Posts in Theology
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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He is Resurrected!

I once stayed in the home of Bernhard Langer, two-time winner of the Masters, one of the PGA Tour’s four major tournaments. As a result of the positive effect my Love and Respect ministry had on their marriage, he and his wife, Vikki, asked me to spend several days at their home, and during that time, he shared his personal story with me.

In 1985 when he won the Masters for the first time at Augusta, Georgia, the announcers ushered him into the infamous cabin where one of them asked him, “Did you look at the leaderboard?” Bernhard replied, “I was trying not to look, but I saw it for the first time at the ninth; and I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, I am playing well, and I am four shots behind!’”

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How To Discover God's Will For Your Life

Since some variation of the words “the will of God” or the “Father’s will” occur more than twenty times in the New Testament, it is fair to assume “the will of God” exists and can be known. The apostle Paul commands us to “understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17). Jesus uses the expression when He addresses God with the words, “Your will be done” in what has come to be known as the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10). Yes, God has a will that we must discover and do from the heart.

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A Man’s Discovery That Respect Is a Biblical Truth

In Ephesians 5:33, the apostle Paul wrote, “each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” As God does not command things that are unnecessary, we can then infer that a woman has a need to feel loved (which no one ever disputes); but in the same token, we must then conclude that a man has a need to feel respected. And of course, the man’s need for respect has been largely glossed over by many throughout history, including in the church.

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Our Position in Christ, Part 2

I told this story because a while later, I was still struggling with my identity.   Would I be left in the shadows as a nobody compared to all the students who excelled at everything way beyond me? Did I have value? And most of this centered on my relationship to God. Did God really love me? Was I fooling myself about how God felt about me? Was I really a reject in God's eyes as I struggled with my failings and and immaturity? There were times I'd awaken in the middle of the night wondering about how God felt about me. One such time as I laid there it was as though God Himself spoke gently to my heart, "If Evan Welsh, a mere man, could love you that much, would I love you less?"

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Our Position in Christ, Part 1

As a child of God who has confessed your sins and chosen to follow Jesus, have you ever asked yourself what all exactly this means? How did this decision change your identity? How did it change your position, now, here on earth and in eternity? Because of your belief in what Jesus Christ did on the cross for you, it is extremely important that you recognize exactly how God the Father now views you and what this means for you personally.

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How King David and His Wife Got on the Crazy Cycle

Couples in Bible times didn’t use terms like Crazy Cycle, decoding, and air hose, but they still faced the same kind of communication problems people face today. And these women and men had the same basic needs for Love and Respect.

One incident from the life of King David is a classic illustration of how a wife can stomp on her husband’s air hose. When King Saul gave David his daughter Michal to be his wife, the marriage appeared to start out well. First Samuel 18:20 tells us, “Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David.”

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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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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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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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God Joined You Together: What Does This Mean? Part 2

In part 1, we discussed the soul-mate idea and nixed the misguided view that God has one and only one person for each of us. The idea of a soul mate distracts people from where they need to focus. [featured-image] First, the focus needs to be on being the right, mature person yourself. This is huge. Some look for the perfect person while they themselves have glaring imperfections but refuse to do an honest assessment of themselves.

They never ask, “Why would a perfect person marry someone as imperfect as me?” But the soul-mate idea makes it easy. “This is about God gifting me with a wonderful person regardless of who I am.”

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God Joined You Together: What Does This Mean? Part 1

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.—Jesus, in Matthew 19:6. I love the attitude of so many Christ followers. Regardless of the marital bumps they say things like:"God brought us together and that is all that matters." "We know that God brought us together." "Jerry and I were married just seven months ago. He is in America and I am in India. We met over the Internet and God brought us together in the most wonderful way."

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Three Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage, Part Three: Together Motivated by Christ’s Mission

In parts one and two we discussed the importance of your own maturity, as well as the maturity of your spouse, in leading to a successful marriage. But maturity alone is not enough. What matters most is jointly using your maturity in Christ’s mission for the two of you together. At Joy and Matt’s wedding I said, “What makes the relationship you have all the more special is your commitment to a third component. You are committed to something bigger than your relationship and marriage."

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