Rewards For Obedience

I finished the book "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerichs today. In case you didn't read my last couple of posts, there are three cycles discussed in the book: the first was the Crazy Cycle, the second was the Energizing Cycle. If you missed these posts, please check them out, because this post is building on those previous posts! The final cycle discussed was the Rewarded Cycle.

When I started this section I thought it was going to re-visit the idea that if the husband loves the wife it makes her want to respect him more and he is rewarded through that, and if the wife respects her husband he'll want to love her more and she'll be rewarded through that. But I was wrong. This chapter was not about what happens when a husband and wife are both loving and respecting each other and the related rewards - it talked about the rewards a husband or wife will receive if they love or respect the other and are not getting a positive response from their spouse.

Part of the chapter encouraged you to hang in there and keep respecting your husband, because it was likely that your husband is experiencing changes internally where you just can't see them yet. But the main point was that even if your husband never shows love to you, if you continue to respect him you are doing what the Lord has told you to do. You are acting in obedience to God, and you will be rewarded in different ways for that.

By obeying the Lord in this (and in any commandment of God's), you are storing up rewards for yourself in heaven. Respecting your husband or loving your wife should not be done solely in order to produce a change of behaviour or an improvement in the marriage, but our sole motivation should be to obey the Lord. And the Lord has commanded us to do this. If we focus on pleasing the Lord it will help us to respond in a proper way to our spouses, even when they are not responding in a proper way to us. And if we do it unto the Lord, He will reward us for our faithfulness someday.

The second reward is in providing a good example to your children by acting in a godly manner toward your spouse. They learn from the way you behave toward your spouse, and if you can behave in a godly way it doesn't matter what your spouse does - your children will see the way you do what is right, and they will remember you well for it and try to do the same thing in their lives. Obeying God in this is a way to leave a legacy.

And the final way to be rewarded is in eventually winning over your spouse through your obedience to God - this is the reward that was discussed previously.

I thought this section was a good reminder that it doesn't matter what others do - we are called to act in obedience to God in every area of our life, not because we'll get anything out of it, but because it will please the Lord. And that is the most important reason to work on respecting our husbands (or loving your wives).

I really enjoyed this book, and through reading it I have learned alot of ways that I can try to improve my marriage, even though I've only been married eight months! As I was reading the book I was remembering alot of my arguments with Derek so far - and I realized most of our arguments started because of a lack of love or respect. And I will admit, I think i's mostly been a lack of respect on my part - if I had reacted in a more respectful way, the argument probably wouldn't have escalated, or may not even have happened at all.

The only way I can improve in this is with the Lord's help, and I'm counting on Him to help me in this area!

Once again, if you are married or hope to be married one day, I highly recommend this book! Go buy or rent it from the library ASAP! I think it's important to learn as much as you can about how to have a good marriage while it's still early on in our marriages - it will help us to prepare for a lifetime of married bliss, and make a happy marriage much more likely, not only now but for years in the future.
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katie said...

This book sounds excellent! Thanks for the tip. (I think I may have commented on it before, but I can't remember and I'm not going back to check!).

BTW: That green dress is beautiful!

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