When we become angry toward someone because of their unjust or unworthy manner of acting or speaking, we are letting them know they cannot treat us or others this way. We feel righteously indignant, which is more than okay.
Jesus, in fact, became righteously indignant toward the money changers who were attempting to profit off of those coming to worship at the temple (Matthew 21:12–13).
Sometimes, though, we go from righteous indignation to sinful anger. We end up verbally hammering the person.
Jacob used anger to hammer Rachel about being too emotional and unrealistic (Genesis 30:2). And King Solomon noted that when a wife is contentious, she can add anger to get her way (Proverbs 21:19).
Issues between husband and wife can pop up anywhere over just about anything.
For example, a couple gets in a discussion over their son’s poor grades. The wife wants the husband to spend more time with the boy and help him with his homework; the husband is under tremendous pressure at his job and is having to work a lot of overtime. He says there is no time to help.
The discussion quickly becomes a real issue. They go back and forth, getting louder and louder, stepping on each other’s air hose as they make their points to win the argument. Finally they go to bed angry, not speaking to each other, and definitely on the Crazy Cycle.
In our love saturated culture, everyone understands and expects unconditional love. On the other hand, what is your reaction to the phrase “unconditional respect”?
In 1 Peter 3:1,2 a wife is instructed that she can win her disobedient husband via her respectful behavior.
These Scriptures say:
“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”
In my book Mother & Son: The Respect Effect, I share the need for not only your husband to feel and hear your respect, but your son as well, no matter his age. Even your preschooler has a “man inside the boy” who naturally responds to words of respect, as little Samuel’s mother learned and applied in her relationship with her son.
Read about her experience with using Respect-Talk and ask yourself how you might begin applying the same with your son:
Dear Dr. Emerson,
Applying respect talk on my son changed the world for me COMPLETELY. My son Samuel is four and seems to be a 100% duplicate of his dad. As a mom I have felt so very frustrated in my attempts to get through to him when he acted up, whereas my husband got along with him just fine. Being a very feeling, sentimental, sensitive person myself, I couldn’t relate to his personality at all. His main goal in life is to be a hero. To be brave, not to cry, to save the suffering, to be strong, to protect, to guard, to prove he can outdo everybody else.
I have had people say that because in Ephesians 5:33a God first commands the husband to love his wife and then in Ephesians 5:33b God commands the wife to respect her husband, then a wife need only respect her husband AFTER he first loves her. They argue that the husband must move first because he is mentioned first.
Do you believe this?
If you do, then please answer this question based on the same kind of logic. In the overall passage on marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33, God begins the section to wives, not to husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24) He first commands the wives to submit, and only after that does he instruct husbands to love (Ephesians 5:25-31). So, do husbands not have to love their wives until and unless wives submit to them?
It truly warms my heart to receive letters such as the following. I share it with you now, wondering if you might be able to relate with the writer’s personal story: