Just to clarify, it’s not Jon and Kate breaking the silence; it’s me. And to clarify further, I wasn’t really being silent on purpose (much); I just don’t talk a whole lot about celebrity sagas on my blog. Or maybe I do and just can’t remember. My brain feels a little foggy tonight.
This should be good.
If you don’t know who Jon and Kate are, you live under an even bigger rock than I do. They’re a couple in their 30’s with 8-year-old (I think) twin girls and 5-year-old (I think) sextuplets–3 boys, 3 girls. Hence, the name of their reality TV show–Jon & Kate Plus 8. (Very catchy, by the way.) A few months ago, they filed for divorce.
If you were a faithful J&K+8 watcher (I’ve watched 10-12 episodes over the years), you probably have some strong emotions about the whole thing. Maybe–Kate is not very nice, and it’s her fault that her marriage failed. Or–if only Jon would’ve bucked up and taken responsibility as a husband and father instead of going out to bars. Or–how heartbreaking for these kiddos that their parents are broken up.
I’ve read bits and pieces here and there, and I’m sure I don’t have all the facts, but a couple days ago, I watched a clip of an interview with Jon. He talked about how abusive Kate was. How she was mean and rude and disrespectful to him and just kept beating, beating, beating him down. He couldn’t take it anymore, he said. And now he’s found a girl who loves and respects him and treats him like he’s longed to be treated for so long.
His cry for respect is universal among guys. And as a culture, as a whole, we women are answering that cry with a cackling laugh and a, “Shut up and sit down!” I’m sure I’ve soapboxed on here before about the chronic lack of respect I see ALL over the place. Women disrespecting men. And, in particular, wives disrespecting husbands.
It’s not only culturally acceptable–it’s encouraged, applauded. Men have “tiny husband brains” (thank you, Brian Regan), and it’s our feminine duty to make our guys feel even smaller every chance we get.
I read a book recently that I’m going to share from when I resume the modesty discussion. The author starts off by saying that Satan is very, very interested in “sowing seeds of disrespect toward men in the hearts of women of all ages.” I couldn’t agree more. God has a beautiful plan for male-female relationships, and the devil is out to undermine and sabotage it at every turn.
And we buy his stupid lies.
I’ve written about respecting our husbands in three of my four books. I wish I could just hand out those chapters free of charge, because I’m desperately passionate about this topic. If you have the books and haven’t looked at them in ages, I’d love for you to dust them off and open up to Chapter 6 in Blushing, Chapter 5 in Diapers, and Chapter (I’m not sure because I’m all out of copies at the moment) of Is That All?
Now, I’m not perfect. As much as I love to encourage women to respect their husbands (and men in general), my recent record isn’t spotless (ask Gabe). But I am always, always conscious of the respect issue, and when I do disrespect my husband, I recognize it immediately and feel completely convicted. It breaks my heart (or irks me like crazy–depends on my mood) when I hear women doing this. Some of them don’t even have a clue that they’re being completely disrespectful. Sinful. Some of them are godly women who long to follow hard after Jesus, and don’t for a second make the connection between being obedient to the Lord and showing respect to the guy they married.
And can I just take a minute to publicly praise my girlfriends from church for the way they honor and respect their husbands? Again, they’re not perfect. But, as a whole, the gals I hang with, do life with, love their husbands and speak to them (and about them) with deep respect. These hubbies aren’t beaten down or degraded and don’t feel embarrassed every time they’re in public with their oh-so-vocal wives. You go, Vista Girls!
Back to Jon & Kate. (Digression is one of my love languages. Or something.) In most of the episodes I’ve seen of the show, Kate is verbally disrespectful/abusive to Jon. She’s called him dumb and essentially worthless. She yells at him, berates him, rolls her eyes at him, the works. I found myself cringing time and time again, wishing she had waited until the cameras were off and discussed their issues in a respectful tone. (Boring TV, I know.)
Like I said, I don’t know the whole story. I don’t know what all Jon has done. Just like I don’t know YOUR whole story. I don’t know what your marriage is like. Maybe your husband is the one who’s rude and mean and unloving. I had a sweet gal come up to me after one of my Sex Talks, and she was not happy. Not one little bit. There I was, telling wives that they should unselfishly meet their husband’s physical needs, and I had no idea what her husband put her through.
I told her what I’ll tell you. I have no easy answer for that. We talked, I prayed with her, and I pray even now that God worked some mighty miracles in that marriage.
What I do know is this: many, many, many of us have a problem in this area. The guy in our life isn’t the trouble; it’s us. We’ve bought the lie that it’s okay to get laughs at the expense of another person–as long as it’s just a guy.