I am going to go through each of the six chapters of "Love & Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, writing a letter to my husband as I ponder each of the aspects of how to spell "Respect" in his language. Dr. Eggerichs suggests that RESPECT is spelled: CHAIRS.
1. Conquest - His Desire to Work & Achieve
Husband of mine, I admire your willingness to work hard to provide for your family. I am astounded when I realize how much you know...about trucks, about scheduling, about the book-keeping, about costs vs profitability, about computers and programs...the list goes on. I am thankful that it is all in your capable hands, and that I don't have to take care of any of it.
I love to hear stories of your work day, especially anecdotes about grouchy receivers or kind produce managers. I even love to hear about the road hogs who cut you off, forcing you to slam on the brakes...because it motivates me to pray consistently for you when you are on the road.
God prepared you for this work, training you to be self-employed. Not everyone could handle the myriad of papers that need to be done in order to be in your own business. But you were trained in many little ways, through your computer business, through driving the orange truck 33 years ago, through all sorts of experiences that God planned for you.
I am here to be your helper, to file the papers and mail the letters and make the phone calls you don't have time to make. I love to do this, and I am thankful that God has given me talents that are complementary to yours.
I am proud of you, especially when you demonstrate strength under fire, as you have in the past few weeks. It gives me courage to go through trials walking beside you, when I see your determination to pray hard, and work hard. I follow you, as you follow our Lord!
2. Hierarchy - His Desire to Protect and Provide
Biblical Hierarchy teaches the man's responsibility to place himself over the female and protect her. Ephesians 5:22-24 "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything."
You, dear husband, have the awesome responsibility to love me, as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for her. Your duty is to protect me; mine is to place myself under that protection.
I admire you for protecting me, and for being willing to die for me. I know that if an intruder were to come into our home, you'd take action, giving up your life if necessary, in order to protect me and our children. This gives me a great feeling of security.
You have gone ahead in tangible ways, even when I didn't always support you, and done things that demonstrate that you are thinking of ways to make our home safer from the elements. You protected us by installing all those new windows - the great room we use for study is SO much better, now that you rebuilt the wall. It's warm and cozy, and every time I walk into it I thank God for your leadership and your willingness to go ahead and do what you know is right!
3. Authority - His Desire to Serve and to Lead
You are the one that God has placed in authority in this family. If I refuse to submit to you, I am refusing to trust in God.
I am so very thankful for your leadership. Your quiet strength is something I can fully lean on, and I appreciate that you make decisions for this family with wisdom, seeking the Lord. I am so thankful that you decided to rent that truck to take care of our customers while our truck is being repaired. I know you had to factor in how much the extra fuel will cost, and I know it hasn't been easy. But you, dear husband, have done what you needed to do. I admire you for that.
4. Insight - His Desire to Analyze and Counsel
You have insight that I am lacking. With all of my womanly intuition, there are things that I just don't see. You have a great way of cutting through all of the trappings and getting to the bottom of a problem.
I used to think more highly of my own intuition, but you have shown me over and over again that you are one smart cookie! You have spiritual insights that I just don't have, and again and again when you open the Scriptures and read a passage, I am amazed at things you elaborate on that I just didn't see.
I appreciate your advice. Sometimes I don't want to hear it, because I just want a listening ear, but I realize that you are male (thank God!) and you solve problems. It's just your nature. So, I will try to really listen when you give your opinion, because I know that God made us "pink" and "blue" for a reason. We need each other in order to make that perfect shade of "purple".
You know I sin. You know it better than any other person. Thank you for your constant forgiveness and love. Thank you for your perception and godly counsel. Thank you for letting me just be me...even when what I am is not so nice. You, dear husband, are my best counselor, and my best friend.
5. Relationship - His Desire for Shoulder-to-Shoulder Friendship
This was a real eye-opener for me! You know that I have trouble just sitting. I have often wondered why you want me to come along for the ride if you are going on an errand, but we don't talk. To me, it's a waste of valuable time. To you, it's building a friendship!
I really do like you, Rick. I don't just love you. And if you want me to come with you and just be there, saying nothing, I am happy to do so. I love to watch you work on things, but I never realized how important it is for you to have me do so. Next time you work on a project, I am going to sit with you and watch you for as long as you want me to!
6. S is for Something private.
I am so thankful that you are kind and generous and sweet and loving. You thrill me...but I will tell you all about that later.