Saturday, February 22, 2014

Learning to be respected

While my decision for celibacy
before marriage was made clear
from the very beginning,
actually sticking to those beliefs
has been more confusing
than I ever thought possible.
As he deliberately takes steps
to ensure that I not find myself
in compromising situations,
the neediness and selfishness
of the old me flare up.
I want to be desired, who doesn't?
So when he draws a line, a boundary,
I immediately feel hurt, and scared.
Why wouldn't he want this?
I know why, my mind says...
I am not __________ enough.
Fill it in. There are plenty of adjectives
that will work in that space.

I let him spend the night, one night.
Just sleeping. That's all.
I've written before
     about stupid things I've done
          to have an arm around me while I slept
So yesterday, in a display of respect,
when he told me it couldn't happen again
I was hurt, and angry, and confused.
Frustrated text messages flew
as we tried to figure out
what the other was really thinking.
     All I felt was rejection.
     All I felt was being pushed away.
     All I felt was loss of control of the situation.
I finally got him to concede,
to say he would stay again,
to tell me everything was fine...
I felt awful.
I could feel something stirring inside
telling me that I was wrong.
As I sat with that feeling
it suddenly occurred to me
that what I was seeing
might not be rejection at all.
This might be the most respectful thing
any man has ever done for me.
I've mentioned before how no man
has ever been willing to wait for me
for more than two weeks...
Here we are now, a month in
and he is standing his ground,
setting boundaries to protect me.
I didn't take it well,
but I'm working on it.
We talked more, came to the conclusion
that he was right, and I was not.
I don't know if he understands
why this is hard for me, but he will.
I don't know if he understands
how much I treasure his respect
now that I see it as such, but he will.

I'll be honest,
because that's what you do
in a blog about accountability... right?

I still want him to stay.

But what girl in her right mind could look at a man
who is trying to do what is best for both of them
and say, "Please respect me a little less."
How disrespectful of HIM would that be of me?

When you've never been respected before, learning to accept it is difficult. But when you finally see it for what it is, you will find that the ways it changes you, your feelings, and the relationship are worth the struggle it takes to understand.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. 
Matthew 7:12 

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