I have been reminded lately of the cycle of love and respect. God's word teaches clearly that husbands are to love their wives and wives are to respect their husbands.
Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The books For Men Only and For Women Only spell this out clearly as well. Another author calls this love and respect cycle the "crazy cycle". Essentially the "crazy cycle" explains how that without love, women react without respect. Without respect, men react without love. Unless one partner takes the initiative to break the cycle, be the humble one, and serve his or her spouse with love and/or respect as needed, the crazy cycle continues and the relationship never grows to its fullest potential.
Although I was taught lots of things as a child and young person in church, this is one thing that I don't remember much time being spent on. Yes, I understood that men and women were different, but I don't remember specifically learning some of the fundamental skills needed to make marriages (and other relationships for that matter) work. Sure, one could argue that there are lots of facets of relationship building, and I would agree. But there are some fundamental truths in God's word where he teaches us how to relate to one another. The "one another" passages in the New Testament hold deep truths about how to minister to one another and build one another up while cultivating rich relationships.
This is one area that I am growing in and am looking forward to soaking in more of what God has to say about buliding deep relationships. Already, from experience, I'm learning that if we take God's word for what it is - truth - and live by the relationship principles set forth in it, we will experience rich blessings in our relationships!
5 hours ago