No reasonable parent would defend a selfish child who is refusing to share any of his toys with his siblings. Similarly, few are the people who would not be bothered by a selfish business owner who was not wanting to share any of the company’s abundant profits with the hardworking employees who made it all possible. In almost any situation, selfishness is not something people will stand for.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
One day I received the following message from a husband that encouraged me greatly, as do so many letters I receive from people who have discovered the Love and respect message: The reason we came to the conference was because my pastor found out that I had filed for divorce. And he asked if I would go see you. I was so bitter at this point, I told my pastor that I would apply it in my next marriage. He said, “Okay, I'll pay for the weekend. Just go!” And I really thought nothing you would say could change my mind. It was the most eye-opening weekend of my life. [My wife] and I both wanted the divorce but we really had no good reason, just unhappy. Your conference turned on all kinds of light bulbs for both of us. And it saved our marriage. Emerson, God is using you in a big way. I just wanted to say thank you.
If only this couple had taken to heart Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 10:12, which says, “let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.”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
In my book Before You Hit Send, I quote a woman who said, "You know that little thing in the back of your brain that tells you not to say something before you say it? Well, I don't have that little thing." I suppose all of us wonder occasionally if we lack that little thing in the back of our brains. We know that we are to think before we speak, but we end up saying something that we should not say.Read More
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!’”Read More
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.Read More
Husbands, I know that you love your wife, cherish her beyond measure, and wish every day (and tenfold on Valentine’s Day!) that you could figure out how to better express that to her and in return feel her love and respect for you in all new ways as well. Though we should not dismiss in the least the importance of showing your love to your Valentine through acts like bringing home flowers, surprising her with dinner out, cleaning the house for her, and other ways that express to her that you’re thinking of her and you want to serve her, gaining your wife’s long-term admiration and awe for you is actually much less complicated than finding the perfect combination of small acts of love and service: let her see you become vulnerable and depending completely on Jesus.Read More
As I speak and write about often, there is a distinct pink and blue difference in men and women that God designed in all of us. She views the world through her pink sunglasses, speaks through her pink megaphone, and hears through her pink hearing aids. Which is completely different from how he interprets and communicates through his blue sunglasses, blue megaphone, and blue hearing aids.
This God-designed difference in men and women even extends to how they each are energized in their relationship with their spouse.Read More
Some folks resist anything that seems to reinforce a stereotype. Their initial response to stereotypes is usually to defend individualism and claim that such generalities do not define or explain their situations.
How do you feel about stereotypes when it comes to explaining differences between you and your spouse? What if I said that many women see life through pink sunglasses and many men see life through blue sunglasses and these views color what each sees, especially in conflict? Similarly, she wears pink hearing aids and he wears blue hearing aids and each “hears” something different during heated moments in marriage.Read More
This is a common question I receive from many husbands who have become intentional about opening up more often to their wives and sharing their hearts and needs. But when her response isn’t what they expected—in some cases the situation even worsens—they wonder, Why is she reacting this way? Can’t she see how I’m trying?
The following is my typical response:
I am uncertain why your wife has reacted in this way, but let me offer several possibilities.Read More
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?"Read More
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.Read More
During the premarital stage for young couples, as well as the “honeymoon” stage at the beginning of their new life together, most couples receive a boatload of marital advice, from counseling, to books, to studies, to everyone and their mother giving them their best tips. It is not uncommon for many of these young couples swept up by love to believe that they “get it,” that they are fully prepared, and that they completely understand all they need to know to have the most successful marriage.Read More
The Crazy Cycle can be explained as the following: Without love, she reacts without respect; without respect, he reacts without love. But what about “independent” and “self-confident” couples, who perhaps marry not as young as others and claim that their self-reliance will be an ally in their marital happiness?
She doesn’t believe she actually needs him, which works out well for him, because he doesn’t want to be responsible for her. Could this actually be a loophole for staying off the Crazy Cycle? Without love, she continues on just as fine as she always has. Without respect, he pays the bills and tries to avoid unnecessary conflict.Read More
We can say "thanks" but not be grateful. We can mouth words but our hearts are elsewhere. We are fixated on ourselves. We have probably all seen this in ourselves. 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. Join Emerson and Jonathan in part 2 this week and continuing the conversation about gratefulness but focusing on the intangible.Read More
Growing up I noticed that my dad made a mistake in relationship to my mother. He would get angry and harsh with Mom. It appeared as though he was saying to her, "I'll teach you. I'll get angry in order to teach you to show me more respect. I'll remain embittered until you change. I will be harsh when I feel you are disrespectful."Read More