19 Principles of Love and Respect In Marriage: Which Ones Do You Do Well?

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Because God commands a husband to put on love toward his wife and a wife to come across respectfully to her husband (Ephesians 5:33), I have found it fascinating to think of the many ways of applying this instruction to the married. I believe many of you are making application of the positive aspects of the below 19 principles.

As you read this list, which ones do you do well?  Why?

1. Decode the good will:

  • She is crying out for your love; her intent is not to be disrespectful.

  • He is crying out for respect; his intent is not to be unloving.

2. In order to resolve the root issue, get a discussion going:

  • "That felt unloving. Did I come across as disrespectful?"

  • "That felt disrespectful. Did I come across as unloving?"

3. When feeling offended do not offend:

  • Though feeling disrespected, pull back from being unloving. It won't work long term.

  • Though feeling unloved, pull back from being disrespectful. It won't work long term.

4. Don’t be afraid to give warning:

  • "Are you aware that you're standing on my air hose?"

  • "Do you want to take a spin on the crazy cycle?"

  • "How many times do you want to go round and round the crazy cycle? Want to beat our record of nine times?

5. Pink and blue: Agreeing to disagree

  • "You're looking at this through blue and I see it through pink. You're not wrong, nor am I. Let's agree to disagree."

  • "You're looking at this through pink and I see it through blue. You're not wrong, nor am I. Let's agree to disagree."

6. Take heed before getting defensiveness:

  • If you defend your lack of love, she'll feel unloved!

  • If you defend your lack of respect, he'll feel disrespected.

7. One taboo to avoid: Earn it!

  • Never tell a wife she must earn love.

  • Never tell a husband he must earn respect.

8. Another taboo: You are to blame for my behavior!

  • Never blame your lack of love on her lack of respect. Your lack of love is disobedience to Ephesians 5:33a.

  • Never blame your lack of respect on his lack of love. Your lack of respect is disobedience to Ephesians 5:33b.

9. Still another taboo: You cannot be loved or respected!

  • Never say, "Nobody can love that woman."

  • Never say, "Nobody can respect that man."

10. Seek forgiveness:

  • Voice, "I am sorry for being unloving/disrespectful. Will you forgive me?"

11. Think before acting/speaking:

  • Ask yourself, "Is that which I am about to say or do going to feel disrespectful/unloving?"

12. Let your spouse teach you:

  • Ask your spouse, "How can I come across more lovingly/respectfully?"

13. Don't smear character:

  • Say, "That felt unloving," not "You’re unloving."

  • Say, "That felt disrespectful," not "You're disrespectful."

14. The key to motivation: Meet the need for love or respect.

  • The best way to motivate a wife is by meeting her need for love.

  • The best way to motivate a husband is by meeting his need for respect.

15. A fool's way to motivate: I won’t meet their need to motivate them to meet my need!

  • “I won't love that women until she starts respecting me.”

  • “I won't respect that man until he starts loving me.”

16. Rebounding: energize a spouse by succeeding where one failed

  • If one has failed to love, do something loving.

  • If one has failed to respect, do something respectful.

17. Obey even when it feels unnatural:

  • For a man, loving his wife when she appears disrespectful is not natural, and that is okay. This is an act of obedience to Christ.

  • For a woman, respecting her husband when he appears unloving is not natural, and that is okay. This is an act of obedience to Christ.

18. Self-discovery: we realize the impact of our negative reactions

  • Realize when you feel disrespected you tend to react in unloving ways and don't see it.

  • Realize when you feel unloved you tend to react in disrespectful ways and don't see it.

19. The reward for the unconditional: Doing this toward Christ to hear “Well Done!”

  • Ultimately a husband shows his love for Christ when he loves his wife. If he is not loving his wife he isn't loving Christ.

  • Ultimately a wife shows her reverence for Christ when she respects her husband. If she is not respecting her husband she is not reverencing Christ.

-Dr. E