Love Lock: Creating Lasting Connections With the One You Love
Crosslink Publishing announced today the upcoming publication of a new Christian / Marriage & Relationships book for June 2019, Love Lock: Creating Lasting Connections With the One You Love by Rich Rollins and Marty Trammell.
“Rich Rollins and Marty Trammell have done it again! Writing in the same practical and thoroughly biblical style of Redeeming Relationships, they offer a roadmap for young couples just falling in love, hope for couples experiencing fractured relationships, and confidence for couples like Debbie and me (coming up on our 44th anniversary) who are in the latter portion of their married life. Couples who answer the questions together and engage in the activities at the end of each chapter are sure to find immediate benefits.” —William J. Katip, Ph.D. President Grace College and Seminary
“. . . . among other things, Drs. Rich Rollins and Marty Trammell have managed to tackle the often terminal role that personal expectations play regarding spousal and marital ideals. And by reminding us to neither “major on the minors,” nor “minor on the majors,” they have encouraged that sacrifice in a Christ-centered marriage is never out of fashion. Finally, the Love Lock exercises at each chapter’s conclusion provide practical opportunities to reinforce learning in promoting weight-bearing tracks to run on. This is definitely a worthwhile resource!” —Keith M. Douds, Psy.D. Licensed Psychologist Clinic Director
In our socially networked but disconnected age, we find ourselves longing for deeper, more intimate connection.
Love Lock, Creating Lasting Connections with the One You Love is the perfect read for couples who want to have the closeness back.
We were created for connection, yet many marriages are coming apart as couples “unfriend” each other long before the feelings fade.
Love Lock couples are looking for ways to connect beyond what they allow people to see on social media. They care about friendship over filters, love over “likes.”
With Love Lock, reading the relatable stories and using the easy and engaging exercises, couples can discover or rediscover the intimate connection God intended.
Excerpt from Love Lock:
Listening Your Way to Love
Research has shown that 90 percent of our struggles in marriage would be resolved if we did nothing more than see that problem from our partner’s perspective.—Les and Leslie Parrot
Ask any group of people—friends, coworkers—“When
do you feel loved?” and the answer will likely include
something about listening. When people listen, we feel
worthwhile—we feel valued. Listening is hard when trying to
start a love relationship, because we’d rather try to impress. Yet
listening is one of the strongest ways to say, “I love you.”
Jesus’s example in this startles us. Why the God-man with all the answers would wait to hear our questions is provocative. But that’s just what Jesus did with the woman at the well. Though He knows immediately the answer to her need, He asks a question, listens, and waits for her response (see John 4). Why? Perhaps it is because, in knowing all things, He understands that His listening heart will be partly responsible for her healing.
A popular story tells of a little girl and a single mom who enter a toy store to buy a doll. As the little girl moves down the aisle, she asks her mother what each of the dolls can do. Some of the more expensive dolls walk, others talk, some sing or eat.
Finally, the little girl picks up a doll the young mother can afford. But, when the little girl asks what the doll can do, the mother notices there is no description on the box. Then an idea comes to her. She whispers to her daughter, “Honey, this doll listens.”
Although the little girl knew nothing about the costs of the
other dolls, she chose the one that listened. This quaint story
speaks to the child who lives in each of us. Why? Because, when
we can, we still choose people who listen.
An E.A.R. for Marriage
In the middle of every loving
heart is a listening E.A.R.
Most of us have seen “lonely people” on talk shows, in the malls, and in the cubicles where we work. Out of sight and out of touch, these individuals long for someone who can hear their hearts. Like the girl in the doll aisle, they are waiting for a box that reads, “This one listens.” They want a marriage partner who is, to borrow the common expression, “all ears.” Every marriage can benefit from improved listening skills. The following acrostic can help us remember that in the middle of every loving heart is a listening ear.
E—Enter their worlds
In his book Caring Enough to Hear and Be Heard, David Augsburger explains that, for effective listening to take place, we need to learn how to enter another person’s world. Entering our partner’s world will remove some of the communication barriers and help create an atmosphere where love can breathe. Sometimes entering our spouse’s world means building bridges by attending an event with them, reading a book together, or asking open-ended questions. When our spouse knows that her world is becoming more important to us, she feels our love more deeply. When we work through conflict this is especially important. Understanding our partner’s perspective can make it easier to find bridges we can cross together on the journey toward reconciliation.
A—Attend to the meaning behind their words
“You didn’t listen to a thing I said!”
How many times do words like these crush a conversation? It’s like we’re giving an important recital of our thoughts and no one is in attendance. It’s important to attend our partner’s conversations. It’s important to be there. When we aren’t attending to the meaning behind our spouse’s words, the conversation can seem like a kind of verbal air hockey—our words fly back and forth but seldom touch even the surface of our thoughts and feelings.
Solomon demonstrates this wisdom when he attends to the meaning behind his young bride’s words: “Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends?” (Song of Songs 1:7). She seems to reprimand Solomon for making her chase after him like an im- moral (“veiled”) woman, because he failed to let her know where he was at “midday.” The chorus, the “friends,” answer her ques- tion “where?” by providing directions—“by the tents of the shep- herds.” Their response might represent the typical husband who responds to words instead of meanings. Earlier, she advises, “Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun . . . my own vineyard [her body] I have neglected” (Song of
Songs 1:6). Solomon remembers her words. His wisdom recog-
nizes that a woman’s feelings about herself sometimes fashion
her sentences. To love her, he compliments her beauty (v. 9) and
makes a commitment to take time out of his schedule to make
her “earrings of gold, studded with silver” (v. 11). He responds
to her reprimand, not by defending himself or simply answering
her question, but by attending to the meaning behind her words.
My wife, Linda, and I (Marty) have learned that our meanings are different. When I say, “I’m okay,” I mean it’s a good day. When she says, “I’m okay,” it means she wants to talk about something that’s troubling her. “Okay” can mean different things. It’s important to discover the meanings behind our spouse’s words.
R—Respond according to their needs
A youth director once told his youth group about the first time
he kissed his fiancée. They were sitting beside a quiet stream
when he asked, “Honey, can I kiss you?” She was silent. Although
he considered the possibility that she didn’t want to be kissed,
he chose to believe she didn’t hear him and asked again, “Can
I kiss you?” She didn’t respond. Frustrated and wondering if he
had already ruined his opportunity, he persisted, increasing his
volume, “Honey, can I kiss you?”
She was silent.
“Are you deaf?” he pleaded.
“Are you paralyzed?” she laughed.
The point is she wanted him to respond, appropriately, to the situation.
After we’ve entered our spouse’s world and paid attention to
the meaning behind his or her words, we can respond in a way
that communicates, “I love you.”
To encourage healthy conversation in the church, Paul wrote that we should build others up “according to their needs” (Ephesians 4:29). Entering each other’s worlds helps us discover the other’s “needs.” Although Paul is specifically focusing on relationships within the body of Christ, his principle is especially relevant to marriage. In a romantic sense, when we fail to travel beyond our own worlds, we fail to understand and meet our spouse’s needs, and we trade away the stars.
This is the model Jesus used when he entered our world, attended to the meaning behind our words, and responded in a breathtaking way to our needs. When we become all EARs, we can effectively love in a way our partner can hear. Every marriage can become more meaningful when we learn to listen our way to love.
About the Authors:
Rich Rollins, D.Min.
Co-author of Redeeming Relationships and Spiritual Fitness, served as Executive Pastor at Valley Bible Church for over two decades, has appeared on Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey and served as a healthcare professional, college Vice-President and church consultant. For more than forty years, Rich’s work on relational conflict and spiritual growth has made him a sought-after counselor and conference speaker. Rich has also served as director and announcer for Truth for Today, a radio program featuring Valley Bible Church. He has written articles for Focus on the Family’s online magazine. Dr. Rollins has also been the key note speaker at over twenty Family and Marriage conferences.
Rich and his wife, LouAnna, live in Southern California. They have been married for over fifty-four years. They have two daughters and sons-in-law, three grand-children, and two foster daughters.
Marty Trammell, Ph.D.
Marty Trammell, Ph.D., is the author of Communication Matters and co-author of Redeeming Relationships and Spiritual Fitness. He serves as Worship and Family Pastor at Valley Baptist and as a professor of Communication at Corban University where students call him “Dr. Love.” With his wife and best friend, Linda, Marty has ministered for over 30 years to hundreds of couples in conferences, retreats and pre-marital counseling sessions. He has written for Zondervan, Tyndale, Moody and others and writes regularly for redeemingrelationships.com and startmarriageright.com. Marty and Linda have three sons and two daughters-in-law who encourage their pursuit of the Father and help them enjoy sports, camping and family road trips.