Unconditional Love and Respect January 17_ 2010 2 Songs to open by runout

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									                                      Unconditional Love and Respect

                                              January 17, 2010

2 Songs to open

Read Ephesians 5:22-33

Men like love, but they desire respect
Women like respect, but they desire love

Last week we talked about the Crazy cycle (insert picture again).

Without love, she reacts without respect, and without respect, He reacts without love

Today I wanted to take some more time talking about particular ways that love and respect are shown and
lived out. Here to join me speaking this morning is my lovely wife, Kristina. (stay seated at this point)

Energizing Cycle (talk about this) (get picture)

But before we talk about specifics we need to get on the same page when it comes to love and respect.

Unconditional Love…it is a word that many people know. Love is what conquers all, what remains, what
is the greatest of all. The word love used in this passage is agape….the word used to describe the love of
God…an unconditional, eternal, I-will-always-be-there-for-you love.

Husbands, your are called your wives as Christ loved (agape) the church and sacrificed everything for
Her. that is your command, That is your calling, that is your job. No one else can or should be able to do
the job of loving your woman better than you!

Unconditional Respect…well that isn‟t a term that we are familiar with. Yet respect is what men need.
There is never too much respect for us men. The word respect in this verse does not contain a clause just
like love. Respect should be seen in the same way as God‟s love for the church. And as the church
always respect God, even if they have questioned or misunderstood Him, so the wife is called to respect
her husband

Respect should not be earned any more than love should be
Respect should not be withheld any more than love should! (if you get this today, you will be blessed)

Think about how countercultural it would be for our relationships if we as Christian husbands love our
wife with the undying love of God and if you as Christian wives give respect as you minister for God.

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect shares 6 things that you ladies can do to respect the
men in your home and husbands can do to love the woman in their lives….these are meant for a husband
and a wife, but some of the aspects cross over to parent/child relationship as well.

(Invite Kristina on up or go sit with her)

We want to share some practical and biblical approaches to love and respect from the female and male
perspective.

(Kristina goes first)
______KRISTINA‟S PART

Guys: I‟m here to talk to you today about what the Bible says about love and how you can show us love
from a woman‟s point of view

So overall, women want to connect. We see any troubles that hit our marriage as a threat to the
connection between us, and our intention is to try to repair it, like taping together a picture of us that‟s
been torn down the middle.

Dr. Emerson says that women “confront to connect.” Men think that the confrontation is us being
controlling, or trying to provoke a fight, but we‟re really trying to confront whatever it is that we see as a
threat to the link between us so that we can get closer together again. So if you‟re wondering why your
wife seems to be really negative or offensive, think that she is crying out for C-O-U-P-L-E, which leads to
connection. You think of it as controlling, but we‟re really just trying harder and harder to access your
heart. It‟s really easy to think, well maybe that applies to someone else‟s wife, but not to mine, she really
is just controlling. But it‟s important to remember that you, as Dr. Emerson says, “wear blue sunglasses
and blue hearing aids”—your view of things is colored by being a male, but you have to try to look at
things as objectively as possible. The acronym of COUPLE can help to keep you on the energizing cycle
even when you‟re in the heat of an argument or a conflict. It‟s really important to try objectively to
remember that your wife is looking for connection with you so that you can show love especially in these
times, in your tone, your words and your face. We‟re not asking you to become more feminine—you‟re
meant to be different from us. We‟re just asking for you to remember where we‟re coming from.



Topic #1: Closeness

Scripture:

God defined marriage in Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be
united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” God meant for us to be so close to one another that
we are as one person, close physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. The Israelites were even
commanded in Deuteronomy that men should stay home from battle for the first year after marriage. This
of course is not practical in our current society, but we should try to set a positive tone for our
relationships from the beginning. If you‟re outside of the first year, it‟s not too late to set that positive
tone. Try to think of the first few moments when you arrive home as your chance to set a positive tone.
Actually greet each other and try to have a legitimate conversation. Legitimate conversation has to be
face to face; if you‟re distracted by watching TV, reading the paper, or checking email, you can‟t really
listen and respond.

Song of Solomon 3:4—
When I found him whom my soul loves; I held on to him and would not let him go
We want to hold on to you and be involved in your life; we want to hear how your day was and share our
ups and downs too. It‟s OK that you need your independence and your “me” time—but try to see that we
need closeness and involvement too, or we feel unloved.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent
of woman. 12For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from
God.

We‟re not meant to be independent because God designed us to depend on, to draw from, and to
complement one another. For this to work, we both have to give a little, including time and love.

Practical Ways:

-You hold her hand, you hug her, have physical affection without an ulterior motive, talk---have an actual
conversation about something, go for a walk together, have a non-SportsCenter night, go to bed together



Ladies: I‟m here to talk to you today about what the Bible says about respect and how you can show us
respect from a man‟s point of view

Do you love your husband? Yes
Do you respect them? If the answer is No, then you have an issue with God‟s desire for your relationship

Ladies you naturally are better at showing love than men and we are blessed to have you in our lives
loving us as you do. Are you aware that we desire your respect as much/or more than love.

1 Pet 3:1-2 says: Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not
believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the
purity and reverence of your lives.

Your best evangelistic effort comes from your respect for your husband.

But how can you be reverent/respectful if you only see and act on the negative:

Ladies, start by asking the question: Is my man, as unaware and unloving as He is, a man of goodwill?
Does he desire good things? Then he can be a respectable man…I‟m not asking about performance, but
his desires

Ecclesiastes 7:20 reminds us that there is not a righteous man (or woman)on earth who continually does
good and who never sins….find the good even through the garbage, find the positives of his nature




One way to show men respect is to:
   1) (men) Respect his desire to work and achieve---Conquest
We, men, have a desire to beat something, to be challenged and win. We as men are known in this world
by our occupation…think about when we meet someone new…one of the 1st question is: What do you do
for a living.

God created men to do something and if a wife even implies, even unknowingly, that her husband‟s work
is not that important, you have just called him a loser! (197)

When we come home to talk about our something exciting that we accomplished at work or around the
house or whatever, we want something more than…that‟s nice.

I mean, if Kristina came home and said I‟m pregnant and I said, “That‟s nice.” I…well…lets not think
about what would happen, but it wouldn‟t be good

Just as women are known for their family, we are known for our work…appreciate our work and our
victories.

Just try writing your man/your dad a note saying: Dad, honey, snucckommbs, whatever pet name…thank
you for getting out there and working.

Ladies, to be honest….if your man didn‟t ever tell you that He loved you, you will feel depressed,
defeated, and unloved. And if you don‟t tell us how you respect us then we feel depressed, defeated, and
disrespected. Try something small like that and see what happens to that man!

The reason the man married you or the reason that man will want to marry you is because you believe in
Him. He married you because He thought that your „cheering‟ would last forever.

When this church was struggling when I first got here and I didn‟t have a clue about what I was doing and
Satan was attacking me with discouragement, all it took for me to keep going was hearing my wife says,
its ok, I still believe in you!
---Ladies, there is power there that you haven‟t tapped into in a long time.

How are you cheering on the man in your life right now?

Practical things: express your faith in him, ask and listen to his work stories, don‟t dishonor his work

If you have any questions about last week or the topics covered today I want you to take a
piece of paper and hand them to Kristina or me during this break to try to answer a couple
                      of them at the beginning of the next segment.
(Break for fellowship and worship)



Topic #2 (women): Openness

Men and Women are different! In general, women are much more open. We like to have things out in the
open for discussion and to solve problems where we see them. We put what‟s in our hearts out there, so
it‟s hard for us when we don‟t know what‟s in your heart. Also, men are much more compartmentalized,
while women are expressive-responsive, meaning that we express our emotions and respond to yours.
In Love and Respect, he illustrates this like the difference between two types of electrical circuits. On one
circuit there are three thousand lights, and the circuit is so designed that if one light gets smashed the
whole string goes out. On the other circuit there are three thousand lights, and it is designed so that if you
smash two thousand of those lights, the other thousand still work.

When it comes to intimacy, women are like the first circuit. If there is a serious conflict, we shut down.
We react mind, body and soul when we feel hurt. An argument will continue to affect a woman until there
is closure. If something upsets us, you cannot walk out of room or just stand there and shutdown. Women
don‟t “just move on.”

When we feel lonely because you are being independent or closed off, it is as if we are war with you. This
is really important when you want to connect physically—if your heart is unavailable to us, it‟s really hard
to make our bodies available to you. We can‟t compartmentalize like you can.

And sometimes women like to talk about their relationship and life not because anything is wrong, but
simply to keep things up-to-date. Please don‟t think that we are trying to pry or to control you when we
ask questions. ….Proverbs 31:12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Remember, stopping the crazy cycle includes seeing that your significant other is not trying to
intentionally trying to cause harm. Some of you have become very bitter, with anger constantly
simmering just below the surface. We can sense this, and we respond to it. When you are harsh, cynical,
or resentful, you clearly will not open up to your significant other. This is where you have to make a
choice to get off the crazy cycle, but please acknowledge that your lady is vulnerable and sensitive and
open up in love.

Men, women want you to know that they want to know you….so to love your woman is to be open to
them like you were when you were dating, when you were trying to get to know her.

“Guard yourself in spirit. Don‟t break your promise to the wife you married when you were young”
Malachi 2:15 NIRV

Practical steps: tell us about your day and difficulties; if you‟re not ready to talk about it, at least say,
“something really frustrating happened at work today, and I‟m not ready to talk about it yet, but we‟re
OK.” share your feelings, ask us how we are doing, really listen to our words—relaxed body language,
good eye contact; rather than trying to decode what we are saying, while talking-give your complete
attention; pray together

Topic #2 Men: Respect his desire to protect and provide--Hierarchy

Most women look at this passage and think that this is the way old time relationships worked…that
women and relationships have evolved, but what is forgotten what else is meant by submit

The word in this passage is hupotasso, a compound word that means to rank under or place under... God
has not given men absolute authority, but it has given then responsibility to protect those under His care
and watch. He is called to provide

1 Tim 5:8--If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has
denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
A man wants to be and needs to be on the front lines as a leader to protect and provide for those who are
behind him. As we call on God to protect the church, so wives are to find protection in the husband‟s
arms, but how can a man do that if you take away that God-given responsibility of being given to men.

Don‟t mock the idea of looking up to him to prevent him from looking down on you.
If you want to be treated like a queen, then make Him feel like the King!

Honor his work as a means to provide vs. angrily venting about how much he works. A man wants to earn
his wage and with that wage provide for you!

Topic #3: Understanding

Scripture: 1 Pet 3:7, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as
you live together. (NLT)

You‟ll never completely understand your wife, because she is different from you, but we need you to try
understand as best as you can. Sometimes women get offended about being called the weaker vessel. But
in a relationship, women are generally more vulnerable, and we feel even more vulnerable when you don‟t
try to understand us. It doesn‟t mean that we‟re less valuable—think of a porcelain vessel and a copper
vessel—the porcelain may be more valuable, but it also can break more easily. So please don‟t go making
comments that will be hurtful and will crush our spirits, but try to think of us as your partner.

The husband is the Christ figure; the woman is the church figure. And as a church places its burden on
Christ, a wife wants to place her burdens on her husband. Your wife thinks of you as that burden bearer—
as having those big shoulders. When she comes to you to listen, to give understanding…it‟s a
compliment. (Love and Respect 147)

Listening is one of the most important ways you can try to understand. Sometimes women are looking for
solution, but sometimes we just someone to talk to.

If you are confused on which one is needed in a situation: ask a simple question: “Do you need a solution
or a listening ear? (149) Many times we already know what we need to do, but we want to share and to
feel understood, and to communicate for the sake of connecting.

Trying to fix instead of listen can be bring conflict and another trip around the crazy cycle.

Woman like to talk to release their emotions. Talking is vital, it‟s not an option, it‟s a must.

Remember that women are not compartmentalized; we can‟t just stuff our thoughts and our feelings or the
events of our day, w; please allow us to talk about these things, even when we‟re not even exactly sure
what we‟re feeling. When we talk, we feel connected to you; we know how hard it can be for you to “just
talk,” so when you set aside the time to talk back to us, we woman must express appreciation.

Practical:

Actually take time—designate time—to talk.
Listen, can you repeat back what she said?
Don‟t interrupt or correct when she‟s trying to tell you how she feels
Don‟t try to „fix her problems‟ unless she specifically asks for a solution
Show appreciation for what she does, understanding where she is coming from
Apologize and admit when you‟re wrong
If you see something that needs to be done, do it without a lot of hassle
Pray with her and for her




   2) Respect his desire to serve and to lead--Authority

“I want him to be the head; I want him to be the leader, one female said in counseling, I just want to make
sure that he makes decisions in keeping with what I want.”

There can be a difference between the one who is in front and the one who is leading. (say again.)

Titus 2:5—women should follow the lead of their husbands (NIRV)..be obedient (KJV)…be submissive
(NIV)

I believe there is great room for mutual submission in a marriage. There are times and areas that I know
Kristina has the right slant on a subject and I let her decide. But there are times and areas that I have the
right slant and she depends on me to make the right call.

Ladies think about these questions today: When a crisis comes up in your home, who makes the
call…when a restaurant is being chosen, we makes the final choice…when a difference of parenting
comes up, who wins the argument.

If your husband is not a significant part of deciding those decisions, you are losing your husband‟s in that
marriage
Dr. Emerson gives women this idea: Go on record with your husband that you see him as having 51% of
the responsibility and therefore, 51% of the authority.



When we are denied our portion of authority, we are denied our God-given responsibility to lead.

Now ladies, let me tell you a secret about men…you give us the responsibility and watch how we begin to
share our opinions and how we are able to discuss ideas more freely rather than feeling that “you are just
going to do what you want anyways, so why does it matter what I think.”

Practical Steps:

Encourage him by telling how nice it is to lean on him at times (224)

Verbalize your respect for what he does and when he handles that authority in a way that pleases God.
--praise his good decisions and be gracious if he makes a bad decision so that he knows you aren‟t
stripping away his dignity after he has already messed up
--Communicate your ideals, do not fight/attack to be heard


“A wise woman builds her house, But a foolish woman tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1 NIRV)

We not looking for another mother, we chose you as a friend and lover.

We want our home to be our sanctuary…place of peace, praise, respect and love.

(Conclude)

								
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