Love and Respect

Ephesians 5:33 New International Version (NIV)                                                                                                                   However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The apostle Paul wrote Ephesians while in prison around 62 A.D.  This bit of advice for husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands occurred 1,957 years ago.  It isn’t new thinking!  

Shaunti Feldman is a great author on husband-wife relationships.  I highly recommend her books for couples to improve their marriages.  About a decade ago she wrote “For Women Only” and “For Men Only” for wives and husbands, respectively.  If you’re married and haven’t read them, I encourage you to do so.  These two books are the best martial relationship books I’ve ever read.  

Shaunti surveyed hundreds of couples about their deepest feelings for each other.  She concluded two irrefutable facts.  First, wives want love.  Second, husbands want respect.  Her discovery confirmed in our era the wisdom of Paul from more than 19 centuries ago!  What proved meaningful for marriages in the time of Jesus Christ is also true of marriages in the 21st century.  At the end of the day, people throughout history really aren’t much different in the way they feel.  

What’s disturbing is that people in our modern era still haven’t figured out this basic truth about marriage.  Wives want love and men want respect.  It’s so simple.  Yet, oftentimes I witness unloving husbands and disrespectful wives.  The frequency I observe these behaviors is stunning.  I understand one of the root causes of divorce.  

The Bible’s wisdom should not be overlooked or disbelieved.  The Good Book contains much sound advice on building a successful marriage.  Take it to heart.  

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