Kurt and I have been reading an incredible book lately that I just must share called Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs http://www.loveandrespect.com/. I have to say it is not an easy read in the content. Extremely challenging, in fact, on many fronts, but biblical. The basic premise is that women need love, and men need respect. However, we tend to give what WE need not what the other person needs. And so we screw up the garden of Eden again and again with what Dr. Eggerich calls the "crazy cycle." Very appropriate! The book is highly engaging and gives helpful lists of what NOT to say, for those of us who need specifics! (Please excuse the late-night cheesy photo of ourselves. We realized with intense giggles that we had no pictures of us together and just in case either died in the night, we wanted at least one!).
I have been amazed at how much these principles of love & respect impact how we parent and love our children. My little man, Nathan, who is 3 years old is very concerned with who is the biggest, strongest, bravest...anything that demands respect. "Mommy, is Jesus the way biggest ever?" Andrea, my lovely beauty of a 5 year old, is only concerned with relationships. How does this make the other person feel? "Can't we all just tie!" To which my boy screams, "No, there must be a winner!" Aaahhh I have a front row seat to the innate gender differences on a daily basis. Andrea needs love. Nathan needs respect.
These principles of love and respect also impact my running. Kurt and I don't believe in parking on children in front of electronic babysitters (read no TV!) so we are always working out schedules so that I can run and Kurt can go fishing. That is no small challenge. This week especially has been difficult as we are rehabing the other side of our rental. My loving husband shows me love my doing the dishes and trying wiggle time in for me to go run. I try to respect his need to go fishing. It has been a real struggle, but very worth the effort. After reading this book, it did help us not to get upset when we see things through very different perspectives. We also know that Jesus has created us differently and we can appreciate and value those differences. Two thumbs up!