Monday, October 9, 2017

R E S P E C T!

R E S P E C T!

Did you know that the iconic tune sung by Aretha Franklin was actually written and originally performed by a man (with slightly revised lyrics)?

You’ve maybe heard that a man’s greatest need is respect. In fact, I recently heard this stated so strongly that the person suggested a husband doesn’t need his wife’s love; he doesn’t need her to buy books or go to conferences to find out more tips for “how to love her husband.” What he needs is her respect.

If you’ve heard of Dr. Emerson Eggerich’s book Love and Respect, the above may be familiar to you. Howell and I are leading a marriage life group this fall that focuses on the curriculum from that text. Although I’m not new to Eggerich’s ideas, the importance of these truths seems more profound to me than ever.

I can remember the first time I encountered Ephesians 5:33 as a college student who was (though single at the time) thinking realistically about what it would mean to be a wife someday.

The Amplified version of that verse gives a tall order for wives: “…and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear].”

Sometimes the idea that women should respect their husbands feels abstract to me—and I think, how do I actually do that?

We know what love looks like, right? Love is patient, kind, longsuffering, etc.

But what does respect look like?

I think the Amplified version gives us a good idea: Respect means to delight, prefer, care about, treasure, honor, and hold dear.

Howell and I have a little board that we write notes to each other on. We’ve done this for years, but recently (with the Love and Respect curriculum in mind), I’ve thought more about the content of my notes.

In the past, I’ve always just focused on sharing how much I LOVE Howell and what he means to me. But Emerson said that men want to be recognized for what they DO as an extension of who they are.

So, a few weeks ago, I wrote a note that said something like “You’re an incredibly hard worker. I am amazed at your work ethic—always going in early and staying late. I’m so proud of you.”

Do you know that he thanked me for my note probably fifty times?

To recognize his WORK, to recognize his accomplishment—that meant everything to him.

I encourage you, wives, honor your husband by meeting his greatest need: tell him not just that you love him, but how much you respect him, especially for what he DOES to provide for, protect, and lead you and your family.

I promise you he will respond in love!

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