Love & Respect & the Word of God

by Rachelle Williams

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I’ve been reading a book by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs titled “Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs” I remember just reading the title of the book alone was the biggest revelation ever for me concerning marriage. I can absolutely see that in my own marriage.

 I’m constantly finding myself wishing that my husband did this or that differently so I’d feel more loved. Logically, I know my husband loves me but like we discovered with the love languages quiz, we all have different ways of showing love and preferred ways of receiving love. I don’t know about ya’ll, but my husband and I do not share the same love language at all. We’ve discussed it before and discovered that the way he’s showing me love is the way that he wants to receive love and vice versa. We love each other whole heartedly but we’re expressing it backwards.

When I first watched the “Becoming a Man Whisperer” video (if you weren’t at this meeting, let us know & we would love to send you a copy!), when she said that 3 out of 4 men said they would prefer to feel respected over loved, I went straight to Matt and asked him.
I said “Be honest. Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear, tell me what you really feel. If you had to choose, would rather feel loved or respected?”
He looked at me and he cringed a little bit as he gave me his answer because he was afraid it would hurt my feelings, but he said “respected.

He cringed because we both knew that this was my weak area. He went on to say that he’s never doubted that I love him because I do a good job of showing him that, but at times, he did wish that I made him feel more respected. Ironically, I realized at that moment that while I often wished he showed me more love, I’ve never once doubted that he respected me. So again, we we’re just doing things a little backwards.

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The first page of the first chapter in Love & Respect shows what they call “The Crazy Cycle”. It says “Without Love > She Reacts > Without Respect > He Reacts” and so on and so on the cycle goes. When I feel unloved by my husband, I react without respect. When my husband feels disrespected, he reacts without love. Again, this was a huge revelation for me. Between the book and the video and all of these studies of what men want and women want, and it all lining up together… it blew my mind even more when I found this scripture:

“Each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.” -Ephesians 5:33

I’m thankful for the Love & Respect book. I also learned a lot from the video. The studies are wonderful. But what’s more amazing about it all to me is that they all back up and align with the word of God written 2000 years ago. There is A LOT that has changed in the world within 2000 years. Women have completely different roles in society than what they did 2000 years ago. Men even had different roles than what they did 2000 years ago. But still, we are wired the way that God created us. 2000 years later, women still want to feel loved and men still want to feel respected.

He knew these things were important to each man and woman because he gives even further instructions to do so.

“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her” -Ephesians 5:25

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Y’all. I feel confident that most Christian women are familiar with this scripture and a lot of women probably know it by heart. Got it memorized and ready to throw out there at the first sign of an argument. If you haven’t, then good, don’t get ideas because 1) that’s not how you use scripture and 2) your husband is not going to receive it well in the middle of argument.

But, it’s in the word of God because He knew that it was important for women to feel loved by their husbands.

However, He also knew it was equally important for women to respect their husbands because it also says (and actually is listed first):
 Wives, submit to your own husband as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife.” -Ephesians 5:22-23

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I feel like a lot of us, myself included, forget this. We have grown up in a time after women’s rights where women were clinging so hard to gaining their independence that we forgot that we were created to be dependent. Dependent on our husbands and dependent on God. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to start any controversy about women’s rights because good certainly came from that for a lot of people.. but I don’t want to tip toe around the truth that God clearly wrote out for believers to follow. I want to stand and I want my marriage to stand rooted in the word of God. So while it may hurt my pride at times and go against what has been ingrained in me about women’s equality, I believe that God’s word is true and He said that the husband is the head of the wife and I’m supposed to respect him as such.

And after all, it’s not like God is trying to demean or belittle me. He certainly has my back too because He told my husband to love me. Not just love me, but love me as Christ loved the church. That’s some big love! And I can be pretty hard to love at times so my husband deserves respect just for trying!

I want to encourage everyone to push past what our current society has taught us about what our role should be and focus on what God said 2000 years ago and what still stands true today.. Respect your husbands. Even when you feel like he doesn’t deserve it. Even when it hurts your pride. Even when you really want to get your way on something. If we do our part to end “the crazy cycle” and react with respect, I trust and I pray that God will move on my husband’s heart to react with love.

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