We have been moving through the series Love & Respect: When Your House is Not a Home over the last couple of weeks. Using Ephesians 5:33 as the principal scripture of focus, we have examined the command for the husband to love (agape) his wife unconditionally and the wife’s command to unconditionally respect (reverence) her husband. We have a spent a significant amount of time examining some of the principles and points Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs sets forth in His book “Love & Respect” as well as some light shed from my book When Your House is Not a Home.

Today I want to delve even deeper into the term “respect” and its application in Ephesians 5:33. Before I get started let me list today’s disclaimer: Ladies, I know that you feel that it seems that all you hear is what the man needs; I promise that the next segment will about meeting the most deepest of needs of the wife. When you examine this series you will find that there is plenty blame and responsibility to meted out on both ends. Now with that being said, let us move forward.

There is an enormous need for wives and women in general to understand the use of respect as it is used in our scriptural text.

“… 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].” (Eph. 5:33, AMP)

This summation elucidates the term respect with exegetical consideration to the original text in Greek and it accurately conveys the meaning of respect and its application here. Regards, honors, prefers, venerates, esteems, etc. all speak to the deepest need; in fact the deepest value of a man; respect.  When these demonstrative virtues associated with respect are present it calls a man to his natural yearnings to honor, fight on behalf for, and even die for his wife. We here the phrase “I will die for you” so often that it has lost its impact and believability; however, the male species of the human race has over history proven that he will gladly lay down his life for that he honors without reservation. When a man sees honor in something, there is no limitation to what he is willing to do to defend and preserve that honor.

I’m sure that there are quite a few of you out there that are numbers people. As far as you are concerned this is great philosophical theory, but when does it move from the mystical arena of hypothesis and into the pragmatic sphere of empirical evidence. I’m glad you asked. There have been a number of studies on the matter. Dr. Eggerichs points to one study in which four hundred men were given the choice between two different unpleasant experiences. They were asked to choose which one they would prefer to endure.

  1. To be left alone and unloved in the world
  2. To feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone

Seventy-four percent of these men said that if they were forced to choose, they would prefer being alone and unloved rather than be disrespected. Think about this for a moment; these men would rather face isolation with no source of love rather than be in a situation where they were disrespected.  I can tell you right now that this makes no sense to women. This is what the wife (woman) needs to understand; this is not about satisfying your rationale; it’s about satisfying your husband so that he may in turn meet your deepest need. He is not wired the same as you. He is not driven by the same things that drive you. Understanding this will go a long way in turning your house into a home.

Let’s take a look at what one of Dr. Eggerichs clients had to say on the matter.

‘Although a Bible student for most of my life, and a very spiritual person, I had given up, but then I read your statement that says: ‘Though there is more to love than dying for someone, it is a sad day when a man knows that he’d die for his wife because he loves her, yet he hears her continually complain, [‘You don’t love me.’]’ The truth hit me powerfully in my spirit like no other thing has hit me concerning our marriage. I felt the kind of shame one feels when she knows she has done terribly wrong, and she knows not to even ask for forgiveness, and she knows that this one will take a long time to heal, but she knows this one thing she won’t do again. “

Ladies, respect is the key to motivating your husband. He is naturally wired to jump into his man mode when he senses respect. Trust me, men want to serve; they are willing to fight and even die for their wives, but when the wife complains, nags, and points the accusatory finger, she drains her husband of his manliness. The husband then becomes frustrated and shuts down and behaves in a manner that is unloving and uncaring to the wife. Can you see how the cycle is perpetuated?

As long as you are waiting for your husband to see things through your lens, you will always be disappointed and you will feel the need to treat him with contempt. This is fruitless and serves only to lead to more destructive behavior.

Remember what I said in a previous installment: You will catch a lot more flies when you decide to put away the vinegar and pull out the honey. Smile!

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

 

I would suggest that each of you get a copy of Dr. Eggerichs’ book Love & Respect. Simply go to the Rick Wallace Ministry’s Resource Center; then scroll down and click on the resource link. Once you have entered the library type “Love & Respect” in the search box and the entire Love & Respect series will be made available to you. Happy Reading

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