He nodded his head yes.
I closed my eyes and tried to wrap my brain around this thought: My husband wants respect more than love.
We were on a long drive, the kids busy in the backseat, he and I, listening into shared ear buds, a book on CD.
He turned the words off and turned to me. “I know you love me, but I don’t always know you respect me.”
His words were gentle, his eyes warm. His beseeching, a sweet hug. But the words–they were like a knife. They cut deep. Because they were true.
The thing is, I deeply respect my hubby! We’ve weathered a great storm and are standing hand-in-hand on the other side. But I don’t always talk respectively to him, especially when we disagree. Can my tone, my words, my second-guessing be disrespectful?
Yes. My own admission closes my throat.
*The author shares Ephesians 5:33 as the secret to marriage: “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
The love and respect game can be a dangerous cycle: Wives are commanded to respect even if husbands don’t love, same for husbands. It’s so hard for an unloved wife to respect her husband. When a husband feels disrespected, the tendency is for him to react in unloving ways towards his wife.
It goes round and round.
I couldn’t help but think of the little disagreements that pepper our days, months, years. The things he forgets–that make me feel unloved—the disrespect in my tone, nagging, so ‘he’ll remember’ offer him what he despises most, disrespect.
I want off that ride. We want off.
Even for the unsaved spouse, respect is suggested:
I Peter 3:1-2