Friday, September 5, 2014

Love and Respect

- A husband is instructed to love his wife as he loves himself. A husband and his wife become one flesh. He is to love her with agape love. He is to love her sacrificially, selflessly, and unconditionally. He is to love her as Christ loves His Church.
- A wife must respect her husband. Reverence consists of love and esteem, honor and admiration. A wife is to speak respectfully to and about her husband (including when he is not present). A wife is to listen attentively to her husband when he talks. A wife is to respect her husband's opinions, decisions, and actions. Even when she disagrees, she must treat him with respect. No sarcasm. No belittling. No condescending tones. No contempt. No eye-rolling. When a husband keeps hearing critical comments from his wife, he feels disrespected. We wives can have a powerful influence on our husbands and marriage by simply choosing words that encourage and edify, words that build our husbands up, not tearing them down. Our husbands need us to be their greatest supporters/cheerleaders. 
- A husband feels loved when he is respected. A wife feels respected when she is loved. Because of God, a husband and wife are able to achieve oneness. Oneness in everything. Follow God's design/formula for marital success. When a husband and wife put God first in their lives & in their marriage and practice His teachings in their home, there will be unity, mutual love and respect and God will be honored and glorified. A husband is to love his wife whether she deserves it or not; a wife is to respect her husband whether he deserves it or not. When a husband and wife aim to please God in all they say and do, God is pleased and the marriage is benefited. Both husbands and wives need God's agape love and strength to be able to love as Christ loves and to respect and submit out of love. Marriage should be a reflection of Christ's love for His people.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to tame my tongue and speak only words that make my husband feel appreciated, admired, respected, and loved. Please convict my heart, change my attitude and remind me to pray for my husband whenever I feel tempted to criticize, complain, and/or argue. Please help me to pause and pray when I am bothered/frustrated by my husband's words, attitudes, or actions. Teach us, Lord, to lovingly, humbly, respectfully, & calmly discuss things when we disagree. Thank You for joining us together and keeping us together! May You always be the Center of our marriage and be glorified in our marriage. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.

"What does it mean to submit? It is to give oneself up to somebody.
What does it mean to love? It is to give oneself up for somebody, as Christ 'gave Himself up' for the Church. Thus 'submission' and 'love' are two aspects of the very same thing, namely of that selfless self-giving which is the foundation of an enduring and growing marriage.
" ~John Stott

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