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Why I Bought These 3 Books (when I still had 3 to read)

I am not a voracious reader. Reading doesn’t seem productive enough. Fiction isn’t my thing and nonfiction takes effort. There are books that I think I should read or even want to read that I don’t read. When I have “spare” time, I’d rather pick up my crochet hook. Unless you find them at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet or Half Price Books, books are expensive.

Nevertheless, I’ve just purchased three new full-priced books. And for good reasons.

  1. An Author I Love.  When Emerson Eggerichs, PHD, publishes a new book, I add it to my library. Dr. Eggerichs is a pastor and master of communication whose Love & Respect message  has impacted my marriage, my faith, and the lives of others with whom I have shared it. His new book, Before You Hit Send, is not just for social media users, but for each of us to learn “how to prevent misunderstandings and, when verbal or written blunders are made, allow for understanding.” Who couldn’t use a little help in avoiding communication disasters that bring headache and heartache?
  2. A Desire for Greater Understanding.   As I wrote last week, I’ve decided not to bury my head in the sand and go on believing that the problems people have are usually of their own making. There are serious issues that need to be addressed in America. One of those is racism. After I determined to do some listening and reading , as well as  praying and pondering with regard to racial tension, a podcast episode from Phil Vischer, Skye Jethani, and Christian Taylor highlighted historical reasons for today’s sensitivity. During the discussion, Jethani again recommended Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, and this time I headed to our bookstore and bought a copy. Now to take the time to read it and possibly finish a blog post that I keep starting about racism.
  3. A New Favorite Psychologist?  The first words of my first blog post were “In the winter of 1990, a man who I was paying to help me through some depression…” I was in my late twenties and the counselor I was visiting suggested that I might enjoy reading some books about psychology. (I had called him out for trying to trick me into labeling my fears “irrational.”) Twenty-five years later, I found a psychologist on the internet who calls himself Iron Shrink and writes books about relationships and the human mind. I ordered a couple books, but while I agreed with some of his analysis and advice, I didn’t feel confident that he sees God as the creator of our bodies, souls, and spirits.  Then, last month, one of my Facebook friends shared an article about the effect that screens (TV, computer, phone) can have on young children. I clicked on the link and read the article. I noticed that I was now on a website called Mad in America. Interesting. So I poked around a bit on the site and scrolled through the list of writers, thinking that Emerson Eggerichs would be a great contributor. Among the experts’ bios, James Schroeder’s caught my eye. His book entitled Wholiness: The Unified Pursuit of Health, Harmony, Happiness, and Heaven was said to “focus on the ways in which the pursuit of holiness is synonymous with the drive towards wholeness.” Dr. Schroeder practices in Indiana and is possibly my new favorite psychologist. Of the three new books, his is the one I’ve started reading. Wholiness addresses the integration of the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of our being, something that I believe would greatly help the hurting people around us. Schroeder’s advice is to read only one chapter a day, but I’m having trouble complying.Three chapters in, he says, “If anxiety is the biggest deterrent to love, then pride is the biggest deterrent to truth.” That seems worth unpacking!

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—

this is your true and proper worship. 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,

but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Romans 12:1-3

 

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6 Ways to Energize Your Marriage

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I just don’t understand why my husband doesn’t (insert pet peeve here)!” or asking “How in the world did we get to such a crazy place in our marriage?”  Earlier this month, I led another group of wives through the video-based marriage course called “Respectfully Yours”.  There are two main reasons why I keep on offering to do this.  The first is that I can’t get enough of helping women gain insight into a very common reason for marital tension.  Secondly, as I keep on leading, I also keep on personally taking in this effective and encouraging teaching from Love and Respect Ministries.  Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, his wife Sarah, and their daughter Joy, present a challenging message to wives.  Those of us who have ears to hear it learn something very important about men and about ourselves.  And when we accept the challenge given, we find our marriages energized!

Here’s a crash course.  Research has revealed that if a marriage includes two things – love and respect – it has a great chance of lasting.  Husbands and wives need both of these elements.  But during a conflict, most women identify as feeling unloved, while most men feel disrespected.  What makes it CRAZY is that when she feels unloved, she negatively reacts in a way that feels disrespectful to him.  And when he feels disrespected, he negatively reacts in a way that feels unloving to her.

At this point, I want so badly to share all the things I have learned during a dozen times through “Respectfully Yours”, but this is a crash course entitled “A Different Approach.”  So here it is.

I’ll identify 3 things a wife can do to keep from unintentionally showing disrespect to her husband.

  1. Recognize that men and women are different by design.  Don’t blame him for not always understanding or dismiss him as uninterested in resolving issues.
  2. Be careful to say what you need to say with respectful words, tone, and facial expression at a time when both of you are calm.  Remember “It’s not what you say.  It’s how you say it.”
  3. Resist the temptation to point out his flaws or failures in front of your kids, parents, relatives, and friends.

Oh, how I want to keep going, but I’ll move on to 3 practical, proactive, and possibly surprising  things you can do as a wife to meet your husband’s need for respect.

  1. Be friendly!  Sadly, many husbands feel like their wives don’t like them.  Greet him at the door to show him you’re glad he’s home.  Smile more!
  2. Show how much you appreciate him by saying thank you.
  3. Recognize that while women love face-to-face talking, men often enjoy what Dr. Eggerichs calls shoulder-to-shoulder communication.  Just hang out with him while he’s working on a project or hobby and keep talking to a minimum.

Once again, I have to make myself stop at three suggestions, but if you give this different approach a try,  you may very well find your husband energized and your marriage moving in a positive direction.

If you want to know more about the effect of love and respect in marriage, please check out the free content (blog posts, videos, podcast episodes) on the ministry’s website.   You’ll also find downloadable content and books for purchase.  Perhaps I’ll see you in a future “Respectfully Yours” class.  That would truly make my joy complete.

“Ephesians 5:33 (ESV) However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. ”

 

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