A little over a year ago, I started this blog…. & since then, God has shown me SOO much about what it means to be a wife after His own heart. Sometimes I felt like the best wife ever…. but so often I’ve felt inadequate and barely striving.
God is sooo not done with me yet, either! Tonight I finished a 5-week DVD series at church based on the book “Love & Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs. While there were so many amazing points that I want to share with you, tonight’s session really made me go “hmmm… wow”.
As a preface, in case you’re not sure what “Love & Respect” is all about, let me give you a brief summary. A woman’s deepest need is to be loved, and a man’s deepest need is to be respected. In fact, marriage is not about your own personal happiness, but rather meeting the deep need of your spouse - regardless of whether or not he deserves it. We are to give our husbands unconditional respect.
Perhaps another time I’ll talk about some of the specifics of what that means, but right now I want to focus on God’s purpose for our marriage.
God has called us to obey Him… & His command to us women is to respect our husbands. (See Ephesians 5:33). In our obedience to God, our husband is actually irrelevant. That’s right! He’s not even in the picture… It doesn’t matter what he does (or doesn’t do), what he says (or doesn’t say), or whether or not he is obeying… we’re to look past him & obey God. Our obedience to God will spill over onto our husbands as respect.
Crazy concept, huh?
This totally takes the focus off of our husbands’ flaws!! Now we don’t have the excuse of, “Well, my husband wasn’t being very loving to me, so I don’t have to respect him.” We’re not respecting our husbands because of any merit of their own… we’re to look past our husbands & set our eyes on Christ.
Are you upset because your husband doesn’t show you love? Take your eyes off him, and put them on Christ. Do you wish your husband would be more loving? Take your eyes off him, and put them on Christ. Does your husband seem insensitive to your needs? Take your eyes off him, and put them on Christ.
When we are focused on giving reverence to Christ, when our hearts are truly on living for God, we will automatically spill respect over onto our husbands.
Not respecting your husband? That could be a reflection of your reverence toward God. If you’re neglecting your time with God, not fixing your eyes on Him… you’ll have nothing left to spill over onto your husband.
My challenge, both for myself and for you, is to evaluate where your eyes are at. Where is your focus? Is it on God, or on your husband?
I want to throw this idea out there: Perhaps, if you find yourself facing marital difficulties, they’re being caused by a fractured relationship with God… not necessarily your husband.
Here’s the secret to a truly happy & fulfilled marriage:
“…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Let’s make a commitment to seek God first… and see how our marriages change because of it!
Keep on Striving,
PS - Next week I’ll be talking about maturity & our response toward our husbands… another “oh wow” moment in tonite’s DVD. Be sure to check back!
|Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs
By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ book, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs, is based on the biblical passage from Ephesians 5:33 (But every husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and wives should respect their husbands). His premise is that communication between a husband and wife is often frustrated because of the vastly different ways in which men and women perceive love. Women are wired to need unconditional love and men need to feel unconditionally respected. Revitalize the love in your marriage! A Focus on the Family Recommendation; hardcover.