In the great book, Love and Respect, author Dr. Emerson Eggerichs emphasizes that women desire to be loved and men desperately need to be respected.
I’ve found another key “respect” in successful long-term relationships in the couples I’ve interviewed for my book: the men respect their wives’ ministries.
In talking with the men, I heard:
“My wife is the best mother. God called her to raise children; we are so fortunate that we have two sons and two daughters.”
“My wife was the first woman chair of the Parish Council at our church; I am so proud of her.”
"My wife is always organizing small prayer groups to pray for our mission trips. God has given her the spiritual gift as an intercessor.”
“My wife is incredible, I don’t know why she puts up with me! She is a great example of a Christian woman in the workplace. Her actions have led many women to become Christians.”
“Now that the kids are out of college, God has asked my wife to do some new things. She just organized a clothing drive for a girl’s orphanage in Haiti. She is amazing.”
It is obvious from these men’s comments that they not only love their wives, but they also respect their wives’ ministries and are proud to tell others. They frequently tell their wives, too, how much they respect them for following the Lord’s call.
Post-college, my roommate was a monogamous serial dater. She’d go out with a guy, fall in love within a few months and want to get married, intentionally not dating anyone else. She’d adopt his habits, going water-skiing every weekend, even though she hated anything athletic. The next summer she was hiking and back-packing and taking nature photographs. You guessed it; different boyfriend. It made it hard for her to stay connected to our church and our Ladies Bible Study, so she slowly drifted away. She didn’t end up marrying either one of them, but her boyfriends became her ministry.
I made the same mistake a few years later commuting when my boyfriend moved to a town 1-1/2 hours away. He couldn’t ever leave to visit me because of his new business. So I drove there every other weekend and then worked at my job on the Sundays when I stayed in town. I was rarely at my church on Sundays; I ended up giving up my church and my Christian friends to be with him. He became my ministry. I was lost when we broke up after 3+ years of commuting.
A blog reader emailed in response to my post, “REBUKE vs. LOVE” last week, “If he really loves her, he’ll go to church with her at her church and support her staying involved with her Christian friends. If he expects her to change what God has called her to do for his convenience, it isn’t really love, in fact, it’s not a relationship at all. Only when the man respects the woman’s ministries will a relationship last happily for a long time.”
Although women desire love, they also need respect for what God has called them to do.
Do you know someone who is moving away from her church, her Christian support system and her God because of a new romance? Forward this email and start a conversation.
I’d like to hear your thoughts, too. Please comment below.
Blessings, my friend,
Click here to read: Dating Rule #1: Be Real