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First of all, I titled this post. I’m guessing Renea would never end a sentence with the word “at” or use a double question mark. She’s far too classy.
I’ve asked Renea to write about her experience at a Love and Respect conference. Why?
Because I urge all my friends to go to a conference, REGARDLESS of their status. And I think you should too.
Yes, it’s entitled a “marriage” conference, but doctors don’t start performing surgery without going to med school, right? So, if you have any hope to marry, or encourage your married friends, I recommend you carve out some time to peruse the fall line-up for my parents’ pit stops.
Go. Trust me, I’ve been 50+ times and STILL learn something. I’m actually watching the DVD’s again right now. I don’t have cable so it’s kind of like watching Seinfeld re-runs, but not.
If you attend, you will get to meet my Momma. She is perfectly sweet with a hint of fiesty. She presents the practical application of the Love and Respect message. And then there is my Pops…If you ever had the thought, “Boy, Joy has weird hand movements and a peculiar sense of humor” then all of that will be explained when you see my father on stage.
I know what you are thinking, “Gee, Joy’s parents really push her to promote their stuff!”
Nope. My parents support ME as I try to serve YOU because they know I believe in the power of this message. They never ask me to promote A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
So why am I telling you to attend a conference? Because my hope is to not hear any of you saying 20 years from now what I have heard from countless Love and Respect attendees which is…
“I wish I would have known then, what I know now.”
Trust me, you can learn this stuff NOW.
My friend Renea took my challenge…and here is her take on the event:
I realize it isn’t cool to go to marriage conferences as a single person, and I admit, I did feel a bit strange.
But I’m a learning junkie. So when I’m offered tickets to a conference, I just can’t help myself. That’s how I ended up at a Love & Respect conference, and because I love learning, I learned a lot.
I don’t have a lot of trouble communicating with men; in fact, I find it easier, many times, than communicating with women. Yet even so, what I learned from L&R still helped me make my relationships with men… friends, family, dates… even better.
I’m more aware of the way I communicate both verbally and nonverbally, and I’m more aware of how men in my life react to what I’ve communicated. If I’m talking to a guy and he flares up or shuts down because of something I’ve just said, I work really hard to understand that what I said was probably received as disrespect even though I meant none, and then I ask, “Did that come off as disrespectful? I’m sorry; I didn’t mean it that way.” And then like magic much of the tension is diffused; we can work it out and talk it through more smoothly than the alternative; sometimes we’re able to just move on as if nothing ever happened.
Love & Respect has also helped me immensely in my ministry. I use and refer to the principles and techniques described in L&R—such as The Crazy Cycle, the air hose, and honoring the good-willed other (buy the book to see what I’m talking about!)—to answer the questions I get from people who are usually hurting and looking for relationship advice (like this one).
As a single person it isn’t as though I have nothing to offer married folk looking for marriage advice, but with the perspective I’ve gained from Love & Respect I am all the more equipped.
So as I see it, there are two very good reasons for us single folk to read the book and/or go to the conference: personal preparation and enrichment and empowerment of our ministry to our married friends.
You may not have emails coming to you from strangers as I do, but I’m sure you have married friends who don’t always have the perfect marriage. Just think of the connection you could have with them if you have read some of the same “marriage” books as they have.
(Which makes me consider the same exhortation ought to be given to the married guys and gals out there: What if you were reading some of the same books on unmarried Christian living as your single friends were? Think of how that might help you remember what it’s like; how it might help you bridge the gap your single friends might be working really hard to pretend isn’t there.)
Love & Respect has enriched my life. That’s cool in my book.
Have you ever committed time to learning about a subject matter that didn’t pertain to your stage in life (dating, marriage, parenting, etc.)? What motivated you?
What prevents you from studying healthy marriage practices as a single person?
What prevents you from picking up marriage books or going to conferences as a married person?
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.