I finished writing this one today, and since I’m bored, I thought I’ll go ahead and post another for y’all. It’s a rainy, dreary day here so I’ve been writing and finishing some blog posts 🙂
I was contemplating about the differences between respect and fear. While both have the potential to change someone’s behaviors, the motivation is so very different. When you fear someone, you are acting out of genuine, anxiety riddled, fear at the thought of what they might do. Likely, because they’ve done it before. Maybe you fear a dog who has bitten more than once. People fear an abusive spouse, parent, etc. They stay within the boundaries their tyrant has set for them because they know that stepping outside those lines equals terror inducing “punishment”. Days are spent walking on eggshells, fearing what their tyrant is going to say or do next.
Respect is much different. When you respect someone, you are acknowledging that they are worthy and deserving of your respect. They have shown you time and again they’re worthy and have earned your willingness to listen, share, open yourself up to them. In the case of a husband and wife, a wife respects her husband because he has shown himself to be a dependable provider and protector. She submits to him, not out of fear, but out of genuine respect. Yes, there are boundaries, but your protector is there to keep you safe. He might correct you, or “discipline”, but the motivation is key. Being chastised in love is very different from being beaten up mentally, physically, or emotionally by a hateful tyrant. Adam honors me as his wife and as the mother of his children everyday when he puts our needs first. The very best way to show my appreciation is to be respectful toward him.
When I have to confess something to Adam, I sometimes use the word “afraid”. I might tell him “I was afraid to tell you this…”. The truth is, I do not in any way fear him. He has never shown himself to be a bully or tyrant. He isn’t unreasonable or unkind, even when I’ve really screwed up. I know that the things he does, whether I enjoy it or not, are always because he is working to guide, love, and protect me.
It’s such a blessing to find someone who always has your very best interests at heart. Someone you fear, is someone who is selfish. Someone you respect, is someone who is giving and often selfless.