Posts tagged Relationships
Love and Respect in the Face of Male and Female Differences

Based on scripture’s command in Ephesians 5:33 for the husband to love his wife and for the wife to respect her husband, Sarah and I have found two challenges. One, to follow this command unconditionally means we are to love and respect each other even during our male and female differences.

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A Wife Finally Understands Why Her Husband Kept Misinterpreting Her

I was once talking with another man about his marriage, and he shared with me that whenever he and his wife would get into a fight, she would get “historical.” Curious at his choice of words, I asked him if he meant “hysterical.” He replied, “No, historical. She keeps dredging everything up from the past.”

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He’s a Problem-Solver, She’s an Empathy-Giver—Neither Wrong, Just Different

Have you noticed that everyday problems and burdens cannot typically be shared, discussed, and dealt with between you and your spouse in the same way that you have handled similar situations all your life with your same-sex friends or siblings? For example, a wife comes to her husband with a problem she faces. His first instinct is to try and solve her problem, just as he would with another man who comes to him with a problem. He kicks into solution mode. Most men operate analytically. This is the way he helps his guy friends, who probably say something to him in response like, “I should have come to you weeks ago. Thanks.” They truly appreciate his recommended solution.

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Are You Mistaking a Crazy Cycle for a Crazy Train?

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.”

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Your Parents’ Marital Problems Do Not Have to Become Yours Too

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!

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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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Does the Eden Inside Your Heart Bring You Closer to Your Spouse or Drive You Apart?

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).

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For Your Spouse, “Cleaving” Probably Means Something Different than What It Means to You

We read in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” It is from this verse that we get the well-known saying that a husband “leaves and cleaves.” But for the husband who interprets this scriptural command to “leave and cleave” and become “one flesh” as purely sexual, I have some disappointing news to share with them. For most wives, cleaving does indeed mean a face-to-face closeness, but not in a sexual way. For her, this face-to-face closeness entails talking about the things that matter to her.

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What Do You Believe About God's Revelation?

When I became a believer as a young man, I came across certain scriptures that shaped my thinking. Not only have these verses instilled in me an excitement that the God of the universe has not remained silent but instead has spoken loud and clear, but it has also been affirmed for me that the Scriptures are not the mere words of men that I may pick and choose what I want to believe and follow.

May I ask you if any scriptures have developed in you the same worldview?

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An Addict Discovers the “Secret” of Ephesians 5:33

“This book saved my marriage,” a man recently wrote me. He went on: I read your book Love and Respect, and I felt the need to reach out and say thank you. I'm a thirty-year-old man who has gone in and out of several addictions. Sex, porn, drugs—legal and illegal—and alcohol. I've totally burned my wife's trust and for several years now we have been on the brink of divorce. This book opened my eyes for why I do what I do, what I'm looking for, and most importantly, what I need to be giving.

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Learn Love and Respect Now . . . Not Later

Over the years, God has used the Love and Respect message to minister to countless couples who had picked up the book or attended a conference, perhaps even as a last-ditch effort, to try and save their marriage. By God’s grace, I have heard story after story from many whose marriages began taking a drastic turn in a positive direction after they learned to submit to God’s message of Love and Respect in Ephesians 5:33.

In the same way, thousands of healthier couples have been introduced to the Love and Respect message and shared with me the multitude of ways that their relationship with their spouse began flourishing even more than they thought possible after being exposed to the joys of Ephesians 5.

But is the Love and Respect message only for the struggling couple or the veteran or newlywed couple looking for some “continuing education”?

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Does Premarital Sex Undermine Communication After Marriage?

When we surveyed a 1,000 people who had had premarital sex with the partner they eventually married, we found that the degree of sexual involvement directly correlated with dissatisfaction in communication.
The more sexually involved the couple was prior to marriage, the more they now feel:

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A Thankful Heart Forgives

Forgiving, as hard as it is, is not an option for the believer. Jesus prayed, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). John made it clear that forgiveness is evidence of God’s work in us. In 1 John 4:19-21, he wrote: “We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”

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God’s Favor Toward His and Her Submission, Part 2: God’s Favor to Husbands

In part 1, we explained how the Bible’s command for a wife to submit to her husband actually means that she is to submit to his need for respect. We then shared one woman’s story about how when she began doing this, she found out what 1 Peter 3 means about “finding favor” with God. What about husbands who submit to God’s plan to love their wives? Do they also find God’s favor?

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Do You Maintain a Submissive Spirit When Feeling Threatened by Authority?

John Gottman, the foremost quantitative researcher on marriage, wrote, "In the research literature on marital interaction that has used observational methods, women's marital interaction . . . has been consistently described as more confronting, demanding, coercive, and highly emotional . . . than the interaction of their husbands." Why is this? Why does she resort to this covert form of power?

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What I Say Is Not What You Hear

Emerson paraphrases a well-known explanation of why and how we send messages in code and don’t communicate: “What I say is not what you hear, and what you think you heard is not what I meant at all.” Emerson and Sarah almost get into a serious argument about who was listening to what on the radio. How did Emerson finally break the codes they were sending and stop the problem from escalating?

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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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He Will Always Need Her Respect. She Will Always Need His Love.

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.

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