Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Love & Respect and the Crazy Cycle

Iron Knights,

In an effort to strengthen marriages across the unit, I will begin posting a series on marriage. Over the past several weeks I have been approached about counseling various couples in an effort to help them communicate more effectively and/or work through a crisis moment. As a Christian chaplain, my approach will primarily come from a biblical worldview. That being said, please understand that some posts may be Scripture and some may not directly come from the Bible. Either way, my purpose is to present truth … and hope … for our marriages.

~ Iron Knight Sheepdog

As for you, [CH Rios], promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely (Titus 2:1-6 NLT).

For the men in the audience, the Bible speaks of “self-control,” “being worthy of respect,” and “living wisely.” It also speaks of having a “sound faith” and “being filled with love and patience.” That last part isn’t for the man … it’s on behalf of those he calls family. Men – husbands … fathers – you have to be filled with love and patience to make your marriage and family work.

Women … you must “live in a way that honors God.” You can’t be someone who “slanders others” … particularly your husbands … and more importantly, not on social media! Don’t be a “heavy drinker.” “Teach others what is good.” If you’re an older, more seasoned woman/wife/mother, there is an expectation on you to share your wisdom with the younger, less experienced ladies.

You “must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children.” Help them to “live wisely and be pure.” Teach them to “work in their homes,” that is, to build their homes … strengthen the relationships within the family and make it a place where every person feels loved, valued, respected, and safe.

Don’t just encourage these young wives / mothers to “do good” but train them to “do good.” What does that mean? Train them to do the right thing the first time all the time. By your example, you will show them what right looks like.

Show them how “to be submissive to their husbands.” Submissive is usually where the females draw their swords and battle lines. “I will never submit to a man.” “I will never submit to someone I don’t respect.” “The Bible is so antiquated. It was written by a patriarchal society where men lorded over women.” If that’s your mind set then you are definitely going to be fighting an uphill battle for your marriage. I’m not saying that Christians get this right all the time. The evidence of that reality can be seen in any statistical data on divorce. Divorce is a prevalent among Christians as with non-Christians.

But we all fail because of two reasons: selfishness and lack of commitment. In reality, they are tied together. When one or both partners begin the journey to complete selfishness, the commitment to each other and the marriage begins to disintegrate. Ask yourself, “Is this where I am?” You must figure out a way to become unselfish. We become selfish because we chose not to love our spouse. We chose not to respect our spouse. We make the decision to walk away from commitment because humans are like water … we will always take the path of least resistance and relationships are no different.

“You may remember how the Beatles sang, “All you need is love.” I absolutely disagree with that conclusion. Five out of ten marriages today are ending in divorce because love alone is not enough. Yes, love is vital, especially for the wife, but what we have missed is the husband’s need for respect.”[1]

For more information about the Love & Respect book or marriage conferences, please visit:

http://loveandrespect.com/?gclid=CO-kpLebuMkCFQGTfgodnCsKog (Accessed November 30, 2015).

Love and Respect Live Marriage Conference

Colorado Springs, CO

February 12/13, 2016

[1] Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires. The Respect He Desperately Needs (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004), 3.

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