Are Men or Women Wrong?
Men are you still trying to figure out why your wives can get so upset with you when you say or do a particular thing; your heart was pure. Are you wondering why she doesn’t respect you like she used to? …And women are you wondering why his words and actions are not more loving? You keep telling and telling him what you need; but he only becomes less loving. He gets quiet, walks away, becomes angry, and/or behaves unkindly and even cruel. We call this the Crazy Cycle, but it can be stopped.
Psychological studies affirm it, and the Bible has been saying it for ages. Cracking the communication code between a husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her. It’s the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, and yet few couples ever find.
Ephesians 5:33 says, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence (respect) her husband.” Notice, the instruction given to the husband is different than the wife’s in this passage. A good-willed wife innately loves her husband; but in turn, she desires to be loved. If he does not love her, like she thinks love should be, she will most likely, disrespect him. Then, if the husband feels disrespected, he will usually get quiet (stonewall). The woman desires “her kind” of love so she keeps on and on with him trying to get it. Now, he is feeling more and more disrespected and may come across to her as not loving her. This Crazy Cycle can destroy marriages unless we can find out how to get off of it.
Is this possible? …Absolutely. To help us understand the real problem, let us imagine women hearing with pink ears; speaking through a pink megaphone; and seeing through pink glasses. On the other hand, the man is hearing with blue ears; speaking through a blue megaphone; and seeing through blue glasses. Is there anything wrong with pink or blue? …No, they are just different. Jesus said, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female." (Mt. 19:4). …Wrong? …No, just different. In fact, all of God’s creation was good.
Lisa (fictitious names) says to her husband, Jim, many times, “I just wish I could lose this extra weight.” He purchases her a book on how to lose those extra pounds. He wants to fix her problem. Well, guess what happens? Lisa says, “What’s this? Are you saying that I’m fat?” He feels shocked; yes, disrespected by her. He elevates his voice and replies, “I thought you wanted to lose some weight.” She now feels unloved and acts more disrespectful. Jim and Lisa are on the Crazy Cycle spinning around and around.
What really happened with Jim and Lisa? Lisa feels loved by Jim when she can bear her heart to him, and his simply listening attentively with a caring presence; not one eye on her and one on the TV, cell phone, or computer. She does not desire him to fix her problem. In turn, men have an innate sense to fix everything. Are they wrong; no, just different.
As we have seen, the husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. This is a command from God Himself. The Greek word for “love” here is agape, meaning unconditional love. The wording of the rest of the passage strongly suggests that the husband should receive unconditional respect. Husbands and wives are too quick to believe that their “good-willed” mate is being unloving or disrespectful because they trust their pink or blue receptors. They must not react but choose to stay off of the Crazy Cycle by communicating unconditional love and respect. (See “Taking the Light”.)