So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.Ephesians 5:33
Now this is impressive. A man must love; a wife must respect. How does Paul know to say this? Not only was he likely not married and yet he seems to know so much about something he has no experience about. But also what is this 1st Century trainee rabbi doing s! haring the latest ideas in 21st Century break-through thinking related to marriage relationships and how men and women tick? There is a recent book that has been released called Love & Respect:The love she most desires, The respect he desperately needs written by Dr Emerson Eggerichs.
A crazy cycle kicks in if she is without love and he is without respect. “He doesn’t love me”; “she doesn’t respect me” are the most common complaints from married couples. When a wife feels unloved it is hard to respect her husband. When a hu! sband feels a lack of respect it is hard to love his wife. Without lov e she reacts without respect! Without respect he reacts without love! Most counsellors ask both partners to work on loving their spouse. But the key is for wives to respect their husbands. In surveys taken of men’s perceived needs the overwhelming number one need in marriage for a man is that of respect. A recent twenty year research study of two thousand couples [Dr John Gottman Psych Dept, Univ of Washington] confirmed the basic ingredient for successful marriages was love and respect.
Emmerson Eggerichs realized the truth of something hidden away in Scripture by paying attention to! the detail in the text of Ephesians 5:33. Paul wrote “Husbands love, wives respect.” Why didn’t Paul tell both to love. Why are both told something different? There is no command for the woman to love because it is how she has been pre-programmed by God. He designed women to love. The detail that is found in the Bible is remarkable. Nothing is wasted in what God has recorded for us. All the detail is there for a purpose. Hidden in the last verse is a clue, a gem to be studied in how men and women ought to interact according the master plan the Father designed. When we follow His blueprint things work out. Isn’t that incredible?
The following are clipped from Eggerichs’ book:
A woman needs love just as much as she needs air to breathe. Husband, love your wife unconditionally. A man needs respect as much as he needs air to breathe. Wife, respect your husband unconditionally.
“I can love him but I don’t respect him.”
Ladies how would “I respect you but I don’t love you” sound to you? Same way, “I love you but I don’t respect you” sounds to your husband.
Two questions a husband needs to remember and ask himself:
1. Is my wife coming across to me disrespectfully because she is feeling unloved?
2. Will what I say or do next come across as loving or unloving to my wife?
Two quest ions a wife needs to remember and ask herself:
1. Is my husband coming across to me unlovingly because he is feeling disrespected?
2. Will what I say or do next come across as respecting or disrespecting to my husband?
Typical response: “I’m not loving that woman until she starts respecting me.”
“I’m not respecting that man until he starts loving me.”
Take the role of the mature mate and make the first move. It may be risky but it’s powerful.
“Honey, that felt disrespectful. Did I just come across as unloving in what I said?” Learn to have your antennae functioning and discern what is going on.
The rest of the book is structured around
C.O.U.P.L.E – How to spell love to your wife.
Closeness – Openness – Understanding – Peacemaking – Loyalty – Esteem
C.H.A.I.R.S – How to spell respect to your husband.
Conquest – Hierarchy – Authority – Insight – Relationship – Sexuality
Eggerichs has chapters on each of the items above spelling out how to show love to your wife or respect to your husband. Get the book and find out more. I am merely a conduit at this point. But isn’t it remarkable that a little (most commentators think Paul was small) Jewish man living in the 1st Century AD who had never been marri! ed could write a major clue as to how men and women ought to interact in marriage? Understandable when you realize that God was inspiring Paul as to what to write behind the scenes. He ought to know, He made us.
“Husbands, love you wives; Wives respect your husbands. That’s the way I made you!”God
A woman needs love just as much as she needs air to breathe. Husband, love your wife unconditionally.Emmerson Eggerichs
A man needs respect as much as he needs air to breathe. Wife, respect your husband unconditionally.Emmerson Eggerichs
It’s easy finding reasons why your spouse should change.Anon
Often we call upon God to ease our pain without wanting Him to change our character.A R Bernard