Monday, March 28, 2016

Husbands LOVE your wives: Wives RESPECT your husbands.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto theLord.  23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as  Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wise be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

Coming up on 19 years of marriage I am often asked; "what makes a marriage last today?."   Ironically, this is not my first marriage.( Shocker? That is definitely another post for another day.)  But I will say, in my first marriage I had NO idea what real love was, and neither did my husband at the time. We were very young in age, as well as spiritually immature.  So I must preface by saying I am no expert, and neither is my husband of 19 years.  We are still on this journey.  However, we have grown together in love with Christ as our center, and we have learned some very helpful and valuable things along the  way.  

In the book of  Ephesians, Apostle Paul gives God's expectation for  both husband and wife on what their role is in a  marriage.  Love and Respect!   Its just that simple. So why have we made marriage so complicated that  some  hear the word marriage, and it  sends them running in fear?  Its due to the lack of  Love and Respect that married couples have for one another.   Sure I can hear many women saying, "well, you have to earn respect." Who wants to respect or submit to a disrespectful, jealous, or controlling tyrant?" And like wise men may be saying, "I do love my wife." "I come home every night don't I?" "I'm working everyday and paying bills, and providing for my family"  "I don't cheat on her?"  "That should say that I Love my wife." Although both of these points of views can be understood, they do not release either party from effectively loving and respecting their spouse, as is lined out in Scripture. 
My husband and I several years ago in China Town


The photo above is one of my favorite because of the story behind it! We were on vacation in New York. We went shopping in China town and I wore the wrong kind of shoes for the journey.  It didn't take long before my feet were screaming! My little flat feet were in so much pain I was complaining every 10 minutes about how bad my feet hurt. Unfortunately we were too far away from our Manhattan hotel to go back and get comfy shoes. My husband looked at me with concern and said "aww my poor baby, come on lets go get you some comfortable shoes"  We walked into a nearby Payless shoe store (yes payless honey,  I could care less about brand names at the time). Our money was tight on this trip, we were already budgeting and trying to keep from going in the hole on this trip so for my sweetheart to buy me a new pair of shoes that we did not budget for to keep me comfortable spoke volumes to me.  This small act sent my respect radar WAY up!!!  And I could not have loved Him more in this moment.  He loved me enough, to  empathized with my pain. He set our lack of funds to the side, and got his baby a comfortable pair of shoes so she would be happy and stop complaining! lol.  Bottom line. We both were happy.  He "showed" me that He loved me in that moment(of course I know he loves me, but women love reminders ALL the time. lol!)  and I showed him the honor and respect he "deserved" the rest of the day. Whatever he asked me I did it lovingly and willingly.   Those shoes were not expensive, but it was what it symbolized to me. 

The Opposite of Love and Respect

   My husband could have scolded  me for choosing to wear the wrong shoes that day. He could have said "stop complaining Chan!? You're ruining the experience for the other couple with us?  OR,   He could have asked me to suck it up and make better choices next time.   In return I could have(And WOULD have) snapped and fussed  back at him for being insensitive.  Because although true, I should have chosen better shoes, pointing that out would not help the current situation.  Respect for that observation would not have been given lol.  

  Thank God none of that happened!  He empathized, showed his love, and got me a comfortable pair of shoes! Senseless argument avoided.   Now this is just a simple  example of what an exchange of love and respect looks like.

There are many factors that will explain why its so complicated for married couples to love and show respect, but ultimately whether you believe in keeping The Lord, and HIs word the center of your marriage or not. These two attributes will always be at the forefront of every successful marriage. It makes it easier for the wife to submit to a loving husband, and Husband to show love to a respectful wife.