Foundation of Marriage: Love and Respect

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Quick:  Who wrote “Respect,” the popular 1960’s song? (answer below)

We have spent a few weeks going through the foundation of marriage, recommending books that have played an important role in forming our own marriage.

Today’s book is Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs.  Here is the summary from their website:

“A wife has one driving need – to feel loved. When that need is met, she is happy. A husband has one driving need – to feel respected. When that need is met, he is happy. When either of these needs isn’t met, things get crazy.”

Ephesians 5:21-33 contain some of the clearest direction for husbands and wives, and Paul ends the passage with this simple line:

So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The culture we live in has ruined the idea of love.  And it has buried the idea of respect.  This book tries to re-define love Biblically, explaining how a husband can lay down his life in agape love.  And then it tackles the even greater challenge of explaining how a wife can show her husband that she respects him. 

When Dana and I attended Sarah and Emerson’s Love and Respect Conference quite a few years ago, our eyes were opened.  We realized for the first time that some of Dana’s words and behaviors were coming across as disrespectful.  In fairness, some of my words and actions were coming across as unloving too.  Maybe lots of them!  The difference was that we were aware of that problem because Dana was able to explain to me how my words and actions made her feel.  I, on the other hand, was unable to articulate how it made me feel, so she didn’t know.  Of course the main reason that I couldn’t explain how it made me feel is that I didn’t know how it made me feel!  I just knew that it made me mad.  This conference, the book, and the DVD series have all helped us both to do a better job of expressing the love and respect that we have for each other.  Even more importantly, they have helped us to be careful not be act in ways that are unloving and disrespectful.

Men and women both need love and respect, but most men will value respect more highly and most women will value love more highly.  Husbands, think about your words and actions.  Are they showing your wife that you love her?  Wives, do your actions, face, and tone convey the deep respect that you have for your husband?  Take some time this week to really show your spouse that you care.

PS:  If you guessed that “Respect” was written by Aretha Franklin, you would be wrong.  A man named Otis Redding wrote those words:  “All I’m askin’ is for a little respect when I come home!”  That makes sense, doesn’t it?!?

More Resources:

Otis Redding

Foundation of Marriage

Foundation of Marriage: Sacred Marriage

Foundation of Marriage: Your Most Important Customer (His Needs, Her Needs 1)

Foundation of Marriage: Proceed With Caution (His Needs, Her Needs 2)

Foundation of Marriage: Communicating and Receiving Love (5 Love Languages)

Love and Respect Website

Emerson Eggerichs Explains Love and Respect:

Marriage Advice 101 from Love and Respect Ministries on Vimeo.

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