“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church … In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” [Eph 5 25 & 28]
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children.” [Titus 2:3-4]
Have you ever noticed the inequity in those two passages? We men are commanded to love our wives, while older women are told to teach or train the younger women to love their husbands. It’s a fairly significant difference, and I figure it must mean something. Whatever else it may mean, it tells me God sees men and women, husbands and wives, as different. They have different needs, different strengths and weakness, different temptations, and so on.
But why the difference we see here? Either women need to be loved more than men do, or men are less given to being loving than women. I think it’s a combination of the two.
Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect deals with this issue. The subtitle of his book is “The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs” – indicating love is more important for her, while respect is more important for him. This is a biblical thought we see Paul sharing:
“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” [Eph 5:33 ESV]
Here men are commanded (yet again) to love, while women are commanded to respect.
Sounds simple, but human nature gets in the way. We tend to give what we want. In most situations, the Golden Rule works well, but when two people have different needs and priories, doing unto them as you would have them do unto you does not work out so well. You get a man who is half killing himself to show his bride respect, while she is doing all she can to show him love – and both feel neglected and think they are the only one working on the marriage.
Bottom line: She needs you to love her. If you are not doing that well, you are failing her as a husband, no matter what else you are doing.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Care For Your Wife—Start With This Question: This is a great article – read, apply, repeat.
Black and Married with Kids
Couple Things Blog
You Know What They Say : Forget about “they” – this is better!
”husband”, a user’s guide”
Does Sex Really Begin in the Kitchen?: Goes hand in glove with my post from Saturday.
Journey to Surrender
One Flesh Marriage
Romantic Act of the Day
The Romantic Vineyard
If Love Is In The Air… : A great argument for celebrating V-day.
Stupendous Marriage Show 032: Happy Valentine’s Day!: What to do, and not do, on Valentine’s day!
Your Christian Marriage Restoration Station
Valentine Date Ideas : Great ideas – it’s not too late.