So why do we need Love and Respect in Marriage? My wife and I try to understand what means “love your woman, respect your man.” And she and I sort of tag-teamed back and forth and just shared some practical things that wives need to know, and that husbands need to know to have a fruitful relationship. And I’m going to begin today with my wife’s point of view, and I tell you what: I am just married to the most brilliant woman. She is down to earth. She’s got some just savvy wisdom that is going to help you, and men especially you need to read to what my wife has to say.
Women Want to Be Loved; Men Want to Be Respected
Women want to be loved; men want to be respected. And we just write about what that means in practical terms, and she only shares some brilliant thoughts… About how to put that truth in work clothes. So hey, let’s get into the word; I want you to read it from my precious wife, Mojca. Well, the title of our message is called “love your woman, respect your man.” And I want just to give honor to DR. Emerson Eggerichs because of this book he wrote called “Love and respect” because some thoughts are from there. And it’s just an excellent book if you want to get more ideas and thoughts, too. But I do want to honor him.
Love and Respect in Marriage from the Bible Perspective
Let’s start in Ephesians, the fifth chapter. Ephesians 5:33, and this is from the new living. So you can read on the screen or in your bibles. Ephesians 5:33, says, “so again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” so it’s real simple thereof what a man needs and what a woman needs. A woman needs to be loved, and the husband needs respect. Men need respect because that’s the way God made them; women need love because that’s the way God designed us.
Puts the Needs of the Other Person Before Us
He wired us up that way. We need love. And, really, if we’re talking about real and lasting love & respect in marriages or even loving people, in general, real and lasting love puts the needs of the other person before us. Puts their needs first and desires for them to grow and flourish in life. And how many know that takes hard work, and that takes sacrifice. Absolutely. But you know what? It is worth it, isn’t it? And the opposite of that would be like, “well, she doesn’t respect me, so I’m not going to give her love.” Or, “he doesn’t really love me, it seems like, so I’m not going to respect him.” And if you just kind of go in a cycle like that, “well, he doesn’t do this, so I’m not going to do that, she doesn’t do that,” and it just kind of goes in a cycle and keeps on going around and just keeps getting lower and lower.
Like, you know, two hamsters on this little spinning wheel; they are getting nowhere. But when we put the needs of the other person first, then the husband’s love encourages the wife to respect him, and then her respect causes him to love her, and it just keeps going around in a tremendous energizing cycle, and it’s healthy if we put the other person’s needs first. This is a good thing. So for the man: you might have asked, “well, I try to show love to my wife, but I just can’t seem to please her. It just doesn’t seem to be working. What can I do that will effectively communicate my love to her?”
Three Ways to Show Love to Your Bride
I’ll try to answer those questions here. So three ways I wanted to share, three ways to show love to your bride, and it’s “c_u_p,” CUP. That her cup will be overflowing she craves (c_u_p) closeness and understanding, and she longs to be prized. Let’s just say those: closeness, understanding, prized. That spells love to her. So the first one: a woman wants to be close.
She Wants to Be Close to You.
She desires closeness and she wants to be close to you. Genesis 2:24, says, “a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife,” or be joined to his wife. The word “cleave” there, means adhere firmly, cling to, actively involved, emotionally attached, joined. So a man leaves his father and mother, and he adheres closely, he clings to them, he is strongly involved, he’s emotionally attached, and he is joined to his wife. And God said that because he knew how he wired the woman, and he knew what she needed.
She needed that closeness. She needed to feel close and connected in a way that a husband doesn’t. In the song of Solomon, the Shulamite woman is talking to her beloved. In chapter 8, verse 6, it says this, “keep me close to you like the ring on my finger.” That’s pretty close.” Keep me close to you like a ring on my finger.” Now, most of you, many of you have been at Starbucks, and you notice they have these little round tables and two chairs, one on each side. And a lot of times you will see people in there talking, and they are talking face-to-face across the table there. And are usually they men or are they women talking face-to-face? Usually, it’s women and women like that connection. Face-to-face. Perhaps you’ve heard the story of this daddy putting his four-year-old daughter to bed. He is laying there with her just to help her get to sleep, laying there for a few minutes. This is dark in there. And she’s just talking a mile a minute.
She just keeps on talking. And they’re just laying there for a little, and suddenly she goes, “Daddy, look at me.” she realizes, that she can sense that he is not looking at her. And since he’s not looking at her, then he is probably not listening to her, and she grabs his face, and she turns his face to look at her face. Even at that young age, she senses and desires that closeness, that face-to-face connection. Closeness is what women look for in any relationship and especially in marriage. So, in every respect, love and respect in the marriage are more than important elements for a long-lasting marriage.
Stay a Man but Give Her Your Closeness
You can picture a marriage kind of like this on a spectrum, continuum kind of thing, and on one side is the closeness and the connection, and on the other side is this independence. And in a marriage, the woman is usually kind of leaning over this way to the closeness and the connection, and the man is just maybe over this way on the independent side. And when the husband gets too independent over here… Maybe he’s not talking much or whatever… He is over on this side, she doesn’t feel close to him, and she starts to feel that he really doesn’t love her. And, certainly, no man can meet all of a woman’s emotional needs. That’s why we have girlfriends and god. But… And I’m not saying that you should become a woman and sit at the table and talk face-to-face like that all the time. She wants you to be a man. She really does want you to be a man. But when you move toward her, even in little small ways, it’s amazing how it affects her heart and how it affects her whole being.
This is amazing what happens when you move toward her. And, of course, you know, you work hard all week, and you can insist on having your space; you know, you deserve some golf, some fishing, whatever, sports on TV. But you won’t motivate her to give you what you need by withholding what she really needs. And, obviously, both of us need some space now and then, but that’s part of being mature adults and communicating and working that out and finding what works and what meets each other’s needs, just giving each other space now and then, but making sure to stay close. And just a few ways, guys, that you can help her feel close: even just holding her hand. It just speaks so much to a woman. Hug her. I mean, like, sometimes there are so many emotions we have, and we just don’t really even know what’s going on. And maybe we just had a hard day or something and, husbands, you just take and hug. I sometimes know he just takes and hugs me; I just melt because it just makes you feel close and that he really cares. Once again, love and respect in the marriage are the keys to happiness.
Being Affectionate Without Wanting Sex
Love and respect in the marriage are not only reflected through sex. Especially not from the women’s point of view. Another thing: being affectionate without wanting sex. Hugs. Everybody said… Hug, hold hands, kiss, tell her how pretty she is because you know what? If the only time you approach her with hugs and kisses and affection like that is when you want sex, a woman will begin to feel used. And so it needs to be all during the day. And, really, every day she will love it. Be affectionate every day. Another thing that speaks really volumes to her is just taking her out.
Maybe set up a date night or just something. And a lot of times you might say, “do you want to go for a walk? And we’ll just go walk around the block, kind of catch up with each other?” he initiates it. “Yes!” and so that helps to be close. Another thing, you can have pillow talk after making love rather than just plunking off to sleep or watching sports or something. So pillow talk. It makes her feel close. She wants to stay up-to-date. And when a woman moves towards you and asks you a question and different things, it’s not to rattle your cage or anything like that… Or just probe so much. She wants to be close to you because you matter to her. You matter to her. She wants to be close; she wants to be connected and be cleaving. That’s the first c.
And That’s What I Have to Say
I just want to read Ephesians once again: nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Generally, women don’t need too much coaching when it comes to love. It comes to them fairly naturally.
But women do need encouragement when it comes to issuing of respecting. Respect comes naturally to a man just like loving comes naturally to a woman. What men want most is to be respected. What women want most is to be loved. And it is what they need most. And to the wives in here: if you want your husband to be more affectionate and to love you more, the key to getting him to do that is not loving him more. The key to getting him to do that is respecting him more. When you give him what he needs, he will unconsciously give you what you need. I want you to think about this verse. It says, “Husbands, love your wives.” I think most of us know and would agree that that needs to be unconditional. In fact, elsewhere in scripture, you know, we are to love even as we have been loved by God through Christ Jesus.
Love and Respect in Marriage Have to Be Unconditional
And so, ladies, how many think that your husband just needs to love you unconditionally? Even when you are maybe not acting super lovable, he still needs to love you. I think that’s true. This is a command to be obeyed: husbands, love your wives. It doesn’t qualify if she acts nice and does the right things, then loves her. No, just love her. And if that’s true, then it is also true of respect. It needs to be unconditional in the same way that love is unconditional. This is not a suggestion. This is a command of God to be obeyed. And I know some women will think, “I don’t respect anything about him!” well, generally, when a woman says that, she’s either too angry or too discouraged to really look at the things in him that are worthy of respect. Now let’s just start with this basic premise. Your husband is probably not evil. He is probably not out to destroy you. He probably is basically a good guy, which is why you married him. And, guys, your wife, she is not evil. Do you know? She’s not there just to cut you down and to tear you apart.
Our Spouse Basically Wants to Do Right
And so let’s start with that basic premise, that our spouse basically wants to do right and wants to be right. You know, most men are not full of evil intent. In fact, ladies, they are probably just as frustrated with you as you might be with them. And I want you to think of it: your man is made in God’s image with God-given attributes that are worthy of respect. And you need to try and see in him what God sees in him. Look at his good heart and begin showing respect, regardless of his response because the truth is, most men are starving for honor and admiration and respect just like the girls wish to be loved and to be cherished. So, ladies, start vocalizing and start demonstrating respect. You know, in the book that Janet mentioned about love and respect, the author said you need to try this little test. Think about some things that you respect your husband for, even if it’s a short list, and then when he’s not distracted or busy, go into the room and say, “you know, I’ve been thinking about you, and there are some things I really respect about you.
I just want you to know I respect you.” and then without waiting for a response, say, “look, I’ve got to attend to some things,” and quietly leave the room, and see what he does. You will be surprised at how starved men are for respect. And I have three things I want to talk to you about, three things to consider, that all have to do with the way God has created and wired us up as men. Three areas that men crave to be respected. And if you will respect them through your words, through your actions…
Respect Him in His Work, in His Wisdom, and in His Wants
Honor and admire him in these three areas, I predict that he will unconsciously begin to give you what you need. If you respect him, he’ll love you. The three areas you need to respect him: in his work, his wisdom, and in his wants. His work, his wisdom, his wants. And I will talk about those as we go. The first one is to work. This is man’s God-given nature to provide and protect. Genesis says, “then the lord god took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend it and to keep it.” to tend means to work; to keep means to guard. God put it in the man to provide and protect, to work, and guard. And I think most women have no idea the importance that men place on their work. Our identity is tied into it.
Do you know what we say when we meet another guy and when we engage another guy in conversation? Like the first thing we say, “what do you do?” it’s because our identity is tied into that. This is just what we say. Now have you told your man to thank you for the work you do? ” I appreciate you getting out there and doing your best to support this family.” support his efforts and don’t ever, ever put him down. And it’s all the more important… Maybe your husband is out of work right now, between jobs…
That you encourage him in those areas. This fact is very important!
There were a lady and her husband who were invited by some friends to come over to this new house. This couple, very well off, had built their dream home. And so they bring their friends over; they are giving this husband and wife the tour, and they just leave this enormous master bedroom with a giant walk-in closet, ornate bathtub; and, you know, just a large tiled-in shower with a couple of showers heads in it.
And as they are walking down the stairs, the wife says to her husband, the ones that are being given the tour, says, “I guess you’re going to need to get a second job.” she just sort of says it offhand, and doesn’t think anything about it. Let me tell you how the male psyche interprets that: “loser. I don’t respect you. What you do is not enough, and I don’t appreciate you.” so he begins to shut down. And ten minutes later she realizes something is up, and she says, “what’s wrong?” “nothing.” “what’s going on?” “nothing.” you see, she disrespected him in that area of his work.
There was another lady. Her husband was going to go and ask for a raise. He had been working hard; he’d been a big producer in the company. And so he goes into work, asks for the raise, calls his wife, says, “look, the boss said yes!” she goes, “way to go, honey!” comes home, candlelight dinner, and there’s a little card, you know, just sort of beautifully inscribed next to his plate, said, “congratulations on getting the raise.
I knew you would do it. This dinner is just to tell you how much I love you.” They had a great time! Afterward, they are in the kitchen, and she doesn’t know it, but another note is dropped out of her pocket. He picks it up, opens it, and it says, “don’t worry about not getting the raise. You deserve it, anyway. This dinner is just to tell you how much I appreciate you.” very, a very smart woman showing respect to her husband. And, as well, it’s in us to protect you.
We Don’t Want to Control You
And I know, ladies, a lot of times interpret us when we fall into protection mode as the control mode. We don’t want to control you. But it is in us to protect you. Some ladies take it as being critical. This is not. I remember when my wife and I got married. You know, she’s a smart gal. Put herself into a university. She’s a secretary. And one night she’s getting ready to go out somewhere. This is about 8:30. I said, “where are you going?” She said, “I’m going to the mall.” I said, “no, you’re not.” She said, “yes, I am.” I said, “no, you’re not.” now we lived in an okay area at the time, but the mall was in a really bad area, and there had been a rape in the mall parking lot the previous week. I stood in front of the door. She said, “get out of my way.” I said, “I’m not moving.
You are not going to the mall.” she said, “yes, I am!” she tried to push past me, and I wouldn’t let her pass. I said, “over my dead body you’re going to the mall.” then she became very upset with me. She thought I was trying to control her! But I wasn’t. This is in me to protect her. And, ladies, we would die for you. Understand that. This is not about controlling you. You know, the husband that keeps on his wife, said, “look, baby, you need to slow down. You drive too fast through the neighborhood.” he’s not criticizing your driving; he’s not trying to control you.
He is thinking, “okay, if a kid comes chasing a ball out between two cars in the street, and you hit him, you are going to devastate another family, and you are not going to be able to live with yourself.” and he’s trying to protect you from that. He is thinking about your future. You know, “all right, there’s going to be lawsuits. If things like that happen, we could lose our home and everything we’ve worked for.” he’s in protection mode. This is not a controlled mode. So, listen, verbalize your admiration for his efforts and your respect for his endeavors. And why not send him a note that says, “I love the way you protect me. I do respect that about you.” watch and see what happens.
Women Want to Be Understood
She wants to be understood. First Peter in the new living, it says:
So it’s not like you have to understand your wife totally. I don’t think you can totally understand another human being. But the key is for you guys to come across to her like you want to understand her. You want to live with her in an understanding way and that she knows that you trust her heart, that basically you know she’s a good person. She is very vulnerable when you don’t seek to understand her. She wants to be heard and understood.
Listen to Your Wife
When you communicate, nobody can understand women, especially you, or when you dishonor her by treating her as less than an equal life partner, you shoot yourself in the foot. Because of the way that God made us, we can’t function with that kind of attitude. God is saying in this verse, “your wife needs to be handled with care. She’s delicate, and she’s worthy of honor.” She wants to be understood. And to be able to understand her, you have two potent tools at your disposal, which are your ears. These are the most powerful tools you have for her. Just listen to your wife, and she’s most likely to feel understood. How many know that? You just listen to her. It can be… Sometimes, that can be a significant hurdle for husbands, a significant difficulty because you are wired to fix a situation. When she starts telling you something, you are going analyzing figuring out a solution. Think about this: a couple dating. They are going to college, they’re dating, and she’s having a little trouble in her Spanish class. And so they’re at the library, and she starts telling him about some of this trouble and what’s happening in the Spanish class.
And so his mind is going and thinking, “Okay. I know what we can do. We can make a plan to study so that you just study little pieces at a time. We’ll make a schedule out.” So he starts making a schedule out, and he’s working at it, and pretty soon he finishes it, and he looks up, and she’s gone.” Where did she go?” he’s kind of bewildered. And then he sees her over talking to her girlfriends, and they’re kind of laughing and joking. He is like, “what is going on?” he’s kind of bewildered.
He motions for her to come over. He said, “well, did I solve your problem, okay?” She said, “no, not really.” He said, “well, why are you happy?” She said, “well, you listened to me, and I just felt better.” that’s what happens. When you get listened to… As women, when we get listened to, we feel understood, and we feel better about the whole situation. She just wanted a listening ear. Trying to fix instead of listening is often a big point of conflict in marriages. So, guys, you can just ask. Just say, “do you want a solution? Or do you just want me to listen?” and she’ll let you know. Another thing that goes along with this understanding is she wants to have peace between you and her.
Live in a Peace and in a Harmony
This is a really, really, really powerful thing for me to know that we are at peace, that there is not something between us in every way. And you can kind of think about it like this, of two different electrical circuits. And in the one circuit, when one light goes out, every light goes out. Say there are 3,000 lights. One light goes out; all the rest go out. In another circuit, 1,000 lights go out, but the 2,000 still remain on. And that’s the difference between a man and a woman. The woman is the one where one goes out; the whole lights go out because of anything…
Conflict in a Marriage
Because she is so integrated that everything works together in her being. Kind of like it says, men are like waffles, compartments, and women are like spaghetti where all the different things are tied together. So if one thing goes out or something goes a little awry, it affects her entire being. And that’s why she wants to always be at peace with you. And, you know, conflict in a marriage is not really the sign of a bad marriage because first Corinthians 7:28 says this: “those who marry will have trouble.” I mean, when you get two people together, two individuals to become one, it takes a little of working and some… There’s going to be some conflict to work it all out. But it’s so worth it! So worth it. And I would say this: marriage is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, probably the hardest thing we’ve ever done in our life.
But you know what? This is also the most rewarding, the most rewarding. And everything in your life flows out of your marriage relationship if you’re married.