by Christine Berglund
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” ~ Aretha Franklin
There are so many things to respect in gardening; weather patterns, needs for water and light, proper planting and harvesting time, the list goes on and on.
This morning I shared some irises with a new gardener, and she was getting them out of the ground by grabbing their tender new growth and yanking, breaking the rhizomes in the process. No respect.
Those healthy green leaves were so welcome after the sub-freezing weather we had over the past week, and crushing them was not going to help the iris transplant well. This novice was simply not aware of what the plant’s needs were, and maybe did not have the appreciation of new growth that I did.
In the book “His Needs Her Needs” by Willard Harley, one oft-overlooked need of a husband is that of respect. This is actually a Biblical mandate.
“Let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33, NASB).
The King James Version uses the word “reverence.” My husband is a minister, and has been addressed as “reverend” on more than one occasion. It is our belief that this is not a scriptural title, and I have joked that I’m the only one that can call him “Reverend.”
It is odd that we don’t consider reverencing or respecting our own husbands, when this is one of the only uses of the word in the scriptures besides the obvious imperative to give God respect and reverence.
Calling our Father in heaven the “Spirit in The Sky” or “The Man Upstairs” is probably not being as respectful as we should.
But let’s get back to the subject of respecting one another as husbands and wives. It is now known that respect is a very important component of marriage, especially on the man’s part. Why don’t we just naturally respect and admire our guys?
One reason is that “familiarity breeds contempt.” Contempt in this case is not full-blown hatred of our former “knight in shining armor.” Now we see the chinks in his chain mail, and it doesn’t shine like it used to.
This is a common occurrence. Marriages that have stood the test of time are not immune. But these couples actively seek out ways to admire one another.
When a wife makes a conscious effort to “reverence” her husband, his flaws pale in significance, and she finds myriad good qualities.
My favorite hobby is gardening. (Big surprise?) I jokingly refer to my husband as the “Yard Boy,” harking back to the days when my doctor said I should hire one.
In fact, he is much more useful when following my directions than when I leave him alone! I do the planning and he does the “grunt work.” It would be easy to acknowledge myself as the expert, and discount my yard boy’s ideas.
However, I have enough respect for him that I keep an open mind to his suggestions.
Our patio project was one such example, although he is the expert in masonry if not garden aesthetics. If we had done it my way, it would not be as useful. If we had not done it his way, it would not be as pretty. We did have sharp disagreements, but we worked through them in a respectful manner.
In the garden, things die if consideration isn’t shown.
In all relationships, let’s show some respect.
“…With humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).