Giving Thanks Beyond Thanksgiving Day

How grateful I am for a day we set aside to remember the freedom the Pilgrims found in America. A time for us to reflect on the many blessings of the past year. We love the traditional food that is served and the many memories that go with this special day.

Years ago I became convinced that giving thanks every day and in all things was the key to finding joy and contentment in the midst of daily circumstances, the good and the not so good, and especially my parenting.

Giving Thanks Beyond Thanksgiving Day (1)

One of the most important parenting tools I discovered.

I shared how giving thanks was one of the most important parenting tools I had ever learned. Here is my story and I trust it will encourage you on your life’s journey.

I heard the break. It sounded like a tree limb cracking from the weight of a storm. But there was no rain, no thunder, and no lightning.

Does Love and Respect Let My Spouse Off the Hook?

Q:  Sometimes it seems like you are giving the other person an excuse for not being loving. You probably aren’t, but why can’t I expect my husband to be loving just out of unconditional love like God commands? How will it ever be unconditional if it is just a response to how I act?

Does Love and Respect Let My Spouse Off The Hook

Dr. E says:  What this wife is saying is pretty insightful. We take the position that a wife’s respect motivates her husband’s love. But we also teach that a wife ought to respect her husband unconditionally, even if he is unloving.

Are we letting her husband off the hook?

Why Do Good People Suffer? — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 019

Emerson and Jonathan discuss why bad things happen to good people and take a look at testimonies and examples from individuals who have walked this road. Together, they talk through four conclusions someone might draw about God when they have experienced suffering—God does not exist; God is all-powerful, but not all-loving; God is all loving, but not all-powerful; or God is all-loving and all-powerful.

Listen to the podcast HERE. Access it on iTunes HERE and on Stitcher HERE.

Episode 019 - Why Do Good People Suffer



01:47—Emerson recaps Episode 18.

06:42— I go from heartache to heartache. How many tears does God need from me?

09:10—Why some people reject the reality of God.

Calling All Moms! Apply “Respect Talk” to Your Sons

I have a favor to ask of mothers who have sons.

The #1 application of the Love and Respect message beyond marriage is by moms who apply to their sons what they learned from our book or at our conference.

What is Respect Talk?

Beyond their words of love, Moms begin saying things like, “I really respect you.”  Or, “I respect you for being an honest person.”  Or, “Because you are becoming a man of honor, I need your help on how to solve this conflict between you and your sister.”

The Consequences of Anger: Can My Marriage Survive?

Q:  For years my wife told me I needed to get help for my anger, but I didn’t listen. I just got angrier. Finally she gave up and moved out, which opened my eyes.

Since then I have gone to counseling and taken an anger management course and I have never felt better in my life. The problem is my wife won’t come home. How do I show her the changes I’ve made in myself when she won’t give me the chance? I have thanked her numerous times for opening my eyes and have begged her for a second chance, but she won’t respond. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Dr. E says:  Don’t give up! This is a major wake-up call for you, and I commend you for dealing with your issues. Continue to focus on becoming the man of honor God has called you to be.

She is Fearful

If you consistently follow through on your commitment to keep your anger under control, I believe your wife will soften.

Oh The Joy, God Sees Your Every Sacrifice In Your Marriage! – Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 018

Do you ever feel like what you are doing in your marriage isn’t worth it? Through the story of the widow’s mite, Emerson and Jonathan discuss why everything one does in their marriage matters, immensely so. Join them this week as they explain why nothing is wasted before God, even when it feels like nothing you are doing is effective.

Listen to the podcast HERE. Access it on iTunes HERE and on Stitcher HERE.

Oh The Joy, God Sees Your Every Sacrifice In Your Marriage!


01:04—Emerson & Jonathan celebrate still being alive after last week’s episode.

04:59—Q&A: “What about suggesting shoulder-to-shoulder activities that I like to do?”

08:05—Q&A: “I want my wife to hear this, but is that akin to giving her a diet book?”

Learning How to Avoid the Crazy Cycle [Video]

I received the following from a wife:

Six years ago, I became a widow at age 36 with three young children.  My husband and I were married very young; myself right out of high school and he was 3 years older than myself.  I had many wounds from my own father’s death when I was 11 years old, which left me in a very dysfunctional home.  

My husband was the typical man who was full of life and full of energy; very driven in all that he did.  He was in the military for 12 years and then law enforcement the rest of our married years and was killed in the line of duty December 12, 1999.  

Respect for a Husband Who Doesn’t Work

Q:  You talk about the husband’s need to provide for his family and that showing appreciation for this desire is one way a wife can show respect.

But my husband has not worked for several years, which has put me in the position of primary provider. I have a good job so he seems content to be the parent who stays home with the kids. I am finding myself becoming resentful because he isn’t even trying to find a job anymore. How can I respect him in this situation?

Respect for a Husband Who Doesn't Work

Dr. E says:  It’s easy to assume the difficulty is with the role reversal when in reality who brings home the money is not really the issue. While I don’t know all the details that led up to your situation, I’m quite sure the real issue is different than it appears.

What is the Real Issue?

Our Lives Have Been Transformed

Today’s testimony shares a truth that many feel but few admit. This husband was on his way to a divorce that neither he nor his wife wanted.  Very few couples really want to end a marriage. The simple message of Love and Respect applied to a marriage, even one headed for divorce, can make a huge difference. We believe this email will encourage you.

Our Lives Have Been Transformed

I want to thank you for putting together such an amazing program.  Our community group leader (who’s also our marriage minister) put our small group through your program  about a year ago. The results have been life transforming!!!

How To Learn Love and Respect: Illumination Beyond Marriage

For over a decade Fritz Ridenour edited my books and workbooks on Love and Respect, including one that made it to the New York Times bestseller list.

Beyond the professional relationship, Fritz (who I call “the king”) and I have also grown together over that decade as friends. We talk on the phone regularly, since he lives in Santa Barbara (Camelot) and I in Grand Rapids (Camel’s Lot).

In dedicating one of the books to Fritz, I wrote, “For his tireless efforts in editing this devotional book, I express my heartfelt thanks to Fritz Ridenour, my friend and colleague, and dedicate this book to his beloved wife, Jackie Ridenour. On December 19, 2009, Jackie stepped ashore and found it heaven, breathed new air and found it celestial.”

May I invite you to read what Fritz said about Jackie? His words touch and teach us.

How To Learn Love and Respect

Why Should You Stop Talking To Your Husband? – Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 017

Wives, would you like to learn a way to motivate your husband and know that he feels close to you in a meaningful way? Husbands, would you like to understand yourself better and why you may not do relationships the same way as your wife? Listen in this week as Emerson and Jonathan discuss how a wife can move towards her husband with less talking, even no talking, through spending shoulder to shoulder time with him.

Listen to the podcast HERE. Access it on iTunes HERE and on Stitcher HERE.

Episode 017 When You Should Stop Talking To Your Husband


01:36—Emerson reviews the Relationship Challenge from last week’s episode.

04:50—Laying some groundwork for today’s discussion.

Why Do Good People Suffer? [Video]

Why Do Good People Suffer?

A person writes, “How many tears have I shed? Millions. How many tears does God need from me? Even though I prayed and believed for years, my parents divorced. Even though I prayed and believed for healthy children, my son is Autistic. Even though I prayed for my family, my mother died a tragic death. It seems to me that the very things I ask God for, the opposite happens. I have gone from one continuous heartache to another for my whole life! How is this ‘God’s Plan’ for me??” (KJ).


I want to say to this dear soul, you are not alone with these questions.

It’s not unusual for some to question God’s love and power after suffering. Earlier they had prayed for protection and provision but suffering came and supplies did not. To them, God did the opposite of what they had prayed and they questioned the love and power of God. They bordered on disbelief.

I too have seen lots of suffering, especially as a Pastor.

SMART Conference Recap + HUGE Savings for You!

Last weekend we went to the SMART Conference with Dave Ramsey, along with many other excellent speakers. We had a great time meeting many of the 7,000 people who made it to the event!

During the conference, we gave a HUGE discount to all attendees on three of our products, and this week Dave and his team released the discount codes to the whole Ramsey community.  Now we want to pass the savings on to you!

You have until midnight (EST) on November 9, 2014 to take advantage of 20-70% off some of our latest and greatest products!


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This amazing deal is open to the public! Help YOUR friends take advantage of the 20-70% savings by sharing this image on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

I Had No Clue What Respect Was

We would like to thank Aimee for sending us this heartwarming testimony of how she came to understand respect. What power it had in her marriage as well as the marriages of everyone with whom they shared this message! Thank you, Aimee!

I Had NO Clue

My husband and I have taught your video series 3 times at our church.  Every time we go through it, I learn so much more.  Can I tell you how stunned I was to fully understand what God meant by respect?  I had NO clue.

Every time I glean more and more that is changing my life.

I Had No Clue What Respect Was

I Loved My Husband But Had No Respect

I am a very strong woman – a “Type A” personality and my husband is a “Type B.”  You can imagine our relationship I am sure.  We were both good willed and I loved my husband but I had no respect for him.  As a “go-getter” type A, I was frustrated by his employment choices, felt like he blew off and ignored the things that I asked him to do, and that he too easily accepted the status quo.  

4 Ways to Lovingly Discipline Your Children

Emerson and I have never forgotten the time when our son Jonathan was sixteen years old and wise in his own eyes.

He was being loud and disrespectful and would not stop after Emerson confronted him. So Emerson assigned a simple consequence: “Since you are refusing to stop, here’s the deal: Every loud, disturbing, disrespectful remark will cost you one dollar out of your savings.”

Jonathan clearly knew better, but something in him rebelled and he made four unacceptable comments, and owed four dollars. Irked, he pushed the envelope and told his dad this was stupid, that he didn’t know how to parent, and any other number of insults. Emerson kept counting out loud, and Jonathan didn’t think he was for real until it got to twenty-three dollars. At this moment he calmed down enough to realize his stupidity and that he was not in control, nor would he be any day soon. Jonathan knew the rule about respectful speech and suffered the consequences for his foolishness, right where it hurt—in his wallet!

4 Ways to Lovingly Discipline

So What Was Our Approach to Lovingly Discipline?

Loving and wise discipline results in a child’s respect: “We had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them” (Hebrews 12:9).

When we were raising our kids, we tried to be as loving and fair as possible. We looked to the Bible as our main go-to source. We did what we believed God was calling us to do, ultimately leaving the results to Him.