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Love & Respect

Love and Respect     Aahh, aren’t these two words beautiful? Every woman dreams of being loved and every man desires to be respected. These are fundamental needs God has woven into us. When a woman feels loved, she pours out honor and respect towards the one extending this love. When a man is honored with respect, he responds with sacrificial love. Curiously, he responds in this loving way without conscious thought.

The Bible teaches the duty of each husband and wife in Ephesians 5:33,
“Let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.”

Husbands, take a moment to contemplate how your wife has loved you. The ability to love comes natural for her. Think, how have you loved her? She has a need to be loved by you. Purpose in your heart to demonstrate your love to her each day in the way SHE wants to be loved. Say to her, “I love you” daily. Agape love is not an emotional response to being loved, rather it is an action motivated by decision to act. Demonstrate your love by sacrificially serving her. Try washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, watching the kids for her, or doing the laundry (remember to separate colors and whites!!). Then watch her melt.

Wives, consider your behavior towards your husband. Men respond to honor and respect. Write him a note or simply tell him how and why you respect him. You will be amazed at his response. Respect is given, not earned. The scripture does not have a ‘condition’ of the man first earning respect. You are to simply see to it that you respect him. Try this secret test: Tell him you were thinking about him today and the reasons you respect him. Then casually turn your attention towards something else. Within seconds he will be asking you what it is that you respect about him. Be ready with the answer!

Every marriage needs more love and more respect. If the husband first loves his wife, she will respond with honor and respect. If the wife honors and respects her husband, he will respond with love. This ‘energizing cycle’ continues and makes a marriage relationship flourish.

If your marriage is stuck in the ‘crazy cycle’, break it by following your part in the ‘energizing cycle’. The crazy cycle will spin and spin until broken. It is the negative response to a negative statement followed by another negative statement. God doesn’t dictate whether it is the husband or the wife who is responsible for the first action of breaking this crazy cycle. It is the more mature believer that moves first. Let it be so in your marriage.

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