Emerson Eggrich in his book, Love and Respect, identifies specific ways we can apply this concept. Husbands, are given the suggestions to open up, listen instead of problem solving, admit you’re sorry, verbalize your love, and cherish your wife. Wives are given the suggestions to appreciate your husband’s efforts to work, achieve, lead and protect. Wives are also instructed to understand a man’s need for friendship and sexual intimacy.
God designed men and women very differently with distinct needs. When we trust God and give our spouse what they need at a heart level, even when we do not feel like it, something supernatural happens. We rely, too often, only on our own knowledge and feelings to guide us in how to love.
God, the originator of relationships, love and marriage knew that love comes more naturally for women than men. God knew this could be challenging for a man therefore, men are commanded to LOVE their wives. Women on the other hand have a hard time showing respect for their husbands, partially consequences from the fall, and this is why God commanded women to give RESPECT to their husband. A wife whose focus is on respect will get love and a husband whose focus is on love will gain respect. Even if there are moments when our spouse is irritating, this response is our responsibility.
Applying this truth in our marriage daily is not something we can do by ourselves or in our own flesh. We must ask God for help; rely on the power of His Holy Spirit working in and through us, as God’s will is revealed in our marriage. As we learn to blend these two important components of love and respect, our marriage relationship will thrive and reflect the very image of God.
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Do you find that when you show your husband more respect that he shows you more love?
Do you find that when you show your wife more love that she shows you more respect?
Allen Haley, M.Div., P.C.
Terri Haley, M.F.T