preached a fantastic message
at church that really got me thinking about something that I have never thought about before! His message was called Love & Respect. It was a very simple message based on Ephesians 5:33
“Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
I have so often mentioned how I need to be loved to Eric, going to great lengths to explain how it makes me feel. When my heart is full I feel powerful, beautiful and courageous! Nothing can stop me. But, when my heart is empty and I don’t feel loved I feel weak and feeble and quite useless. I reach a different sort of low when my heart is empty and I don’t feel Eric’s love for me. Over the years I have gone to a lot of trouble to explain this to Eric so that he knows how much I need and depend on his love. Eric has done a great job of trying to understand the need that I have for love and he has done so much to try and make sure I feel loved at all times. When he fails he feels guilty and like a failure as a husband. I have watched him take this need of mine very seriously. He has patiently tried to live with me with understanding even though I can be very hard to understand most times – especially when I change my mind a thousand times a day about what I want!
As Eric preached this message on Love & Respect my eyes were opened. I realised that I too have tried my best to make him feel loved, I have done all sorts of things to make him feel loved. Some days I do well and other days I don’t do so well but I always try to make my wonderful husband feel loved. However, that isn’t what the Bible says I should do, is it? Nowhere does it say that I should love my husband like that. It doesn’t say husbands love your wife and wives love your husbands. No, it says husbands love your wife and wives respect your husbands. Mmm interesting! I wonder what would happen if I replaced all the effort I usually put into loving Eric with a huge amount of effort in making him feel respected? I might end up doing a few of the same things but with a different angle and I also might find a whole lot of news things to do too. As Eric preached I realised that I had got it all wrong for all these years and I became excited about what could happen in my marriage if I shifted the focus to what it should be. So I asked Eric what made him feel respected and he said,
“The most important thing to me is the way you speak to me. I like when you speak to me in a loving way, not the way you speak to the children sometimes when you tell them off!”
This is something that I am very aware of and I do work on it, but now I intend to make that more of a focus than all the things I do to make Eric feel loved. You see it’s more important to him to feel respected than it is to feel loved. So respect needs to come first and then all the loving stuff. It’s very subtle but I think it’s extremely important to focus on making my man feel the respect that he needs and deserves. From what I have observed, men like to feel powerful, which is why their careers are important as well as the car that they drive and other similar things. As Christians these things shouldn’t define a man but sometimes they do, ESPECIALLY if they feel emasculated at home! If we want to see our men free from the nonsense that defines them and help them find their identity in God then we need to do our part. We are after all their helper
, aren’t we? Wives, we need to make our men feel respected and powerful at home. Home is their castle and they need to feel like the king of their castle. Wives have the power to give that to them or to make them feel like the stable boy. It all starts and ends with respect.
So wives, would you like to join me in exploring what really makes men feel respected. Ask your husband what makes him feel that you respect him and if it’s not too personal please share it with us. I can’t wait to see what we come up with and I can’t wait to see how this little shift in perspective truly changes our marriages.
More coming from Being a Wife, find out more here.