Love and Respect

Ephesians 5:33. “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself: and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

This verse is Paul’s summary of all that he has said about marriage starting in 5:18.  Everything he taught must be set in the filling of the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is an ongoing process, and is affected by our obedience to Christ. We are controlled by whatever fills us. When we are Holy-Spirit controlled, then that comes bubbling out of us like the carbonation in a glass filled too quickly with soda pop.

Being filled with the Spirit makes us desire to behave in a godly manner toward our spouses. It makes us willing  to love sacrificially and to show respect from a pure heart. It is not a burden for a wife to arrange herself under her husband’s authority when she is right with God; it is a delight to do so when her husband is also right with God and shows her the same love that Christ showed His church.

I do a good bit of marital counseling.  It’s hard work. Typically, a couple in trouble comes in expecting me to fix the other person.  They do not see themselves as one flesh, but as two independent individuals battling for the one-up position of being RIGHT at all costs. The most difficult part of the work is to help them understand that when on or the other of them must be right, then they both lose.

If we practice the one-flesh principle, there is no competition for the crown of authority in a biblically sound marriage.  The goal is for each other’s best interest, and the marriage can thrive and prosper.

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