Should women respect their husbands unconditionally? Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect, says so.
I follow the Love and Respect guy, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in my Facebook news feed. (I’m issuing a trigger warning for one of our own who went to his church.) He now has an entire ministry/business based on the Love and Respect theme, including conferences, books, store, podcast, blog, etc.
Here is part of Eggerichs’ bio:
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is an internationally known public speaker on the topic of male-female relationships. Based on over three decades of counseling as well as scientific and biblical research, Dr. Eggerichs and his wife Sarah developed the Love and Respect Conference which they present to live audiences around the country.
This dynamic and life-changing conference is impacting the world, resulting in the healing and restoration of countless relationships. Dr. Eggerichs has authored several books, including the national bestseller Love & Respect, which is a Platinum and Book of the Year award winner, selling over 1.6 million copies.
My husband and I saw the Love & Respect video a former church offered. I liked some of it, but it seemed very black and white to me. If husbands really loved their wives and wives really respected their husbands, everything would be hunky dory.
I watched this before understanding the dynamics of abuse in a marriage. This was in the days I was taught that women should submit to husbands in all things and that if husbands did something wrong, we were to quietly pray for them and ask God to change their hearts. Women were to put up with any bad behavior so we could “win” them over by our behavior. If we didn’t win them over, we were told we were suffering for righteousness sake.
Eggerich has a series on wives’ unconditional respect of their husbands. The following two points jumped out at me and I thought we could use it for discussion:
3. Unconditional respect has nothing to do with a husband earning and deserving respect.
A wife’s respectful behavior is displayed independent of her husband. This is about who God calls the wife to be regardless of her husband. Her respect is not conditioned on her husband’s behavior. She will behave respectfully no matter how her husband behaves. She is a woman of dignity.
God calls a wife to conduct herself respectfully by focusing on the spirit of her husband, not his flesh–looking more deeply into that part of her husband where he longs to do what God calls him to do.
Yes, God is grieved by his sinful behavior. However God does not show contempt toward the spirit of her husband because that is not who God is, any more than He shows disdain toward her when she sins.
4. Unconditional respect can prompt a sense of conviction and win the heart of a disobedient husband.
Notice what happened in the story I shared yesterday. This wife’s husband surfaced his sin on the heels of her showing him respect.
Is this a Biblical teaching? Do you think this advice is wise to follow? Why is the onus on the wife to help change her husband’s behavior?