Thursday, April 7, 2011

Love and Respect: Part 3

Hey guys! Sorry I'm a little late getting this up,  but I did want to post my notes from our marriage class Sunday night for any of you that might be following along.  (The first two parts are here and here if you want a little background.)

 Part 3: The Energizing Cycle (continued)

Just to refresh your memory, this is the energizing cycle according to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs' book Love and Respect:
Source
This week we talked about the woman's role and how she can show RESPECT to her husband.  I want to be vulnerable for a minute and admit that this has been a HARD road for me... It isn't difficult because I don't respect Jeff (I do!), but because I'm such a strong willed leader-type myself.  As I've mentioned before, I spent many years of our dating and even early marriage DEMANDING that Jeff LEAD in a certain way; when really, it was me who needed to learn how to BE LED.  Still, a lot of this doesn't come naturally for me.  But, again, according to Eggerich, that's the point

Men and women are different (shocker).  Incredibly though, God designed us so that wher one is weak, the other is strong (does this sound familiar?).  Therefore, the key to motivating each other towards the marriage is to meet each other's deepest needs.  As we talked about last week, for a woman that is love; and, for a man, that is respect. 

BUT, the more I learn about this, the more convinced I am that we really do live in a love-dominated society.  People expect their spouses to give them LOVE, but RESPECT is often overlooked.  This leaves a major void in the marriage. 

Consider this (which I found very insightful and quite true in my own life): "Women confront to CONNECT; but, men interpret this as a way to CONTROL."    When she brings up issues in the marriage, she usually is NOT saying "I disrespect you."  But rather, she is asking "Do you love me?"  Men, on the other hand, are saying loud and clear in their interactions "I NEED RESPECT," but we often disregard this because - to us - it's all about love.

So... what tangibly spells respect to a man?

C-H-A-I-R-S

C - Conquest. (Genesis 2:15) Appreciate that men were designed to work.  He feels a CALL to a job.  When we make insensitive comments about his work or his priorities, he feels disrespected.  THANK him for working. Take an interest in his passions.

H - Hierarchy. (1 Timothy 5:8) Appreciate that he has a desire to protect and provide.  Men see themselves in terms of rank (think of the business world, the military, etc.)  They function well within these roles. Therefore, when we criticize him for being irresponsible or try to control him, he feels disrespected.  He literally would DIE for you.  Tell him you ADMIRE him and TRUST his ability to take care of your family.

A - Authority. (1 Timothy 3:4-5) Appreciate his desire to lead and make decisions.  This is an area I definitely struggle in.  I like to be in control.  Leadership 101 says: If you hold someone responsible, you must give them equal authority.  But, too often, I say "You're responsible, but I want to be in charge."  When we make decisions that exclude him, he feels disrespected.  TRUST your husband to make major decisions and include him even in the day-to-day stuff when you can.

I - Insight. Appreciate his desire to analyze and counsel.  He CAN provide good advice and wisdom in our lives.  When we are quick to roll our eyes and say "that's ridiculous," it feels disrespectful.  VALUE his insight in situations and take to heart his advice.

R- Relationship. Appreciate his desire for a shoulder-to-shoulder friendship.  (Again, I'm convicted! I've hardly seen Jeff all week and this morning I asked if he'd sit with me and catch up while I switch over my spring clothes tonight.  Womp Womp.) He wants to BE with you and share interests.  Sometimes, simply sitting in the same room while one of you watches TV and the other surfs the internet ISN'T ENOUGH.  Go to his sporting events.  Care about his hobbies.  Make time to just BE together.

S - Sexuality. (1 Corinthians 7: 3-4) Appreciate his desire for sexual intimacy.  Sex is really important for a man.  When women withhold sex, he feels disrespected.  That's all I'm really going to say about that one, but it is REALLY important.

If you looked up a lot of the scripture references, you probably found some of them harsh.  I hesitated even including them because I don't like to offend; and, honestly, they hit me pretty hard too.  I DO think we need to consider the context in which these verses were written; but... I also think there is a lot of value in these ideas.  Our hearts have to be in the right place to receive these verses and understand that God make us uniquely women too.  We are NOT objects.  We are NOT unvaluable.  But, we are different from our husbands; and their needs are different from ours. 

Also, cut yourself some slack with these.  This is a PROCESS.  Remember that your husband will recognize your heart behind these changes... Even if they aren't made 100% of the time.  :)

Thoughts?  Comments? 

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! Sometimes I think people talk about respect, but don't give tangible ways that women can respect their husbands. The Chairs acronym is great at that though! :)

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  2. Thank you for writing this up. I find it very interesting. What you wrote about authority, "You're responsible, but I want to be in charge." is very thought-provoking.

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  3. Thanks for sharing these past few weeks. I've really enjoyed reading and it's really hit home! I have a hard time with the "submission" part, and relinquishing control to my husband. I know submitting doesn't make me less than him, but it's still a hard pill to swallow!

    I'll definitely remember "CHAIRS" and try to put it into practice more often!

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Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!


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