If there were ever an issue that isn’t really the issue, it is sex. But boy can it become an issue, can’t it? And yet, it’s rarely, if ever, the issue. Allow me to explain. Sex is a shared act, between husband and wife, as an expression of love to each other. God created sex not only as the means for multiplication but as a gift of pleasure to enjoy within the boundaries of marriage. Sex was meant to be a wonderful experience for both husband and wife.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
Have you ever noticed how people seem to have different interpretations of or responses to the word “healthy” as they apply it to different things? Every parent loves to hear the news of their “healthy” baby just born and laid in their arms. But they are certainly under no illusion that their child will never be sick. Yes, their “healthy” child will more than likely even end back up in a hospital again one day from being so sick. Or a “healthy” savings account or 401(k) always lights up the eyes of a hard worker longing for the days of vacation, home renovation, or retirement. But as most people have learned in today’s roller coaster market, there is no guarantee that tomorrow’s balance will be quite as “healthy.” But does that mean we pull all our money out and stash it under our mattress? No, we leave it alone, with faith that the days ahead will once again be “healthy.” And of course they usually are.Read More
Much has been written and discussed about the “Proverbs 31 woman.” This oracle taught by the king’s mother describes quite the strong woman. - She “works with willing hands” (v. 13).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
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
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
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
One night as Sarah and I were driving home from a small group Bible study, Sarah expressed some strong feelings that had been building up in her over several weeks.
“You were boring in our Bible study tonight,” she said, almost angrily. “You intimidate people with your silence. And when you do talk, you sometimes say something insensitive. What you said to the new couple came across poorly.”
“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.Read More
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”?Read More
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?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
RESPECT = C.H.A.I.R.S. Wives, in the Love and Respect book, I explain Biblically what God’s Word reveals about respecting the husband’s deepest desires as a male. These are the salient concepts from my findings.
Do these make sense to you? What doesn’t make sense to you? I would love to hear from you.Read More
When we become angry toward someone because of their unjust or unworthy manner of acting or speaking, we are letting them know they cannot treat us or others this way. We feel righteously indignant, which is more than okay. Jesus, in fact, became righteously indignant toward the money changers who were attempting to profit off of those coming to worship at the temple (Matthew 21:12–13).Read More
The Bible says, “It’s harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars” (Proverbs 18:19 NLT). According to this Proverb, if you have offended each other, will healing easily come to your marriage if you express words of love or respect? Why?Read More