Monday, November 15, 2010

Love and Respect

It was my turn to preach yesterday, and my passage was Ephesians 5:22-33. When confronted with such a passage rich in both the theology of the Church and the relationship between husband and wife, you are almost forced to pick between the two approaches...a very theological treatise about the glorious, holy church, bride of Christ, or about the very relevant, practical dynamic between the love that a wife needs and a respect that a husband needs.

I chose the latter approach. We divided a husband's responsibilities as Responsibility and Love. The wife's responsibilities are Submission and Respect. This passage is always an interesting one to preach, especially with your wife in the audience! Armed with a whiteboard and a very interactive approach to teaching, we together began to evaluate what a man's responsibilities are. Guide. Provider. Protector. Teacher. Counselor. Spiritual leader. Accountable before God for his marriage and family.

Then we jumped to the word submission. What does submission mean? Well, we came up with words like yield, obey, respect, follow, being humble, meek, faithful and docile.

Then the climax of the morning. I asked the women what it looked like for men to love their wives, to define the words "love" and "affection." For the next several minutes, the women listed terms like "tenderness," "patience," "attentiveness," "care," and "understanding." Marriage issues here (like, I suspect, most everywhere else) are perhaps THE biggest challenge, as broken and dysfunctional relationships are the norm.

Then we sought to define "respect." Words like "honor," "support," "not making fun of," and "gentle and quiet spirit" were mentioned.

There is a great book, I assume most of you reading this have heard about it...but if not, I'll recommend it. It is entitled Love and Respect, written by Dr. Eggerichs. He talks a lot about "The Crazy Cycle" in his book.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I was curious to see what you were going to do with that passage, since I get the related passage next week. :)

Having the white board to use as a shield in case anyone throws anything is an excellent idea - I might try that!

Seriously, though, good job. Too bad my wife missed it. ;)