This morning I posted the following excerpt on my facebook page. I did it primarily because it is in direct correlation with what we are dealing with in building a loving and respectful marriage.

February 15, 2012

“Words Can Captivate Your Man
(or any number of people)
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

A good wife is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds (Proverbs 31:10, The Message).

Friend to Friend

OK, today is a devo for our married GiGs, but you single gals are not off the hook. Words are so powerful. We can use them to build people up or tear people down, to encourage or discourage, to speak life or to speak death. If you are not married, think of a friend or family member looking at your picture and musing about the impact you’ve had on their life. What would run through their mind? Now, you can read this devotion and put someone else in this buddy’s seat.

Today, I want you to use your imagination. I want you to imagine your husband sitting at his desk or at a quiet place at work. Imagine him lost in thought about how blessed he is to have you as his wife. He holds your framed picture in his hand and moisture begins to pool in his eyes. He is captivated.

All the riches in the world are not to be compared with the jewel I have in this woman,he muses. What did I ever do to deserve her? God has given me such a gift. All our married life, she has done nothing but love me, bring out the best in me, and look out for my best interest. All the guys at the office are envious of our relationship. I see the way their eyes soften when she comes by just to tell me hello, grabs my hand when we’re at office functions, or pecks me on the cheek for no apparent reason. I notice that her loving words to me are in stark contrast to some of the cutting remarks of other wives…and so do my friends. I look around at the accomplishments of my life, but having this woman as my wife is my greatest. Oh sure, there are many women out there in the world who are accomplishing great feats, but my wife…well, she surpasses them all.

What a picture! That’s the woman I want to be, don’t you? And amazingly my words can be the determining factor as to whether this scenario is possible or not. Did you know that there are words your husband longs to hear? Did you know that there are words we should never say? Let me give you a few from my book, The Power of a Woman’s Words.

Words Never to Say to Your Husband

1. I told you so.
2. You just don’t think.
3. It’s all your fault.
4. What’s wrong with you?
5. I can’t do anything to please you.
6. All you care about is yourself.
7. You never listen to me.
8. I don’t know why I put up with you.
9. What do you want now?
10. How many times do I have to tell you?

Words Your Husband Longs to Hear

1. I’ve been thinking about you all day.
2. What can I do for you today?
3. How can I pray for you today?
4. The best part of my day is when you come home.
5. You are one of God’s most precious gifts to me.
6. You are so wonderful.
7. You look so handsome today.
8. I don’t feel complete without you.
9. I will always love you.
10. I trust your decisions.

Today, be aware of the words you say to your husband. Do they build him up or tear him down? Do they make him glad he came home, or wish he hadn’t?”

Shortly afterward I received a message from a person very close to me that took issue with it. Her stance was that a man needs to hear the truth. That he should want an honest assessment if he is truly trying to improve and live his life as God desires. (Sharon Jaynes – Girlfriend to Girlfriend)

 

What you will find below is a more amplified version of my response to this particular point of view.

 

What I posted is a direct repost of one the most respected Christian Counselors in the Country from her New York best seller and it is in direct correlation with Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, one of the nation’s top Christian marriage counselors. Eggerichs points to the fact that the man is called to a greater responsibility than the woman, but emphasizes the importance and power of the woman’s words. I posted the post this morning because it was sent this morning and it correlates with the series that I have been teaching. All of this is based on Ephesians Chapter 5:22-33 with emphasis being placed on verse 33 which is the summation verse.

33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband. (Eph. 5:33, HCSB)

The husband needs respect and the wife needs love!

I mentioned something several days ago that was brought to my attention a long time ago and was reinforced when I reread Dr. Eggerich’s book; you can be right in “fact” and wrong in “delivery” and you are wrong because there was no efficacy in the effort. The truth was spoken but nothing positive was accomplished. This arrogant approach says that because I am right I can present the fact in any manner I find befitting. The truth is that a woman must understand her power to build up or to tear down. The truth is like any other sword, it must be wielded with precision or it will become destructive and counterproductive. “I am right” is the battle mantra in marriages as they crumble into the dust of irreconcilability.

Because of the man’s makeup, the woman is designed to impact him optimally. This means she has the greatest potential to influence his self-image. Her most powerful tools are her words and her intimacy. It is funny that the wife’s most powerful tools are also her most powerful weapons, even when she does not mean for them to be (there is nothing more powerful in affirming a man than his wife’s affirming words and her sexual intimacy toward him). It can also be said there is nothing more devastating to a man than his wife’s negative words toward him or her coldness is the bedroom). There are certain things a man yearns, and the wife in the right frame of mind understands this and seeks to service her husband’s needs in this area. Now these needs are totally different than hers, so she has to truly understand her role and responsibility in the marriage. The average wife will look at her husband and see an insensitive jerk that just doesn’t get it. The average man will look at his wife and see a woman that doesn’t appreciate or respect him. The key is to understand why this is and to make the necessary adjustments.

What the summation of Ephesians 5:22-33 reveals is that men and women are distinctly different and their needs and desires are different. The husband is commanded to love his wife; the Greek word for love Paul uses here is not “Eros”; romantic and physical love driven by different forms of attraction, but “agape”; unconditional love (a subjective love not dependent upon the actions of the object). Now the man is called to perform this act of love whether or not his wife performs her responsibility to respect. In other words, the husband’s command does not provide a conditional clause. He cannot decide that his wife is being unreasonable and not “agape her”. He is required to “agape’ her regardless. Let’s look at the text for just a minute.

 33However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [[f]that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and [g]that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. (Ephesians 5:33 AMP)

The husband is to love the wife as himself; what this does at the very least is call the husband to bring the consideration of his wife’s needs and desires to a place that is equivalent to his. He is to agape her. This love calls for sacrifice, even to the point of death.

Now the wife is to respect her husband. The amplified version spells out what this entails because a woman’s view of respect and a man’s is quite different.

As I stated earlier that are no conditional clauses that allow either spouse the leeway to abandon their mandates based on the failure of the other. In fact, Paul, the author of Ephesians, writes in another one of his epistles that even when the husband in not saved, the wife performing her responsibilities as unto the Lord, can win the purity of her husband, meaning that the husband can be brought into compliance. It works both ways, but for a number of reasons, the wife has a greater power of drawing her husband.

The bottom line is this: Husbands yearn respect while wives yearn love. A wife monitors every movement of her husband in an attempt to determine whether his actions indicate that he loves her. A husband hangs on every word of his wife searching for an indication that she respects him.

A side note: The woman did not receive the command to “agape” her husband for one major reason: She is designed to “agape”; it’s a part of her DNA. If she has not been corrupted by social influence and negative experience, the woman will give sacrificially without prompting.

 

The evidence has mounted over the years. Husband and wife interaction creates a cycle (either negative or positive). When the wife doesn’t feel loved she reacts in a disrespectful way and the husband perceiving disrespect will react in an unloving way and the cycle has begun. Now the opposite is also true. When the wife feels loved and the husband feels respected the positive cycle of edification is established.

So, though it may seem right to say what is on your mind as long as you assess it to be true it is not the biblical formula for a successful marriage. In fact, you only need to survey the increasing number of people who were “right” based on the facts, but are now alone because they did not understand their power to lift or to tear down. This does not mean that a spouse does not need honest evaluations (It simply says that what seems to be the natural and direct way of expressing this assessment for the woman has no positive impact on the man). Those “Words Never to Say to Your Husband” that you read in the above post are at the top of the list of destructive phrases in a marriage, based on the contributions and insight of thousands of marriage therapist and counselors. What has been found is that when those terms are used the opposite of the desired affect is achieved. Whereas when the “Words Your Husband Longs to Hear” phrases are used, the negative qualities of your husband, without prompting slowly dissipate.

The thing is the woman’s natural inclination is to tell it like it TIS; which never gets results. Because of the woman’s God-given insight, chances that she will be right on many occasions are relatively high. The questions then arises, is her number one priority to be right (at all cost) or to develop a prosperous and lasting marriage?

Many women will say that they feel that they should not have to coddle their men’s sensitive egos.  The thing is it may seem silly or even stupid to you, but a man’s psyche is fragile. He has physical strength (which God endowed him with), but his mental strength is lacking. This is why God empowered the woman to give him strength in that area. It is a balance that God created to maintain the humility of his creation, but we have taken it and corrupted it.

The thing is when a woman realizes that she will get very little in the way of positive results by pointing out the flaws of her man, but get unbelievable results by letting him know that she has a respect for him that is from God. His natural response is going to be to meet the worthiness of that respect. He is designed that way. In turn, when a man understands that when he treats his wife in a loving way even when it seems she doesn’t deserve it, she will respond in a way that reflects respect and reverence.

 

My grandmother always told me you will catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. You may not feel like the flies are worth the sugar, but if you want the flies you will use the sugar, or you can keep trying to catch the flies with the vinegar and live with the results.

It’s up to you!

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

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