Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Things I Never Noticed in the Bible- Golden Rule Pretzel

Matthew 7:12 12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

I am sure we have all read the golden rule many times in various forms in the Scriptures.  I suppose I have most often read it in a negative sense like this, "Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you."

This keeps us from treating other people in all sorts of ill ways. You do not want someone to slander you, so do not slander them. You do not want someone to presume on your behavior, so you do not make bad assumptions about them.

But this rule is given to us in a very positive and forceful way, "Do to them what you would have them do to you."

I believe this changes things quite a bit. Men want honor and respect but do we simply not dishonor others?  Or do we actively honor others?

We often want respect and honor from our wives. We may even tell them so. But if you have to ask it lessons the import and effectiveness of the honor or respect. 

So, how do you treat your wife the way you want to be treated? Here's the twist, the pretzel part.

You want honor and respect. From men, you get honor and respect by giving honor and respect. If you are not getting any, it is probable that you are not giving any.

With your wife, the transaction is a bit different.  You want honor and respect from her but you do not get it by giving it.  She wants love from you.  If you are not getting the respect you want and need from her, then what is the problem?  You are not giving the love. 

Incidentally, this works in the reverse order as well. If a wife wants more love, she needs to give more respect and honor. But we are talking to the men and expect them to lead their wives by example.

Finally, the last part of this verse is 'this is the law and the prophets.'  We know that all the law and prophets is contained in this simple saying, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."  That is a different version of the Golden Rule. 

And I ask, "Who is a closer neighbor than your spouse?"

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