The Love and Respect Principle - April 2010

Home   Priest's desk   Church Theme   History of Parish   Life of St. Francis   Capuchins   Parish Structure   Ministries   BECs   Sacraments   Way Of The Cross   Weekly Bulletin   Year Planner   Parish Renewal Experience   Our Location   Prayers of St. Francis   Church Building Project   Franciscan For Justice And Peace   Inter-Religious Dialogue   New Hymns   Psalms   Vocation Promotion Team   Youth Website   Events   Others   Contact Us   Webmail
Part 1 - The ‘Love and Respect’ Principle

Maybe you’ve heard that a woman needs to be loved by her husband and a man needs to be respected by his wife. However, if you’re like the average man or woman, you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds great, but what does it mean?”

Men often define love differently than their wives, while women often don’t know how to define respect.
If both you and your spouse have these needs, but don’t know what they are, how can you satisfy each other?
Without a definition, it’s like trying to throw a dart at a board but you don’t know where to aim.

Part 2 - Basics of Love and Respect

Women need to feel loved, and men need to feel respected

Kelly wondered if her husband, Steve, would remember their 10th anniversary. Some years he had forgotten. But, this year, he remembered. He had found just the right card, and he was sure it would be a great anniversary. When he handed her the card, she beamed from ear to ear. But when she read it, her countenance turned sour and dark.

“It’s not bad…for a birthday card,” she scowled.

Steve stiffened at her anger. He meant well. What was written on the outside was great, but he had failed to read the inside. “Hey, an honest mistake. Give me a break.”

“An honest mistake? You just don’t care. You are so unloving!”

Now he was miffed. “Hey, give me a break.”

“You buy me a birthday card on our 10th anniversary and you expect me not be upset? I’d rather you hadn’t bought me any card at all!”

Feeling disrespected, he coldly said, “Fine, I’m going to the office.”

Love and respect

This conflict isn’t unique. Kelly felt unloved, and Steve felt disrespected, even contemptible in his wife’s eyes. When Decision Analysts, Inc. did a national survey on male-female relationships, one question for men read:

“Even the best relationships sometimes have conflicts on day-to-day issues. In the middle of a conflict with my wife, I am more likely to be feeling:

A. That my wife doesn’t respect me right now
B. That my wife doesn’t love me right now

Not surprisingly, 81.5 percent of men chose “A”.

The survey only substantiated what I had already discovered in my years of working with married couples: Women need to feel loved, and men need to feel respected. This may explain why Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:33 that a husband must love his wife and a wife must respect her husband. Both commands are unconditional. The hard part is that respect comes more easily to men, and love comes easier to women.

Part 3 - You're Stepping on My Air Hose!

When the husband sees the spirit of his wife deflate, he should realize he's stepping on her air hose and get off it.

Loving

Colossians 3:19 commands a husband to agape-love his wife ( love unconditionally). Obviously, she needs to feel loved.

Imagine that the wife has an air hose that goes to a love tank. She needs love like she needs air to breathe. When her husband stands on her air hose -buying a birthday card for their anniversary-she'll react negatively!

When the husband sees the spirit of his wife deflate, he should realize that he's stepping on her air hose and get off it. Though she may react in a disrespectful way, she is crying out, "I feel unloved by you right now. I can't believe you're doing this to me." If, in response, the husband heads to the "office", she'll feel even more unloved.

Respecting

Likewise, the husband needs respect, just as he needs air to breathe (1Peter 3:1-2). He, too, has an air hose to a tank labeled "respect", and as long as the air (respect) is coming through, he is just fine. But he deflates when his wife steps on his air hose by saying things like, "You don't care! You are so unloving!"
If she shows disrespect in an attempt to motivate him to be more loving, it hinders the relationship. A destructive cycle of feeling unloved and disrespected easily starts.

Husbands and wives must learn how to recognize when they are stepping on each other's hoses and respond appropriately. When a wife is careful to show respect - in obedience to God - her husband will stay connected and reachable. When a husband shows his wife love, her spirit will be reaffirmed. Then both will have the air they need to breathe.

Part 4 - The Crazy Cycle

What is the Crazy Cycle?

Craziness is when we keep doing the same thing - again and again - with the same ill effect. Marital craziness is when we do the same thing - over and over- with the same negative results. I call it the Crazy Cycle. When hurt and frustrated, we continue reacting in negative ways to motivate our spouse to be positive. Can you believe it? That's like flipping broken light switches for 30 minutes.

All who are married go through this cycle. The topics change, and the intensity varies, but the crazy cycle continues. One day the argument may be about a diet book, the next day the argument may be about child-rearing methods. Next month, it's about a marriage book and then about the lack of money.

This happens among good willed people. Sadly, some think they have a horrible marriage because of this craziness. Truth is, they are inches away from making an adjustment that can set them in a whole new and positive course.

Stopping the Crazy Cycle

The key is to see underneath this "craziness”, to the heart of a spouse.

Based on Ephesians 5:33, I discovered why a husband and wife react the way they do. We read, "each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband"

Because a wife needs love, a husband would be wise to assume his wife's negative reaction is rooted in her feeling unloved. On the other hand, because a husband needs respect, a wife would be prudent to assume her husband's negative reaction is rooted in his feeling disrespected.

Is it time for you to apply God's truth? It takes work, but it works. It may not be fair, but God's truth is revealed to people in unfair situations. A respectful or loving demeanor prevents a wife or husband from repeatedly flipping broken light switches.
Home   Priest's desk   Church Theme   History of Parish   Life of St. Francis   Capuchins   Parish Structure   Ministries   BECs   Sacraments   Way Of The Cross   Weekly Bulletin   Year Planner   Parish Renewal Experience   Our Location   Prayers of St. Francis   Church Building Project   Franciscan For Justice And Peace   Inter-Religious Dialogue   New Hymns   Psalms   Vocation Promotion Team   Youth Website   Events   Others   Contact Us   Webmail