The Love and Respect Devotional
52 Weeks To Experience Love & Respect In Your Marriage. Have you ever been excited about having a regular devotional time with your spouse, only to end up feeling distracted, frustrated, or misunderstood after your time together? While most women are energized by the idea of going through a couples’ devotional, best-selling author and marriage expert Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has observed that many men feel the opposite.
52 Weeks To Experience Love & Respect In Your Marriage
- God Joined You Together, And He Will Keep You Together
- The 80:20 Ratio: The Secret to Appreciating Your Marriage
- Mistakes Happen—And Then What?
- Question: What Is Love? Answer: C-O-U-P-L-E
- Question: What Is Respect? Answer: C-H-A-I-R-S
- Newton’s Law: The Crazy Cycle In Action
A Husband-Friendly Devotional That Wives Truly Love
Have you ever experienced the disappointment of eagerly anticipating a meaningful devotional time with your spouse, only to find yourself feeling distracted, frustrated, or misunderstood afterwards? It is a common scenario where women often feel energized by the idea of engaging in a couples' devotional, while men may have a different perspective. According to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs many husbands simply do not find the standard devotional books for couples to be interesting or relatable. After attempting it a few times, they tend to seek alternative activities, leaving the devotional practice behind. Recognizing this common challenge, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs offers insights and solutions to transform your devotional experience.
Learning Love & Respect
With the invaluable insights gained from surveying thousands of couples about their deepest concerns and struggles, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has meticulously crafted a fifty-two week devotional that speaks to the hearts of both wives and husbands. In this transformative journey, each concise devotional is thoughtfully designed to fit into your busy lifestyle, guiding you to explore the core principles of Love & Respect while inviting you to uncover the personal messages God has for you individually and as a couple. Recognizing the uniqueness of every relationship, Dr. Emerson provides practical, tailored advice and direction to ensure this devotional becomes a powerful catalyst for growth in your marriage. This tool will invigorate your relationship with God and rejuvenate your marriage with the transformative power of love and respect.
From Husbands and Wives
When my wife...first pulled out the book and looked at me, I can honestly say my spirit deflated. I immediately thought, “Oh now, after a long day at the office, she’s gonna want me to reflect on a scripture passage and pour out my heart and soul about how I don’t measure up.” After she read the introduction, I regained HOPE! EE nailed it – let’s take this a little at a time and even do some of the introspection on our own – vertical first, horizontal next…
Love this book! My husband & I just started this devotional book together & we both love it so far!!!! It is really putting the husband & wives as equals & teaching you how to truly love & respect your spouse.
We’ve read through the devotional together several times, which led to countless intimate and energizing conversations. Of all of their resources I think this is the best, because it captures all of the wisdom in short reads that prompt rich dialogue In 12 years of marriage we have literally shared hundreds of moments over coffee or dinner that were shaped and blessed by the L&R content. Forever grateful for the genuine influence the Eggerichs have had on our family.
My wife and I facilitate L&R classes and always recommend this. We continue to go back through it once we finish it and we use it daily – not weekly. It never gets old. Each devotion is a great reminder.
Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is an internationally known public speaker on the topic of male-female relationships. Based on over three decades of pastoring, counseling and study of biblical and scientific research, Dr. Eggerichs and his wife Sarah developed the Love and Respect Conference which they present to live audiences around the country.About Love & Respect
Husbands primarily want to hear ‘respect” talk during conflict. Wives primarily want to hear “love” talk during conflict.
Don’t label each other as bad because you differ on how you solve your troubles.
Unconditional love or respect is never wasted. Hang onto this promise: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9).
Unconditional respect means we confront their wrongdoings respectfully. We do not become uncivil because they are. Who they fail to be does not determine who we will be.
Don’t conclude that your spouse is wrong when he/she is seeking to do the right and righteous thing.
Your husband knows you value his friendship when you tell him you like him and you show it (he knows you love him, but he often wonders if you really like him).
When a wife insists that her husband earn her respect, she puts him in a lose-lose situation.
It’s true that women have intuition and that men should listen to them. It’s also true that women have blind spots and need the insight of their husbands.
Positive changes flood a relationship immediately when both husband and wife cancel the blame game!
A most significant point of this book is this: If what we think is true, kind, necessary, and clear, we need to have the courage to hit send. This isn’t about refraining from speaking; this is about speaking.
Love and Respect is a faith venture, not a formula.
Christian maturity involves a lot of things, but surely it includes knowing how to process your anger.
Marital researchers agree that a huge percentage of communication problems between husband and wife are due not to what is said but to how it is said – the attitude and tone of voice.
To stay the course in speaking words of Love and Respect, keep your heart in Scripture, trusting in and talking about His promises to help you.
Mutual understanding, not communication, is the key to a healthy marriage relationship.
Thank God for His forgiveness of your mistakes. In trying to be a loving man or a respectful woman, we blow it. Owning up to mistakes is never easy, but it is always the way to move forward. Take good care not to accuse your spouse of mistakes as you pray. Also, pray about any forgiving to be done in the family, any forgiveness that needs to be asked. Children may need forgiveness (and what about Mom and Dad?). “There is no one on earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
We have to step back as Christ followers and ask, “Do I have false expectations that my relationship should be romantic 99% of the time?”
This is the Rewarded Cycle: His love blesses regardless of her respect and her respect blesses regardless of his love.
If a husband chooses to be a peacemaker--taking the needs and concerns of his wife totally into account during any kind of argument or conflict--his wife will be motivated in turn to respond to his authority during stalemates.
“With eyes of faith, envision Jesus standing just beyond the shoulder of your spouse and listening to every word you speak in every conversation, pleasant or tense. When you speak lovingly or respectfully to your spouse, you are speaking to Christ. Your spouse just happens to be there too.” This truth has sanctified the lips of many. Instead of giving their spouse a verbal whipping or choking on the idea of saying anything positive, now some spouses are motivated to speak words of unconditional love or respect.
You must “ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves.”
Your marriage is a tool and a test to deepen and demonstrate your love and reverence for Jesus Christ. God is using your spouse to bring you an eternal reward.
Do you believe that there is a God who really loves you and wants to help you?
We are worth Jesus to the Father.
Being a person who communicates what is true frequently demands tact, and at times it can feel like sidestepping land mines. It takes work to be both truthful and tactful.
When you come home after you have been apart, the first few moments of reconnecting will set the tone for the rest of the evening.
In your marriage be the first to “seek peace and pursue it” (1 Peter 3:11)
We fool ourselves into thinking the other person causes us to be the way we are. They really don’t! But if we lock into that idea, we become helpless, hopeless victims.
“Respect is a man’s deepest value. I have had numerous men tell me, ‘I would rather live with a wife who respected me but did not love me than live with a wife who loved me but did not respect me.’ These men are not saying that they are indifferent to love. They know they need love, but they need to feel respected even more than they need to feel loved.“
A wife has one driving need: to feel loved. When that need is met, she is happy. A husband has one driving need: to feel respected. When that need is met, he is happy. When either of these needs isn’t met, things get crazy with conflict.
When a husband feels disrespected, it is especially hard to love his wife. When a wife feels unloved, it is especially hard to respect her husband.
As you pray together, you will truly learn to love and respect together.
Most marriages will succeed when obeying the command to Love and Respect.
Always see your mate as an ally. Feedback is of little use if you see your spouse as an enemy. Giving and receiving constructive feedback is based on feelings of goodwill in both partners. Both of you need to remember that, even if you don’t always agree and even if you become irritated or angry, you are friends, and neither of you means to hurt the other.
Unconditional respect, like unconditional love, is all about how one sounds (tone of voice and word choice) and appears (facial expressions and physical actions).
Self-interest should never come ahead of your spouse’s interests.
When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife. (Perhaps the command to love was given to him precisely for this reason!) When a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband. (Perhaps the command to respect was given to her precisely for this reason!)
[Husbands] the most powerful weapons you have are your ears. Just listen to your wife, and she is much more likely to feel understood.
You may believe that the careless, unloving or disrespectful words you speak are because your spouse is causing you to speak this way, but Jesus says that it is coming out of your heart.
Your spouse may meet many of your needs, but your deepest dependency should be on your Lord.
So I encourage every husband and wife to commit to the Jesus Way of Talking. Instead of allowing the stress of the situation to control you, you can say to yourself, “Because I love the Lord and I know that He rewards every good word, I am going to be truthful even if my spouse is not. I will also be uplifting, forgiving, thankful and scriptural in my speech because my ultimate goal is to please the Lord. Whatever my spouse’s weaknesses or bad habits might be, I will not let them cause me to sin with my lips.”
Mistakes can’t be undone, but they can be forgiven.
We have discovered that as women motivate their man God’s way, men are energized to love them better. It doesn’t matter if your marriage is good or seems like there is no hope. We have seen God move in powerful ways even when things looked hopeless.
At the very bottom of things, in every case and in every conversation, you can do your marriage a huge favor by assuming she is seeking to feel loved or he is seeking to feel respected and give your spouse some grace!
When you look to God and His Word as your ultimate source of significance and security, you don’t demand that your spouse take that role in your life. And as you draw strength from the Lord individually, He draws you closer together as a couple.
Respect for the husband is just as important as love for the wife.
There is a discrepancy between who we want to be and see ourselves to be and how we actually sound in voice and writing. But with self-reflection and honesty, we can turn the corner and improve our communication. We need only evaluate what we are about to communicate.
“You can be right, but wrong at the top of your voice.”
To not forgive is to shoot yourself in the foot and put extra gas in the Crazy Cycle.
Do not live by the standards of Hollywood; trust what God says in His Holy Word.
Through Jesus and Peter, God set forth His standard for living in the unconditional dimension: choose to be loving even when the other person is not; do what is right regardless of the treatment you receive. I believe this standard applies directly to marriage. A husband who speaks lovingly to his disrespectful wife will be rewarded; and a wife who speaks respectfully to her unloving, not-worthy-of-respect husband will be rewarded. Whether you are husband or wife, the reward is what can keep you going in the midst of the craziness: knowing that God commends you, knowing that you have found his favor for your words and actions.
Thank God for joining you together and for allowing you to trust Him to help you, whatever the issue. God is there for you and expects you to look to Him to keep you together as a team, so ask Him for His help in the smallest of concerns. “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:6)
Parenting is a faith venture. As we parent “unto Christ” we reap God’s reward, “knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord” (Eph. 6:8 NKJV)
If a husband is commanded to agape- love his wife, then she truly needs love.
When you’re truly Christ-centered, instead of child-centered, you will be a more effective parent in the long run.
Ladies, be careful. “A nagging wife goes on and on like the drip, drip, drip of the rain” (Proverbs 19:13).
Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative with lots of love and respect in between.
Here is the secret to marriage that every couple seeks and yet few find: Unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her. It’s the secret that will help you achieve a brand new level of intimacy.
Often both spouses have goodwill but are not deciphering each other’s code. She criticizes out of love, but he “hears” only disrespect. He distances himself to prevent feelings from escalating, which is the honorable thing to do, but she “sees” only his failure to be loving!
The moment we cry to Him for help, He is already pleased. He gives us strength to love our children.
It’s so easy to dismiss our spouse as childish because we don’t have the same vulnerabilities they do.
A wife has one driving need--to feel loved. When that need is met she is happy. A husband has one driving need--to feel respected. When that need is met he is happy. When either of these needs isn’t met, things get crazy. Love and Respect reveals why spouses react negatively to each other, and how they can deal with such conflict quickly, easily and biblically.
You can be right but wrong at the top of your voice.
It’s hard to realize that we would never act around our business associates the way we act around our spouse.
There is power and freedom that comes in understanding that no one can cause you to react in a certain way. It is your choice.
Let the Lord change you, but don’t try to change each other.
A man has a natural, inborn desire to go out and “conquer” the challenges of his world – to work and achieve.
As mature men, we need to take leadership and put this out on the table. We must acknowledge our feelings- we need to feel respected. However, as we do this we must acknowledge our wife’s feelings- she needs to feel loved!
It’s crucial to communicate with the right tone of voice and the right expression on your face.
We send each other messages in “code” based on gender, even though we don’t intend to. What I say is not what you hear, and what you think you heard is not what I meant at all.
The woman absolutely needs love, and the man absolutely needs respect. It’s as simple- and as difficult- as that.
She’ll feel at peace with you when you let her vent your frustrations and hurts and don’t get angry and close her off.
It is hard to be negative while being thankful.
When we feel crippling discouragement by the sinful choices and outcomes of our kids, we must not let this permanently deter us from parenting God’s way.
[Women], as you enter quiet dignity, not preaching at your husband or scolding him as though you were his mother, something happens in his soul as a male.
Your wife feels you are open with her when you discuss financial concerns, possible job changes or ideas for your future.
His love blesses regardless of her respect; her respect blesses regardless of his love.
Our research shows that couples who pray together are more apt to reap all kinds of benefits, including better and more frequent communication, going on “dates” more frequently and having sex more frequently.
Optimism or pessimism? It is always a choice, no matter what your natural temperament.
God’s commands are there to help us, not to hinder us or hold us back as male and female.
Men are solution oriented, they love to solve problems. They want to be helpful.
Life is too short to fuss and fret over trivial irritations.
If you want your husband to express appreciation for your attempts to be respectful, you must speak thankfully when he tries to be loving.
Always try to look at your spouse the way Jesus does.
Thank the Lord for the goodwill each of you has toward the other. Ask Him for strength to give each other the benefit of the doubt during moments when someone’s goodwill seems to be lacking. “He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it.” (Proverbs 11:27)
Before hitting send, ask yourself, Have I listened carefully and understand the exact issue on the table?
It is crucial for a husband and wife to see that neither one is wrong, but both of them are very different--in body function, outlook and perspective.
Suppressing negative feelings is not loving, respectful or very wise. Speak up tactfully.
When you relinquish an offense, you need to send that offense somewhere. So follow Jesus’ example and release it to your heavenly Father.
Your marriage is a test of your devotion to Christ.
God rewards your obedience to love and respect, even if your spouse does not respond!
Unconditional respect is as powerful to him as unconditional love is to her.
Holding back your love or respect will just keep the Crazy Cycle spinning away, but being mature and making the first move could slow it down.
Each of you must focus on what God is calling you to do toward your spouse. Do not focus on what you think God is calling your spouse to do toward you.
You have two ears and one mouth; use them proportionately.
The mature one in the marriage seldom moves second.
We get on the Crazy Cycle because without love a wife reacts without respect, and without respect a husband reacts without love.
I had often asked God to compensate for my mistakes, but in return had I thought He would give me perfect children?
Words of Love or Respect must uplift your spouse, edifying- never manipulating him or her.
Though the end can be worthy (to be loved and respected), when each uses unholy means (unloving and disrespectful words and actions), it will not achieve those ends. We must treat others as we expect them to treat us. To deny this makes us arrogant or fools, or both.