Friday, November 21, 2008

Love and Respect

Recently something has spoken to my heart and I feel compelled to write about it. Nothing is probably more evident to us as humans that their are stark differences between a man and woman. Not only in all of the most evident ways, but in ways that go deeper. We not only communicate differently, but our deepest needs are different.

In reference to Ephesians 5:33 Paul writes to the people about relationship. He speaks to the heart of the matter when he says "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she gives respect to her husband." In that beautiful passage the apostle Paul speaks to us of the divine nature of the man and woman.

A woman's focus is on love. Feeling loved, making others feel loved. Just imagine it's like seeing everything through pink sunglasses and these pink hearing aides. What makes her feel most valued are Closeness, Openness, Understanding, Peacemaking, Loyalty and Esteem. Men on the other hand are much more focused on earning Respect, Leading, Providing, Relationship, and Insight. He has on the blue sunglasses and hears through the blue hearing aid.

Simple example of this:
She says: "I have nothing to wear"
He says: "I have nothing to wear"

She means: I need new clothes

He means: I have no clean clothes.

I know, really. That's the honest truth.

An example that illustrates this further is. Think about an anniversary or birthday. He goes out, so proud of himself that he remembers. Runs into hallmark, grabs a card that he thinks "looks perfect." He comes home offers it to his wife, and looks on proudly as she opens it.

She opens it. It says "happy birthday" on the inside. It's their 2nd anniversary. She looks at him, and instead of acknowledging his efforts, says "how could you, how could you be so insensitive to give me this card."

All the man hears is "my actions are not good enough. I'm not good enough. She doesn't even care that I tried."

I think this speaks volumes. And I think it speaks to the heart of the matter. We need to see the Crazy Cycle for what it is.When a woman doesn't feel loved she acts out of disrespect and negativity. When a man doesn't feel respect he isn't apt to show much love. See above. But the cycle can be reversed and change into the Energizing Cycle so easily.

It's when we acknowledge these differences and take on the approach "my response is my responsibility" and look to work on ways that we can show more love and more respect that our hearts soften. It's working to understand the differences between our deepest needs that we can truly begin and work to fulfill them.

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