LAWAI — Seeing children in a happy home environment puts a smile on Lynn Mira’s face.
“People say children are resilient, and they are, but it can’t not affect a life when people are fighting,” she said.
For Mira, helping parents create peace and understanding in their home is one of the most rewarding parts about organizing the “Love and Respect” workshops, which help men and women build strong relationships.
“We’ve had children come to us, thanking us for doing this for their parents,” Mira said. “We’ve met some high school students on the verge of graduating and going to college, but are afraid of moving because their parents are struggling.”
Mira and her husband, Tim, have been have been hosting the Love and Respect workshops since 2009 after taking the course for their 25th wedding anniversary.
“It spoke to our hearts. The information was eye opening,” she said.
The biggest takeaway from the national course, which is a DVD series taught by Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs, was the idea of giving one another unconditional respect, Mira said.
“I thought respect had to be earned, but it spoke about asking us to always being respectful,” she said. “As much as women want want unconditional love, men want unconditional respect. That concept was never introduced to me.”
As part of the five-week workshop, the Eggerichs talk about the expectation of unconditional respect and unconditional love, and how the lack of it is often a root in arguments between people.
“Women want to be loved unconditionally and men want to be respected unconditionally,” Lynn Mira said. “When women don’t feel loved, they lash out, and men don’t think they are being respected. When men don’t feel respected, women don’t feel loved. It’s a vicious cycle.”
After attending the class, the couple decided to organize one for Kauai residents instead of throwing themselves an anniversary party. About 40 people showed up at the first class at Kauai Bible Church.
Every January, the workshop is held at churches around the island.
“We try to make it as easy as possible for people to catch a class, even if they missed the previous one,” she said.
The Christian-based workshop is free and open to adults 18 years or older. While the emphasis is on strengthening a marriage, it can be applied to any male/female relationship, Mira said.
“It can be mother/son, father/daughter or even co-workers,” she said.
The workshop benefits couples in every stage of their marriage, from engaged and newly-weds to those with decades of marriage under their belt. Couples don’t have to be contemplating divorce to attend the workshops.
“They can simply be stuck in the vicious cycle,” Mira said.
About 20 people attend each of the workshops. There’s no sharing or journaling.
“It’s more like a date night or movie night,” Mira said.
More info: 332-7406
Registration is available online, but couples won’t be turned away if they don’t register. Free child care is available at the workshops in Kapaa and Lihue.
The classes will be:
• Tuesday nights from Jan. 10 to Feb. 7 at Kauai Bible Church.
• Wednesday nights from Jan. 4 to Feb. 1 at Calvary Chapel in Lihue from 7 p.m. to 8:30.
• Thursday nights from Jan. 5 to Feb. 2 at the Waimea Lucy Wright Pavilion from 6 p.m. to 7:30.
• Thursday nights: until Feb. 9 at Crossroads Christian Fellowship.
More info: www.loveandrespectkauai.com