"However, each one of you also must
love his wife as he loves himself,
and the wife must respect the husband."
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs wrote an entire book over this one tiny verse. The biblical insight and wisdom found within this verse and book is astounding. The essential fundamentals of marriage are found within this verse, yet we have seemed to overlook it for the past two-hundred years.
In Eggerich's book, Love and Respect, he explains that unconditional love for the wife is a common concept. Wives all over the country quickly agree that this is biblical and it should without a doubt be practiced within marriage. Unconditional respect, on the other hand, scares wives to death, and has never been discussed in church, the home, or the marriage.
Despite its lack of popularity, the last part of Ephesians 5:33 says, "the wife must respect the husband." This means unconditional respect for the husband is a biblical command. Love and Respect explains that men and women speak two very different languages, (this is no surprise,) he feels most alive and appreciated when he is respected, where as she feels most alive and appreciated when she is loved.
Although these two concepts seem to overlap with similarity, the demonstration and verbalization of each is very different. This is where Eggerichs lays out two simple acronyms to help wives and husbands practically apply the Love and Respect model to their lives. (More notes on that soon.)
Dr. Eggerichs explains what he calls, "The Crazy Cycle," which explains without love she reacts without respect, and without respect he reacts without love. This is why couples find themselves fighting over the smallest and silliest of things.
To combat The Crazy Cycle, couples must get on "The Energizing Cycle," which says, his love motivates her respect and her respect motivates his love. The scary part is that one person within the couple has to step forward and apply the process first. This is why it is often so hard for people to get on The Energizing Cycle, yet those following Christ wholeheartedly will find it essential to their walk.
The end of the book wraps everything by explaining that the ultimate goal is not respecting your husband so you can get what you want, but respecting him so you can honor Christ and gain a reward in heaven. The same goes for husbands who love their wives.
Love and Respect is an amazing book that many counselors require for marriage counseling. I recommend the book to any married couple, whether their marriage is horrible, average, or wonderful. Eggerichs has amazing biblical truths in this book that every couple should read about. Not only is it biblical, but scientific too. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has conducted hours of research, surveys, and academic papers over this very subject. After reading the book, I trust his opinion and found truths very much. Check out Amazon.com for a copy today! :)
Also check out my former post: the Love and Respect video