Happy Valentines Day to my fabulous handful of readers! I hope this Valentines day is special for you. This Valentines Day happens to be my first one as a married person. How romantic, right? Jackson is being a saint and taking me to see "Definitely, Maybe" tonight. I've been eyeing for a couple months and am so excited to it! The best part is, I didn't even have to tell him I wanted to see it! He just knew I would want to and suprised me and told me we were going tonight. Love, love, love it!
Speaking of love, the Lord has been working on me in this area in our marriage, it also seems to be a trend with the married couples at Portico. Basically, I always thought that I should "love" my spouse. "All you need is love.." Right? Wrong. It turns out what you need is love AND respect. Ephesians 5 holds the key to unlocking the communication barrier between husbands and wives. It tells us, "Husbands love your wives" and "Wives, see to it that you respect your husbands." Interesting, that we aren't told to "love" but "respect" our husbands. It just so happens, respecting is a lot harder for me than loving.
See if these sound familiar:
"Why did you do that?"
"That was dumb"
"Sweetie, let me do it"
"Is that what you're going to say?"
These are the darts of disrespect, ladies! What I think of as harmless or true comments are actually disrespectful. When I say them, Jackson feels disrespected, and then does not give out love the way I want to be loved. Then when I don't feel loved, I don't show respect, and the cycle begins! Here's the visual:
When I respect him, he feels loved, and then he joyfully returns the love to me, and then I respect him. Simple concept indeed, but difficult to do when everything in our flesh is sinful, selfish and not respectful or loving. Why did God wire us so differently? Why did he create us with two different ways of receiving and communicating love? After lots of thought and good discussion about this. I believe God created us this way to get the glory and credit for our marriages. I cannot be the wife I need to be without the power of the Holy Spirit in me, everyday. I can't respect Jackson on my own willpower (not because he doesn't deserve it, it's just because I'm sinful). Nor can he love me as Christ loved the Church without relying daily on Christ. He deserves the praise and the glory for our marriage! That's the first part. The second part is that marriage is designed to help sanctify us. What better way to sanctify than to point out all the wicked, self-interested ways in my heart than through a marriage. Through respecting Jackson, my pride, arrogance, stubborness etc is brought to light. Ouch! I've heard it said, "Marriage is about our holiness, not our happiness". This is true to a large extent.
If you want to read more about this fascinating topic. Get the book, Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I have seen firsthand the fruit of practicing these precepts.
Happy Valentines Day! Give your man a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t today!