TCW’s assistant editor, Joy Beth, sat down with Emerson Eggerichs, founder of Love and Respect Ministries, and his daughter Joy, of Love and Respect Now, to chat about the unexpected complications (and blessings) that come with parenting an older single. Together Emerson and Joy run The Illumination Project, a partnership that hopes to answer tough questions like these with grace, humility, and hopefully a little bit of humor.
Why is intergenerational communication about dating, marriage, and other issues so important? What do we lose if we strike out on our own without seeking wisdom from older generations?
EMERSON: The Bible says there is nothing new under the sun, so why not learn from such people who have been in the sun longer and maybe even gotten a little sunburned? It might just keep us from getting burned!
I usually talk about the 80/20 rule for relationships and life; 80 percent of life and relationships is typically great but the other 20 percent can be troubling. (Some unfortunately seem to get hit with the higher percentage of trouble.) When it comes to relationships, they usually don’t end due to the great times but due to not handling well the troubles that God foretold come (1 Corinthians 7:28). If we learn how to deal with the 20 percent we will be okay.
Older generations generally understand the troubling 20 percent better, and I found it beneficial as a young man to ask older people in my life about their marriages. I didn’t have a good example of a healthy marriage growing up, so I wanted all the advice I could get.1