My wife and I have been married since 1987, As a young married couple, we committed to each other to love and respect each other. As we watch others who are married today we are surprised at just how often couples can really break that covenant with each other. I promised my wife that no matter what happened in our marriage, I would never allow myself to verbally “wife bash” when I was hanging out with other guys. She too made this commitment, that when with other women she would not verbally disrespect me as her husband. It is a great feeling of love and trust that has been established over the years together and it has made our love stronger. By knowing that what we say to each other in person is what we describe to others behind our love ones back. I’ve been in the room when a guy will complain or make fun of something his wife has said or done, and while it may seem funny at the time, I know he’d never say those things in front of his wife, as he’d cause major damage to his relationship with her.

Respect and Love are vital to a healthy marriage and so I’m glad we made a promise to each other early on in our relationship to never say things behind each other’s back. We are challenge to resist the urge to join in when others begin tearing down or making jokes about someone’s spouse. MarriedPeople describes the Respect and Love habit this way: “Of the few verses God gives to husbands and wives, the directive to respect and love is commanded more than any other. This truth really can set us free when we understand the interplay of respect and love.”

As I sit and counsel with young couples today, I challenge them to make love and respect a cornerstone of their marriage so that they too will have total trust in their spouse to not only say sweet things to their face but behind their back. When we build each other up, we are building up our marriages and setting an example to the world of what God does for us. He desires the best things for his bride and so should we. Don’t settle for less than God’s best when it comes to love and respect. When you compromise, it allows the enemy an opportunity to have a place to divide the relationship. Practice love and respect when your away from each other and it will draw you even closer.

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