At our core, we have a tendency towards selfishness in our marriage.
At our core, we think we are better than our spouse.
At our core, we judge our spouse and hold them in contempt.
At our core, we are setup to fail in our marriage because these characteristics are the opposite of how those we love need to be loved.
At our core, we are setup to fail in our marriage because these characteristics create unrealistic expectations our spouse cannot live up to leading to disappointment and resentment.
Ephesians 5:33 (NIV) reminds us, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Contempt destroys marriages. It builds emotional walls and encourages us to hide behind pride. Contempt grows as we build our appearance of perfection and blame our spouse when the lack of perfection breaks through.
When you subtract contempt and add respect to your marriage, it will prosper.
Loving someone with respect means you accept their brokenness, you forgive them when they’re not perfect, you love them for who they are, you focus on the things they do right, and you praise them for their efforts.
When you subtract content and add respect to your marriage, you create a new core. A core that recognizes you never want to tear your family in half. A core that recognizes you don’t want to break your marriage vows to God. A core that ensures you won’t shred your children’s hearts by talking bad about their other parent, judging their other parent, or divorcing their other parent.