Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Radical Sermon

Yesterday, our pastor said something I’ve never heard before.  I’m still trying to decide what to do with it.

His text was Ephesians 5:33.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Pastor Ken began by reminding us that the greatest need of a husband is to be respected.  And the greatest need for a wife is to be loved.  

He went on to show us three diagrams depicting LOVE and RESPECT in marriage.

RespectThis first one I get. 

It’s the doom loop.  The husband does something without love, and the wife reacts without respect, which causes him to react without love, and so on and so forth.  Just pretend that the pink area says Wife Without Respect.  

Don’t you like how I started with his unloving act?  Lol!  (If my husband ever covers this in a blog of his own, he can start with my disrespect.)   :)

Joking aside, it is a cycle, and both husband and wife do things to perpetuate the loop of doom.

RespectThe second diagram is one I get, too. 

When a husband does something loving, his wife is motivated to respect him, which motivates his love, which in turn motivates her respect, etc.   It’s easy to see why this is called the energizing loop. 

But the third one…  That’s the chin scratcher. 

RespectPastor Ken proposed that, just as husbands are to love their wives unconditionally, wives need to respect their husbands…unconditionally.

Respect them Regardless of whether they have earned it or not.  Regardless of whether they have been loving or not.  


I don’t know about you, but I’ve been taught my whole life that you have to earn respect.

So this is a totally new way of looking at the issue of respect.  Not to mention convicting. 

Don’t get me wrong.  My husband loves the Lord, loves his family, is a hard worker, and he’s one of the most generous people I’ve ever known. I have a deep down respect for him.      

But it made me wonder if I keep it too far down in the deep for him to see.  You know, behind the occasional roll of the eyeball…

Rolling an eyeball is bad, right??  No more rolling eyeballs.

Seriously, though.  This concept is one that I’m sure many wives would have a hard time with. 

Could it be we have been thinking all wrong?  What do you think?

I’ve begun to pray that God would show me how to do a better job of communicating the respect I have for the man I love.


Mari said...

I read a book that was on this same topic. Like you - I get the first two points, but it would be very hard to respect in some cases. I do believe that is what we are supposed to do though.

Christina said...

Mmm. Thanks for the reminder. I had the privilege of hearing a similar message before I got married, so I had this in my mind from the start, but a reminder is ALWAYS good. Especially on something that does not come naturally. I've found that when I do practice unconditional respect (yes, it does sound like an oxymoron, but it is possible) that everything goes better.