the smart, lovely, funny and clumsy Joy Eggerichs sent me and Matt Gates to the Love and Respect conference in Franklin, TN last weekend. Matt and i weren’t getting along, so she thought it would help. i kid. i kid. but seriously, Matt’s a real jerk. and by jerk, i mean not at all a jerk. except for when he beats me at pool.
Joy’s parentals, Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs, wrote the book on what successful relationship looks like between a man and a woman. literally. they actually wrote the book. Love and Respect to be exact. they have expanded on the written word by traveling around all over the place speaking to groups of old and married, the googly-eyed engaged and baffled singles.
what the Eggerichs’ have to say, impacts them/us all.
their advice is Biblical, practical and applicable no matter what stage of life you’re in. they don’t pull punches and they don’t shame anyone. both those things were key for me, because at heart, i’m a skeptic when it comes to those who dole out relationship advice.
i know, i know. hypocrite much?
i’d say “let me explain”, but it’s my blog and if you’ve been here for more than 10 minutes, you already know i’m going to do as i please.
a lot of what the church teaches about relationships is just plain wrong. on one hand it’s completely milk toast and lacks any real practicality. on the other hand, it deals out shame and a sense of never being able to live up to some unattainable standard.
Love and Respect does neither of those things. it is encouraging and smart and the principles are doable from the moment you learn them. i’m just sayin’, more than once i had a moment where i thought, “oh geez, i do that. i should probably knock it off.”
one thing that had a huge impact on me was when Emerson said, “Women are not commanded to agape (unconditional) love, they are designed for it. Men aren’t commanded to brotherly love, they are designed for it. Women are commanded to brotherly love, because that’s what men need. Men are commanded to unconditional love, because that’s what women need.”
of course that’s a paraphrase, Emerson is much smarter than i am, but you get the point. frankly, i was kind of angry that i had never been taught this before. it’s right there in scripture. how did it get missed?
there were several more things i learned and was surprised i had never heard before that made perfect sense, but i won’t try to explain them. i’d probably screw it up.
aside from a couple of awkward moments when people who recognized me asked if Matt was my husband and witnessing one couple leaving with the wife saying, “that’s what you said, but that’s not what you meant!” to her husband who looked like he wanted fall on the nearest sword, i’m glad i went.
get the book, go to a conference, whatever works for you, but just do yourself a favor and have a look at what Emerson and Sarah have to say. it will change you. for the better in case that wasn’t clear…
and if you’re single, it will give you huge jump start on understanding the opposite sex. Lord knows, that wouldn’t suck.
have any of you been to a conference or read the book?
what do think about men and women being designed for different kinds of love and commanded to act in other kinds?