Nowhere in the Bible does it say that husbands are more indifferent to marriage than wives. Nowhere. I looked at every verse on marriage in the Bible. For example, when I saw the husband breaking the covenant of marriage, as recorded in Malachi 2, I saw the wife breaking the covenant of marriage, as recorded in Proverbs 2.
Malachi 2:14, "… the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant."Or, when I saw a widow weeping over the loss of her husband, I saw a widower weeping over the loss of his wife. In studying the Song of Solomon, I saw a man and woman caring deeply about their relationship. Scripture assumes and asserts that both men and women have a desire -- apart from the gift of celibacy -- to marry and remain happily married. Each goes into a marriage with the expectation of experiencing love and respect (Ephesians 5:33).
Proverbs 2:17, “ That leaves the companion of her youth And forgets the covenant of her God."
Why then the attitude among some that husbands are at fault for nine out of ten problems in the marriage? Though that statistic may be high, I held to that belief myself years ago. After all, who came in for marital counseling most often? Wives! But one day the Lord spoke to my heart in an inaudible way. “Where in my Word do I reveal that men are more indifferent to marriage?" As I studied, I could not find a definitive answer on that in the Bible.
Why did it appear that husbands resisted marriage conferences, reading marriage books, and marital counseling? Well, in fact, they did! But, I realized that speakers, authors and counselors spoke the mother tongue of wives. Few spoke the mother tongue of husbands (Ephesians 5:33b; 1 Peter 3:2). In other words, LOVE TALK -- the mother tongue of wives -- dominated the marital scene in Western culture, whereas RESPECT TALK -- the mother tongue of husbands -- capitulated to the strong voice of feminism. For some reason, no one knew how to put a voice and vocabulary to what men felt and thought. Whenever a man surfaced the notion that he needed respect, someone quickly defined his words to mean his wife must fear his dominance. Because no wife worth her salt would subscribe to such an antiquated position, the idea of respecting a husband went by the wayside.
However, when I realized Biblically that husbands would come to the marital table with as much intensity about the relationship as wives, I launched the campaign of Love and Respect in marriage. I took the position that if I spoke both the mother tongue of wives and the mother tongue of husbands in a live conference, in a fair and balanced manner, husbands would engage the message. Interestingly, when I first talked with a publisher about the Love and Respect book, the publisher urged me to write the book to wives. I asked, "Why?" The publisher responded, "Because women read the books on marriage." I then said, "Did it ever occur to you that women read the books on marriage because authors write those books in the mother tongue of these women? Let me write this book in a fair and balanced way and men will buy this book."
I don't have gender statistics on who purchases the Love and Respect book, but I know that 49% of those who initiate coming to the Love and Respect marriage conference are men. I assume the same about the book. I continue to receive this kind of e-mail:
“My husband became acquainted with this book… and at his request I purchased this book. He read the book first while away on a trip to see my parents, and he called me on the first day of his trip and said someone wrote a book about us! He was so excited about how we could improve our marriage. We have been married for 24 years and things were ok. But, we both knew that we were in for major changes because our youngest left for college this past fall. We knew we needed help… We discussed it and put it into practice. Our friends all noticed a great change in our marriage/relationship, and most of all our relationship with God. Since then I have been asked to lead an adult Sunday school class. They all wanted to do this study. They want to know the 'secret'. So I have started a class with the average attendance of 20 adults. The class has members from 55-24, married, divorced, and single. Everyone is purchasing the book and workbook. My husband and I have purchased the DVDs also to use along with the study. I know this changed and saved our marriage…. Thank you for writing a book that spoke to me and my husband. Even my children who are 21 and 18 have noticed the change. My son and his girlfriend are getting this book for Christmas.” K.C.
Husbands get excited about their marriages when we reintroduce RESPECT TALK, their mother tongue, to the marriage equation. Husbands love marriage!
Originally Posted 10/22/08