Passage of the Day: Job 2: 9 – 10 … Then [Job’s] wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But [Job] said to [his wife], “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
My Journal for Today: Well, yesterday, influenced by the seminar my wife and I had attended this past weekend with Emerson, and his wife, Sara, Eggerich teaching on the marriage implications from <u>Ephesians 5: 33, I took Chuck Swindoll’s devotional study in a different direction than he had taught. I wrote, with some criticism yesterday of Job’s communication to his wife in Job 2: 10, indicating that I thought he reacted somewhat harshly with his choice of terms, calling her “foolish.” As it turns out, I should have read ahead one more day; because that’s the exact point that Dr. Swindoll makes in his devotional for this date; and so let me expound on it one more day, helping to imbed the material my wife, Elly, and I learned this past weekend.
In the materials Emerson Eggerich and his wife use in their seminars, they teach about what they call “the crazy cycle,” which is the downward spiral of communication which can result when a wife ignores her husband’s need for respect and/or a husband ignores his wife’s need for love. In other words, when a wife communicates (either by her choice of words or his misperception) that she disrespects her husband, as may have been the case with Job’s wife in Job 2: 9, his perception of being disrespected can, and often does, cause him to recoil with an unloving response. And when she perceives, by his silence or his harsh, reactive words, that he is being unloving, the wife will react with words or actions which are perceived as disrespectful by the husband. And, as we learned this weekend, a wife won’t give respect to a husband when she FEELS unloved; and a husband won’t be loving to his wife when he FEELS disrespected. And so goes “the crazy cycle” of damaging communication downward which flows against God’s commands in Ephesians 5: 33.
What Job and his wife communicated to one another by words and feelings in today’s highlight passage is an illustration that “crazy cycle” communication in a marriage has been going on for over 3000 years. And that’s why the Apostles addressed this matter so pointedly, Paul in Ephesians 5 and 1st Corinthians 7, and Peter in 1st Peter 3. But as the teaching, more specifically in Eph. 5: 33 teaches, we can avoid the crazy cycle and move into what the Eggerich calls the “energizing cycle,” by one or the other of a couple CHOOSING to go against nature and communicate what God commands us to speak into our spouse.
And here is how that goes. When a wife FEELS loved by her husband’s communication, she will have a tendency to treat him with respect. And visa versa, when a husband feels respected by his wife, he can – and often does, respond by giving her the love she needs. Therefore, when a husband feels disrespected, he will have to consciously and intentionally break through his feelings of disrespect and communicate love to his wife. OR … when a wife feels unloved, she needs to break through the crazy cycle by consciously communicating respect to her husband. And when this happens, by God’s grace being doled out through their love choices, the spouse who has been mature enough to give his/her spouse what they need, will note that this spouse will respond with what initiator desires from their mate, love for the wife or respect for the husband.
Elly and I came away from the “Love and Respect” Conference this past weekend feeling that it would have been so good for us to know these marital dynamics 45 years ago when we got married. We could have avoided many situations where either of us caused the other to feel unloved or disrespected; and our crazy cycles of communication could have been broken and we could have energized one or the other in our marriage by choosing to go against what comes natural by giving the other needed to energize our marriage as God has commanded in Eph. 5: 33.
And as we can read in today’s marital interchange, even Godly Job and his wife needed to learn this lesson as well. So, as I wrote yesterday, if you’re reading this perhaps you should go to the Eggerich, Love and Respect, website [link provided] and purchase one of their books to help you learn how to break the crazy cycles of communication in a marriage and getting the benefits of the energizing and rewarding effects of going against what is natural by communicating messages which give your spouse what he/she needs in your marriage.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, give me the enabling grace to speak love to my wife because she needs it from me; and help her to overcome what I probably deserve by giving me, with grace, what I need in the honor she shows to me. Holy Spirit, energize our marriage with Your grace. Amen