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Marriage is hard.
If you’re married, that’s not news to you. Even if you’re not, I imagine you’ve heard that before. But what isn’t said as often is this:
The hard work of marriage is worth it!
My husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage this past year. Any couple that has been married for any length of time has habits that draw them together and help them function as the team God intended.
During a particularly difficult time in our marriage, my husband had the wisdom to begin something that has become one of those habits for us.
We read together regularly.
We started out reading books on marriage, specifically. Over the years, we have gone through a variety of books about communication, parenting, and Bible studies in general. Right now we are reading through the book of Romans in the Bible.
I notice when we are doing this, when we maintain this habit, it increases our intimacy. It draws us together.
One book we read early on was Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.
The book has many helpful insights, but one in particular has stuck with me even after 10 years.
We want our husbands to love us unconditionally, but we expect them to earn our respect.
If we are acting in an “un-lovely” manner, we expect that our husband should still treat us in a loving way. (And he should) Well ladies, what’s good for the goose…as they say.
We can, and should, behave – speak – act with respect toward our husband even if we don’t feel it.
Feelings. You know our feelings don’t always speak truth to us, right? A wise old owl once said,
We must speak truth to ourselves even when it doesn’t feel true.
And the truth is, Christian wives, Ephesians 5:33 doesn’t say we should show respect to our husbands when they’ve earned it or when we feel like it or when they’ve met our expectations. It says that we must respect them.
We must speak respectfully to and about him even when, in our own feeble sinfulness, we deem that he doesn’t deserve it.
If you are struggling, or simply feeling apart from the one who is supposed to be on your team – – – I challenge you to give this a try.
This concept of showing love and respect even when the other person is not earning it has been transformational to our marriage. I hope that it may be a blessed reminder to one of you today.
Have you read the book? You can get it here. Let me know what you think of it!
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