The Unfortunate Truth About Respect

A horrible truth dawned upon me recently.

No, the truth didn’t dawn. It sprang.

And I’m still struggling in its teeth.

You know this thing called marriage? One man, one woman, one flesh, for life? The husband in charge, as ordained by God, the wife submitted to his authority?

I understand this. It makes sense. My husband and I are a team, but someone has to lead. I’d rather it be he than me, because I certainly don’t want to shoulder his responsibilities or his accountability to God.

Except. . . I didn’t understand it. Not like I should have.

Here’s the truth that will not let me go: I do not get to define respect. That’s my husband’s job.

If I do and say things that feel disrespectful to him, then I have been disrespectful, even if it feels harmless and inconsequential to me. He is allowed to make the respect call.

I don’t know why I haven’t seen my inconsistency before. I know that parents, not children, define what is respectful and what is not. God, not humans, decides what is obedience and what is not. The courts, not criminals, declare what is law-abiding and what is not.

With authority comes the power to decide when that authority is being challenged.

I sometimes live as if a wife is the exception to this rule. When my husband says it feels like I’m challenging his decision, I brush it off and say I didn’t mean it that way at all. When my actions make him think his opinion didn’t matter, I claim he’s not being understanding enough.

I’ve been wrong.

He is allowed to decide when he feels respected and when he does not. This doesn’t suit me. I’d rather that my husband be understanding and conciliatory: Of course you didn’t mean to be disrespectful, my dear. I misunderstood you. Forgive me.

On second thought—no. I’d rather my husband be strong than weak, even if he stomps on my opinions.

To live under his definition of respect means I have to consider my actions and words from his perspective. I have to accept the truth that sometimes, even when I mean well, I am flat-out wrong.

This still doesn’t suit me.

But why do I fight it? He is a good man, better than I deserve, and he is no tyrant. He loves me, a fact I still struggle to believe. Besides, in marriage (and in everything else), God’s way works better than any other way, every time.

The unfortunate truth about respect is that I’ve been wrong about it far too long. I’ve been choosing to respect him according to my standards instead of his. But it is God’s standard that truly matters, and God who receives the glory when a husband and a wife live beautifully together. I want my husband not only to hear that I respect him, but also to feel it, to know it, and to never doubt it.


Bad News, Backing Up, and More Waiting

The hard drive in our almost-new laptop crashed on Sunday night, totaling the hard drive.

Yeah, you guessed it. I had been a little too careless with backing up our files. Who would have thunk a new machine would so utterly demolish itself?

The laptop has been hospitalized for tests and observation. We hope to hear the results on Monday or Tuesday.

Speaking of waiting for results: I spoke with a nurse from Children’s Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. She said that the results of Tarica’s tests will likely not be in for another two weeks.

Back to computers, since the other subject is too gloomy to dwell on.

I spent some time this week researching (on our hideously slow old computer) various methods of backing up photos and files. I had a system originally set up after we got the new laptop, but it didn’t suit me, so I changed some settings (or something—not exactly sure what happened). I thought it was backing up after that, but it wasn’t.

Researching backup methods online is a little like looking for a particular button in a barrel of buttons when you’re not exactly sure what the button looks like.

Here’s what I think the button should look like:

1. Automatic (or nearly so)

I have a brain with holes in it, through which important stuff like church services and clean work clothes fall all the time. Don’t trust me to remember to back up the computer.

2. Non-whizzy

I’m not a computer whiz. I don’t want a complicated sixteen-step process.

3. Local

The other setup saved stuff to the cloud, but then it wasn’t on the laptop (or didn’t appear to be). Although I like a cloud-based, multi-accessible backup, I also want my files saved to the computer itself, so I’m not dependent on online access to open my files. (Perhaps I require further cloud education. If so, I’m all ears.)

4. Free or very cheap

Call me a tightwad, but I would prefer not investing a lot of money into this. Besides, what money we might have spent on a backup system will now be buying a certain computer tech a week’s groceries.

Does this button even exist?

What do you use to back up your computer?

These are not rhetorical questions. I’m hoping for real-world advice.