I have been listening to Dave Ramsey’s Live and Archived shows lately, because I know what goes into me, comes out of me, and I want to leave a legacy. A strong legacy. A family others want to model their family after, one that honors the Lord, and makes the tough decisions for the short term to pay off big time in the long run.
His show has a commercial for “Love & Respect” written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, and it really caught my attention. Within the commercial Dr. Eggerichs made a comment that just captured me, and since I will mess it up, I am going to paraphrase it, “Unconditional Respect is respecting my husband, because it’s what God asks of me, not what my husband fails to do to “earn” my respect.” I definitely butchered that, but that is the basic concept.
Little preview into my life. I don’t tend to see myself as disrespectful; I am typically kind, until my tongue gets out of control- which happens. I am gentle unless I must be bold. I love my husband, more than most anything, even on days I can’t stand him and wish I didn’t have to see him. Is that honest enough? Even on those days there is something on the inside of me that REFUSES to quit. I Refuse… Kentucky had a slogan last year for their Boys Basketball Team- Refuse to Lose… That’s me, everyday. On days he and I want to give up, we dig in our heels. If we didn’t, if we weren’t so very stubborn, we would not have made it past a month of marriage. He and I have both voiced that we just have to stick it out whether we want to or not. That’s not how we WANT to live, but it is how we have lived.
Until now. I found something in this book, that made me feel like I saw Tim for the first time. Really saw him. Understood why he says I don’t listen to him, and looks at me with such frustration, hurt and anger. I got it! Here’s the scoop- not the whole carton, for that you will need to invest in your marriage, and get a copy of this book. Seriously. I disrespect him. A lot. Way more than I would have said before I read this book. In a counseling session last summer, I remember looking directly into his eyes and saying, “You want me to respect you? Are you KIDDING? Do you not know respect has to be EARNED? I love you, but I do not respect you.” I saw the light leave his eyes and I was disappointed in myself for hurting him, but justified myself, “Doesn’t he know what he has put me through? This is hell on earth, how dare he expect respect from me?”
As Dr. Eggerichs teaches, If He told me He didn’t love me, or that love must be earned, or that he respected me but didn’t love me- I would be crushed. It is the same emotion Tim experiences when I boldy tell and show him that I do not respect him.
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
It doesn’t say, “He must be worthy of your respect.” “He must never hurt you, and then you shall give him your respect.” or “If you feel love for one another, you must give him your respect.” OOOUUCH.
This hurt me so much, because I felt a blow to my gut. I don’t treat him with respect, and in front of people, I tend to be even worse, even if I am being honest, I should know it’s better to keep my mouth closed that hurt my husband through disrespectful words or actions. I have mastered the rolling eyes, half cocked head, and sigh of disappointment. I have cut him with words in front of others and forgotten that until he came to me, he was an athlete; a good athlete, one highly valued and respected by those around him. When I came along I not only showed him disrespect but I injured his pride and taught him that while he was accustomed to woman falling all over him for his athletic prowess, that I saw nothing in him to fawn over, at all.
I am so grateful for this book, this is the third day of having it in my possession and I am certain to be finished today, and practicing these easily applied principles to turn my marriage around.
For the 1st time in almost 9 years of marriage, I see that I have to own the fault, not of everything, but at the core of this marriage there is a dysfunction that I alone caused.
Check this book out! If for no other reason than verifying that you “DO” respect your husband. I wonder how many wonderful occasions in our relationship I missed due to my lack of giving him something that God called me to give him. Tim doesn’t ask for my respect but the Lord determined for him, that I was to be respectful period, regardless of his level of “worthiness”.