On our wedding day, we stand before our family and friends and our loving Lord and commit to each other with a vow that most likely goes something like: “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.” Hopefully, nobody else will say what this fellow said at the altar, “If you cannot be with the one you love, love the one you are with.” As he later commented, “That was probably not a great way to start off my wedding vows.”Read More
I had my thinking challenged years ago when someone asked me, “Emerson, do you want God’s will for your life? Do you want God to work in your life in a powerful way, doing glorious things? Do you want God to really bless you?” I said, “Yes, of course.”Read More
Leaders from different countries, such as the United States and France, have disagreements at times and do things that feel uncaring and dishonoring to each other.Read More
This should in no way be surprising to hear, but simply realizing the causes and effects of the Crazy Cycle does not mean you and your spouse will stop taking spins on them. Learning about her pink way of communicating and interpreting the world, as opposed to your blue perspective on life, does not mean you will always like her pink way of going about things or that she will always speak to you in a way that your blue hearing aids correctly interpret as a respectful response. And even if a wife always keeps Ephesians 5:33 at the forefront of her mind and shows unconditional respect, reinforced by the greatest Respect Talk known to man, this does not mean her husband will love her perfectly, all the time, in a way that is music to her pink ears.Read More
How bad is your marriage? What bothers you at this very moment concerning your spouse? Is your husband stonewalling you? Is your wife complaining far too much? Is the reverse true?
Do you want your husband to be more romantic? Do you wish your wife would desire to be sexually intimate with you more often than she normally does? Is the reverse true?Read More
Let’s say you and your spouse were faced with an unexpected expenditure that needed to be paid, like a $5,000 car expense due to a major problem with the engine. This expense overwhelmed and shocked both of you, becoming a problem you had to deal with together, as the two of you decided long ago that decisions on major expenses would best be handled together.Read More
There’s a stand-out moment in the Old Testament story of Job that almost definitely has caught the eye of every married person who has read it. In Job 2:9, Job’s wife tells him to “Curse God and die.” Curse God and die? What awful thing had Job done to her? Infidelity? Physical abuse? Verbal assault?
No. None of these or anything else like it. Her condemning anger toward her husband was in response to all the horrific things that God had allowed Satan to do to their family—including loss of children, destruction of property, and excruciating boils covering her husband from head to toe.Read More
Have you ever meditated on 1 Corinthians 7:11, which says, ". . . (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife"? What's the backstory to this verse? Paul does not mention adultery or abandonment in this text—the two traditional justifications for biblical divorce—so it is safe to infer that biblical grounds for divorce are not in play here. He simply says that the husband is not to divorce and the wife should not marry someone else in the event that she leaves her husband.Read More
The Crazy Cycle, as explained in my book Love & Respect, says, “Without love she reacts without respect. Without respect he reacts without love.” If neither husband nor wife is mature and calm enough to recognize this cycle and to step off in order to slow it down, it will only strengthen and keep on spinning. Unfortunately, many couples when in conflict do not recognize that they have stepped onto the Crazy Cycle and nothing begins to simmer down until one of them, typically the husband, storms off and withdraws from the fight, with the attitude to simply “live to fight another day.”Read More
She is disappointed because she sees him neglecting her heartfelt concerns, even dismissing them in a condescending way. To her, he is too stoic, matter of fact. Furthermore, she cannot believe that he would bark out solutions when she simply needs from him a listening ear and empathetic demeanor. To her, two people who care for each other will "tend, mend, and befriend," and that revolves around what one feels. In her opinion, that is the key to connecting. Two people give the report on what they are feeling to build rapport. This is what marriage is all about—husband and wife talk to discover what they are feeling, and explore those feelings, and stay with the discussion about those feelings until there is a sense of closure and closeness. For a woman, to shut down on such conversations, to declare, “Just drop it and move on; it’s no big deal” is like finger nails down a chalkboard.Read More
Have you noticed yet that the paradise of Eden still remains in your heart? Have you recognized where the Eden in your heart has affected your relationship with your spouse and your expectations in your marriage? Let me explain.
In the beginning, God created man “in his own image . . . male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). Then after all of Creation was finished, the passage continues by saying, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (v. 31).
In your experience, have you found that any of the following approaches have worked to influence, motivate, and energize your spouse? Keeping track of the other’s wrongs with resentment, nagging and criticizing without seeing any good, judging and shaming from a spirit of self-righteousness, getting angry to the point of showing hostility and contempt, manipulating to achieve a selfish or worthy agenda, blaming without any acknowledgment of one’s own faults, and fighting for control, not for win-win.Read More
Sadly, over the years I have received many emails from husbands who have committed the worst of marital offenses—adultery. Fortunately, those writing me are doing so because they have confessed their sins to their wives, as well as to God, have repented of their iniquities, and have recommitted themselves to the sacred vow they had previously made to their wife. However, just because they have made such strides does not mean their wife has accepted them fully back, and they often write me and ask for advice in navigating through this desert of distrust from their wife.Read More
I had my thinking challenged years ago when someone asked me, “Emerson, do you want God’s will for your life? Do you want God to work in your life in a powerful way, doing glorious things? Do you want God to really bless you?” I said, “Yes, of course.” The person then said, “Let me ask you another question. If Jesus Christ appeared to you and asked you to do something you didn’t want to do, would you do it?”Read More
Have you applied the message of love and respect, found in Ephesians 5:33, to your marriage and reaped the benefits of a fruitful and rewarding relationship with your spouse? If so, as you probably have done with a wonderful recipe or a highly effective diet, you most likely look to share this message with all of your married friends and desire that they, too, would discover this not-so-secret “secret” and have the flourishing relationship with their spouse that you have with yours.Read More
Many couples use this simple exchange successfully when there is a sharp disagreement, and one spouse has stepped on the other spouse’s air hose. They have bought into the need for unconditional Love and Respect to the point where they are comfortable with this terminology.
Here are two typical reports:Read More
It truly warms my heart to receive letters such as the following. I share it with you now, wondering if you might be able to relate with the writer’s personal story:
My parents divorced when I was thirteen, and I have struggled with my relationship with my dad ever since. I see the importance of healthy marriages, especially for the kids involved. It is my belief that if we can get our marriages to a healthy spot, then we can continue to move forward doing what God has called us to do together as husband and wife, to join Him in His kingdom work!Read More
A wife wrote me: “HELP!!!!! What happens when he tells you he’s not in love with you due to all the fighting and arguing? I’ve been doing the Love and Respect challenge, but he says it will not work for him since there is no love. Emerson, can this work?”
Not knowing your situation, I cannot reply with wisdom. I can say, “Yes, Ephesians 5:33 does work, but not with people who do not wish to receive the love and respect we give to them.”Read More