If you are married or parenting, you may be interested in knowing the 7 Pillars of Mutual Respect.
You may have noticed I’ve been a little sporadic in blogging of late. I’m really sorry about that… and I really appreciate the emails and pm’s of encouragement. I have a number of life circumstances that have pushed my whole thought about balance out the window. I’ve hunkered down to the nitty-gritty necessities, and am realizing I’m able to come up for air a bit and need to. I apologize for the inconsistency and hope to blog about the research behind the culmination of about 7 months of work – the 7 Pillars of Mutual Respect. I know you want to change your marriage and family and I assure you that these pillars will help you do that.
And I have an example of the possibilities of the 7 Pillars in action…
About a month ago, something happened in our Strength & Dignity eCourse that got my attention. One of my class members, who was separated, relayed that her husband said he wanted a divorce. She was afraid. They had a weekend trip coming up and she wasn’t sure she should go. I watched her go from being scared she was going to lose him, to ready to accept divorce as an option over the course of just a few posts while interacting with another woman who was also separated from her husband. I stopped the spiral of hopelessness, and reminded the women about why they were all there – they intended to save their marriages and do whatever it took, as God led.
The 7 Pillars of Mutual Respect
Pillar 1: I have to look at my own contribution to the relationship and conflict – in blaming others I choose a “victim” status and give away my position as an equal heir.
Pillar 2: I will only be respected as much by others as I respect myself and create and continually rest in a healthy source of identity (not others’ opinions, but God’s).
Pillar 3: Speaking the truth to myself and others is incredibly important but only possible in an environment of safety, which is created through respect.
Pillar 4: “Being in my Now” is vitally important to creating respectful relationships with God, myself, and others.
Pillar 5: The level to which we accept the free will and nature of man will impact our ability to respect others and ourselves.
Pillar 6: Disrespect and control are often unhealthy expressions of internal resistance, fear, or incorrect views about or uses of boundaries.
Pillar 7: We have everything we need to mature the character necessary to interact with God, ourselves, and others in a healthy and respectful way.
The Rest of the Story
My class members are in the process of learning the foundations of creating mutual respect. We cover the some of the pillars in the Strength & Dignity class, and the rest in The Respect Dare eCourse. The parenting class, With All Due Respect, also covers these things. What is crazy is they typically stick around, even after the sessions are over, to continue growing and help each other, Titus 2 style. My favorite thing, though, is how God put all of this into something to jump start and radically impact life-change in the Conflict Management Retreat. I’ll talk about that in a minute. First, back to my story.
I contacted my class member and spent about a month coaching her. She actually found divorce paperwork in the suitcases for the trip, but she went anyway, and she was super brave. I gave her the Quick Change Plan I use in desperate circumstances, and within a few short weeks, he was responding to the positive changes in her, and he actually came back to her bed!
He hasn’t filed for divorce, and things are getting better between them. She is one of many women with stories like this. It’s not that I’m so smart, but rather I understand some of the natural processes God created in relationships, and how we can impact them to turn things around.
Why Respect Matters
I believe the research indicates respect is at the core of our identity. One of the most basic ideas (explained in Pillar 3) is that we present a mask to the world – unfortunately, this lie prevents true connection and damages the identities of the individuals involved. Without even knowing it, those small moments when we deny our feelings, lie, or “stuff it,” we prevent intimacy and real connection with another. We also prevent real love from others reaching our own hearts because we don’t believe the person would truly love us if they knew who we really were. Most people don’t know how to communicate our truth when it is difficult or might hurt someone else.
Something else that is interesting is how we get our sense of identity. The “everyone gets a trophy” mentality is not only dangerous to our culture and children but fosters an unhealthy sense of identity – one built from external indicators like performance and positive opinions from others. At the end of the day, these external “self-esteem” boosters leave us bereft of true identity because we all have days when we don’t take first place or we mess up and not only do we let someone down, but we are chewed out or criticized. An identity that can remain steadfast and unflinching during times of difficulty and loss is what we need. That identity does not come from external sources.
This sounds pretty “big” to say, but I know now how to help people gain the elusive healthy identity. I spent too many years reading the verses, trying to force an understanding of the “identity” verses, trying to learn how “precious I was to God.” Yes, those verses are relevant, but I have experienced them, and now help others do likewise, and it is the reason I breathe and get out of bed every morning.
We teach men and women how to create mutual respect and authentic relationships. – with God, themselves, and others.
What this means for YOU
We’ve been at this since 2005. Okay, longer. but officially since then with Greater Impact. We have helped thousands of marriages, and women, in particular, turn their families around. They’ve found respect for themselves and their husband, and intimacy with God on a whole new level. Even my master’s degree work touched on this, and that was before I knew God, before I knew about respect!
I hope you’ll join us. If your marriage is in trouble, or you are a leader of women, I hope you’ll consider our Deflating Defensiveness Conflict Resolution Workshop Retreat. We incorporate Biblical truth, brain-science, the latest research, and our proven and time-tested training method to help women take their relationships with God, themselves, and others to a whole new level.
And if you lead…
We are also growing. If you want to lead women in a way that leaves them forever changed, please consider coming to the retreat.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the dialogue as I blog through the 7 Pillars of Mutual Respect. Thank you for the grace while I’ve been away. I’ve been pouring into people and watching God change their lives, and want to help you do the same.
Love to you,