Book: Love and Respect

. July 25, 2011
  • Agregar a Technorati
  • Agregar a
  • Agregar a DiggIt!
  • Agregar a Yahoo!
  • Agregar a Google
  • Agregar a Meneame
  • Agregar a Furl
  • Agregar a Reddit
  • Agregar a Magnolia
  • Agregar a Blinklist
  • Agregar a Blogmarks

What could a book on marriage possibly have to do with funding your dream?

In its short existence, The Reformed Trader has drawn on everything I know: personal finance, investing, basic economics, cultural perspectives on time and productivity, and theology. This challenge has been a blessing for me, but I never suspected that God would open the door even wider.

Money appears to be the barrier that keeps us from our dreams, but it would be a deceptive oversimplification to stop there. Money is a test of your character (see Deuteronomy 8). You can see this in the lives of those who win the lottery. Those who have nothing greater to live for raise their standard of living, spend the money quickly, borrow even more, and end up with less than they started. Wealth is a great tool, but it makes a poor god.

Love and Respect

What does motivate people to live for something greater? Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, the author of Love and Respect, says that God communicates to us through a woman's need for love and a man's need for respect. These are powerful desires (Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Peter 3:1-7), and when they aren't met, we cry out and hurt others in desperation.

When a wife doesn't feel loved, she reaches out to her husband to try to "fix" the problem. But because a man's fundamental need is respect, he views her efforts as disrespectful attempts to fix him, not the relationship. He responds by cutting off what he views as unhealthy communication. This rejection leaves her feeling even more unloved, which causes her to treat him with even more of what he views as disrespect. Eggerichs calls this the Crazy Cycle.

But just as miscommunication can cause the Crazy Cycle to escalate, a healthy application of love and respect can cause appreciation and goodwill to escalate. Eggerichs calls this the Energizing Cycle.

These insights alone have been incredibly convicting to me. I can see how I've treated the women in my life in unloving ways, and a repentance-fest is currently underway.

So what does Dr. Eggerichs' thesis have to do with reaching your dream?

Funding Your Dream

Funding a dream as big as permanent overseas missions or sending your kids to a Christian school requires a great deal of vision and discipline.  I keep coming back to the idea of time perspective. If the future is important to both of you, you can work together to delay gratification, save money, and allow it to grow.

I'm not married, so I'm going to take a stab in the dark. Couples who are constantly living in unforgiveness are not going to have the reserves of patience necessary to spend ten or twenty years self-funding their dream.

But there's more than just being unified.

What Motivates Men?

If you're a pastor, you may have been thinking this whole time, "I can't even get the young men in my church to quit video games on Wednesday and help out with the kids. How are they supposed to dream and plan ahead with this kind of a work ethic?"

Although this is not universal, my suggestion is that a man generally gets a work ethic if he finds a woman he loves, someone who respects him. Because we're encouraging people to delay marriage until their thirties, men may not feel a need to grow up as quickly.

Look at what happened to Jacob once he met Rachel:

"Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than to give her to another man; stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her." (Genesis 29:18-20)

Jacob was willing to work for seven years as an indentured servant to marry the woman he loved. Most of us would have found this grueling, but to Jacob, it seemed like just a few days. I suspect it would be healthy to encourage men to stretch their wings and marry younger. There's something about love that can make service a joy.

But wait. There's more!

More than Love

Men are wired to need and understand respect. It's interesting to note that even men who are disobedient to God's Word can change, but Peter says it's with respect that wives win their husbands over. (1 Peter 3:1)

Even as someone who's not married, I can say from experience that respect matters. Every man, even an unmarried one, need to be someone's hero. This Web site exists because a few people stuck with me for years and never stopped encouraging me. I'll work until I'm too tired to stay awake because they think I can make a difference.

In Dr. Eggerichs' words, they believe in me more than I believe in myself. That is respect.

The Difference

Someone, somewhere is going to avoid the next crash of 2008 because he read this.

A college student will decide that she can have her dream of homeschooling and will begin saving money for it.

A young couple will decide to live on one income instead of two because of this. After seven years, that couple will move permanently overseas in service without any funding from their home church. That church will have more money for urgent local needs.

I'll never know their names, but the thought that a few articles can do something this big makes me want to work harder.

Imagine climbing Mt. Everest or catching alligators with your hands. This is bigger.

That makes it worth doing to the glory of God.