Do you ever feel like you get in a crazy cycle with your spouse? Sometimes you just don’t get along and you can’t figure out what the deal is.
Allow me to make a suggestion based upon Dr. Emerson Eggerich’s book “Love and Respect.” The premise of his book is that the primary need wives have from their husbands is love, while the husband’s primary need is respect.
God wired us with these unique needs. As the leaders of the house, husbands desire respect, which gives them confidence and support. Wives desire love, which makes us feel secure and treasured.
If a wife doesn’t give her husband the respect he needs, he’ll often stop giving the love. If a husband doesn’t give the love she needs, she won’t give the respect. And the crazy cycle continues until one person decides to stop the madness and give their spouse what they need.
Sometimes in marriage we keep track of the ways our spouse isn’t meeting our needs, doesn’t listen to us or has messed up. Then we use that as justification for not giving them what they need or want.
And it’s just wrong.
God tells us over and over in the Bible to love as He loves us. And thankfully, He doesn’t love us in that way! He loves us because of who we are, not what we’ve done or not done. He doesn’t use our sins against us or withhold His love because of them.
God also shows us that love is sacrificial. Truly loving someone means that we put their needs ahead of our own. Instead of thinking about why they don’t deserve it, God calls us to love one another anyway.
When we continually do this, it creates a cycle of harmony and unity. Eventually, when your spouse’s needs are being met, they will likely begin to meet yours as well. (Of course this shouldn’t be your primary motivation, but consider it a bonus.)
So this week, whether you’re currently in the crazy cycle or not, look for ways to meet the primary need of your spouse. Wives: remember to respect your husband, while you’re with him and when you’re not. Husbands: love your wife, give her the security and affection she desires. It’s a win-win for everyone!