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I wish you could all hang out with my friend, Katie. She’s one of those people who makes you laugh—most of the time without intentionally trying.
I would also like you to meet Katie because she could essentially be called the co-founder of Love and Respect Now.
Together, Katie and I dreamed up the LRN name, shot all the original Ask Joy videos that are slightly out of focus with awkward audio (including Katie’s giggles) and, even before The Illumination Project had it’s name, she was dreaming and praying about it with me, too.
She and her husband moved to Utah a few years ago, but I know her belief and prayers for this work won’t die out anytime soon. That being said, I thought I’d have Katie share a little bit of her journey with Love and Respect. If you have one, I would love to hear that, too!
Six years ago I pulled into Portland, Oregon with $600, no job, and no friends. Luckily, I had heard of a church called Imago Dei Community, and began attending my first week in town.
It was there that I met Joy.
“My parents run a marriage ministry,” she told me during our first conversation. “Love & Respect?” I asked. Joy was surprised that I, a single 23 year-old, had heard of her parents’ ministry. In fact, it had been several years since I’d heard the message, but Dr. Eggerichs’ words were still fresh in my mind.
I was a senior in high school when I first heard the message of Love & Respect. It was a day like any other day, running errands with my mom. I decided to stay in the car and do some homework while my mom made a return. The radio was playing in the background and happened to be tuned into Focus on the Family. They were interviewing Dr. Emerson Eggerichs on marriage truths.
While I casually listened, something Dr. Eggerichs said struck me—call it a “lightbulb” moment.
Dr. Eggerichs spoke about a theory he called “The Crazy Cycle,” in which a husband will tend to react negatively when feeling disrespected and likewise, a wife will tend to react negatively when feeling unloved.
When a spouse is not meeting the other’s need (the need to be respected or loved), both spouses enter the crazy cycle and so begins the downward spiral.
Dr. Eggerichs went on to talk about looking through “pink and blue” sunglasses and how the colors blue and pink create the color purple. “Purple,” he went on to say, “is the color of royalty, the color of Christ.”
I was so encouraged by what I was hearing that I got out my pen and notebook and began taking notes. What struck me as powerful was that all of what Dr. Eggerichs was saying was taken right out of Scripture.
There were no lists of to-do’s or 5 steps to finding Mr. Proverbs 31 (yes, there is a book titled Finding Mr. Proverbs 31). I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard this message before—it was so simple, and yet so very powerful.
Joy and I continued our friendship after that first conversation, and later on I was encouraged to find out that Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs truly practiced (and still practice) what they preach—living out the Love & Respect message in their marriage every day. Likewise, the truth they preach has had a profound influence in my marriage with my husband, Noah. As I strive to respect him, it is also my hope that our son, Hudson, would know what Love & Respect looks like between his mom and dad.
Beyond that, Love & Respect affects the way I interact with my father and two brothers, as well as other male friendships.
Needless to say, I’m glad I know what I know now, and also that I had the privilege of hearing it at the age of 18 as a single woman. It is a beautiful message and promise that offers hope, not only to my parent’s generation but also to the young and single who might be in a completely different spot in life.
Today, Noah and I still struggle to put these principles into practice, and for that we are at the mercy of God’s grace.
Love & Respect sticks with us because it’s simple, and not full of fluff like many of the other Christian relationship books out there. Based simply on God’s Word, it is rooted in scripture and not Christian opinion. I’m not against Christian relationship books, or any others for that matter; however, I believe that God’s Word gives us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him and His Word (2 Peter 1:3).
I still have those notes I took while hearing Dr. Eggerichs for the first time on the radio. Our family is so thankful for the influence that Love & Respect has on our marriage as well as our friendships.
Do you remember the first time you heard the Love & Respect message? What stuck out to you?
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.