Posts in Family
Have You Learned Yet What a “Sacrifice of Thanksgiving” Is?

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the apostle Paul reminded the church in Thessalonica, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (5:18). This is one of four times in which Scripture clearly tells us what the will of God is. I call these the four universal wills of God, and I have written about them extensively in my book, The Four Wills of God, and how our following these four universal wills of God can lead to learning His unique will for us in our individual lives.

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Your Parents’ Marital Problems Do Not Have to Become Yours Too

Have you ever realized that the most impactful influence on your children’s marriage—whether they are two years old and barely able to say “da-da” or twenty-two and about to walk down the aisle—is your marriage? Yes, you! Your marriage to their mom or dad teaches them both directly and indirectly how a married couple works together.

This certainly includes the way you love and respect each other. Your kids may not yet have learned the biblical emphasis on love and respect or even be old enough to know what “respect” means, but they are learning all about it nonetheless . . . from you!

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Give a Sacrifice of Praise to God This Thanksgiving

The Bible commands us to give thanks as a sacrifice of praise.   The writer of Hebrews penned, "let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name . . . for with such sacrifices God is pleased" (Hebrews 13:15–16).

When our prayers are answered, when healing comes, when financial blessings rain down upon us, most of us are liberal to give thanks and praise to God (as we certainly should). But that is not what is meant by a “sacrifice of praise.” Hopefully, it is not much of a sacrifice to give praise for the great things in your life.

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Mothers: Find Comfort in Looking to God

On Mother’s Day, as a mother you can find comfort in looking to God to help you in your parenting.  How reassuring it is for us that Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as our Helper (John 14:16). I love His description. He is the Helper because we need help. How simple is that? And, it is okay to need help. It is most appropriate to echo the psalmist, "Let Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts” (Psalm 119:173).

Will you ask God to help you because you have chosen to follow the precepts He reveals to you as a parent? 

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How to Connect with Your Adult Son

Every mother wishes to connect emotionally with her adult son. However, sons can be a bit more independent and distant than daughters, who stay more connected with their moms and not infrequently wish to live near their mothers or talk regularly with their moms. An adult son typically moves out and intends to start a family with a wife, and generally is more autonomous. Jesus said, “a man shall leave his father and mother” (Mark 10:7). This is normal for a young man to do.

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How One Mother’s Respect-Talk Found the Hero in Her Son

In my book Mother & Son: The Respect Effect, I share the need for not only your husband to feel and hear your respect, but your son as well, no matter his age. Even your preschooler has a “man inside the boy” who naturally responds to words of respect, as little Samuel’s mother learned and applied in her relationship with her son. Read about her experience with using Respect-Talk and ask yourself how you might begin applying the same with your son:

Dear Dr. Emerson,

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This Christmas Will You Speak Only What is Necessary When Gathered as a Family? Why?

A person who modeled thinking before speaking what was unnecessary was my mom. My parents divorced when I was one, remarried, then separated again for five years. Even though Mom could’ve thrown Dad under the bus while raising me on her own, I appreciate that she abstained from doing so. She expressed later in her life that it was unnecessary for me to hear such things. Mom was other-focused. Because of her heart of love for me, she sought to serve my needs with her words. She was not careless in her words because she cared. She pulled back from communicating information that I didn’t need to hear, even though she may have felt better after having done it.

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The Difference Between Saying "Thanks" and Being Grateful, Part 3

In part 2, we discussed the need to focus on the tangible things that we do have instead of on what we do not, in order to help develop a more grateful heart. But there is one more suggestion on what our focus should center in on.

Two, focus on the intangible things that we do have instead of fixating on the tangibles we do not have.

Those of us who lack material goods could whine, "Well, I cannot be grateful for tangible blessings since I have so few."

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Should You Read a Letter Like This to Your Family This Thanksgiving?

A wife shared with me the following letter that she read aloud to her family on Thanksgiving 2007:“Every Thanksgiving we usually go around the table and say what we are thankful for before saying grace. This is usually a very easy task for me because God has blessed me so much, with three healthy children that I am able to stay home with, a beautiful home, my own health, good relationships with all of my family members, and the list could go on and on.

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The Difference Between Saying "Thanks" and Being Grateful, Part 2

In part 1 of this Thanksgiving-themed article, we discussed the idea of being like a parrot in our giving thanks: we say the words with our mouth but have no heartfelt understanding behind the words and do not truly have a grateful heart. But I have two suggestions for you on how to live your life more with a grateful heart.

One, focus on the tangible things that we do have instead of fixating on what we do not have.

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The Difference Between Saying "Thanks" and Being Grateful, Part 1

We can say "thanks" but not be grateful. We can mouth words but our hearts are elsewhere. We are fixated on ourselves. I know, because I have seen this in myself. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:2 that people can be "lovers of self . . . ungrateful."

We can even sing a song of thanks while in a worship service at church but inwardly dwell on the hurt and offense we feel toward someone who wronged us the day before.

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Parenting: Chronic Anger or Chronic Appeasement? Part II -- Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 123

Emerson and Jonathan continue this important topic in part 2 this week, including adding a third component of apathy. What is the Issue? Children need to honor parents and show this in their respectful attitude and obedient actions.  However, many parents do not always feel respected nor obeyed so they seek methods that will motivate the child to be respectful and obedient. How do we deal with this Issue? There are right ways of dealing with this and wrong ways.

Listen to the podcast HERE. Access it on iTunes HERE, on Stitcher HERE, and on the Love and Respect App HERE.

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Parenting: Chronic Anger or Chronic Appeasement? Part I -- Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 122

What is the Issue? Children need to honor parents and show this in their respectful attitude and obedient actions.  However, many parents do not always feel respected nor obeyed so they seek methods that will motivate the child to be respectful and obedient. How do we deal with this Issue? There are right ways of dealing with this and wrong ways. Join Emerson and Jonathan in Part I this week as they explore this topic.

Listen to the podcast HERE. Access it on iTunes HERE, on Stitcher HERE, and on the Love and Respect App HERE.

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Both Men and Women Tend and Mend People With Problems But Start Out Differently! Part 2

In part 1 we discussed many of the different gender traits in men and women, proven by science and recognized by most, including Hollywood. These differences are the core reasons why men and women approach problems differently, in the way they tend and mend others. But is it possible that these differences can actually complement each other, rather than conflict with each other, when it comes to men and women approaching problems together?

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Both Men and Women Tend and Mend People With Problems But Start Out Differently! Part 1

A woman tends and mends people with problems. A man tends and mends problems that people have. Both tend and mend. But they start in different places. Allow me to explain.

Gender Traits

Over the years research has repeatedly found masculine and feminine traits that differ.

Generally speaking, women evidence these traits: gentleness, modesty, humility, sacrifice, supportiveness, empathy, compassion, tenderness, cooperative, connectivity, nurturance, intuitiveness, sensitivity, expressiveness, responsiveness, sentimentality, verbal, and unselfishness. I believe most women agree with these qualities about themselves and view these as evidence that they are caring human beings and wish to be loved because of these qualities.

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When Cousins as Adults Need to Confront the Parents Who Aren’t Getting Along

Suppose multiple sets of parents are fighting as brothers and sisters because an inheritance was unevenly divided or something happened that created bitterness among them to the point that they are no longer really talking or spending time together as before.

The adult kids could say:

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The Four Step Game Plan to Apologize and Make It Right

When we miscommunicate, most people readily forgive us when we ask them to do so. After all, they themselves have misspoken and have little interest in throwing stones. This is especially so when they see us making an honest mistake. What drives people nuts is when they feel that we spoke or wrote something that was designed to hurt or offend them, and we have no intentions of owning up to it, apologizing, and correcting our error.

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