As a wife, you notice a man and a woman walking hand in hand.
You see a couple sitting together in the park, talking face to face on a bench.
You beam all the way through your friend's wedding.
As you pass the hospital, you see new parents coming from the maternity ward, and your mind races back to the birth of your child and what you felt as a couple.
You look at the world through pink sunglasses. (Forgive the stereotypical color pink, but it serves the biblical point I want to make.)
You see the presence of love. You scout for it. You can find it without looking for it. We believe God designed you this way.
Ephesians 5:33 commands husbands to love their wives. Wives need to feel love. Wives look to be loved. Love colors what wives see. She sees the presence of love.
You also see the absence of love, or what you feel is unloving.
You can see the sad countenance of a wife as she walks with her husband.
You listen carefully to the negative way your friend's husband talks to her.
You wonder why your husband does not say, "Let's talk," but instead reads the paper or works out.
In fact, if your husband does several things that feel unloving, you might say to him as you walk to the car from the parent-teacher meeting, "Why don't you ever hold my hand?! You only need me for one thing! I'm sick and tired of the lack of romance!”
When your husband counters, "Where is that coming from? This is unbelievable. I don't deserve this disrespect," you discount this as further evidence that he is clueless, insensitive and egotistical.
But could it be that your husband looks through different colored sunglasses? Could it be he’s not wrong…just different?
As a husband, you notice matters of honor.
The movie Saving Private Ryan, about the invasion of Normandy, tears you up as you fixate on the incredible heroism.
You follow the world champion sports team, feeling part of these guys who say, "We respect one another more than anybody on the planet. We'd do anything for one another. One for all, all for one! We're going to be number 1 again!"
The note from your growing son that says, "Dad, I respect you more than anybody" penetrates your heart like few things. That card is kept as gold.
The Purple Heart you won in the Gulf War sits on your shelf.
A picture of your war buddy who gave his life that you might live is center stage in your home study.
These things are about "strength and honor," the phrase from the movie The Gladiator. God designed men to be so moved by honor that they give their very lives. Men serve and die for honor.
You look at the world through blue sunglasses. You see the presence of respect. You scout for it. You can find it without looking for it. We believe God designed you this way.
Ephesians 5:33 commands wives to respect their husbands. Husbands need to feel respected. Husbands look to be respected. Respect colors what husbands see.
Conversely, men can be destroyed by contempt. Men pick up on the absence of respect. He looks at the world through blue sunglasses. Not wrong – just different.
Friends, a wife needs to feel loved for who she is. A husband needs to feel respected for who he is.
A husband has two choices. He can either condemn his wife for her pink lenses, or he can appreciate God's design of her pink outlook. And, I might add, if he seeks to see through her pink lenses, she tends to engage him on his blue perspective. If he is sensitive to her need for love, he can appeal to her to soften her disrespectful reactions.
A wife can either judge her husband's blue lenses as stupid, or thank God for His design of this man. Too, if she seeks to see through his blue lenses, he tends to respond to her pink perspective. If she is aware of his maleness, she can appeal to him to be tenderer in his reactions.
Who is right and who is wrong? A husband is right when needing to feel respected. He is wrong when reacting in unloving ways.
A wife is right when needing to feel loved. She is wrong when reacting in disrespectful ways.
A beautiful discovery a couple can make is this: my spouse is not wrong, just different. Pink is not wrong for being pink. She is simply different from blue. Blue is not wrong for being blue. He is simply different from pink.
The Love and Respect message enables couples to put on the other's
sunglasses during conflicts.
Copyright 2010 Love and Respect Ministries Inc. Emerson E. Eggerichs Ph.D.