Love AND Respect



Part Three: LOVE & RESPECT

“We embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological. …We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us - so long as they think like us.” ~Nicholas Kristof, a staunch liberal in an article in the New York Times.

This is the point. And this is a big problem and is a danger all of us need to avoid. Especially as Christians because “the labels people put on you could cause you to miss God’s plan for you.” ~Andy Stanley.

Jesus modelled something completely different. Jesus was inclusive of ALL types of people. He didn’t subscribe to labels. He attracted Jews & Gentiles; Pharisees & Sadducees; Tax Collectors & Sinners despite the fact that they thought nothing alike.

We need to model our lives after Jesus. Remove the labels and embrace the power of AND.

Paul is teaching the church in Ephesus about marriage and he makes some very pointed and powerful points. Then after talking about the relationship between a husband and wife, he makes this point…

Ephesians 5:32-33 (NCV)

That secret is very important—I am talking about Christ and the church.

His teaching point about relationships is based upon how Jesus loved people and loves the church. Look at the powerful AND in his summary in the next verse. It’s subtle, but a vital lesson of how we are to love each other…

33 But each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband.

Love AND respect.

What is love?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

This is how Jesus loved and is how we are to love.

What is respect?

Ephesians 5:33 (AMP)

and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear].

The word respect is a translation of the Greek word timēsate, meaning “honor or value.” It literally means “to place a great value or high price on something.”

Love is cherishing and bringing security. Respect is honour and bringing significance. It’s being a raving fan.

Look at how Jesus modelled this with his followers.

John 13:3-5 (NIV)

3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

John 13:12-17 (NIV)

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

This is Love and Respect

17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Can you respect/value/honour even those that don't deserve it? Even those you may consider your 'enemy'?

Today’s Takeaway:

Jesus just didn’t give love when it wasn’t earned, He gave undeserved respect as well. #loveANDrespect #thepowerofAND #myvictory

Top 5 Marriage Books

True transformation comes from a renewed mind. A renewed mind comes from removing the old ways of thinking and putting on the new ways of thinking.

Our old ways of thinking are usually not our fault! Most of our unrenewed thinking was put in there by someone else, whether that be our parents, our teachers and coaches, our entertainment, or society in general. This wrong thinking is often only evident when it’s too late, when we mess up badly, and we reap the results of our mess up. Often this poor thinking will be revealed in the lies we tell ourselves or the excuses we use to justify those mistakes.

But there is hope. The best way to counter the specific lies we tell ourselves is with specific truths from the Bible. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said that true transformation comes from a renewed mind in Romans 12:2.

When it comes to relationships, most of us, have been so inundated with society’s thinking on marriage, dating, sex and relationships that there are deep seeded lies in our thinking that we aren't even aware are there. Again, this is not our fault. But the consequences of this wrong thinking is so devastating to our relationships and causes us, and those closest to us, so much pain.

What we all need to do, all of us - those who are believer’s in Jesus and those of you that aren’t, those of us that are married, and those of you who aren’t - is renew our thinking when it comes to relationships! Obviously, the way we think now in society isn’t working when over 50% of our marriages end up in divorce!

The only way to renew our minds, is to unpack the old ways of thinking and to put on the new. We need to renew our minds about marriage, relationships, sex, dating - all of it! We need to line up our thinking with what God and the Bible teach us about all of that. After all, He has the best track record when it comes to relationships.

The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:5 (NIV) "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:"

The truth is, all of us need to renew our mindsets when it comes to our marriage and relationships! Our society is feeding us so much misinformation, and it sounds so practical and right, but it is deadly!! And it’s tearing relationships apart and destroying people.

With that in mind, here are the Top 5 books I've read to date on marriage that have helped me renew my thinking. These 5 are all based on the Bible and share amazing revelations from God's Word that will revolutionize your marriage and relationships.

Top 5 Marriage Books:

  1. The Marriage Builder by Dr. Larry Crabb
  2. The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller
  3. Manage Your Man by Dr. Hazel Hill
  4. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  5. Sexperiment by Pastor Ed & Lisa Young

Question: What is the best marriage book you've read? Please leave your comment below in the "Leave a Reply" box.