I am an "aha" moment junkie. Call me Oprah, but I just love learning about our emotional anatomy and why we act and react the way we do. One of my many "aha" moments while reading Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs occurred in Chapter 23. Dr. Eggerichs explains that marriage is a test, and wives should show their husbands (and husbands their wives) unconditional respect and love in the same way that love and respect is shown to Jesus Christ. Dr. Eggerichs says, "In the ultimate sense, your marriage has nothing to do with your spouse. It has everything to do with your relationship to Jesus Christ".
The author states, "Ultimately, you practice love or respect because beyond your spouse you see Jesus Christ and you envision a moment when you will be standing before Him at the final judgment, realizing that your marriage was really a tool and a test to deepen and demonstrate your love and your reverence for your Lord".
This chapter gave me an entirely new perspective. I like how the author does not base this comparison on submission. He also challenges husbands with this same test. I know this can be a controversial subject, but I think that being a "submissive wife" is often taken to the extreme. I believe that husbands should be the spiritual leader of the home, but I also believe that husbands and wives should be a team without a literal hierarchy.
I've heard people say that wives should submit to their husbands regardless of the man's behavior. One woman even told me once that if your husband cheats on you, you should invite the msitress into your home. I know, ridiculous. Women who have husbands who commit adulterly or verbally or physically abuse them, for example, should be excluded from the unconditional love and respect standard in my opionion. This is not to say that people can't change and marriages cannot overcome these types of obstacles. I just don't think that women should feel obligated to stay prisoners in destructive relationships because the ultimate goal is unconditional love and respect. Sometimes people don't change and marriages don't work, and this doesn't mean that you have failed as a person.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that my goal is to love and respect T like I love and respect my Lord and Savior. I have never viewed our relationship in this sense...as a test. I think that it's a great way to look at our relationship because it takes the selfishness out of it and replaces the everyday struggles with unconditional love and respect with a bigger picture at heart.
Just something to think about.