"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." -Ephesians 5:33
Have you ever heard the phrases "men need respect", and "women need love"? I have to admit this idea was branded into my brain as a result of some amazing marriage coaching my husband and I had after we were engaged. But it wasn't until recently that these words jumped out at me as I was reading scripture — and how true they are!
We are all wired so differently — men and women, young and old, with different likes and dislikes, different desires and different motivations. Wouldn't it be true that we could best motivate and encourage each other if we knew what made the other person tick?
In the short amount of time I've been married, I've realized that what motivates me is different than what motivates my other half. His love languages are different then mine. In business and ministry, the same is true! Some may be motivated by challenge, others, serving others. Still, some are motivated by getting it right, while others are motivated by the fun of it all. But, at the end of the day, we each have two things in common — we need to feel loved, and we need to feel respected.
The picture of marriage and how we are to treat one another in the New Testament is quite different from some of the cultural experiences we've had about relationships. Our culture says, "Serve me!" when we are called to serve. (Matthew 20:28) Some believe marriage is to "be served" when Christ said, "lay down your life for your bride." (Ephesians 5:25) We think all our problems will end when someone comes into our lives to fix them for us. Instead, it reveals our greatest inadequacies and challenges us to become more like Christ.
In all our relationships, love and respect are key. How can you love and respect those you serve today?