Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Book of Love (and Respect)

I am currently reading a book, For Women Only, which is designed to help women understand the mind and emotions of men.  There's also a book titled For Men Only, which helps men better understand the female species.  Phil is reading that one.  Don't worry!  Our marriage isn't in trouble!  This stuff just interests us, and since love is knowledge, the more we know about one another, the better.  Much as a physically fit athlete continues to work out, a healthy marriage continues to grow and improve when both spouses put in the work required.  

I am finding these insights on how men think very interesting, especially since I have to raise six boys to become men, and knowing how they tick should help me on that path.   I haven't finished the book yet, and I don't want to jump the gun in reviewing it too early, so I will just discuss one of the first eye-opening moments in the book.  

The author describes a survey where the participants were asked to choose the lesser evil between being unloved or being disrespected.  To her (and my) amazement, the men said they would rather feel unloved than disrespected.  The women chose the opposite, which made sense to me.  Being unloved for the rest of my life sounds like hell on earth.  Now I know, that love and respect go hand in hand.  So it's a bit hard to separate them out like this survey did, but it does make a good point.. that men have a great desire to feel respected and women have a great desire to feel loved.  Another Author we all know and love, made the same point a long time ago.

The first reading today is as follows (from EPH 5:21-33):

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the Church,
he himself the savior of the Body.
As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the Church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the Church,
because we are members of his Body.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,
and the wife should respect her husband.

The Bible had the answer all along on how to make our spouse feel cherished and happy!  Husbands are told to LOVE their wives and wives are told to RESPECT their husbands.  Maybe you all already made this connection before, but it was a little aha moment for me to have just read about it in the book and then also in The Book, ya know?  I always viewed this reading as more of a "husband is the head of the house" reminder, but now I see it as a reminder of how to love my husband best, by making sure he feels respected.  And he can fulfill my needs by making sure I feel loved.  Isn't God awesome in His design of our creation and then His ability to give us the Book filled with answers?  It's kinda like He literally wrote the book of love :)

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