It took over a year, but Lindon and I finally finished Love & Respect.
You might wonder why in the world it took us so long? Well, we read it out loud…together.
We’re laughing as we imagine the confusion you might be experiencing right now. Yes, that’s right, we choose certain books to read together, from start to finish. Out loud. With each other. Sometimes we’ll read every morning for a week straight, and other times we’re lucky if we get to read once for the entire week, but we always stick with it.
The first time Trent, Lindon’s oldest son, heard we did this, he looked at us like we were really nerdy. Well, we definitely are nerdy, but not necessarily just because we read together! This interaction and time spent with one another provides the gateway for so many valuable resources, both personally and professionally. Sharing material that speaks to us as a couple not only benefits our marriage, but also gives us something ‘different’ to talk about. Professionally, it helps us build our coaching tool box for clients.
So, in as much as this past year has been incredibly busy and it’s taken us three times as long to finish this book as others we’ve read, it was well worth it.
Love & Respect, written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, explores why spouses react so negatively to each other, and how they can deal with such conflict quickly, easily and biblically. I was particularly intrigued when I discovered that Dr. Eggerichs’ Love & Respect curriculum closely mirrors the basic premise of my ‘Just Cuz’ theory – although he takes the concept to a whole new level and explains it with far more eloquence and skill than I!
With two failed marriages in my past, I knew the odds were stacked against me the third time around. The statistics are haunting and the chances for a third failure are astronomically high. Clearly, I not only had to ‘pick’ better (which I certainly did when I allowed God to choose my husband for me!), but I had to do things differently or I would end up in the same place. This was NOT an option. So I adopted my ‘Just Cuz’ policy. I was going to love and respect my husband ‘Just Cuz’ he was my husband and ‘Just Cuz’ God tells me to. That’s it. Lindon doesn’t need to ‘earn it’ or ‘deserve it’. Simply by default for the choice I made in agreeing to be his wife, he was going to get both…every day…no matter what…for as long as I live.
I can say with all honesty that there has not been one day since I became Mrs. Gareis that I’ve not accomplished this. Of course there have been moments of defeat, but I work very hard at staying true to my commitment, both to God and my husband.
Dr. Eggerichs goes many steps further. He explores the deeper meaning behind a husband’s driving need to feel respected and a wife’s driving need for love. He unpacks the ‘secret’ hidden in Ephesians 5:33 and shares how God revealed the love and respect connection right in the midst of scripture. Dr. Eggerichs also explains the three ‘Cycles’ he created to help couples understand and implement Love & Respect. They are:
- The Crazy Cycle – Control the Craziness
- The Energizing Cycle – Energize Each Other with Love and Respect
- The Rewarded Cycle – Enjoy the Rewards of a Godly Marriage
This morning as I was wrapping up this post, I asked Lindon what his biggest take-away was from Love & Respect. “We’re as different as pink and blue,” he responded. Dr. Eggerichs describes how women see through pink sunglasses and hear through pink hearing aids, and men see through blue sunglasses and hear through blue hearing aids. For Lindon, this visual analogy made the concept of vastly different communication styles in men and women much easier to understand… and wrap his blue brain around.
A few weeks ago my husband asked how I liked something he had made. It was YUM, but I suggested he might use a little more of a particular spice, I got this pouty look in response. “What’s your problem?” I teased, “I said your dish was delicious.” “Well, that’s not what my blue ears heard! They heard it tasted like crap!” “Seriously? (insert a little head bob here, maybe with some finger wave action going on too!) That is NOT what my pink lips said!” Oh my, we laughed SO hard, but this simple exchange was proof positive that Dr. Eggerichs’ pink and blue explanation speaks to so much truth which we desperately need to embrace and understand.
The book is packed full of useful information, practical application and relatable stories from readers who have flooded Dr. Eggerichs’ mailbox. Bar none, my favorite quote, “You can be right but wrong at the top of your voice.” Wow.
There are a multitude of marriage resource books available, but we would highly recommend keeping Love & Respect at the top of your ‘must read’ list.Never miss a blog post. Sign up for our weekly reminders in the box to the right. Thanks!