their emotions like women, act like women…
We wonder why they aren’t standing up and fighting for their integrity and that of their families. We wonder why they aren’t taking spiritual leadership in their homes. Women are taught not to respect their husbands, then wonder why men don’t respect themselves and why their children aren’t honoring them.
Raising boys, God has placed a deep purpose in my heart to show them how men really should be treated, contrary to the message culture is bombarding them with. God made men to be the head. To lead. Deep in their hearts, they are warriors, wanting to fight a battle. What battle? Ultimately, the battle of the ages-between bad and good. (P.S. If you’ve never read “Wild At Heart” by John Eldrigde-check it out!) Men are made to do spiritual warfare and God made them to want to win because He wants us to conquer evil. They are to protect and provide for their families. They are to compete in the business or trade world. They are to fight for the hearts of their wives and children. They are made to do things that must be done that women cannot “emotionally” handle.
The feminist movement has changed women’s roles from being revered and treated as different because we were DIFFERENT then men, and has instead, set us up as men’s competitor-trying to battle for the head of the marriage, the children, the home, the church, the office, etc.
Our children are watching how we are treating our husbands. Ultimately, our sons will learn how to treat their wives and our daughters will learn how to treat their husbands by our examples. Are we respecting our husbands? Do we watch what we say to our children about their father? Are we building him up in front of them? Or tearing him down and belittling him? Do we complain and argue with his wishes or do we do it cheerfully because he asked of us? How do we treat him when he comes home? Do we respect him when we feel like it-or no matter what because that’s what the Word says?
The other day, I caught myself saying out loud in front of my children, “I wish your dad would remember to do ____ chore!” No sooner was it out of my mouth, that I felt convicted. I tried to correct it and said, “You know, Mommy shouldn’t have said that. Your dad always works hard and takes good care of us. Isn’t it helpful that he takes out the trash every morning so Mommy doesn’t have to? That shows how much he loves Mommy. What can we do for Daddy when he comes home to make him feel special?”
Are we respecting our sons? Are we training them to lead well? What about letting them take turns leading the family in Bible reading or prayer? Are we equipping them to make sound decisions later? Are we training them to guard their eyes and hearts, to be good with money, to work hard, to lean on the wisdom of the Word? What about the way they treat their mother or sisters or sisters in the Lord? It’s good practice at a young age to teach them to look out for their families. Do they protect their sisters and help their mothers? Are they using manners and considering others around them?
Men can learn to lead in ways that aren’t dominant and destructive. The Bible never intended that. That’s why it was clear that men are to love their wives as their own bodies and to treat them as a weaker vessel. The Hebrew translation for that means “a beautiful vase”. I don’t feel belittled when I’m treated as a beautiful, fragile vase. I feel honored and special and very feminine. Just as our hearts yearn to be treated that way, men’s hearts yearn to be respected, needed, and admired. How can we purpose today to honor and show respect to the men in our life?