Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Perfectly Practical #184 - Give Love & Respect

I was sent this book to review by BookSneeze.
All opinions and deep love AND respect for my husband are my own.

It is no secret that I love Engineer.
Shoot, I write a post chronicling some small way that I am desperately in love with him {most} every week.

But here's the thing:  like all other relationships, our relationship is not perfect - there is always more to learn and ways to grow.

   Little things we do irritate each other
+ Lines of communication get crossed or cut off completely
   We fall into the "Crazy Cycle"

In Love & Respect by Dr. Eggerichs, he explains the destructive "Crazy Cycle" as well as the constructive "Energizing Cycle" in detail without being pretentious.

His scholarly knowledge of the Bible, real life experiences in marriage counseling, and more importantly, experiences as a husband, have led him to realize that Ephesians 5:33 really is the key to a successful marriage.

Ephesians 5:33
New International Version (NIV) emphasis mine
"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

So many times relationships are if/then.  If he loves me, then I will respect him.  But what the book and THE Book are telling us is that marriage is not a reactive state of being but a proactive one.

The concept is so simple but the implementation is often difficult.

For me, if I don't feel loved, then I don't necessarily want to show my husband respect.  In turn, if he doesn't feel respected, then it is harder to try and make me feel loved.  But this is not about what I feel like doing or not doing; the Bible clearly has laid out what I need to do for a successful marriage.

I need to take responsibilities for my actions and how they affect my husband.  I've written several times about how my family often gets my "leftovers" - whatever's left over of me after doing for others.  That is not respecting my husband, or my child for that matter, putting the people closest to me, the ones I am responsible for, the ones whose lives I directly impact every day, last.

Just because I know that I love and respect Engineer, doesn't mean that he feels that I do.

The book goes into the reasons why men crave respect and women crave love and the differences between the two.

Since reading Love & Respect, I have recommended it at every class that I have taught if it has anything to do with marriage at all (and sometimes even when it didn't).  I have loaned the book out to several people who have also all had positive things to say about it.

This book was an easy read and an enjoyable one and has become a fixture in our library.


But what if we implemented this idea in everyday life as well as our marriage relationships?  As in showing respect and love for someone because, as a Christian, I am challenged to go out and spread the Gospel - to be proactive.

Could we change the culture in our little corner of the world from the inside out just by offering a homeless man a new pair of shoes?  By holding a door open for a downtrodden lady?  By helping a child who has no support at home with homework?

I believe that the Crazy Cycle is not limited to marriages; it happens in politics, in schools, and unfortunately, in churches all the time.  So what happens when we show respect for those we don't feel deserve it?  Or what happens when we show love for someone that seems to us unlovable?

Matthew 25:40 
"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ "

  • You are setting an example for your children.  They know when you tell them to show love and respect for everyone, that you practice what you preach.
  • Jesus went into the hard places and sought out ways to serve the lowly in society.  If we say we want to be more like Jesus, that's what it entails.
  • Even with those who disagree with us, we can still get a point across without being disrespectful.
We had the truly awesome experience this summer of going on a mission trip as a family and although it wasn't necessarily our plan to minister mostly to homeless communities, it soon became apparent that it was God's plan.

The biggest concept that I took away from that experience was that of "radical hospitality."  Showing hospitality, true hospitality, to people with no strings attached.  Our little band of mission trippers ended up being recipients as well as givers of radical hospitality - which was very humbling and eye-opening.

One of the charities that we worked with in Memphis had this to say about radical hospitality on their website:

"We seek to be stewards of God’s graciousness, not possessors of power and privilege dispensing charity from above."
Love and respect shown through the lens of God's grace - one cup of coffee, one smile, one conversation at a time.

This is part of WFMW.

6 comments:

  1. What a profoundly beautiful idea: radical hospitality. Well done.

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    1. You know, Ms. Patti, that mission trip happened in June and yet nearly every day since, I have been reminded by someone or something of that idea of radical hospitality. It has truly changed my life and outlook.

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  2. Love it. Just. Love it. Shared and pinned. Thank you for the reminder.

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    1. Aw, thanks Ms. Melissa. I generally don't get that excited about non-fiction books but this one has become 1 of 3 that I suggest to people getting married or are married, this one, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman, and Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover."

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  3. This is such a great book! So glad you wrote this. My favorite marriage book is probably Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.

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    1. I haven't heard of that book before but will have to look into it. Thanks for the info Ms. Jessica.

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Your turn! Let me know what perfectly practical comments you have.

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