Posts tagged ‘respect’

April 1, 2008

You were heavy-handed…..

by Rod Smith

“You write, to a woman asking for help with her son that if she gets her attitude right she might see a shift in her son’s attitude. Just because she has a ‘right attitude’ it doesn’t mean her son will. It seems to me you were a little heavy handed with someone asking for your advice. I am a single mother and two of my three children are boys. My boys are very respectful of women because they have been taught by me to be that way from a very early age. My feelings for their father have nothing to do with it. At the age of 11 it will be difficult to change the attitude of a son but can still be done. Let him know that his attitude and behavior toward women is uncalled for and will not be tolerated. It can be difficult for a woman to raise a son alone especially when the father is not much help but it can be done.” (Edited for clarity)

As I said, attitudes are contagious. It seems your no-nonsense approach has paid off for you and for your children. Congratulations on your success. I am sure your children have thrived, at least partly, as a result of your forthrightness.

December 6, 2007

You advise women to stand up to jealous husbands, but The Bible says submit….

by Rod Smith

You advise women to stand up to their jealous or controlling husbands. Don’t you know the Bible says wives must submit to husbands?

Please write, I'm reading...

Please write, I'm reading...

I do. Paul says, “wives submit to your husbands,” and one can safely assume Paul is addressing all of his writings to both men and women. A husband who loves according to Paul’s descriptions of love is both safe and worthy of submission! Such a man will indeed not be going out of his way to secure the obedience of others. Beware of any man whose knowledge of Scripture begins, and ends, with “wives submit to your husbands.” Loving men (leaders, bosses, teachers) have no desire (or craving) for the submission (obedience) of others. “Love seeks no power, and therefore has it,” says Alan Paton.

Submitting (“giving in”) to jealousy or controlling or abusive behavior is certainly not very helpful to the marriage, the husband or wife. The Bible doesn’t require anyone to submit (accept, obey) anyone’s pathological behavior, whether it is from a spouse, pastor, or any leader. To resist (stand up to) pathological behavior, however (wherever, whenever) it rears its ugly head, is to do the perpetrator (spouse, pastor, leader) a loving service.

Submitting to damaging behavior can hardly result in helpful long-term outcomes.

Sadly, I have seen many a woman hang onto the hope that the husband will eventually change (stop drinking, beating, swearing, and go to church!) if she could just learn to really “submit.” I know women who believe their husband’s abuse is deserved – a “reward” for the failure to really submit. If abusive men (yes jealousy and control are forms of abuse) were as interested in Paul’s injunction to men: “love your wife as Christ loved the Church,” we’d be pleasantly engaged in a completely different discussion.

No. The monster (jealousy) will not go away if continually fed. It only gets more controlling, more demanding, and more viscous when it is not appeased.

November 17, 2007

Portrait of a successful or enriched woman…

by Rod Smith

The successful, or enriched woman …..

1. Knows she never has to participate in sexual activity that she does not want; and knows that her body is her own and private temple which she shares, even in marriage, only when it is by her own sacred, deliberate choice.
2. Does not lose herself in her marriage, or to motherhood, or in taking care of her family, but who is able to develop a strong, vibrant sense of self even while being a loving wife, mother, friend and professional in her career of choice.
3. Does not allow herself to be taken for granted, to be sworn at, to be victimized by anyone, not husband, children, in-laws, siblings, parents or co-workers.
4. Lives above manipulation, domination and intimidation, and has relationships that are therefore pure and open, mutual and respectful.
5. Is able to articulate her deepest dreams, desires, and fears to those whom she loves, without fearing a response of indifference or rejection.
6. Is a woman, who, in the midst of the pressures of work, motherhood and marriage, maintains her unique and powerful voice.
7. Is able to delay gratification for the greater good of her family and community.
8. Has a playful, open, adult relationship with her mother and/or woman in her mother’s age group, and is therefore free of feelings of jealousy and envy with her peers.