Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Love & Respect

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3 ESV
We live in a society confused about love and respect in marriage.  After all, the Beatles told us that all we need is love and Tina Turner asks us What’s love got to do with it?  As we approach Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share a couple of tidbits on marriage.  Here are the realities of marriage.  While men run around at the last minute to find the right card or flowers for their spouse, women, most likely, have already taken the time to hand craft the perfect card, eloquently made with lace, hand cut ribbons, and heart felt emotion.  Why is that?  It is because God made men and women different, not right or wrong, just different.  Dr. Emerson Eggerichs refers to the phenomena as men viewing the world through blue sunglasses and women through pink sunglasses. 
So what is that perfect gift?  Rather than just flowers, cards, or candy, let’s give our spouses what they truly need.  Let’s give our spouses their greatest desire.  What is that you may ask?  It is the sincere desire in men to be respected and the sincere desire in women to be loved.  This is why the Bible gives both men and women some very simple instructions regarding their spouses.  Ephesians 5:33 (NIV) says However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  As husbands, we are commanded to love our wives and wives are commanded to respect their husbands.  We need to understand that these two basic desires need to be met in each person because God designed the man to need respect and the woman to need love.  When we grasp this simple but difficult concept, we discover that God really does know us better than we know ourselves.
Respect is both a verb and a noun: an action and an attitude so begin today to respect your husband in thought, word, and deed. He will be more willing and able to give you the love and affection you need if he is respected and admired. When you begin to respect him, he will be skeptical at first. However, as he sees that that you are committed to change, he will begin to treat you differently — lovingly. A wife’s words have the power to shape her husband. A wife shows respect to her husband both by how she speaks to him and by how she speaks about him. In both public and private, a wife’s words can build up or tear down her husband. She’s affirming, not sarcastic. She’s warm, not cold. She’s his biggest encourager, not his biggest critic.
Now husbands, like respect, love is also a verb and a noun.  When was the last time your actions and attitude demonstrated unconditional love to your wife?  Wives want to know that their husband still has affections for them, still sees them as beautiful today as they did on their wedding day, and long for a sense of connection.  Nina Roesner, author of the book, The Respect Dare, puts it this way, “A smart husband will put some effort into keeping his wife feeling precious to him – think of it like building a fence around the sanctity of your marriage. If you will demonstrate love to her, removing her fears of position in your heart or security, you will both represent Christ and His church to the world.”  There is power in that kind of love. 

Scripture to Claim:
Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV

submitted by David Miller

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