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.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 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!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
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
The Bible truly is the marriage book to base all marriage books on. All the answers for every husband and every wife and every single marital argument or issue can be found within its pages, summed up perfectly in Ephesians 5:33: “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
“What does the Bible say about how to handle going through dozens of surgeries with your spouse who suffers from debilitating conditions?”Read More
How do I ask my husband if he prays for me? Or should I not ask and hope he does? When a wife asks her husband, “Did you pray for me?” often times she does so in such a way that her husband hears a potential “gotcha” behind this question. Many are leery of why she asks, since he knows he prays less than she does; and he is also very aware of how often he forgets to pray at all, let alone pray for his wife specifically.Read More
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.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
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
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?Read More
The following prayer is for anyone going through deep waters in his or her marriage and needing God’s sustaining love and help. Lord, whether or not my marriage turns around, I know You are using this struggle to reveal more of Yourself to me. I thank You for that because I need You in so many ways right now.Read More
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.Read More
A teenage boy was feeling sorry for himself, feeling as though his mother didn't love him. He said to her, "If you don't love me, why'd you have me?" The mother shot back, "Well, we didn't know it was going to be you." All of us came into this world by way of two parents. There are no exceptions to this. Regardless, there are no perfect parents. In fact, there was once a convention held for adult children of normal parents. No one attended.
Because we have imperfect parents, not only do we have to deal with their issues but we also inherit many of them.Read More
In part 1, we shared 1 Peter 3:1–2 and Peter’s command to a wife to remain respectful to her disobedient husband. The first major reason to do this is because by doing so they will find favor in the eyes of God. But there is a second major reason to put on unconditional respect. In doing so, a wife imitates Jesus Christ.
As a wife stops her disrespectful behavior and starts respectful behavior, she is following the example of Jesus who entrusted Himself to God who judges the wrongdoing of others.Read More
Some questions from one spouse to another are nearly impossible to answer without causing heartache. For example, what is a husband to say when his wife asks, "Does this red dress make me look fat?" A good-hearted husband longs to be truthful without being hurtful, but that isn't an easy rope to walk on. Most men feel totally trapped by this question, because they have learned, perhaps the hard way, that saying nothing or saying "I don't know" actually means "you look fat."Read More
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."Read More