However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV)
As I mentioned previously, Left Brain and I attended the Love and Respect Marriage Conference this past weekend. The presenters were Dr. Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs, who also wrote the bestselling book of the same title. Which we also bought. Before I share some of my favourite highlights - a little humour: because it will always serve you well when the going gets tough.
LOL. If I see that scene everyday for the rest of my life - I'd still laugh.
Okay -- on to the finer points. I don't want to share too much, because a) they have a BOOK
b) they have a WEBSITE, c) A Blog, but mostly d) I highly recommend attending a LIVE Conference if you are able.
Dr. Emerson states that the above biblical reference is the main basis for the principle that "women need love. Men need respect. It's as simple and as complicated as that."
(I should also make note that while this conference does have a foundation based on biblical scripture, there were many couples in attendance that were the "unchurched." Dr. Emerson has also conducted a lot of social research and counseling over 3 decades to complete this series. It is not solely intended for Christian couples.)
Further to that, when women react without respect, and men react without love, it creates something he refers to as the "Crazy Cycle:" a situation where we continue to negatively react to each other.
without love, she reacts without respect
without respect, he reacts without love
Well, quite honestly, he had my attention right as of Then! How many times has a simple discussion with your mate turned suddenly to disagreement, then suddenly to emotional, even angry exchange, until suddenly: you can't even remember what the issue was? WTH? How'd that happen? Further....what's the real issue? when the issue, is not the issue? Follow?
As they explained, each need is most apparent when threatened.
So, how do you get off this crazy train? How to get to the next cycle: The Energizing Cycle.
Simple. You must motivate your spouse towards this: the one who considers themselves the most mature should go first. (love that!)
His love motivates her respect motivates his love motivates........
This is something I see. We women have been fighting for equality for so long....and we finally have it! And that is a good thing in most areas. However. Equality doesn't mean SAME. This conference really brought home the truth of that: men and woman have different needs, different communication methods, different coping techniques, different intimacy strategies and needs. No one is right or wrong: just different. Why can't we celebrate that? Surely God in His wisdom (if you believe He is our Creator) had a reason for that. Because if we are supposed to be the same....isn't one of us redundant? unnecessary?
If you want to know all the ways a man can motivate his wife towards respect, and a woman can motivate her husband towards love -- you'll have to buy the book. Too much information for one coffee chat. In a nutshell: It Is All About You! Hold on there.
Meaning: You meeting your partner's needs. The wisest words spoken:
You cannot deprive a person of their deepest,
most earnest needs,
and expect them to be yours.
Seek to understand, not be understood. A man of honour will meet his wifes' needs in a humble and gentle manner. Ladies -- forget those half bible verses that have scared you away, thinking you must Submit to your husband's will and become his doormat. Nay, nay. Read the whole bible -- it is very clear that a husband and a wife are equal. Showing your husband respect does not equal giving him license to do whatever he desires. When the bible says the man is the "head" of the home, it refers to his responsibility: not a "right". Thus, it's okay to be his cheerleader every now and then. It does not make you weaker. But I am willing to bet it will make you fairer in his eyes!
Which can only lead to The Reward Cycle.
His love regardless
of her respect
regardless of his love, regardless...
I have written in my notebook: the reward cycle rewards forever, resulting in the unending first moment. That sounds pretty good! Is it attainable?
Clearly there are situations where it will not. No one expects a woman, loving or respectful aside, to remain in a dangerous, or even an abusive situation. Or where moral impurity exists. Dr. Emerson assures that if two good-willed people apply the principles, and be patient with one another: it will.
My response, is my responsibility. This reveals my true character. Left Brain does not cause me to be the way I am, he reveals the way I am. We must strive to decode each others communicative signals and deepest needs. Be slow to judge or assign blame. How could I protect the spirits' of my children so fiercely, yet cause the one of my beloved to deflate?
Will we have a perfect 10 marriage? Of course not. We are imperfect people. The bible even states that trouble is bound to come in a "Mawiage". But how much nicer would it be to soften the trials with love and respect?
Folks: it's a marathon, not a sprint. A race well worth running....and winning. Because you know, I got three little pairs of eyes watching us; 3 little pairs of ears listening. What kind of legacy shall I leave? My earnest hope is that where marriage is concerned, it is a godly one.
As for me, I do happen to believe I have a Father from up above, looking down in love....
.... who will one day ask me if I did what He commanded of me. Ok, Les, just stop for a minute. yes, ..I know he left the cap off the toothpaste so many times. Yes, yes...all those sports and then he forget your anniversary that one year. I know. Yes, I saw that he looked at the woman a tad too long. I know child, I see all. But Les...listen to me.. this is just me and you right now; forget him - I'll deal with him later. Right now, I am asking you: Les: I commanded your to respect your husband. Child, did you do what I commanded of you?
Some rewards are eternal you know.
**If you would like to see some video of Dr. Emerson in action, Go HERE. As you will see, he is quite good at inserting some humour into serious subject matter.**
What about you -- have you ever read the Love & Respect books, or attended a conference?