In part 1 of this series, we posited the view above based upon Dr. Emerson Eggerichs book “Love & Respect and encourage you to get a copy. If spouses can gain wisdom and purpose to obey Ephesians 5:33 then great marriage turnarounds are possible! The road is not necessarily easy but it can be fruitful! In part 2, we addressed the needs of the husband. In this third and concluding part, we want to focus on the wife’s compelling need for love and how a wise husband can respond.
Wives Need Love (COUPLE)
Love from their husbands is a wife’s deepest value. While men view silence from their spouse as contempt (lack of respect), women will view it as hostility. This behavior feeds the “crazy” cycle that brings destruction. Most times, what men perceive as their wives trying to control them is really them trying to connect. Women confront to connect; to receive the love they so desperately need. If men will use biblical principles, not a “get in tune with their feminine side” mentality espoused in the world, they will learn how to get through conflicts and begin to see a softening in their spouses.
Eggerich’s uses a clever “C-O-U-P-L-E” acronym to help husbands understand this need in their wives. It is important to understand that the wise husband will choose to respect her tangible ways not because he necessarily deserves it in her view but because she is commanded to (Ephesians 5:33), it is pleasing to the Lord and because she can unilaterally begin to take steps to see positive change in her marriage.
C – Closeness – Wives want their husbands to be close. Wives feel close when we hold their hand, hug her, are affectionate (without sexual motivation), make it a priority to spend time with them and so on.
O – Openness – Wives want their husbands to open up with them. Wives want to be kept up-to-date
U – Understand – Husbands should not try to “fix” their wives, just listen. Men tend to be natural fixers. Sometimes wives want a solution but most often they just want a sympathetic ear.
P – Peacemaking – Wives want their husbands to say, “I’m sorry”. It’s hard for most men to say they are sorry because they fear they will lose respect (there’s that compelling need again!). Words are very powerful to wives and a sincere word of apology brings healing and closeness for her
L – Loyalty – Wives need to know their husbands are committed. A good-hearted husband will speak highly of his wife in front of others and is involved in activities that are important to her. He does not embarrass her or look lustfully at other women
E – Esteem – Wives want their husbands to honor and cherish them. 1 Peter 3:7 says, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Men often wonder why God doesn’t seem to be hearing their prayers.
This brief series has been a high level fly-by of a very important biblical truth. Much has been left out and it would be easy to draw wrong conclusions. My purpose in writing the series was to have you meditate and be empowered to obey Ephesians 5:33, to pick up a copy of the book and to let us know your comments!