How should you treat the woman in your life? Let it be your mother or daughter or sister or friend or a stranger! This post is about 3 general principles a man should keep in mind while treating women.
Hope you are aware that the moral system of the world is going from bad to worse. The rate of crime against women are increasing rapidly. We hear lot of stories and shocking news from the media about how women are ill-treated. People often discuss these issues when they get together. Is there any solution to this problem? By discussing these news incidents and evil deeds of the criminals, will it bring any benefit to the society? Yes, of-course it will bring security and social awareness. But the root cause still remains! What can we do about it?
In this context, I would like to share with you few guidelines from the Word of God on how a man should treat a woman. I personally believe that, these principles are very practical and can be applied to all people everywhere, irrespective of age, religion, race, culture or nationalities.
It all starts from home
It all starts with ‘you’, or ‘me’ or with an ‘individual’. I call this ‘bottom-up approach’. If we look at the way, the world rulers are trying to bring peace, it is mainly through implementing new rules and regulations for social order. I call this as ‘top-down approach’. As they continue their struggle in bringing peace, let us concentrate and discuss more on what ‘I’ as an individual can do or as a ‘family’. Parents, teachers and elders have greater role in moulding the younger generation with right moral values, because today’s youth are tomorrow’s citizens.
Before going further, let us briefly discuss on bottom-up approach.
What is bottom-up approach?
The moral system has to be built from scratch, starting from an individual, which is the smallest unit of a society. The order goes like this. Individual > Family > Society > Nation > World. When an individual stands for the moral values, that family is more oriented towards those standards. When a family gives more importance for this, the society is influenced, and this positive force spreads to other individuals and families. I think, this is the only way we can now bring some changes to the society. I learned this from the life of Jesus.
When Jesus came into this world, he came to bring in a new system of way of life. He could have implemented this in a different way. He could have tied-up with the top leaders of His time and use their influence to bring His ideas into execution. But He didn’t do that way. Instead, He chose a small set of people and trained them, and they were the ones God used to turn the world upside down. I call this as ‘bottom-up approach’. This can be applied to families, churches, companies, organisations and so on.
The advantage of this approach is that, one need not gain authority or position or power to implement this. Anybody willing to stand for the truth can start with small and basic things. The main reason behind world politics is that people compete for power. One of the good reasons behind this attempt is to bring a social order, through rules and regulations, once they come into power/authority. That is acceptable, but the problem is that everyone in the society will not be able to take this path. But each person, from an individual level, can bring in tremendous changes or influence to the society. Are you willing to take a stand for this?
Now let us come to the topic: How should a man treat a woman? With this topic, we will discuss few ways to implement this ‘bottom up approach’. Before beginning to start the discussion, let us identify the various combinations of relationships possible between a man and woman.
How should a man treat a woman?
- How should a boy treat a girl?
- How should a man treat his own wife?
- How should a man treat an older woman?
- How should a man treat a younger woman?
- How should a man treat his daughter?
- How should a man treat his mother?
- How should a man treat a friend who is a girl/woman?
- How should a man treat a woman who is a stranger?
These are some of the relationship combinations possible. In this article, my aim is to bring in some general principles which can be applied across these relationships, which will help a man to treat the woman in a better way.
1. Treat ‘her’, with as much respect as you want ‘you’ to be treated
Yes! That’s what Jesus taught.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. Matt 7: 12 (NIV)
This general principle can be applied to every relationship. A man should treat a woman, with as much respect as he wants him to be treated. Whenever a man is dealing with another woman, let it be a stranger or a colleague or his own sister/mother/daughter, he should give her the due respect which she deserves as a woman, created in God’s own image.
This is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus treated women with great dignity and respect.
2. Treat older woman as your ‘mother’ and younger woman as your ‘sister’
This is a beautiful principle from the Word of God. How wonderful this world would have been, if this was followed!
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. I Tim 5: 1,2
The principle is this : Treat older women as you would treat your own mother. Treat younger women (applicable to same age) as your own sister. Also note the phrase, ‘with absolute purity’.
I believe this principle can work wonders.
It doesn’t come easy or natural to make all women our sisters, daughters and mothers, but for men struggling with lust, putting this concept into action can turn troubling temptations into beautiful and affirming relationships. How to overcome sexual temptations? Click here to read
Another important thing to note here is this – Exhort instead of Rebuking
When we speak to elders, especially women who are older to us by few years or many years, we have to use our words carefully. Even, if we want to highlight a mistake in them, we have to do it with kindness and respect, with all purity. Note the phrase, “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father”. When applied to women, it becomes “Do not rebuke an older woman harshly, but exhort her as if she were your mother“.
Rebuke means to express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behaviour or actions. But to exhort means to strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something
Same thing can be communicated in different ways. Instead of rebuking or shouting or screaming, do exhortation as an encouragement with great purity and kindness. When children speak to their mothers or teachers or elder sisters, note this point. They are worthy to be respected because of their age. And you will gain them in this process of humility and kindness.
3. Husband should love his wife as Jesus loved us
This is for husbands! How should a husband treat his wife? This is what the Bible teaches:-
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Eph 5 (NIV)
In another portion,
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. I Peter 3: 7
The instructions are pretty clear
- A husband should love his wife in the same way Christ loved us
- A husband ought to love his wife as his own bodies
- A husband need to feed and take care of his wife
- A husband must love his wife as he loves himself
- A husband should treat his wife with respect considering her as a weaker partner
How did Jesus love the church? Jesus sacrificed Himself for her. A husband need to love his wife to that extent. That is the expectation set by the moral systems of the Word of God.
Just imagine, how the world would have been if this simple principle was followed?
Now, let us start implementing the bottom-up approach. Forget about the world and its systems. Let’s begin at home. If you are a ‘husband‘ reading this, you can try these principles starting from home, and you can teach your children to do the same. Let them learn from you, the way you treat their ‘mother‘. Remember, parents can train and greatly influence the children with the right moral system. So as a ‘father’, or a ‘husband’, if you do your duty to mould your child in the way he should go, he will never go astray.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22: 6 NKJV
Then the moral system of home, society and nations will dramatically be influenced. And that is the best way to bring a positive influence in this society
Now what can you do? Is it possible to implement it in your family, in your church, in your company and in your society? What more can be added to this?