Posted by: JennyRain | August 4, 2009

Love and Respect: A Generational Thing?

Relationships. Love. Respect. Confusion?!?
 
This morning’s theme seems to be relationships. Not suprising considering I feel 200% clueless on how to navigate this thing called marriage that John and I have entered into.
 

Bryan Redding Photography

As often happens when I am confused about which oar to row next, Divine Timing shows up with a radio broadcast, weblog, email, or twitter that meets me where I am.

This morning I “just happened” to tune into Family Life today with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine. They were interviewing Susie Davis, author of Loving Your Man without Losing Your Mind, and her husband, Will. I can relate to a title like this!

 

In this broadcast Susie talked about the necessity of women to respect their husband and how on some occasions we need to pick our hill and die on it, and some occasions we need to just “let it roll.” She spoke of one time she was baring her soul to her husband and he “appeared” to be the dutiful listener, completely engrossed in her confession. And then he spoke,

“Honey, would you go to the store and get some bread?”

I laughed out loud when I heard this talk because sometimes it feels like this at my house! And I’m sure if you ask John, he would probably tell you that I do the same thing to him too.

Planetary Rotations and Displaced Travelers.
 

Sometimes it feels as if my husband and I are living on two different planets, the only problem is that somehow I landed on Mars, and John landed on Venus, and as of yet, there are no transportation vehicles between the two! Truth-be-told, I think both of us feel a bit out of our element.

Maybe it is just because both of us are GenXers and the morning broadcasts seem to target Baby Boomers? Yep. That has to be the problem.

So I brushed the morning show aside and walked into work.

Upon opening my inbox, there was a post from Kem Meyer (a blogger I follow regularly). Kem is just starting a series called Making Love Last. She will be covering the following topics in the coming weeks:

Love is a verb (8/15-16)
The art of loving you more than myself (8/22-23)
The expectation trap (8/29-30)
The love triangle (9/5-6)

Oye. So perhaps I have some things to learn in the coming weeks about love and relationships.

These are my questions about relationships…

  1. I know that Ephesians 5 says “husband love your wives. wives respect your husbands.” However, to me – to love me is to respect me and to respect me is to love me. It seems, if you ask my husband – the two are interchangable too. Is this respect thing just generational?
  2. The morning shows I listen to are great – very informative and insightful. The only problem is this, at some point during the show, they stop connecting with me. I begin relating more to the “Mars” side of things and less to the “Venus” side. Again, is it just because I’m of the generation (GenX) that has broken all the rules or is it that something in me – as a woman – is not working quite as it should?
  3. Is my need for respect normal or is it just a result of some of my “baggage” from the past that still needs some healing? In other words, once I’m fully healthy (haha – as if that ever happens!) will I then think in terms of needing “love” vs. “respect”?
  4. Are love and respect terms that are synonymous? Is this whole thing just a semantics issue?
  5. WHY isn’t anyone MY age talking about this issue?!?!

 

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Responses

  1. I’m talking about this issue and I think I am close to your age…I’m 27… (-:

    I think people addressing marriage are often people who have been married for a bit. Understandable and scriptural….older teaching the younger…yada yada…

    However, with generations changing so quickly some of their examples and practical application will probably look different. We must not throw out scripture because we don’t fully understand it. I believe there was a reason different words were used, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t both need love and respect.

    There are multiple definitions to the word Love in scripture. How is it asking women to show respect specifically to their husbands and how is it asking men to specifically show love to their wives?

    Shameless plug for my fathers book, (Love and Respect) but putting some of the “boomer” generation examples aside, see if he breaks down scripture in a way that makes sense. I would love to know your thoughts if you get a chance to read it!

    Thanks for writing honestly–a friend showed me your blog post–Blessings~

    • shameless plug away girl! LOVE that book… we do L&R marriage conferences, L&R bible studies, L&R couples groups… it is all over my church (www.mcleanbible.org) and definitely a huge influence on our marriage ministry there!

      I’m 39…a’hem…though i only celebrate anniversaries of my 29th to date 🙂

      So I’m smack-dab middle-GenXer… hence my questioning of a “system” of categorization of guys are this… ladies are this…

      For me – and I found this to be true with John Eldredge’s books too – there has been a lot of “Gender Biasing” done by books written by Boomers that tends to place women in one category and men in another… (all of Eldredge’s books do this, Mars and Venus do this, L&R kind of does this)…

      While I completely believe that there is value in some level of categorization (as it can be traced back to biblical values and is immensely helpful in understanding your spouse)… to OVER-categorize to the exclusion of another way of being leaves many of us younger-than-boomers newly marrieds really struggling for guidance…

      Additionally, to me it seems that many of us ladies who have been immersed in the corporate world for a time, who are only children (I have a much older step-brother, but no biological siblings)… it seems as if a segment of our female population is being “left behind” because no one is addressing our need for respect too.

      Like, for me – I have definitely the need for love and connection so a part of my female nature, however, there is nothing that sends me through the roof faster than disrespect (even rejection of love does not trigger me like lack of respect does). I have several girlfriends who are similar to this, and who kind of flail around trying to figure out how to work marriage as a Christian woman with these needs.

      Soooo… would LOVE to see your dad, with his years of experience and wealth of resources, write yet another book (which I would totally recommend to all my friends of course 🙂 ) that directly addresses the NextGen marrieds and the different environmental contexts we experienced.

      Though I know the premise would be the same… how the biblical values are expressed in my generation might be different.

      Not a sermon, just a thought 🙂 as my pastor says 🙂

      I’m on twitter (@jennyrain) and would totally love to chat more if you want… noticed you were in the R&D dept for your dad’s company (how COOL is that!)

      love your blog too btw!

  2. Thanks for checking out my blog! This blogging world is so new to me, but it’s quite fascinating. I understand and appreciate everything you have said. I DO consider us in a similar generation of women who are encountering the work world in a whole new way. Would love to stay in touch and continue to hear your thoughts.

    Blessings!


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