My mom bought all of her kids and their spouses a book for Valentine's day called Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. That very afternoon my Community Group leader emailed me with the title of the new video series we were starting. You guessed it! Love & Respect! I thought "WOW! This must be God and it's going to be GOOD!" I imagined that God would show Lloyd ways in which he could do a better job of expressing his love for me. And I'm not perfect, so I'm sure God will gently guide me to being a better wife to Lloyd.
Well, I'm 100 pages in and we've watched a video, and I can tell you that I was completely WRONG! There is no gentle guiding going on. I've been smacked upside the head with my sin, and it's hard! The book is actually called Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs. It's based on Ephesians 5:33.
"However, each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." (NIV)
The concept that Dr. Eggerichs presents is not new to me. I know the Bible says to respect my husband, but I'm not sure I've ever REALLY paid attention to it. I've certainly never taken the time to find out what exactly that means. Ephesians 5:33 says "and the wife MUST respect her husband." It doesn't say "WHEN the husband loves his wife as he loves himself, THEN the wife can respect her husband." It says "AND I MUST..." It's a command.
Respect is defined in several ways. These are some of the verb tense definitions I found.
- Dictionary.com: "to hold in esteem or honor" and "to show regard or consideration for."
- Word English Dictionary: "to pay proper attention to; not violate." and "to treat courteously or kindly."
- Webster's: "to take notice of; to regard with special attention; to regard as worthy of special consideration; hence to care for, to heed." and "to consider worthy of esteem."
Dictionary.com also had some interesting things to say about synonyms for respect...
"respect, esteem, veneration also imply recognition of personal qualities by approbation (approval), deference (respectful submission or yielding to the judgement, opinion, will, etc. of another; courteous regard), and more or less affection. Respect is commonly the result of admiration and approbation (approval), together with deference (respectful submission or yielding to the judgement, opinion, will, etc. of another; courteous regard). Esteem is deference combined with admiration and often with affection. Veneration is almost a religious attitude of deep respect, reverence, and love, such as we feel for persons or things of outstanding superiority, endeared by long association." (Definitions added in () are also dictionary.com)
When I look at respecting my husband in that light, conviction blows me away. I am commanded by God...
- to hold Lloyd in esteem and honor
- to show regard and consideration for him
- to pay proper attention to Lloyd
- to not violate Lloyd (meaning break, infringe, or transgress; interfere thoughtlessly with; treat irreverently)
- to treat Lloyd courteously and kindly
- to take notice of Lloyd
- to regard Lloyd with special attention
- to regard Lloyd as worthy of special consideration
- to care for Lloyd
- to consider Lloyd worthy of esteem
- admire and approve of Lloyd, together with respectfully submitting or yielding to his judgement, opinion, will, etc.
- have affection for Lloyd
- have almost a religious attitude of deep respect, reverence, and love, such as I feel for someone or something of outstanding superiority, endeared by long association.
"My soul is weak. My heart is numb. I cannot see but still my hope is found in you. I'll hold on tightly. You will never let me go. For Jesus, you will never fail. Jesus, you will never fail."