How To Live On The Family Rewarded Cycle

How To Live On The Family Rewarded Cycle Final

Photo Credit: Amy Giordano 

Parenting isn’t about our kids.

I know! Crazy, right?

Yes, we are responsible for our children until they leave home, but long before that we realize we cannot control their thoughts and actions.

Gaining more influence

We can demand that our children say “thank you” but we cannot coerce them to feel grateful in their hearts. We can take them to church but we cannot force them to worship authentically. We can instruct them on right and wrong but cannot create a teachable heart inside of them.

And perhaps most difficult of all, we cannot choose their faith and values. They must choose these for themselves.

What we can control is our actions and reactions to our kids. And as we control ourselves, we create the most loving environment which best motivates our kids to choose our faith and values.

The good news is that we do not lose influence but gain more influence!

Can I Live Happily With My Wife? [Video]

A soldier who trains Army Rangers read Love & Respect.

“I saw the ways I had mistreated my wife – ways I didn’t mean. I saw things I had said, little things that didn’t matter to me. I saw how it affected my wife. I finally understood why my wife felt so confused and hurt. I read more and applied what I learned. I asked God to give me loving words.

“She responded. I could feel the hurt and sadness ease.”

The Lord knows that as a husband loves his good willed wife, she will respond to his loving demeanor and actions.

In effect, this Ranger did what Solomon instructs husbands in Ecclesiastes 9:9. “Live happily with the woman you love…

This Ranger figured out that his love caused his wife to respond!

It Takes Two to Make a Marriage Work

Q: “My spouse is not willing to work on our marriage.  Doesn’t it take two to fix a marriage?”

Dr. E says: Yes, it takes two…but it may not be the two you are thinking of.

The common belief is that it takes both spouses to be fully committed to make a marriage work. Technically that may be true. If one partner has determined in their heart that nothing…NOTHING is going to change his/her mind, such a marriage might not be saved.

But my experience counseling hundreds of married couples – and the Word of God – tells me something different for the majority of troubled marriages.

I believe it takes one spouse and God to make a marriage work.

It Takes Two To Make A Marriage Work

Photo Credit: Branden Harvey

I Don’t Like My Spouse Anymore…Help!

Have you ever felt that you didn’t need to like or even love your spouse in order to stay married? Jacki shares her thoughts on that and how God changed her heart…and then her marriage.

I just had to make the day to day work.

For many years my husband and I would get caught up in the crazy cycle. Of course we didn’t realize it at all and both just assumed that this was married life. I mean, marriage is hard right? Happily ever after is only a fairy tale. When it comes to marriage we do the best we can, and try to make the best out of the results.

I Don't Like My Spouse Anymore... Help!

Photo Credit: Branden Harvey

How To Jump On The Family Energizing Cycle!

Have you ever ridden a merry go round at a park? Seems fun at first, right? The spinning? Not being able to focus on anything? And your lunch seems to be fighting it’s way out. At some point you realized that the ride wasn’t fun and you wanted to get off. Immediately.

Moments like these can take place in everyday life with our families, spinning out of control. We call it the Family Crazy Cycle, which we address in the blog “How to Slow Down the Family Crazy Cycle!

But the good news is God gave us a positive plan to help us maneuver these crazy moments and we call this the Family Energizing Cycle!

How To Jump On The Family Energizing Cycle

Photo Credit: Daniel C. White

The Tone of Love and Respect Matters [Video]


When I was 2 ½, I watched my dad attempt to strangle my mom. This was just one of many incidents of chaos in my home growing up, but that scene as a tiny boy stands out vividly. When I was 11, I learned my Dad committed adultery. My parents divorced, remarried one another, and then separated again. (Love & Respect in the Familypages 9-11).

The pain from this ongoing instability created such hurt and anger within me that my Mom sent me away to a military school from ages 13 to 18.

The #1 Reason a Husband is Unloving and a Wife is Disrespectful [Video]

In the Bible in Ephesians 5:33 God commands a husband to love his wife and a wife to respect her husband.

God’s Command to a Husband

Apparently, a husband is under divine command to be a loving person since he reacts too often in ways that feel unloving to his wife. This is less about his wife being lovable and more about him obeying God’s command to clothe himself with a loving attitude.

Do I hear an Amen from the ladies?

God’s Command to a Wife

Evidently, a wife is under God’s imperative to be a respectful person since she reacts in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband. This is less about her husband being respectable and more about her obeying God’s command to put on respect in demeanor.

Do I hear an Amen from the gentlemen?

Let’s go a bit deeper.

3 Guidelines for a Strong Marriage

Q: We want to have a Love and Respect marriage, but we keep falling into our old patterns. This is harder than we thought. Are we missing something?

Dr. E says: One of our chief concerns at Love and Respect is not that people hear the message, important as that is, but that couples will go on to practice love and respect effectively in their daily lives.

Simple isn’t easy.

3 Guidelines for a Stronger Marriage

Photo Credit: Branden Harvey

How To Slow Down The Family Crazy Cycle

Emerson and I both experienced a lot of craziness in our families growing up.

My parents divorced when I was 4. I still remember the day my daddy said he wouldn’t be living with us anymore. What I recall after that was the craziness with my older siblings and my mother. I disliked people yelling and just wanted there to be peace. My heart’s desire was for everyone to get along! I often put my fingers in my ears at night to drown out the noise.

How To Slow Down The Family Crazy Cycle

Photo Credit: Daniel C. White

Unconditional Respect – A Contradiction of Terms Like Jumbo Shrimp [Video]

Have you ever heard the expression “unconditional respect”?

For most, this is a contradiction of terms. Like Jumbo Shrimp.

Doesn’t respect need to be earned?

Most everyone says, “Love is unconditional but respect must be earned.” Unearned respect strikes us as an incongruity like “disciplined gluttony.”

The #1 Mislabeling Mistake in Marriage [Video]

How wrong is it to put a Skull and Cross Bones on the only can of pure water in the survival kit for those traveling across the Namib Desert?

That’s dangerously wrong!

Likewise, it’s dangerous in marriage when good willed husbands and wives mislabel each other.

The biggest mistake I see is this:

* She mislabels him as unloving when he seeks to do the respectful thing.

* He mislabels her as disrespectful when she seeks to do the loving thing.

Let me explain.

A Faith Crisis vs. A Marriage Crisis: FAQ

A Faith Crisis vs A Marriage Crisis

FAQ:  Is it Too Late to Save Our Marriage? There is no love left between us, and we are tired of working at a loveless marriage.

I understand your discouragement. Nearly every marriage goes through times when the love seems to be gone and one or both spouses want to give up. You are not alone!

Is it too late?

It is not too late to repair a marriage – even after divorce – until one of the partners has remarried. My own parents divorced, remarried one another, separated again, and then came back together. They survived infidelity and abuse.

The key? They eventually turned their lives – and their marriage – over to Christ.

Do You Want a Better Wife?

Do You Want A Better Wife?

We are so grateful for this powerful testimony from Dr. Bill Enslow.  Bill and Heather are the parents of 7 children and are deacons in their church. They have shared the message of Love and Respect through small groups, retreats, and conferences in their church and community. What a blessing they are to us!

Read about how God showed Bill that he needed to focus on himself more than on his wife, Heather.