Community Builders: Love & Respect Conference


Photos by Libby Rogers

This year is now one month old—how are those New Year’s resolutions working out for you? Every year, people make resolutions in the hope to better themselves and their lives, but they often overlook the one thing that can change their life for the better in unexpected and profound ways—their marriage. The relationship you have with your spouse—whether it is good, bad, or just mediocre—has a deep impact on the quality your everyday life. It has the power to make your life rich and fulfilling, or it can be a drain on your energy and crush your self-esteem. Focusing on improving your marriage is a lot easier on the checkbook than a gym membership, but it will have much deeper impact on the quality of your life.

A good marriage doesn’t just happen by accident; it is a result of hard work. Any solid relationship is one that is grown and cultivated over time with intentional effort and attention. The ministers at Conroe Church of Christ recognize how much hard work goes into developing good relationships and are dedicated to nurturing the special bond between a husband and a wife. Conroe Church of Christ is excited to host the upcoming Love and Respect Conference. This marriage enrichment conference will be held at the church campus at 1860 Longmire Road from 7:00 to 9:45 pm on Friday February 24th and from 8:50 am to 12:45 pm on Saturday the 25th. The cost is $46.89 per person or $93.78 per couple. Financial assistance is available if needed by calling the church office at 936-756-8988. Registration for the event can be found at

Steve Yates, senior minister at Conroe Church of Christ, has been in full-time ministry for over 40 years and holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology. He has done marriage counseling with many couples and says he was attracted to the Love and Respect Seminar series because both speakers, a husband and wife team, are very personable and transparent. “They admit that all the mistakes people can make in relationships—they made those mistakes too.”

Speaking of Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, the man behind the Love and Respect Series, Steve says, “I think he hits on something that is very simple, but also very powerful; we spend a lot of our emotional energy to communicate in ways that just don’t get through to our spouse. If I am not communicating or speaking your love language, even if I love you deeply, it just doesn’t get through. Even if I respect you deeply, it doesn’t matter unless I can communicate that to you. So with this seminar, I think couples will come away with some practical skills about how to communicate to each other in meaningful ways. Also, it gives a sense of hope of doing much better.”

From their website, “Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is an internationally known public speaker on the topic of male-female relationships. Based on over three decades of counseling, as well as scientific and biblical research, Dr. Eggerichs and his wife Sarah developed the Love and Respect Conference, which they present to live audiences around the country. Emerson is the Founder and President of Love and Respect Ministries, and Sarah serves as Vice President. Married since 1973, they live in Grand Rapids, Michigan and have three adult children.”

Dr. Eggerichs explains:

(The Love and Respect Conference is based around the belief) that love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man. Research reveals that during marital conflict, a husband most often reacts when feeling disrespected, and a wife reacts when feeling unloved. We asked 7,000 people this question: when you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected? 83% of the men said “disrespected.” 72% of the women said, “unloved.” Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict, and this difference is as different as pink is from blue!

We conduct conferences and provide resources to the married, divorced, separated, dating, and single. Men and women will learn how to resolve conflict, dealing with the negative reactions (the crazy cycle). They will also learn how to motivate each other by meeting each other’s need (the energizing cycle). Even those who feel hopeless in their relationships will gain understanding on how to handle an indifferent or unresponsive partner (the rewarded cycle).

Each cycle centers on two concepts—love and respect. These two words surface in social research and the Bible (Ephesians 5:33) as the two key ingredients for a successful marriage. From our research, those attending the Love and Respect conference…are experiencing understanding, forgiveness, reconciliation, change, and hope.

At each of the marriage events…you will discover a simple truth hidden in plain sight that explains why your spouse negatively reacts to you, and it differs from why you negatively react to your spouse! Typically, you both see the other as childish when negatively reacting because you wouldn’t react that way! What is that simple truth? The key to motivating your spouse is meeting your spouse’s deepest felt need during conflict, which differs from your deepest felt need during conflict! Commonly, you both overlook the other’s felt need during conflict because you feel the other ought not to feel that way! What is that deepest need? In all marriages, there are seasons in which one spouse is less responsive to the other, for any number of reasons. What can motivate you during that season when your spouse is not motivating you?

Minister Steve Yates says, “The Love and Respect research corresponds directly to the scriptures in Ephesians 5:25 where Paul talks about marriage and how men should love their wives and wives should respect their husband. We have partnered with three other area churches, West Conroe Baptist, The Ark, and First Baptist, to bring this important marriage enrichment seminar to Conroe. We believe this is an overall commitment to marriage not only in our church, but in the community. We think that if the community does better in their marriages and families, our community does better as a whole. It will be a better place to live, our families will thrive, and our schools do better. Good marriages are at the heart of it all.”

“We also have more to offer at Conroe Church of Christ for those that are in need. There are three ministers on our staff that can provide marriage and relationship counseling. We also partner with a community counseling service called Shield Bearers. They work out of our church offices one day a week to provide Christian counseling resources for people who need intensive marriage counseling, or individual therapy, or family counseling. We are committed as a church to nurturing good, solid relationships. If we get relationships right, a lot of other things start falling into place, and it impacts the quality of life in a profound way.”

When those New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside as we get farther and farther into the new year, please consider doing something that will have a much more lasting impact on your life. Make improving your marriage a priority this year. The Love and Respect Conference is a great place to start.

Friday, February 24th – 7:00 to 9:45 pm

Saturday, February 25th – 8:50 am to 12:45 pm


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