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A Marriage Based On Love & Respect


      Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

      Love his own wife … and that she respects her husband. Eph. 5:33

A.      We read/hear what the text says … and agree with it:

1.      Husbands, love your wives.

2.      Wives, respect your husbands.

B.     But many – including Christians – have difficulty applying this text.


I.               What’s Going On?

A.      Many “fall in love”, then somehow “fall out of love.”

1.      What was once funny or tolerable now seems annoying or grating for many spouses.

2.      What was once “we do everything together” now seems like “we do everything separate”.

3.      What was once “I love you” is now “I don’t feel like I even know you anymore.”

II.             The Result of Many Marriages

A.      Spouses blame one another and justify their own behavior (response).

B.     Many see no hope for their marriage and contemplate or go through divorce.

C.     Or, they continue in an unhealthy one.

III.            But, What About Christian Spouses Who Desire to Glorify God?

A.      Even “good marriages” have misunderstandings between spouses.

B.     Naturally, the husband thinks, listens and speaks … like a man!

C.     Naturally, the wife thinks, listens and speaks … like a woman!

IV.          Is There a Biblical Answer?

A.      Our selfish (fleshly/worldly) nature. Jas. 3:14-16

B.     This can be traced back to “the Fall” of man. Gen. 3:16

1.      The curse meant that the wife should (lovingly) “desire” her husband, who in turn would rule over her, OR

2.      Her desire would be “for” her husband the same way sin was “for” Cain. Cp. Gen. 4:7

V.            God Specifically Charges What each Spouse Primarily Lacks:

A.      This doesn’t mean that other things aren’t beneficial or even needed.

B.     What it means is that the imperative given is most needed. e.g. 1 Cor. 13:1-3

1.      Faith, spiritual gifts, sacrifice and benevolence were needed.

2.      Without (agape) love, however, the other gifts would be profitless.

VI.          Women Need Love

A.      God “wired” women as naturally nurturing and sensitive. cp. 1 Thess. 2:7

B.     Men typically lack such traits and thus (husbands) are given the charge to (agape) “love” their wives. Cp. Eph. 5:33 (Col. 3:19).

C.     He typically lacks sensitivity to her need to be “loved” and is exhorted to dwell with her with such understanding. 1 Pet. 3:7

VII.         Men Need Respect

A.      God “wired” men to be leaders (headship): providers & protectors. cp. Gen. 2:15, 18; 1 Tim. 2:11-14

B.     Women typically have difficulty understanding a man’s need for respect.

1.      Example: greeting card market – geared toward the woman’s psyche (“love”).

2.      We don’t think anything about “earning” love yet readily express the need to “earn” respect.” cp. 1 Pet. 3:1-2; Eph. 6:1

VIII.       Breaking the Communication Barrier

A.      Our different “wiring” affect the ways we think, speak, listen, and behave.

B.     It behooves husbands and wives to understand the basic needs of each other.

C.     And the only way to promote understanding of our spouses is to rid our own selfishness by fulfilling what God desires for each spouse.

IX.          When Love and Respect Are Applied

A.      Husbands who sacrificially love their wives promote an environment to be respected by them, and

B.     Wives who respectfully submit to their husbands promote an environment to be loved by them.


A.      Do you want a better marriage based upon the will of God? Eph. 5:33

B.     If so:

1.      Men: love your wives.

2.      Women: respect your husbands.


Glory to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Franklin Church of Christ