Love and Respect.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself and the wife respect her husband.
My wife & I were privileged to be able to attend the “Love & Respect Conference” this past weekend at our home church, Emmanuel Christian Center. This is a weekend seminar which was started in 1999 by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and his wife Sarah.
I can honestly tell you it was the most powerful venue on relationships that my wife and I have attended in our 5 ½ years of marriage.
I found it enriching, enlightening and entertaining.
I’m going to spare the dramatics and tell you that my wife and I were not on the verge of divorce, with this seminar bringing us back from the brink. I have always felt we have had a great marriage. However, as this week’s saying on our church marquee indicates: “God can promise a safe landing, not a smooth flight.” Married life can entail a fair amount of “craziness.” What this conference was intended to do is to help couples recognize a thing called “The Crazy Cycle”, and how to get out of it sooner rather than later. To paraphrase Ephesians 5:33, women need love, men need respect. “The Crazy Cycle” is when a woman without love reacts to her husband without respect. The husband, without respect, reacts to his wife without love.
Without love, she reacts without respect. Without respect, he reacts without love. Without love, she reacts without respect. Without respect, he reacts without love. And so on.
I am certain I could not accurately convey the everlasting impact left on my wife and I after this past weekend. That would be the equivalent of trying to explain the beauty of a rainbow to someone who has been blind from birth.
Again, this isn’t a conference designed exclusively for those who are having marital troubles. There are also practical applications which can also be used to solidify already thriving unions.
With the divorce rate in this country over 50%, many people would surmise that we have a “marriage crisis.” What this past weekend’s conference crystallized for me was that we don’t have a marriage crisis but a “spiritual crisis.” If married couples who have difficulties were to approach their marriage based on the spirituality aspect that has always been intended (i.e. as stated in Ephesians 5:33), where would we be today?
Given the continued decay and attack on traditional marriage in this country, the “Love and Respect” message could not be more well-timed.
My sincere thanks to Dr. Emerson & Sarah Eggerichs for dedicating their lives’ work to providing valuable insight into such a concept as “Love and Respect” in a marriage. My wife and I were able to concur that you are truly making a difference in the lives of married couples across this great country.