Love and Respect

Back when I wrote my weekly column for the Daily Times I would occasionally reach out to others to write the column for us. You will soon realize I did that this week. Our guest columnist is Johnathan Dobbs, who is the Preacher at the Aztec Church of Christ. He told me about an exciting marriage program they are about to begin and I asked him to share the details with you. I’m so glad he did and I believe you will be as well.

I am familiar with Emmerson Eggerichs and his Love and Respect program. I got to attend in Grand Junction several years ago and came away very impressed. I invite you to check it out and see what you think.

So without further ado, hereeeeee’s Johnathan:

If you’re married, or plan to get married, there is one thing of which you can be sure: At some point you and your significant other will have a severe disagreement. It’s inevitable.  No two people as similar, and yet different, will agree on everything all the time. This difference of opinion and perspective can actually bring health and vitality to a marriage, but often times couples allow those disagreements to drive them apart rather than bring them together.

You probably know the popular scenario. You say something, and your spouse disagrees.  This doesn’t have to be a decision about furniture.  This can be as simple as a critique.  The disagreement may look more like defensiveness. Yet, you have said something the other person does not like, and now they are frustrated.  So what do they do?  They say or do something hurtful in return, which escalates your feelings on the matter, causing you to react in like kind, and before you know it, you’re yelling and slamming doors, and the whole household is full of tension because of this fight that started off so simply and escalated to something out of control.

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs calls this the “Crazy Cycle” in his book “Love and Respect”. It feels pretty crazy, doesn’t it?  Two good natured people begin to tear one another apart because of something seemingly insignificant in the grand scheme of things.  However, what we say and how we say it greatly affects the ones we love.

Dr. Eggerichs recognized that the Bible paints a pretty clear picture of how a man is to treat his woman, and how a woman is to treat her man.  What he realized fit perfectly with known psychology, yet he also noticed that most of the marriage help books miss a major component of what the scripture lays out so plainly.

In Ephesians 5:33, the apostle, Paul, says, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

Did you see it? Did you see the difference? Marriage books that fill the shelves of every bookstore focus on one concept, love. Yet Paul states, and Dr. Eggerichs agrees, that love is what a woman needs most, but it is not what a man needs most.  What he needs more than love is respect.  The crazy cycle he sees looks like this: Without love she reacts without respect he reacts without love she reacts without respect… Before you know it, your marriage is set on the spin cycle, and, seemingly, there is no way to stop it!

Does this sound familiar? Does your marriage spin out of control like this at times?  You still love him/her, yet you find yourself at odds oftentimes, wondering how this could happen.

People go to marriage counseling all the time for problems such as these.

Are you interested in finding out more about this crazy cycle and even how to stop it and start something better? Dr. Eggerichs calls that something better the “Energizing Cycle” which leads to the “Rewarded Cycle”.

Beginning September 17, the Aztec church of Christ is offering a marriage class that explores all the concepts within Dr. Eggerichs’ research.  This class will feature a video of Dr. Eggerichs (filled with humor) followed by discussion.  The class, due to the amount of information covered for the health of your marriage, will be held each Sunday night for 14 weeks, ending on December 17.  It is free to the public (you don’t even have to go to church to attend).

If you’d like to be a part of this class meant to revive and strengthen your marriage, give Johnathan a call at the church at 334-6626 or check out the event on their facebook page at or send an email to Please RSVP so that they can prepare materials for you that will help you along throughout the class.

Marriages everywhere are hurting.  Every marriage can use some encouragement. If you know someone who could use the information in this seminar, please have them call or click online. Let’s work together to help marriages throughout the Four Corners be strengthened and healthy.