This article is part 3 of 6 in the “What’s Really Going on Here?” Series. Over the span of six articles, I want us to take a look at twelve different stories and begin to ask ourselves, what is really going on in this story? Is the husband overlooking his wife’s need for love? Is the wife overlooking her husband’s need for respect? How can they ever get off of the Crazy Cycle?
The Word: Is God’s simple revelation on Love and Respect given to stop the Crazy Cycle?
Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). To Jesus, God is there. He is not silent. God has spoken. To Jesus, there is a divine revelation from a personal God. This word is out of the mouth of God. God’s Word spiritually sustains us like bread physically sustains us. So, to Jesus, when we see what God has written and hear what God has spoken, we can be helped and healed. Sadly, some rejected what Scripture revealed and were not helped and healed.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:3–5, “that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery . . . which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit.” The apostle Paul testifies, then, that what he writes is God’s revelation. Peter declared about Paul’s writings that they were Scripture (2 Peter 3:16). Peter wrote that those who penned Scripture were “men moved by the Holy Spirit” who “spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21).
Thus, when a husband obeys Scripture and loves his wife, this husband shows that he believes what Christ and the apostles declared. When a wife obeys Scripture and respects her husband, this wife shows that she believes what Christ and the apostles declared.
Elaine confided in her best girlfriend, “Eddie and I are really fighting.” Elaine acknowledged that she said some very cruel things to Eddie to humiliate him. “I told him, ‘You are a failure. I do not respect you. I never will respect you!’ It was like someone let the air out of him. I’ve never seen my husband cry, but he almost did at that moment. His eyes really moistened. I was so glad. Finally, I was getting through to him. He finally felt what I feel. Most of the time he responds like a cold, listless fish.”
Elaine’s girlfriend recommended that she attend a conference on marriage called Love and Respect. As wives need love, so husbands need respect.
“Really?” asked Elaine. “But he doesn’t deserve respect.”
She refused to go. The relationship got worse. She didn’t know why, especially since he was showing emotion. Yet, she also noticed he was withdrawing more and more.
Point: Unless Elaine hears God’s Word on respect in Ephesians 5:33 and 1 Peter 3:2, she’ll keep reacting to Eddie in disrespectful ways. If she does not see her disrespectful manner, she will fuel the disintegration of the marriage. Each will continue to react to the other. This is “what happens on the Crazy Cycle.”
Entering a business meeting, Frank is clearly infuriated. Later Abe asks Frank, “What gives?” Frank says, “I grounded my sixteen-year-old step-daughter for three weekends for talking on the phone to a boy after 11 p.m. She’s done this before. Faith feels it is too extreme. I told her in no uncertain terms that I wear the pants in this family. I told her to keep her nose out of it. You watch. The next thing she’ll do is work behind my back and let the girl off the hook. She’ll undermine my authority. But I told her if she does, heads are rolling.”
Abe asks, “Is Faith trying to control you, or is she trying to come alongside you to make the most loving decision for everybody? I just listened to a marriage tape related to this. Want to listen to it?” Frank shoots back, “‘Faith wants to be in charge. She’s a controller.” He refused the tape.
Point: Unless Frank hears God’s Word on love in Ephesians 5:33 and Colossians 3:19, he’ll keep reacting to Faith in unloving ways. If he does not see his unloving manner, he will fuel the conflict. Each will continue to negatively react to the other. This is “what happens on the Crazy Cycle.”
Don’t Miss These Other Parts in the Series:
- As a husband, unless you hear God’s word on love, will you continue to fuel conflict in your marriage? Is your wife too vulnerable to your unloving manner? Though your wife does not want to react disrespectfully, does your lack of love tend to trigger this?
- How would a husband focused on loving his wife have responded better in Frank and Faith’s situation?
- As a wife, unless you hear God’s word on respect, will you continue to fuel conflict in your marriage? Is your husband too vulnerable to your disrespectful manner? Though your husband does not want to react unlovingly, does your lack of respect tend to trigger this?
- How would a wife focused on respecting her husband have responded better in Elaine and Eddie’s situation