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Posts tagged ‘mutual respect’

Submission: Everybody Has A Role

SOURCE:  Living Free/Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21 NIV (Also read Ephesians 5:18-6:4, Galatians 5:13)

In God’s plan for the family, each family member has a role to fulfill. God’s divine revelation for the family is mutual submission.

Each family member is first a child of God. Children of God are to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. Each family member is called to submit to and respect the other family members’ God-given roles. This attitude of mutual respect can pass from generation to generation.

Important lessons about marriage are taught by the parents to the children through verbal and nonverbal communication. These lessons can have a tremendous influence, good or bad, on children. For example, if a husband loves and respects his wife, his son will probably love and respect his wife. And so on through the generations.

God does not view the various family positions in a hierarchy of superior to inferior. Each is given a different, but equally important, role to play. As each one carries out his or her role in the way God has designed, everyone will benefit.

The husband is to honor and submit to his wife’s role. To listen to her insights and the special wisdom God has given her. The wife is called to submit to and honor her husband as the spiritual leader of the home. Children are to honor and obey their parents. Parents are to submit to and honor their children, listening to the simple wisdom God has blessed them with … respecting their God-given talents and gifts and giving room and encouragement to grow in those areas … respecting their children’s unique traits and helping them grow into the person God has designed them to be.

Mutual submission, out of reverence for Christ.

Father, thank you for your perfect design for the family. Help our family members to understand and fulfill our roles according to your plan. Teach us to respect and submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. In Jesus’ name …


These thoughts were drawn from …

Committed Couples: God’s Plan for Marriage & the Family by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee.


Parenting an ADULT CHILD: Love and Respect

SOURCE:  Living Free

Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.” 1 Peter 2:17 NLT

The key to parenting an adult child is love and respect.

This is especially important if your adult child has moved back home with you. All children are admonished to honor and respect their parents (Deuteronomy 5:16), but all of us are called to respect all people—including our children!

Communication with your adult child is on the level of adult to adult. It can be a tough challenge to respect his maturity and his independence, while at the same time, to maintain your position as his parent. You need to learn to suggest and request, rather than order. And here’s a real challenge—you need to give advice to your adult son or daughter only when asked. At the same time, remember that this is your home, and your child is the guest; therefore, it is reasonable to expect (and require if necessary) that the rules of your home be respected.

An adult child living in your home can cause stress on both you and your child, but both of you can learn and grow from this experience. There will be times for compromise and times for submission. God can use all this as he works to transform you into the image of his Son. As you and your child work through various situations, always remember that mutual respect is a vital key.

Father, teach me to communicate with my adult child on an adult level—showing respect. Help us both to learn to compromise, to submit to each other and to grow in you through all this experience. In Jesus’ name …

These thoughts were drawn from …

Godly Parenting: Parenting Skills at Each Stage of Growth by N. Elizabeth Holland, M.D.

How To Get A Win-Win Solution In Conflict

SOURCE:  Leslie Vernick

Some conflicts are solvable and temporary and others may be more chronic, but when possible, look for a solution that both parties can live with and feel good about.

For those who are married, sometimes we misunderstand biblical headship and submission to mean that the husband always gets his way in every conflict or disagreement. God never describes headship in that way. In fact, Jesus sternly cautions those in authority over others not to misuse their positions for selfish purposes (Mark 10:42-43). Godly headship always leads to sacrificial servant-hood rather than demanding one’s own way.

The following steps make resolving conflict in a mutually agreeable way more likely.

1.  Clearly define the problem:

To work together toward a mutually agreeable solution, whether it is a marital conflict or a disagreement among family members or friends, you must define the problem you’re working to solve. For example, Dana felt angry because Ted spent money without telling her, but why was that a problem? Was it because she didn’t think that was fair or was it because she didn’t like what he bought? Dana needed to think about why Ted’s spending was a problem for her. As she looked at the situation more closely, she saw that the problem was what happened to her budget when Ted overspent. As Dana defined her problem and communicated directly how she felt and what she wanted, she may have said, “Ted, I don’t like it when you spend money without telling me first. It throws our budget off and then I’m scrambling to find money to pay the bills. I’d like you to talk with me before you make a purchase over fifty dollars.”

2.  Respectfully ask for what you want/need to solve the problem: 

Dana defined the problem and asked Ted directly for the changes she wanted him to make. She told him how she felt without assaulting his character with ugly words like, “You’re so irresponsible. How could you be so selfish?”

3.  Listen carefully:

As Dana listened, Ted told her he felt like a child being given an allowance. He worked hard and didn’t like Dana’s tight control over what he could or could not spend.

4.  Aim for a Win/Win: 

When you purposefully look for a solution that is good for both people rather than trying to win the argument, you are much more likely to end up with a win/win solution. To accomplish this, Dana needed to show respect and consideration for Ted’s feelings and a willingness to work with him to find a mutually acceptable solution to her problem of not having sufficient money to pay bills as well as his problem of feeling like a child with a controlling mom. Ted also needed to be respectful of Dana’s desire to be a good steward of their finances and not be short of funds to pay the bills. They must negotiate and compromise to come up with solutions that meet both of their needs. Sometimes this feels like very hard work. It is, and this work is what builds better and closer relationships.

This is the kind of work that allows my husband and me to go on vacation even though our preferences are very different. We talk about how we will spend our time together, how much money we want to spend, and what’s important, being considerate of each other’s desires, so that at the end of the vacation we’ve both had a good time.

Q & A: Who Gets the Final Say?

SOURCE:  Leslie Vernick

Today’s Question:  My husband and I are very different. I am much more conservative financially, he loves to spend money. We argue about parenting, where to go on vacation, even how to arrange the furniture in the living room. His trump card is always, “As head of our home, I get the final decision.” Is that true? Do I just need to always give in or submit to his way because he’s the man? What if his decision is absolutely wrong? Then what?

Answer:  I often hear this kind of thinking when working with couples in marriage counseling. I also was taught it myself in my premarital counseling. In a nutshell, the teaching goes something like this. Couples have conflict. That is inevitable. However, when there is an impasse and there is no resolution, as the head of the home or leader, the husband gets the final say. Let’s look to see if this thinking is truly what God designed marriage to be like.

If we look at the original couple, Adam and Eve, before the Fall, there was a mutuality to their relationship. In Genesis 1:26-27, God made human beings in his image (both male and female) and gave them both the responsibility to reign over the animals and take care of the earth. Eve was equal with Adam not beneath him.

After they both sinned, part of the curse was that their relationship would change. God told them, “And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you” Genesis 3:16. The desire for power and control over another person would now characterize marriages instead of the mutuality that God originally intended.

That’s been the story ever since. However, when Christ came, he broke the curse of the law. Paul says, “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law” (Galatians 3:13).

We see, throughout Paul’s writing, a breaking of this “power over people” mentality. He writes, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:38). He also applies this to restoring the mutuality of marriage. He tells husband’s to love their wives as Christ loved the church and wives to submit to their husband’s out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18,19). It’s both/and, not either/or.

When Paul talks about the sexual relationship, he also describes this mutual giving and mutual giving-up of rights and power. He says, “The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs and the wife should fulfill her husband’s sexual needs. The wife givesauthority over her body to her husband and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:3,4).

Notice the one spouse gives authority to the other; no one takes authority over the other. When mutuality in marriage is practiced, power struggles may be tempting, but never endorsed or validated as biblical. One does not take someone’s choice away from them. When mutuality is practiced and valued, a husband or wife often gives in, but they give in willingly, not under compulsion or fear.

I have been married over 35 years. There has never been a time in my marriage where my husband had to have a “final” say. When you practice mutual submission and mutual respect, you listen to each other’s perspective. You defer when someone is wiser than you are in a certain area, you compromise, and you work together to come up with a solution that you both can live with.

Finally, let’s look at this question from one other perspective and that is the angle of authority. Too often we have misunderstood the authority of a position, whether it be husband, pastor or elder, to be synonymous with getting one’s own way. In other words, if I am the head of my home (authority), then I get the final say, which means I get my way.

But the bible is very clear that authority does not imply entitlement to one’s own way. God’s Word gives specific instructions to those in authority on how to handle that responsibility. Throughout the Old Testament, God often rebuked the leaders of Israel for their self-centered, deceitful and abusive shepherding of God’s flock (See, for example, Deuteronomy 13; Jeremiah 23:1-4; Ezekiel 34:2-4).

Biblically, God put husbands as the head over their wives (Ephesians 5:23), but that does not put wives at the feet of their husbands. Women and wives are depicted in the Gospel as equal partners and persons to love, not objects to use or property to own. Biblical headship is modeled by Christ’s gentle leadership and loving self-sacrifice. Husbands are cautioned not to be harsh with their wives and not to mistreat them, or their prayers will be hindered (Colossians 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7). No leader is entitled to make selfish demands, order people around or hurt them when they fail.

Jesus cautions those in positions of authority–parents, husbands, pastors and elders–not to misuse those God-ordained positions for self-centered purposes. These roles are given to us by God to humbly serve the individuals or groups that have been entrusted to our care, not to have our egos stroked or to get our own way (Mark 10:42-45).

So what would these biblical principles look like in making family decisions? Let’s say you want to go to the ocean for vacation, your husband prefers the mountains. Traditionally the final say has meant that he gets to go to the mountains and you simply have to submit.

But authentic biblical headship defined by Christ is servanthood. Now we have an entirely different picture. How can your husband best serve your needs? If he is to love you as Christ loves the church and sacrifice himself for that, what would the “final decision” look like?

I think it would sound more like, “Honey, if you need sand and water for vacation this year, let’s do it.” Likewise, the wife might say, “If it’s that important to you that you get away from the crowds at the beach, I’m fine with that.”

When this kind of mutual submission, mutual love and mutual respect are practiced in a marital relationship, there is no need for a “final say”.

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