Posts in Individual
It’s All About Jesus

If you have attended or heard a Love and Respect Marriage Conference or read any of the books, more than likely you will recall some of my favorite terms, analogies, and acronyms, such as: Pink and Blue, C.O.U.P.L.E., C.H.A.I.R.S., the Crazy Cycle, the Energizing Cycle, and the Rewarded Cycle. While it certainly always brings a smile to my face to hear from readers and others that they, even many years later, still talk about “needing to get off the Crazy Cycle” or “their pink hearing aids didn’t hear what their blue husband was really saying,” what I most hope that people will remember is how all of this should be used to point them to Jesus. Let me explain.

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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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The Marriage Mindset

Do you believe that if you have natural talents and passions in a specific area then your development of that gifting and pursuits of that interest should be a piece of cake? Or, do you believe that even though you have God-given abilities and deep-seated curiosities, you must exert time and effort because it won’t all be easy street?

For example, Michael Phelps and LeBron James had within their DNA, traits the rest of us envy. Are these superstars world renowned because what they did was a piece of cake for them, as a result of their God-given abilities? Or, though genetically they might be considered freaks of nature, did they work hard at developing their talents?

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Why Do I Rebel Against Being Kind, Loving, and Respectful? -- Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 112

Some of us declare, "It's my life. I make the rules. Keep your nose out of my affairs." At one level such independence is commendable and noble. But what occurs when you say to another, "If I wish to communicate what is untrue, unkind, unnecessary, and unclear to you, I will, and it's none of your business"? No one responds to a person like that. But what if certain rules and principles are sacred? Join Emerson and Jonathan this week as they talk about the kindness rule and how inviting it can be in marriage and life.

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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Do We Want to Look Better Than We Are?

One of the most common reasons people lie is to impress others. If we succeed at impressing them, they will feel good about us and we will feel good about ourselves. What better reasons than to hedge on the truth or flat out lie? Everybody feels good, so how can that be bad?    A woman told me, "My dad came over one day and my daughter was crazy, like her wheels came off. He asked, 'So, are you putting that on Facebook?' Of course not. I have an image to project that I’m perfect, I have this great job, and I have this great daughter. I don't put the unfavorable truth out there because this doesn't fit the image I seek to project."

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Have You Ever Been Overlooked? -- Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 109

Join Emerson, Jonathan, and their first guest, Joy Eggerichs Reed, on this week's episode as they discuss what it’s like and what we can do when we are overlooked, when we go unpicked, or our efforts go unrecognized.

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

Read the transcript HERE.

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The Golden Rule of Communication

None of us can stand it when people are unfriendly and mean-spirited toward us. We know kindness is fundamental to building trust whether in the family, the neighborhood, the legislature, or the workplace. We avoid unsympathetic, inconsiderate, and nasty neighbors, and we take our business elsewhere when a store owner treats us in an uncaring and callous way.

But when we are pushed to the edge and feel kindness is getting us nowhere, do we turn unpleasant, disagreeable, and uncivil?

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Do We Expect Others to Be Truthful With Us, As We Are With Them?

My friend Sam Ericsson, who graduated from Harvard Law School and founded Advocates International, was instrumental in helping various nations draft new constitutions, especially those countries that formed after the Soviet Union gave them their independence. Sam told me that his chief point of advocacy with the leaders of these countries seeking his legal counsel was to create laws based on the Golden Rule. Sam conveyed that there is no better way to establish just laws than by doing to others what you would want done to you in the same situation. Sam shared with me that such laws are not difficult to figure out when the Golden Rule is acted on honestly with good will. If a person or a nation wants to know what is right, they can discover it by applying the Golden Rule.

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We Must Think Before We Speak

During the 2016 NBA Finals, a player’s wife, understandably hurting and upset for her husband who had just been ejected from a game, fired out a tweet from her seat in the arena accusing the NBA of being rigged and out to get her husband for the sake of ratings. An hour and a half later, she deleted the tweet and apologized, but the damage had already been done. With 450,000 followers on Twitter, she had already seen her unfortunate tweet retweeted thousands of times, and the backlash had begun.

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My Response is My Responsibility -- Part 3

Oftentimes, when people hear me teach this idea that “My response is my responsibility,” they have a light bulb moment. This truth that “My response is my responsibility” has revolutionized their lives.

Let’s consider what several have said:

This Quote Changed a Businesswoman’s Life

A businesswoman told her employer that her favorite quote was:

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My Response is My Responsibility -- Part 2

The Sin in All of Us. All of us have within us a flawed character. Jesus called it sin. In fact, Jesus said in Mark 7:21-23, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."

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My Response is My Responsibility - Part 1

There is a story that has been told of a Christian Frenchman during World War II who had been harboring Jews before the Nazis eventually captured him. German soldiers brought him before an S.S. officer known as “The Torturer.” At that moment, the peace of Christ came upon this Frenchman who manifested on his face the serenity of the Lord. However, the S.S. officer interpreted that tranquility as a snide look and screamed, “Get that smirk off your face. Don’t you know who I am?” The Frenchman said, “Yes sir, I know who you are. You are known as ‘The Torturer.’ I know you have the power to torture me. You have the power to kill me. But sir, you do not have the power to get me to hate you."

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My Response Is My Responsibility, Part 2 -- Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 101

Join Emerson and Jonathan this week for part 2 of My Response Is My Responsibility. In discussing this challenging but freeing topic they will look at the fact that no one can make a person disobey God, owning one’s responses, letting others off the hook and confronting others.

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My Response is My Responsibility, Part 1 -- Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 100

We possess a God given right to rule our own inner responses. No one can make us hate them. No one can force us to have contempt for them. That’s a choice we make. Others cannot make that decision for us. What brings a person to this place of freedom? How does a person discover their right to rule their inner response? It begins with subscribing to this axiom: My Response is My Responsibility. Join Emerson and Jonathan this week as they discuss this topic.

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Why Are Believers Mad at God? Part 3

In part 1 and part 2, we discussed the first three categories I have found in which most believers who find themselves angry with God fall. In the third and final part, we’ll take a look at the last category—raging when foolish.

When Foolish, Do I Rage Against God?

There is a fourth reason people rage against God. They do something stupid that brings about suffering and ruin and then they shake a fist at God.

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Why Are Believers Mad at God? Part 2

In part 1, we began by asking why many believers get mad at God. Of the many stories I’ve been told and letters I’ve been sent, I have concluded that almost all instances of believers being angry with God fall under one of four categories. The first we discussed was cursing when suffering. Here in part 2, we’ll discuss two more categories—hostile when disobeying and hating when proven guilty.

When I Disobey God, Am I Hostile?

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Why Are Believers Mad at God? Part 1

Does the Bible teach that people who claim to believe in God can hate God? Jesus said, “He who hates Me hates My Father also” (John 15:23). So according to Jesus, yes, people can hate God the Father. And for those of us who believe Jesus is God’s Son, people can hate the Son of God.

The apostle Paul tells us that there will be “haters of God” (Romans 1:30).

People who believe in God can hate God. You cannot hate someone you do not believe exists.

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Why Are Believers Mad At God? Part 2 -- Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 098

Join Emerson and Jonathan in Part 2 of this series as they examine four reasons someone might hate or be mad at God: Cursing when suffering, Hostile when disobeying, Hating when proven guilty, Raging when foolish. Does the Bible teach that people who claim to believe in God can hate God? Jesus said, “He who hates Me hates My Father also” (John 15:23). So according to Jesus, yes, people can hate God the Father. And for those of us who believe Jesus is God’s Son, people can hate the Son of God. The apostle Paul tells us that there will be “haters of God” (Romans 1:30). People who believe in God can hate God. You cannot hate someone you do not believe exists.

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