Building Blocks Study Guide
This product is a single companion workbook to the Building Blocks series. The 6 week Building Blocks DVD study features Emerson unpacking five of the life changing principles he presents at the Love and Respect marriage conference.
Building Block DVD Sessions:
- Week 1: Pink and Blue: Not Wrong, Just Different (39 min.)
- Week 2: Hollywood or Holy Word? (25 min.)
- Week 3: 80:20 Ratio (41 min.)
- Week 4: Not Communication, but Mutual Understanding (33 min.)
- Week 5: My Response is My Responsibility (39 min.)
- Week 6: Review of the 5 Concepts (25 min.)
The seemingly simple statement of "I have nothing to wear" takes on a deeper significance when expressed by both a man and a woman, each with their unique interpretation. This disparity begs the question: How can two individuals utter the same words but carry entirely different intentions and emotions? The verse from Matthew 19:4 provides a profound insight into this phenomenon, reminding us of God's intentional creation of mankind as male and female. In this divine design, inherent dissimilarities exist that shape our perspectives, communication styles, and ways of processing information. Understanding and embracing these inherent differences are key to unraveling the complexities of relationships and fostering effective communication. By acknowledging and appreciating the distinct perspectives arising from our gender identities, we can navigate these intricacies with empathy, compassion, and a greater understanding of one another.
The question of "Whose voice are you listening to: Hollywood or God's Holy Word?" invites deep introspection into the sources that influence our thoughts, beliefs, and values. In a world saturated with media and societal messages, it becomes crucial to discern the voice we prioritize. The verse from Romans 10:17 sheds light on the power of faith that stems from hearing and receiving the word of Christ. It emphasizes the significance of aligning our minds and hearts with the divine wisdom and guidance found in God's Holy Word. By intentionally seeking and absorbing the truths revealed in Scripture, we can filter out the noise of worldly influences and cultivate a stronger connection to God's transformative message. With the Word of God as our compass, we can navigate life's challenges, make decisions rooted in wisdom, and nurture a deepened relationship with our Creator.
The statement from God's Word that if we marry, we will encounter trouble raises an intriguing question: What kind of trouble do well-intentioned individuals face in marriage? The verse from 1 Corinthians 7:28 affirms that marriage itself is not sinful, but it acknowledges the reality that challenges and difficulties are an inherent part of married life. This acknowledgement prompts us to reflect on the nature of these troubles. While specific challenges may vary from couple to couple, the verse implies that even those with good intentions will inevitably encounter obstacles, conflicts, and trials along their marital journey. It serves as a reminder that relationships require effort, compromise, and constant growth. By recognizing the inevitability of such difficulties, we can approach them with resilience, empathy, and a willingness to work together to overcome obstacles, ultimately strengthening the bond between partners and nurturing a lasting and fulfilling marriage.
The importance of learning to speak and understand your spouse's language is emphasized as a pathway to achieving mutual understanding in a relationship. The verse from Matthew 12:34 provides a valuable insight into this concept, highlighting that our words reflect the thoughts and emotions that fill our hearts. When we take the time to truly listen and understand our partner's unique way of expressing themselves, we gain a deeper understanding of their inner world. By becoming attuned to their communication style, needs, and desires, we can bridge the gap between us and cultivate a sense of empathy and connection. When both partners make a sincere effort to communicate in a way that resonates with their spouse, they create an environment conducive to mutual understanding and emotional intimacy. This active pursuit of understanding, combined with open and compassionate communication, paves the way for a harmonious and fulfilling relationship.
Understanding that no one has the power to dictate our reactions and emotions is a transformative realization that brings forth power and freedom in our lives. The verse from Proverbs 21:23 reinforces this concept, emphasizing the importance of guarding our words and actions to protect our inner well-being. It implies that by exercising control over our speech and behaviors, we can shield our souls from unnecessary troubles.
This wisdom speaks to the fundamental truth that our reactions are ultimately our own choices. Despite external circumstances or the actions of others, we have the ability to determine how we respond. Recognizing this empowers us to take ownership of our emotions, thoughts, and actions. It liberates us from being at the mercy of external factors and grants us the agency to choose love, understanding, and grace in the face of challenges.
By embracing this understanding, we can cultivate emotional resilience, maintain inner peace, and foster healthier relationships. Instead of being reactive, we can respond thoughtfully and intentionally, considering the impact of our words and actions. This shift in perspective allows us to break free from the cycle of negativity, conflict, and emotional turmoil. Ultimately, it enables us to live a more fulfilling and purposeful life, guided by wisdom and the understanding that our choices shape our experiences.
The bonus insights provided for the five catch phrases in Building Blocks Vol. 1 offer valuable additional understanding and application of the teachings. The verse from Matthew 25:21, "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness,'" serves as a foundation for these insights.
This verse conveys the message of commendation and reward for faithfulness and stewardship. It reminds us of the importance of being faithful and responsible in the areas entrusted to us. The bonus insights in Building Blocks Vol. 1 expand on this principle, encouraging individuals to apply the teachings from the catch phrases in their own lives and relationships.
By embracing and implementing these insights, participants have the opportunity to demonstrate faithfulness, wisdom, and growth in their actions and interactions. They are reminded of the potential for greater responsibilities and blessings that come from being faithful in the smaller aspects of life. Ultimately, these bonus insights serve as a reminder that our choices and faithfulness in everyday matters have the potential to shape our future and lead to a deep sense of joy and fulfillment.
Through the lens of the verse from Matthew 25:21, participants are encouraged to apply the teachings, make wise choices, and live in a manner that reflects their commitment to being faithful and responsible stewards. By doing so, they can experience the joy and fulfillment that come from aligning their lives with God's principles and purposes.
The Building Blocks Study
Each DVD session begins with Emerson giving a 10-20 minute overview of the concept, followed by a short discussion time. Emerson then gives a 10-20 minute teaching on how to apply the concept to each of the 3 Love and Respect cycles, followed by more discussion prompted by the study guide questions. This 6 week study is a fantastic follow up for those who have read the book or attended a conference, but also serves as a wonderful introduction to the Love and Respect message.
- Our Couples' Kit includes: The DVD's containing all 6 sessions, 2 Study Guides and 1 of our keepsake "Building Blocks"
- Our Small Group Kit includes: The DVD's containing all 6 sessions, 12 Study Guides and 1 of our keepsake "Building Blocks"
- Additional Study Guides are available as singles of in packages of 10. Each person participating will need a Study Guide.
Insights Explored in Building Blocks
In these sessions, the differences between men and women are explored, emphasizing that despite saying the same thing, they may mean something entirely different. The importance of aligning our beliefs with God's Word rather than societal influences like Hollywood is highlighted. The understanding that trouble can be expected in marriages, even for well-intentioned individuals, is discussed. The significance of speaking and comprehending one another's language for mutual understanding is emphasized. The power of personal choice and the freedom that comes with it is examined. Bonus insights are provided for the five catch phrases covered in Building Blocks Vol. 1, reinforcing the idea of being faithful in small things to experience greater blessings. Throughout these sessions, relevant verses from the Bible are referenced to support and provide guidance.
Read What Others Are Saying About Building Blocks!
Certain truths really inspired him and consequently, me too. We both remember lesson five: My Response is My Responsibility. It made the greatest impression on us. In fact, I think I will write this on the wall in the bedroom! Perhaps the most valuable insight for both is the fact that we are not alone in our troubles and that others have very similar challenges…
Although I had to start encouraging my husband to participate in the beginning, I must admit that during the course he became a major initiator of discussions and "homework", which enthused me and pleasantly surprised me. I noticed how strongly the content spoke to my husband and how it opened his heart, and helped him to express things he either did not know or know how to say it.
...Then came the fifth lesson: My Response is My Responsibility. BAM! The content hit me like "a-ton-of-bricks”, as if it was written for me personally. This lesson exposed my biggest challenge, which has crippled me for many years. Of course, this does not mean my problem with wrong responses will be solved overnight. If I rely on God's Word and ask for the help from the Holy Spirit then it will be easier.
I was personally impacted by the lesson “The 80:20 Ratio”, and especially the fifth lesson, "My Response is My Responsibility." In between sessions I tried to put into practice on the “open sea” what we were learning. It works!
Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is an internationally known public speaker on the topic of male-female relationships. Based on over three decades of pastoring, counseling and study of biblical and scientific research, Dr. Eggerichs and his wife Sarah developed the Love and Respect Conference which they present to live audiences around the country.About Love & Respect
If husbands and wives are to understand the Love and Respect Connection, they must realize that they communicate in code. And the problem is, they don’t know how to decipher the messages they send to one another.
We might say that every negative action in the family has an equal and opposite negative reaction.
God is not trying to trick you or mess with you. Trust that He wants to reveal Himself to you just as much as He wants to reveal Himself to the world.
You can be right but wrong at the top of your voice.
Negative actions rarely produce positive results.
A man has a natural, inborn desire to go out and “conquer” the challenges of his world – to work and achieve.
Share what God is saying to your heart, not what you think He needs to say to your mate.
We get on the Crazy Cycle because without love a wife reacts without respect, and without respect a husband reacts without love.
Thank the Lord that in the very beginning He created them male and female – Blue and Pink. Ask Him for patience and ever-growing understanding of how men and women see and hear differently. “He created them male and female, and He blessed them.” (Genesis 5:2)
Wives, to energize your husband do an activity with him, shoulder-to-shoulder, without talking.
A most significant point of this book is this: If what we think is true, kind, necessary, and clear, we need to have the courage to hit send. This isn’t about refraining from speaking; this is about speaking.
Could you be facing a crisis in faith more than a crisis in your marriage?
Husbands, to energize your wife give her face-to-face time, allowing her to talk and share her feelings.
Mutual submission is the only way to live fairly together with mutual authority.
Through Jesus and Peter, God set forth His standard for living in the unconditional dimension: choose to be loving even when the other person is not; do what is right regardless of the treatment you receive. I believe this standard applies directly to marriage. A husband who speaks lovingly to his disrespectful wife will be rewarded; and a wife who speaks respectfully to her unloving, not-worthy-of-respect husband will be rewarded. Whether you are husband or wife, the reward is what can keep you going in the midst of the craziness: knowing that God commends you, knowing that you have found his favor for your words and actions.
We have to step back as Christ followers and ask, “Do I have false expectations that my relationship should be romantic 99% of the time?”
When the wife flatly says her husband will have to earn her respect before she gives him any, she leaves the husband in a lose-lose situation. Now he is responsible for both love and respect in the relationship. He must unconditionally love his wife and earn her respect.
Stay the course regardless of the child’s respect and obedience. This is the Family Rewarded Cycle: a parents love unto Christ regardless of the child.
You must “ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves.”
Can you begin to trust that God feels love for you even when you don’t feel that love?
Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean the other person is offensive.
I have concluded that those of us in the church who believe we have the Truth are not using the whole truth. A crucial part of God’s Word has been completely ignored, or perhaps simply gone unnoticed, when it has been there right under our noses the whole time! Many Christian spouses know Ephesians 5:33 and can at least paraphrase it. The Apostle Paul tells husbands to love their wives as much as they love themselves, and wives are to respect their husbands. But is anyone really listening? Perhaps the first step to better communication between husband and wife is to hear what God’s Word clearly says. --Emerson
Clarifying is what you do before you step on your mate’s air hose and deflate his or her spirit. For example, you are having a typical conversation, but you can tell there is a misunderstanding. One of you isn’t being clear or isn’t hearing correctly. Then and there you clarify the misunderstanding before your spouse’s spirit deflates. You lovingly or respectfully clarify matters so that your spouse will not feel unloved or disrespected. The reason you take pains to clarify a seemingly small matter is to prevent the situation from becoming a love and respect issue that needs decoding. Clarifying is what you do to stay off the Crazy Cycle and keep positive, energetic feelings flowing between the two of you, to keep yourselves on the Energizing Cycle.
Positive changes flood a relationship immediately when both husband and wife cancel the blame game!
Refuse to let evil turn you into a contemptuous and hateful person.
The mature one in the marriage seldom moves second.
A wife has one driving need--to feel loved. When that need is met she is happy. A husband has one driving need--to feel respected. When that need is met he is happy. When either of these needs isn’t met, things get crazy. Love and Respect reveals why spouses react negatively to each other, and how they can deal with such conflict quickly, easily and biblically.
God’s commands are there to help us, not to hinder us or hold us back as male and female.
Both Judas and Peter denied Jesus Christ, but there is a huge difference between a Judas and a Peter.
When a wife insists that her husband earn her respect, she puts him in a lose-lose situation.
We have discovered that as women motivate their man God’s way, men are energized to love them better. It doesn’t matter if your marriage is good or seems like there is no hope. We have seen God move in powerful ways even when things looked hopeless.
We all need love and respect equally. But, during conflict our felt needs are as different as pink is from blue.
Love and Respect is a faith venture, not a formula.
Your husband knows you value his friendship when you tell him you like him and you show it (he knows you love him, but he often wonders if you really like him).
Mistakes can’t be undone, but they can be forgiven.
The parent-child relationship is as easy, and as difficult, as love and respect.
As mature men, we need to take leadership and put this out on the table. We must acknowledge our feelings- we need to feel respected. However, as we do this we must acknowledge our wife’s feelings- she needs to feel loved!
Just because you may feel unloved or disrespected does not mean your spouse is sending that message.
Thank the Lord for all the trouble-free moments in which you and your spouse enjoy Him, each other, your family, your ministry and life as a whole. Ask Him for the strength to accept your measure of trouble, and the wisdom to deal with the annoyances and irritations by loving and respecting each other with new commitment. (You may also want to pray about troubles at work, at church, with the children…) “But those who marry will have trouble in this life” (1 Corinthians 7:28)
She’s not wrong for not being male. He is not wrong for not being female. When you put pink and blue together, you get purple, the color of royalty; the color of God. Together, a husband and wife reflect God’s image.
It’s hard to realize that we would never act around our business associates the way we act around our spouse.
“With eyes of faith, envision Jesus standing just beyond the shoulder of your spouse and listening to every word you speak in every conversation, pleasant or tense. When you speak lovingly or respectfully to your spouse, you are speaking to Christ. Your spouse just happens to be there too.” This truth has sanctified the lips of many. Instead of giving their spouse a verbal whipping or choking on the idea of saying anything positive, now some spouses are motivated to speak words of unconditional love or respect.
We are worth Jesus to the Father.
As strong and powerful as marriage bonds can become, our deepest dependency must be on the Lord, not another human being.
Marriage is a test of how you unconditionally love and respect your spouse as you obey, honor, and please the Lord.
Trust God when the “why’s” of life threaten to overwhelm you.
Your wife feels you are open with her when you discuss financial concerns, possible job changes or ideas for your future.
Husbands, even Jesus Himself was asked by a woman, “Do you not care?” (Luke 10:40) When your wife accuses you of not caring, decode her deeper meaning.
Assuming goodwill can be revolutionary in relationships.
We are either going to give in the darkness or we are going to give into the darkness.
Thank God for joining you together and for allowing you to trust Him to help you, whatever the issue. God is there for you and expects you to look to Him to keep you together as a team, so ask Him for His help in the smallest of concerns. “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:6)
It’s so easy to dismiss our spouse as childish because we don’t have the same vulnerabilities they do.
Suppressing negative feelings is not loving, respectful or very wise. Speak up tactfully.
Each of you must focus on what God is calling you to do toward your spouse. Do not focus on what you think God is calling your spouse to do toward you.
It is hard to be negative while being thankful.
The Crazy Cycle is, indeed, “the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness” (Ecclesiastes 7:25).
Your position in Christ is what counts, not your less-than-perfect performance.
So I encourage every husband and wife to commit to the Jesus Way of Talking. Instead of allowing the stress of the situation to control you, you can say to yourself, “Because I love the Lord and I know that He rewards every good word, I am going to be truthful even if my spouse is not. I will also be uplifting, forgiving, thankful and scriptural in my speech because my ultimate goal is to please the Lord. Whatever my spouse’s weaknesses or bad habits might be, I will not let them cause me to sin with my lips.”
Unconditional respect, like unconditional love, is all about how one sounds (tone of voice and word choice) and appears (facial expressions and physical actions).
When you love or respect unconditionally regardless of the outcome, you are following God and His will for you.
When you look to God and His Word as your ultimate source of significance and security, you don’t demand that your spouse take that role in your life. And as you draw strength from the Lord individually, He draws you closer together as a couple.
His love motivates her respect. Her respect motivates his love.
In the ultimate sense you marriage has nothing to do with your spouse. It has everything to do with your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Your marriage is really a tool and a test to deepen and demonstrate your love and reverence for your Lord.
Wives, you never know: The way you handle this [conflict] might bring your husband not only back to you, but to God. Husbands, you never know: The way you handle this [conflict] might bring your wife not only back to you, but to God. (1 Corinthians 7:16)
Your hunger for God can create an appetite in your children.
When a husband feels disrespected, it is especially hard to love his wife. When a wife feels unloved, it is especially hard to respect her husband.
We send each other messages in “code” based on gender, even though we don’t intend to. What I say is not what you hear, and what you think you heard is not what I meant at all.
When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife. (Perhaps the command to love was given to him precisely for this reason!) When a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband. (Perhaps the command to respect was given to her precisely for this reason!)
I had often asked God to compensate for my mistakes, but in return had I thought He would give me perfect children?
Words of wisdom for all husbands and wives are these: We easily see what is done to us before we see what we are doing to our mate.
When there is confusion, I try to refrain from attacking another for not listening carefully (which may not be the case). Instead, I take a run at communicating again, but more clearly.
Most marriages will succeed when obeying the command to Love and Respect.
The Crazy Cycle is, indeed “the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness” (Ecclesiastes 7:25)
You can experience hurt, but it is your choice to hate.
Here is the secret to marriage that every couple seeks and yet few find: Unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her. It’s the secret that will help you achieve a brand new level of intimacy.
Thank the Lord for the goodwill each of you has toward the other. Ask Him for strength to give each other the benefit of the doubt during moments when someone’s goodwill seems to be lacking. “He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it.” (Proverbs 11:27)
Be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.
At the very bottom of things, in every case and in every conversation, you can do your marriage a huge favor by assuming she is seeking to feel loved or he is seeking to feel respected and give your spouse some grace!
Fight like a loving man and a respectful woman. Fight fair.
We can communicate the truth in the best of manners, but the person may be so insecure he or she can only react and attack like a wounded bear.
Let the Lord change you, but don’t try to change each other.
Words of Love or Respect must uplift your spouse, edifying- never manipulating him or her.
When you come home after you have been apart, the first few moments of reconnecting will set the tone for the rest of the evening.
God rewards your obedience to love and respect, even if your spouse does not respond!
Often both spouses have goodwill but are not deciphering each other’s code. She criticizes out of love, but he “hears” only disrespect. He distances himself to prevent feelings from escalating, which is the honorable thing to do, but she “sees” only his failure to be loving!
Money squabbles don’t undermine love and respect; they simply reveal unloving and disrespectful attitudes, which are the real reason why a marriage can start to wobble on the Crazy Cycle.
If a husband chooses to be a peacemaker--taking the needs and concerns of his wife totally into account during any kind of argument or conflict--his wife will be motivated in turn to respond to his authority during stalemates.
We blame people for the bad things we do, but take credit for the good things we do.
There is a plan to parent God’s way, even when our children may seek to go their own way at time. The secret is to follow this plan regardless. When you do, I believe you succeed in His eyes.
We fool ourselves into thinking the other person causes us to be the way we are. They really don’t! But if we lock into that idea, we become helpless, hopeless victims.
No matter how difficult your spouse may be at the moment, your spouse does not have control over your reaction; you do. You may be experiencing disappointment, frustration or anger, but you always have a choice. A wife can choose to be disrespectful or respectful. A husband can choose to be unloving or loving.
When Jesus said “turn the other cheek,” He wasn’t saying to be passive wimps. He was teaching that physically people can control you but if you turn and give the other cheek, suddenly you’re in control and you’re making the choices.
Our research shows that couples who pray together are more apt to reap all kinds of benefits, including better and more frequent communication, going on “dates” more frequently and having sex more frequently.
Be quick to listen and understand and you have a much better chance of being understood.
Holding back your love or respect will just keep the Crazy Cycle spinning away, but being mature and making the first move could slow it down.
A strong woman of dignity puts on respect out of her love and reverence for Jesus Christ. She trusts that His word not only protects and empowers her, but also rewards her with incomprehensible eternal blessings.
“Respect is a man’s deepest value. I have had numerous men tell me, ‘I would rather live with a wife who respected me but did not love me than live with a wife who loved me but did not respect me.’ These men are not saying that they are indifferent to love. They know they need love, but they need to feel respected even more than they need to feel loved.“
To stay the course in speaking words of Love and Respect, keep your heart in Scripture, trusting in and talking about His promises to help you.
Men are solution oriented, they love to solve problems. They want to be helpful.