Posts tagged Ephesians 5:33

 Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,

and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:33

We sat circled around the table in the waning light. Seven of us leaning forward, listening as women do—nodding, questioning, wanting more.

We needed Sarah’s wisdom, relished her insights. Each of us craving answers to the questions that haunt us.

A moment caught up in intense honesty.

Many years ago, Sarah and her husband, Emmerson, rediscovered a truth long buried in the pages of Scripture. A truth too long ignored by teachers and discounted by readers of God’s Word. A truth they have dedicated their lives to helping the rest of us embrace for ourselves.

That truth is this:

God wired men to need respect like the air they breathe. And He made women to crave love with that same intensity.

And we knew that, all of us in this circle of sisters. Read the books, heard the wisdom, tried to remember how to say the words right.

All of us failing, confessing the flaws, looking sideways to see if anyone knew the depth of our own shame. Of the words we wish we could delete from our histories.

And then Sarah said the words: Why don’t we see this as sin?


Not weakness? Not issues? Couldn’t we say simply that we all struggle with this?


When I snap at my husband for not getting it right— that’s sin.

When I growl at him because he did it again— that’s sin.

Correct him about inconsequentials in front of wide-eyed little ones— it’s sin.

Deny him the passion his body craves— sin.


We don’t like it, any of us.

We’re good girls. Committed wives. Partners with our husbands in ministry and life.

We don’t sin on purpose. We don’t want to. Try hard not to.

But we know she’s right. This is sin, this way we don’t give our husbands the respect they need.

The way we make it their fault. The way we must be right; in control. The way we insist they be what we want because that’s what we’ve heard they should be.

The way we make them less than men.

And I think its time we started talking about this, my dear girls. This need men have for respect and our way too frequent failure to give them the honor God commanded us to hold out to His warriors.

Will you join me in this conversation? Give us your wisdom? Be honest about the discoveries you’ve made the hard way?

I’ll be gathering up your comments and posting a list soon of ways we can show respect the men in our lives.

And another list of ways we communicate dishonor to the men in our lives.

If you haven’t read the book that Emmerson and Sarah wrote about their discovery, order it now. It’s called Love & Respect, The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs.

Honestly, this is the one book I think we cannot afford to do without.

From my heart,


P.S. If you’re single and you want to know how this looks before you get married, Sarah’s daughter, Joy Eggerichs writes a fabulous blog called: love and respect now.








REDEEMING WHAT'S BROKEN... between you and your son

 It’s just past Mother’s Day. 

You’ve smiled and said your thanks and all is well.

But somewhere lurking just beneath the surface of your smile is that nagging wondering if all is really as well as you want it to be. And maybe it is— maybe everything is good between you and your kids or you and your mom.

But for a lot of moms it’s not.

Words were said. Awful words.

Or maybe worse— no words, just the sullen silence of rejection.

For the past few days we’ve been talking about fixing those broken places between us. Or at least trying to.

Trying God’s way, with the wisdom promised in His Word. Searching for how, begging for the strength to do it well, for the grace to push past all the pain and all the excuses and just do the right thing.

Today I just want to add a few words about fixing things with your grown sons.

Men are such a different breed. They look and smell and talk and think like aliens from Mars or Venus or wherever they’re supposed to have originated.

I know, I have two of them!

John Mark is my firstborn. I heaped all my perfectionist angst all over that poor guy from the moment he was born. Every ounce of my idealistic nature got aimed at John Mark. Before he was born I had it down— knew exactly what to do and how to do it. I would raise the perfect man.

Only I didn’t factor in all my own faults and flaws. And all the stuff I didn’t know. Or my blind spots or prejudices of just plain wrongness about things I was so sure I was right about.

I am so sorry John Mark. And so amazed that you love me still!

Matthew is my baby. Born with two sisters and nearly 12 years between them, my boys grew up with two different versions of me. The way-too-uptight version and the way-too-loosey-goosey version.

Except for a few years of horrific temper tantrums when he was really young, Matt has been just so easy to spoil.

He asks nice. With a smile and a hug and I-love-you-Mom, you’re-the-best.

How in the world do I say “no” to that?

Sometimes I have expected less than I should have and then doubted him and nagged and suggested and basically pestered my will on him. Enough to drive a guy crazy.

I am so sorry Matthew. And so amazed that you love me still!

But I’ve learned some things with all these mistakes I’ve made and all this grace my men have given back to me. And so I offer you…


between you and your son

1.  Respect him (Proverbs 21:9, Ephesians 5:33 for wives, but so wise for moms)

Men crave respect. They need it, thirst for it, feel broken without it. Your boy who grew into a man needs your respect. As his mother you hold incredible power over his vision of his value. If you respect him— you who know his history and his flaws and weaknesses, then he must be a man. Right?

Mothers have an opportunity to be the first to view their sons through the lenses of honor. But if you keep doubting him, keep nagging and poking and laughing at his less-than-perfect attempts at manhood, then you’ll hurt him deeply, Mom. Be very, very careful.

2.  Admire him (Proverbs 23:24,25)

Respect and admiration are not the same thing. Respect has to do with how you talk to him… how you treat him, how you respond. Admiration has to do with what you say. To admire someone is to notice him. To take a good long look at who he has become and then to pick out all the good parts and trumpet your discoveries loud and wide.

Admiration means doing your homework. Because somewhere between boyhood and manhood he took on some qualities and gifts and abilities that you might not know about.

What is he good at? What do other people think about him? Why do his friends like him? How about his kids?

Have you told him what you see? A lot?

3.  Ask his advice (Proverbs 26:12)

Your son knows some stuff that will and could and should help you live your life better. The ultimate show of respect and admiration from a mom is to ask for his advice. When you do that you are recognizing that he is a man now. A man worth listening to.

You don’t have to know it all anymore, moms. (And I’m preaching to me here…)

4.  Don’t need him (Genesis 2:24, Proverbs 25:6,7)

There is this weird tendency with us moms to think that after all we did for our children, they owe us.


And especially wrong for our sons. We raised our boys to be warriors and now they’re off fighting the battles in front of them. Earning a living, caring for a family, paying off debts, wrangling with customers and critics and who-knows-what-else-because-they’re-probably-not-going-to-tell-you!

Let’s challenge each other to be the one person in their circle of relationships that doesn’t need anything from them. Not a birthday card, not a phone call, not time or attention. If you get those things, great! But set your sons free to fight their battles like men, unencumbered by a needy mother.

5.  Don’t ever come between him and his wife (Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 4:29-32)



Do not infer, do not hint, do not smirk, do not sympathize. She is perfect and you love her. No matter what.

Now that’s easy for me to say. I happen to have the only honestly perfect daughter-in-law around. I loved her from the moment she poked her head out of the tent at my fortieth birthday party-camping trip.

And she loves me. I hear it and feel it and know it.

I wish everyone had a daughter-in-law like Tammy. And even as I write, I’m praying for whoever happens to be Matthew’s wife someday… please, please, please like me!


It might be a good idea for you to go over last weeks post with your son in mind.

Do you need to apologize? Most relationships need some clearing of the air to set things right again.

Relationships with our sons are not nearly so complicated as with our daughters. But they still take work. And a determination to do things well and wisely.

May you listen to what the Father is telling you and chose the way of redemption,

From my heart,


If you’ve got a story of God bringing your son back… or a story of a son who has graced you as mine have me, please tell us. These are the kinds of stories that give us hope.

Next Thursday… Redeeming What is Broken Between You And Your Mom