I always love hearing from others after they have begun putting into practice the principles of love and respect. It is especially encouraging when I hear from young couples who decided to be proactive about implementing love and respect, rather than waiting to see if the need arises for marital help.
Love and respect, as explained to us in Ephesians 5:33, is not just about conflict resolution; it is the foundation for a successful God-honoring marriage, intended to be practiced from day one, just as this young lady learned:
Women want to be loved by their husbands. Adored. Desired. Cherished. That should not be a surprise to anyone. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who would dispute a woman’s desire for love.
But sadly, just because a woman desires love more than anything else from her husband, and even though he may say that he absolutely adores her with all his heart, that does not mean she always feels loved by him. And not feeling loved by the one she needs to feel loved by the most can cause a significant gap between her and her husband.
So how should a wife motivate her husband to love her as she desires? Should she nag him? Demand from him? Complain about him? Ignore him? Should she treat him disrespectfully until he finally understands fully how to better love her? Or should she try the opposite approach, as this wife did, and choose to simply respect him, despite not feeling loved by him?
Some folks resist anything that seems to reinforce a stereotype. Their initial response to stereotypes is usually to defend individualism and claim that such generalities do not define or explain their situations.
How do you feel about stereotypes when it comes to explaining differences between you and your spouse? What if I said that many women see life through pink sunglasses and many men see life through blue sunglasses and these views color what each sees, especially in conflict? Similarly, she wears pink hearing aids and he wears blue hearing aids and each “hears” something different during heated moments in marriage.