Love and Respect in a Marriage

When you hear the word submission in reference to marriage, do you cringe?

When you think of submitting to your hubby, do you want to revert to flight, fight or freeze?

You’re not alone.

There’s a lot of confusion on what breaks up marriages or what make a great marriage. No one wants to have a mediocre marriage, right? I don’t want a marriage that says, “Oh, honey, I tolerate you.” Been there. Done that. Sometimes on a daily basis.

Even in the big ‘C’ church we get confused about submission. We women of The Whole House don’t have all the answers. We’re just some women who have some stories to share. Prayerfully, they will encourage you. Anne shares on our recent podcast how her marriage almost ended in catastrophe because she misunderstood what love and respect really are. She admits she didn’t understand true submission.

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However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness], 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]. Ephesians 5:33

 

Submission gets a bad rap.

Look at the above verse in context.

19 Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [offering praise by] singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

This set of verses precedes the instructions for husbands and wives. We are to be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. It’s often overlooked.  We women are better at being subject to others, right?

  • Sure, I’ll make a couple dozen cookies for the bake sale.
  • Of course I’ll lead that small group.
  • Yes, I’ll watch your kids so you can go shopping.
  • I’ll make those curtains for you.
  • I would love to clean up after that event. No problem.

It’s all well and good until we stick the word husband in there.

22 Wives, be subject [d]to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord.

Then the claws come out! “No one is going to tell me what to do,” we cry.

Why is that? And what’s love and respect got to do with it?

What is Love and Respect?

“We believe love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man. Research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts unlovingly when feeling disrespected, and a wife reacts disrespectfully when feeling unloved. We asked 7,000 people the question, “When you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected?” 83% of the men said “disrespected” and 72% of the women said “unloved.” Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict, and this difference is as different as pink is from blue!” loveandrespect.com/

 

Be sure to join our Marriage Habits E-course (starting July 16th) here.

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Working Through the Seasons of Marriage

Episode 26: Jessica and Kathleen talk about the different seasons of marriage. Consider it the prelude to our Marriage Habits Course! (Find more about this and how to sign up on our Facebook page!)

We are constantly entering new seasons in marriage – when babies are born, homeschooling, teens, and empty nests. Each time we have to make adjustments and pivot. If we don’t change to meet these new seasons, we can get stuck. We must evolve and make transitions to keep our marriages healthy. It’s important to get education, support, and encouragement from married women who have more experience and years of marriage under their belt, and Jessica and Kathleen want to offer it!

Podomatic link here.

iTunes link here.

 

Show Notes:

However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness], 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].- Ephesians 5:33

Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf (book mentioned)

“You may be wondering which came first, the chicken-feminism-or the egg- male selfishness and immaturity. I believe the answer is feminism. From the first day The Feminine Mystique hit the bookstands, feminism did not focus on equal pay for equal work, but on how marriage, husband, men in general, and children in specific were ther enemies and the oppressors of true womanhood.” -Dr. Laura Schlessinger, The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage

 

Saving Yourself for Marriage

Saving Yourself for Marriage (a guest post by Megan Wright)

Modern society is constantly beckoning for us to do more and be more.

We are a busy generation and are regularly worn out from our own best efforts. Not being sensitive of our time and our personal limitations impacts our marriages. We readily give of ourselves to our children, our jobs, our community and a variety of other things but our marriage? Often times our spouse gets the leftovers. We don’t save ourselves for marriage.

In order to maximize our time and recognizing we can’t do it all, my husband and I often encourage couples to focus on just three key areas in order to experience a thriving relationship.

Saving yourself for marriage is not just for unmarried people

Friendship –

Marriage is about Friendship. Learning to enjoy time spent with your spouse is not just a worthwhile pursuit it is essential. The biblical precedent is set with this lovely phrase:

“This is my beloved, this is my friend.” (Song of Songs 5:16)

Take time to get to know your spouse and learn how to enjoy your time together. Laugh together. Play together. Love together. I’ve heard it said, “One of the best ways to protect your US is to enjoy your US” and I couldn’t agree more.

Unity –

Marriage is about “oneness” (Genesis 2:24). Through the gift of marriage, God has given us the opportunity to encourage and support our spouse, to help them become the person God made them to be. There is also the opportunity for our spouse to do the same for us.

When we see the good in our spouse and call it out we are creating unity in our marriage. Praying for our marriage, letting go of what easily offends, learning how to communicate with love, clarity, and grace. Each of these areas may take years of growth steps, but they ultimately lead to a healthy and vibrant unity in our marriage.

Intimacy –

This is far more than just a physical aspect. God desires for our mind, body, and soul to be intimately known in marriage. A way of looking at that word can be, “In – to – me – see.” Cultivating and practicing vulnerability, trust, and the freedom to be different are all pathways towards increasing intimacy in your marriage.

Marriage is for life. If we regularly neglect putting the required time and effort into something so important, what is designed to be beautiful will become a burden. What is meant to be lifelong friendship and companionship will become forced cohabitation.

So yes, saving yourself for marriage is not just for unmarried people, it’s for those of us who are already married too.

Megan Wright was a guest on The Whole House podcast! You can find it here or listen below!