Be Careful with Respect!

Posted on September 30, 2013 by


Ladies,

Men today, even married men (sometimes especially married men) are STARVING for respect – even Christian men.

We must be VERY careful in our interactions with unavailable men (any man who is not a single, available GODLY man who is producing the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-33 )  – not to use respect “full blast” on them.  A beautiful woman who looks at a man with admiration is extremely tempting to a man, especially if he is not getting that kind of respect and admiration at home or elsewhere.  You can look like an “oasis” of respect to men.

As we learn about respect, it is easy to begin to apply it to everyone.  And that is good!  We should treat others with respect (men and women) – as we are all image bearers of God and God calls us to love and respect others.  We should not be criticizing, lecturing, condemning, blaming and negative toward anyone.  We should focus on the good in others and use our words to build them up and bless them.

BUT – if you see a man who is becoming very interested in you – and he is not potential dating/courting/marrying material in the eyes of God for you –  it is time to turn the “respect knob” WAY, WAY down.

MY EXPERIENCE

I turn my “respect knob” up to “high” for my husband, and then try to turn it way down to “low” for other men.   Although, sometimes even “low” is a problem for some men.

It is VERY tempting to give men respect.  We know that is what they need.  We can see that they are starving for respect.  It can be heartbreaking to see a man who you know would flourish if only he had his wife’s respect or the respect of a godly woman – and to know how to show him respect.  It is EASY to start giving respect to men once you know what respect is.  But if you give them more respect than they are getting anywhere else on the planet, you can easily become a huge temptation to them.

I can’t be the one to give other men the respect they need from their wives.  

I can pray for them and for their marriages.  But it is not my place as a married woman to meet another man’s masculine need for respect from a woman. I must focus on giving respect to my own husband primarily.  And for my single sisters in Christ – there are similar boundaries you will probably need to pray about as you determine how to interact with the men in your life.

Last summer, many husbands began to email me about how disrespectful their wives were on http://www.peacefulwife.com.  I always copied my husband if I corresponded with any men.  But, I began to see that these men started to look to me to get the respect they weren’t getting from their wives.  NOT GOOD.  So, I began to refer men to a pastor I trust – a man.  My husband and I decided that I don’t need to work with men. It is much better for men to go to a man about their marriage problems than to take their feelings of disrespect in their marriage to a woman.

It is too easy for a woman who understands men to give these men some respect and then to develop empathy and an emotional attachment to a hurting man.  And it is way too easy for a man who is feeling disrespected everywhere else in his life to develop an attraction and attachment to a woman who is willing to show him genuine respect.  Plus, scripture admonishes women not to be in positions of authority over men to teach them spiritually.  There are MANY good reasons for me not to try to counsel or teach men.  I would suggest that there are many good reasons for single Christian women not to try to counsel or teach men, as well.

  • 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.  I Timothy 2
  • Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.  I Corinthians 14   (My understanding is that the word “silent” does not mean total absence of speech, but that a woman would not get up as a teacher to teach men.)
     If a married man or a worldly man comes on to you, tries to kiss you, wants to talk alone with you, wants to email/text/message you privately – my suggestion is to RUN.

A proper response to improper advances of men:

  • 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.  I Corinthians 6
  • But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.  Ephesians 5
  • Proverbs 3-7 – avoiding adultery

WHY ARE SOME MARRIED MEN WILLING TO RISK HAVING AN AFFAIR?

  • They feel very disrespected/rejected at home – unfortunately – this is almost universally true today sadly
  • They are operating in the flesh instead of being controlled by God’s Spirit
  • They are not thinking about the destructive consequences in the future, but only the pleasure of the moment
  • They are attracted to beautiful women – especially beautiful women who respect and admire them

WHAT TO DO

This is not something to play with.  If a married man or man you know is not someone you can potentially date/court/marry isn’t taking hints you are trying to give him,  it may be necessary to be very firm – here are some suggestions to prayerfully consider:

  • “DO NOT talk to me anymore.”
  • “DO NOT call me/text me/message me.”
  • “I can’t be around you.”
  • “Leave me alone, please.”

I personally would not try to explain yourself to them.  That will not usually help at all!  In fact, it may well make things worse because the guy will try to shoot holes in any reasons you give him for why you must distance yourself.

You will also have to change your body language

  • stop smiling at him
  • stop looking at him with admiration in your eyes
  • use “closed” body language – arms crossed, body turned away from him if you must be in the same room
  • stay physically far away from him, do not allow yourself to be in close proximity to him

The problem is – some men will say, “I can turn your ‘no’ into a ‘yes'” and it becomes a challenge and a game to them.  And sometimes, when you back away and try to stop all contact, that will encourage them to pursue you even more intently.

If that happens, you may need outside help.  It might be wise to talk with a godly father or godly older wife mentor or a trusted pastor.  It may be necessary to try to leave and not be in the same place as a man like that if he begins to pursue you even more persistently when you back away.  If this is happening at work, you may need to tell your supervisor if talking to the man in question doesn’t work – or talk to your supervisor’s supervisor if it is your boss who is the issue.  If it is happening at church, you may need to change classes or possibly speak to one of the leaders you trust – like the pastor.  If it is the pastor who is pursuing you – you may need to prayerfully consider leaving or at least seek wise, godly counsel!

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