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Are Those Blue Lights Or Pink Lights in Your Rear View Mirror? Print E-mail
Written by Ray Fairman   
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Pink lights, you gotta be kiddin me! Hey guys I’m not kidding. I have spent nearly my entire adult life driving with different color lights on the roof of my squad but never pink lights. When I started in the law enforcement profession, all our “bubblegum machines” were red. As the years progressed the bubblegum machines left the roof and became red and blue “twins” or lightbars. The next transition was all blue lights and lights either hidden in the grill, on the dash or low profile roof lights, but never “pink” lights.

There was, however, a time a couple of decades ago when the Pennsylvania State Police did run an “unofficial test with pink lights…” or so it seemed to some of us. I was working in Maryland at the time and traveling up through Pennsylvania on I-81 a great deal to visit my in-laws in northeast PA. The PA Troopers were just getting new roof lights that housed the newest and brightest “halogen strobe lights”. These truly bright lights when encased in the typical red plastic dome were so bright that when they were illuminated, they seemed to be “Hot pink”. I can’t remember how long that “test” lasted, but I am sure it did not last that long.

To find out where I seem to be heading as I run down my "rabbit trail" keep reading.

Anyway now that I have your attention, I really don't want to talk about emergency lighting. I want to talk about something I recently learned at a marriage retreat I attended with my wife of 38+ years. I had been sending some officers and military men and women and their spouses to a marriage retreat in Rome Georgia and decided it might be a good thing for my wife and I to attend. We had never taken the time to attend one for many contributory reasons I suppose. Reasons like. We don't need as much help as others do, we are doing fine just the way we are, or if it ain't broke don't fix it. For what ever reasons or excuses we (more likely I made), we fought our way through military life, law enforcement life, relationship trials, deployments, kids and everything life threw at us. Yes we learned about life, but many times we both wished we could have learned our lessons earlier and without the pain of trial and error. So with the idea that we could always make a good thing better, my wife and I left for Rome GA and the campus of Berry College, where the Winshape Retreat Center is located. The name "Winshape" comes from the founder of Chick-fil-A; Truett Cathy, who helped develop the center as a place to "shape winners". Later on his son helped direct the philosophy of developing winners into developing winning marriages.

How is your marriage? I mean does it reflect the effort you put into it? Or the effort you think you put into it? Sometimes those two questions don't produce the same answer. Often your answer won't reflect the effort God expects you to be putting into it. Will your spouse or children respond the same way you will? 

By the way, you do realize that Public Safety, Military, Fire and EMS Marriages all suffer extraordinarily high divorce rates don't you? Did you ever stop and take the time to find out just why that tragic statistic exists? Have you ever asked your spouse just how you could ensure that the relationship the two of you based your marriage vows on will last throughout the ages? Do you understand that the needs and desires of men and women differ? How much effort have you invested in your own marriage?

I asked some of these questions because, while I hope I am wrong, I'll bet most of you have put forth much more effort in trying to assure a successful career than you have a successful marriage. Let me put it to you this way. If many of you who own homes neglected your yard work the way you neglect your marriages, I'll bet I could get rich renting out my "bush hog." That is providing you ever came to the conclusion the yard was worth reclaiming. One more question I want you to consider is, how can you really solve the myriad of domestic disturbances you respond to if you have no idea of what it really takes to make a marriage truly work?

Have you ever taken the time to ask your spouse what they really want the most from you or from your marriage? What would you really like to tell your spouse, in a fit of honesty, that you want from them or from your marriage?

You know God made both, male and female and He made them both in His own image. That fact clearly states He made them both different, but neither was made wrong. So it stands to reason that as men and women, we will each, most likely, have different innate needs. How many of you have any idea what the primary need is for a woman? How about a man? (No, it is not a remote). If you want a clue before you answer, read the Bible. It is God's instruction book. I know, I know, like most men I rarely read the instructions until I get to a point where things don't make any sense anymore and I need to see what I did wrong. (Generally we men wonder why we get started so well and then the darn think won't go together the way we thought it should) and what it will take to fix it. I think one of the problems plaguing many marriages today comes from the fact that many of these unions are made for the wrong reasons (Emotion is a strong motivator but the commitment they require is often overlooked)  and the key words of Love, Obey and Respect seem to have become strangers to the vows covenanted to by the participants.

If you will only take time to read the instructions first (I know this runs against the grain for many of us) you will find that in the Bible (the source of the reason for marriage to exist) Love and Respect are discussed as prime motivators for Women and Men respectively. Men, the Bible explains, have a deep seated need to be respected while women on the other hand have an equally fundamental need to be loved.

Eph 5:33 (WNT) Yet I insist that among you also, each man is to love his own wife as much as he loves himself, and let a married woman see to it that she treats her husband with respect.

How many times have you listened to someone explain their perspective on what they witnessed and later found out that that description bore no resemblance at all to the actual event. (Eye witnesses, ya gotta love ‘em) Well my friend that same thing often occurs between the sexes and misunderstandings don't stop just because of a set of vows. However, I'm sorry to say, the way we treat and respond to our spouses does for some reason seem to undergo a transformation when we leave the courting phase for marital bliss.  We never seem to consider that men and women are driven by differing basic needs and those needs provide the "pink" or "blue" view espoused by each gender. The seminar my wife and I finally got around to attending put into plain and simple words a principle that makes great sense when given even the most cursory consideration. This principle states that being driven by different (Not wrong) basic needs causes men to filter their audio and video reception through "blue earphones and sunglasses" while operating on a different set of basic needs, women filter their communication reception through "pink earphones and sunglasses." That means that many times what he or she says or indicates visually is not what the impacted spouse perceives. Now, we all know by now that a persons perception is for them reality. Let me give you a couple of examples.

In the first example Pink complains, "I'm putting on weight." Blue trying to be helpful brings home a "diet book" that is the rage and on all the best seller lists. Pink thinks, "He doesn't love me and he thinks I'm fat!" Reverse the roles and Blue merely places the book on a shelf without reading it, ignores any "innuendo" and goes on with life.

In example number two pink in an effort to strengthen their relationship finds a "making our marriage stronger" book and brings it home to read together. Blue responds with an attitude that indicated he feels "disrespected", because he thinks, Pink is trying to tell me I'm not doing a good job earning a living and that I don't care about our marriage? Reverse these roles and pink actually feels loved since an interest in improving their marriage was shared and spending time together talking about their relationship was indicated.

Learning to communicate in each others "language of basic needs" is or should be a priority for all husbands and wives. The danger of not communicating even in the best of marriages is exemplified by the following example. (I'm sure you have heard it before, but one more time might make the moral stick around a while in your mind) A man wanted to buy a very special gift for his wife; one that would show her just how much he really loved her. Likewise his wife also desired to honor her husband with a gift he would never forget. Each one shopped for that perfect gift and vowed to find it at all costs. The husband finally settled on a pair of diamond studded hair combs, feeling that they would truly set off his beloved's wife's beautiful waist length auburn hair. His wife's hair was her pride and joy and she spent a good deal of time caring for it. His wife finally decided on a fine gold pocket watch fob, one she knew would really highlight her husband's pocket watch. He carried that watch every day and took extra special care of it. She knew the significance that the watch held for him since it had been his father's retirement watch. With a desire to give the very greatest gift they could to the other. He sold his father's watch in order to buy the diamond combs while she cut and sold her beautiful hair in order to by the gold watch fob. For spouses, learning to communicate means learning to understand the needs of the other. It means placing the needs of the other above your own. When you don't work on this principle, you are doomed to keep repeating the "Crazy Cycle". That is the cycle that says "Without His Love She Reacts Without Respect and Without Respect He reacts Without Love." Once that cycle begins it is tough to break and usually only the most mature Christians can break out and get off of the merry-go-round.

When one of you is mature enough to provide the other their basic needs regardless of experiencing your own need being filled, the "Reward Cycle" is initiated. That cycle is based on the premise that "His Love Is Not Dependent On Receiving Her Respect and Her Respect Is Not Dependent On Receiving His Love." When each considers that the others needs are the most important, the positive rewards begin to strengthen the marriage relationship. As this Reward Cycle deepens, it takes on the appearance of servant leadership, the type of leadership modeled by Christ Himself and called for in the best marriage manual ever written...The Bible.. Yes, my friend, a willingness to enter the Reward Cycle demonstrates the Love and Respect decried by the Bible itself.

I wonder who comes second in your marriage. I said second because unless Christ comes first, the foundation for that marriage relationship is missing in the first place.

The next time you feel unloved (women) or disrespected (men) drop me a line and let me fix you up with the next available "Winshape" Marriage Retreat. If you are in Law Enforcement, The Military or Fire & EMS that retreat might be at no cost. Free is not too high a price to pay to keep the integrity of your marriage vows intact is it?

10-7, 10-42 for now





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