The Love & Respect study is continuing on. Last week’s chapter was about how we treat each other without love which leads to the other spouse not wanting to respect and so on and so forth. It really is true. Pretty soon you find yourself so far from love and respect that you can’t see your way back to a place of love to continue the journey of your life together. The sooner we recognize that we are on that cycle the sooner we can correct it and get back on track.
This week’s chapter is To Communicate, Decipher The Code. Communication is the key to any successful relationship. Of course finding the language that the other person speaks is not as easy as one might think. Ladies, you know as well as I do that we speak a language that our man doesn’t seem to have the capacity to understand. The age old question “Does this make me look fat” doesn’t actually mean we want an analysis of our weight. It merely means do I look good in this regardless of how fat/skinny I am. The question has nothing whatsoever to do with our weight.
Last week Ephesians 5:33 was mentioned. Paul writes that “men must love their wives”. The verse doesn’t say that wives are to love their husbands. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. The form of the word “love” here is equal to the word agape, which is the deepest type of love – how Christ loves His Church (Christians). That is a selfless, unconditional and everlasting love.
This week the verse Titus 2:4 is mentioned. It says the older women are to “train the younger women to love their husband and children.” In our English language both of these verses say love. But in the Greek the form of the word translated “love” here refers to phileo, which refers to the brotherly, sweet spirit kind of love. Of course we are to love our husbands and children unconditionally but we are also instructed here to love in patience and friendliness. OUCH!! Stick with me here. If the woman is instructed to love in the phileo way (sweet, patient and friendly manner) what is that going to translate to in the language of love. RESPECT!
So do you see what God did here? If Got commanded husbands to Agape their wives then He did so because that is the kind of love we NEED. If God commanded wives to Phileo their husbands then He did so because that kind of love leads to RESPECT and that is what he needs.
I loved that Dr. Eggerichs points out that when a man hears negative criticism from his wife it is interpreted as disrespect in his mind. When he walks away out of frustration from that the the wife interprets his departure as his not loving her. See the cycle? See the miscommunication? See how this can go on and on and on until noone is speaking to anyone? Taking the time to understand how the other communicates is vital to changing the cycle. This is not a lesson learned in one conversation or even in a dozen conversations. It takes time, patience, determination and commitment to getting it right and the endurance to stick it out until you figure it out.
Next week’s chapter is titled Why She Won’t Respect; Why He Won’t Love. I suspect we are gonna dig a bit deeper in how to interpret what the other one is saying. It’s not a quick problem to solve. The solution must come from the heart. Changing the heart is always a challenge. But it can be done!