Be kind and compassionate to each other, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
The great tragedies of life can undermine committed love, but so can minor
If a man has the sincere sense of respect from his wife and feels valued by her, he is a blessed man and will tend to thrive in his role as a husband. A number of years ago, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs' book, Love and Respect, became a best-seller around this one simple concept: A wife needs to know that her husband loves her and a husband needs to know that his wife respects him. Based on my own marriage and having counseled many others, this simplistic ideal of love and respect is a foundational truth that can make or break a marriage. It is based on a verse that many married couples know well.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Wives, don't let your husbands kid you. Even if a man doesn't deserve respect or act like he wants it from his wife, it is something he desperately desires. Every man wants to be his wife's knight in shining armor and needs to know that you value him as a man. However, for many men it's hard to break away from their past and set a new course to follow. This is where wives can be used by God to help direct a man's heart and help him grow into the man that she needs, and be the man God wants him to become.
1. Believe in him
Marriage is a "oneness" relationship established by God. At the formation of this blessed covenant, two individuals become one. This is a profound mystery that reflects the relationship shared by Christ and His church. This is why the support of one's wife is so vital for the man. It's hard to understand and explain. Yet, I've seen it over and over again in my life and the lives of other men. If we have the support of our wives, we are inspired to go beyond where we've been and to conquer new heights for God and our families.
2. Encourage him
For most men, we rise and fall based on the words from our wives. This is not to say God isn't a bigger influence over our lives than our wives. However, God made us one with our wives. Because of this, l believe both wives and husbands have powerful influence over their spouses. What we say and how we say it can make all the difference.
For wives, it's critical that they encourage their husbands without nagging them. I realize that this is not always an easy thing, especially if your husband has selective hearing sometimes like I do. Yet, my wife knows that I need her encouraging words more than anything else when times get rough. I love it when my wife speaks God's truth into my life. There's nothing more inspiring to me than to know that God is with me—and so is my wife.
3. Desire him
God made us sexual beings and gave us explicit instructions to fulfill these desires within the marriage relationship. Men need to know that their wives desire them. In the same way, men need to only have eyes for their wives. There is no room for compromise here. The covenant of marital love absolutely necessitates intimacy boundaries. When these two "love components" are in place and protected—a wife's desire for her husband and a husband's passion for his wife, a blessed physical intimacy will prevail within the marriage.
While I focused on the man's needs, these principles are equally applicable for our wives. Men, we must support, encourage, and desire our wives in the same fashion. For both the husband and the wife, the "love chapter" is still one of the best models of love to pursue. If we put these simple truths into practice, we will build each other up, and our love for one another will prevail.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
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