I had a good friend talking about this yesterday with me. We were discussing what it is like to be a single man and seeking a lady. My friend is already married but told me about a book called “Love and Respect” where it is said that a lady wants most of all to be loved while a man wants to be respected.
There’s a lot of truth in that.
I’m only going to be speaking from the guy’s perspective here though. We all want respect. Last night when I got home, I was ready to relax on the net for the evening but the phone rang. My Dad works at a store not too far from me and really needed some help stocking. Could I come and help?
Anyone who has ever seen me knows that I am in no way on the path to becoming Mr. Universe and could hardly lift fifty pounds without help. Still, I figured I’d go down and do what I could. He’s my Dad after all. So I went in and started immediately bagging ice and then lifting boxes and refilling shelves and the freezer. I spent a little under three hours there.
Now I thought about that compared with my current job. I do menial labor as well, but I enjoyed the work for my Dad even though I didn’t get paid for it. (Well, he did buy me something in the evening, but I did it simply because it was the right thing to do.) What makes them so different?
I can think of only one difference. I was respected in the help I gave. It was a case of “We need you down here. Can you come help?” It is easier for a man to do hours of unpaid work in which he is respected than to go work somewhere else for pay where he does not believe he is being respected.
Women. Understand this about your men especially. Your man wants you to respect him more than anything else for him. For you married women, your man would most likely rather have respect without sexual intercourse, than sexual intercourse without respect. I’m that serious. (Your man would prefer both of course though and he’d prefer you enjoy both.)
You want your man to leap tall buildings for you? Simple. Go up to him and wrap your arms around him and whisper in his ear that he is your man. It is that simple. When your man knows he is your man, he will be willing to cross a burning desert just to get you a glass of water.
I had a professor several years ago that said it would not be much honor to go to my wife and say “You are a woman.” Maybe not, though I think some would appreciate it. If you tell your man something to correspond though, he will be honored. That is his wish. He wants to know what he is your man above all others.
Yet I also thought the same happens with God! In 2 Kings 3, the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom unite to face Moab. Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah at the time and he was a righteous king. All of the kings go to see the prophet Elisha to find out how to deal with Moab. I love the way the NIV translates 2 Kings 3:14.
Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you or even notice you.
I believe Elisha was passing on the respect of God. It’s not saying Jehoshaphat was above God at all. Hebrews 11 tells us about people whom God is not ashamed to be called their God. What a great privilege it must be to be one of those people that when God looks at us says “I’m their God, and I’m not ashamed to say it.”
I also think this is why we men are so competitive. We want to be #1. No man wants to be second place. We all want that respect. We all want to outdo every other man. Watch a group of guys telling stories sometime. Each guy thinks he has to come up with a better story than the others? Why? Because a guy wants respect.
Respect. It’s needed in the workplace. It’s needed in marriage. It’s needed among other guys. It’s even needed in the faith. Let’s start giving true men respect. It can shape them to be the heroes of tomorrow.