by Jay Dennis
Long before Aretha Franklin sang her hit song “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.,” God made clear in His Word that women should be respected. Christianity elevated womanhood to its highest level. In the Gospels, Jesus demonstrated great honor in the way He treated, spoke to, and spoke about women. The apostle Peter further exemplified and taught that men should honor women. In his first letter, Peter gave us a powerful reminder of a husband’s duty to his wife as he spoke on having a godly marriage: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Pet. 3:7, NIV).
The Bible honors women and condemns anything that would harm or injure women, whether physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual. God has called men to be the protectors and defenders of women. In our sexualized culture, the minds of Christian men are being assaulted with lust-inducing images from advertisements on television to Internet pornography. Temptation does not have an expiration date, so Christian men of all ages and backgrounds are affected by the world’s sexual objectification of women.
With the emergence of the #MeToo movement, there appears to be a new and welcomed sensitivity to treating women with respect. The question is, “What can Christian men do to respect and honor women in their daily routines?” This could transform a man’s thought life if he is continually mindful. The principle is this: If every Christian man would view women who are older as he would his mother, women around his age, as his sister, and every younger woman as his daughter, his thought life could be revolutionized resulting in a respect for all women.
Consider Seven Areas of Respecting Women:
1. Respect Women Attitudinally
Peter says to show honor to women (1 Pet. 3:7). Christian men are to treat women as equals, never inferior. He is teaching men to seek to understand and try to see things from a woman’s perspective. This involves valuing her opinions, offering her your help, showing her honor, being courteous, never being harsh or rude, and showing friendless, but not flirting. Look for ways to offer help to women who have a need. Treat her as a woman, and do not treat her like she is a man. In a culture that is attempting to negate the differences between a man and a woman, the Bible teaches we should celebrate those differences through respect.
2. Respect Women Visually