“A wife has one driving need—to feel loved. When that need is met, she is happy. A husband has one driving need—to feel respected. When that need is met, he is happy. When either of these needs isn’t met, things get crazy.” This is a quote from Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, a book my husband and I are reading. It is a good summation quote of the book, for the premise stems from Ephesians 5:33 in which Paul commands husbands to love (not respect) their wives and for wives to respect (not love) their husbands.
The truth is that men and women need both love and respect because they are off chutes of each other. If you love someone, you will respect them. If you respect someone, you will show them love (not necessarily romantic love but at least a brotherly, caring kind of love). The two influence each other. The difference is that men read in their brain acts of love as acts of respect. Women read acts of respect and honor as acts of love. Men and women need both, but they process them differently.
As my husband and I were reading and talking about this concept, I came to a realization about God. In Genesis, it tells us how God made man and woman in his image. That means that both male attributes and female attributes are aspects of God. He has no gender, but he encompasses the character traits that we often think of as feminine and masculine. For example, we think of females as nurturing and more caring. That is the way we were wired (generally speaking). God is also nurturing, comforting, and caring.
Therefore, since God encompasses the male and female attributes, than he must desire and need both the love and the respect. This may not seem like an eye-opening concept for it makes sense, but I think we, myself included, tend to separate the two. How often do we feel like He is this big God to be honored and respected and miss out on the intimate love He has for us? How often are we too focused on loving God that we forget to show respect to the King of Kings? We must give Him both.
He is the intimate friend with whom to walk on a beach, and He is the Holy Lord Almighty. He is the bridegroom, and He is the Victorious Warrior. He is Love, and He is the one whom we should revere. He is the lover of my soul, and the King of it also. We cannot separate the two. The word Jesus uses for worship when he is talking to the Samaritan woman has imagery that even supports this concept. It means to kiss the hand toward someone in respect or to bow down in reverence. He is worthy of our love and our respect, and worship should thus be an act of love and respect.