Give To Receive

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. ~ Ephesians 5:22–33

Man and woman were created differently. We communicate, interact, and think differently. For men, respect is the most important thing. They want to feel like a man. Men don’t want to be emasculated. They don’t want to feel disrespected, while women need to be loved. Women need their husbands to listen to them, hold them, spend time with them, and make them feel loved.

Here’s the interesting thing about this. Paul doesn’t keep it strictly, wives submit to your husbands, as the first step. In other words, he isn’t saying that the wife’s submission comes before the husband’s love. He switches them around in the last verse. Why? Because Paul understood that sometimes, depending on the relationship, one has to show either love or respect before they receive either love or respect. A great example of this was the movie Fireproof.

A couple, both unsaved, were about to divorce. Before the wife filed the papers, the husband began to read the Word of God, meditate on them, pray, and worship. Then, he began to love his wife. The more he began to love his wife, the wife then began to respect him. There weren’t any more screaming battles. There weren’t any more nights when they went to bed angry. There was no more division. This is what Paul was showing us. Sometimes, we have to give what the other needs in order to receive what we need.

Husbands, if your wife isn’t respecting you the way you need to be respected, ask yourself, “am I loving my wife the way that she needs?” Matter of fact, ask her. I know a couple who were struggling. The husband even left and filed for divorce. They got back together and started talking. The husband now routinely asks his wife if there is anything more she needs him to do so that she can feel loved the way she needs to. And by doing that, she’s now striving every day to make sure he is feeling respected as a man. They now have two beautiful daughters, and their relationship and marriage are at the best they’ve ever been. Sometimes, you have to give a little to get a little in return. So, this Valentine’s Day, strive to give your spouse or partner what they need in the relationship to feel loved and respected.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Give To Receive.

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