Why Does God Not Answer Your Question, “Why God?” [Video]

We will always have unanswered questions in this life and they can cause us to shut down on God, at which point we block the Lord from working in our lives.

We all have our box labeled, “Why, God?” and in that box are the things that haunt, goad or discourage us.

“Why did You allow dad to divorce mom and leave us?”

“Why did I get cancer when I lived such a healthy lifestyle?”

“Why did you let me do something stupid and get expelled?”

“Why has my spouse left me for my best friend?”

Some people close off to God when He seems to remain silent in the face of their honest inquiries.

Others do not close off but go deeper in trusting Abba Father.

From their experiences, I have learned that the Lord invites us to ask Him to work outside of our box of unanswered questions and to keep looking to Him no matter how dark it may be at the moment.

The Crazy Cycle: Why We Negatively React

As I have shared in my book, Love & Respect, my wife, Sarah, and I learned that we speak different languages.

While we had a good marriage, we still struggled with irritation, anger, and plenty of hurt feelings.

Often we just couldn’t communicate, but we didn’t know why. A lot of the time it seemed that indeed we were speaking different languages, but we had no idea what to do about it. It was frustrating—and embarrassing. After all, I was a pastor and should have had the answer to something like this!

Fortunately, I finally found the answer—or, more correctly, God revealed it to me—in a single passage of Scripture, Ephesians 5:33, which says, “…each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

As I pondered God’s clear command–not suggestion–in this verse, I uncovered what I came to call the “Love and Respect Connection.”

A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding Your Spouse’s Needs

A wife complains to her husband saying, “I feel fat and ugly, and I have nothing to wear!”

The next day at the Christian bookstore, his eyes catch the book, Dieting for the Christian Woman. The subtitle is, “Post-holiday Menus.” Viewing the diet book more as a cookbook, he buys it. When he gives her the book at home, she goes ballistic. He thinks he’s just witnessed a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral.

She is convinced he is sending a message through his blue megaphone into her pink hearing aids which says, “I do not accept you. I do not approve of you. And I will not love you until you look like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.”

In feeling this way, she verbally blasts away. “You are brainless. You don’t love me! You only want me to fulfill some fantasy you have.”

Why does a wife hear this message that her husband does not love her?

Do You Defuse Conflict Before It Gets Out of Control?

Strife in a family can destroy it. 

We know what Solomon penned,

“Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife” (Proverbs 17:1).

For this reason, as Solomon comments,

“Better is a dish of vegetables where love is than a fattened ox served with hatred” (Proverbs 15:17).

God calls us to defuse strife:

Who Makes the Final Decision When You Are Stalemated? — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 045

Have you ever had a difficult time making a decision–either alone or with another person? In this week’s episode, Emerson and Jonathan discuss what to do when you and your spouse are in a stalemate or gridlocked on an issue. Drawing upon the Bible as well as the world of business and sports, you will be sure to find something useful in this episode about decision-making inside of marriage.

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

Timestamps

01:00 – Did you catch last week’s episode of the podcast? Listen here.

01:25 – Emerson has received this question over and over throughout the years.

05:10 – Steps to get over a stalemate in your marital decision-making.

06:15 – First thing’s first: pray about it. Then what?

Your Humor: Disguised Cruelty or Good-Hearted Wit?

My sister has a hilarious funny bone and sent this to me. Though she said, “You might not be able to use it since it is an ad from a beer company,” I am using it:

“My wife told me we couldn’t afford beer anymore and I’d have to quit. Then I caught her spending $65 on makeup. And I asked how come I had to give up stuff and she didn’t. She said she needed the makeup to look pretty for me. I told her that was what the beer was for.”

Ok, so you are either laughing or spitting mad.

I know the men are laughing. The joke is not on them.

And it is here that I wish to make two points:

The Key To Motivating Your Husband Or Wife: The Energizing Cycle

As they looked forward to their 25th anniversary, a wife and her husband were torn apart by a catastrophe, and they separated. She was almost to the point of suicide and he was miserable, too.

When a friend told her about my book, Love & Respect, she immediately bought a copy. After reading several chapters, she began to sympathize with her husband’s need for respect.

In a letter she wrote, she told us about her response,

“I e-mailed my husband and told him, in spite of all the hateful words and actions, I had always respected him—how he lived his life and the way he cared for me and my children, and I never wanted him to think that I had no respect for him regardless of what happened. He called me immediately and apologized for his part in the situation, and I apologized for mine. I came home the next day, and we have been happy ever since.”

Her expressions of respect motivated him! Then, his loving response motivated her, so much so that she wrote me!

Is There An Upside To Erupting In Anger?

A friend of mine told me about an episode that happened to him years ago at a business retreat. At the time, it was common to gather employees into small groups for the purpose of “telling it like it is.” Though the fad soon passed, for one man the encounter proved to be life-changing.

A dozen small groups huddled in different parts around the convention center. My friend was sitting in a group of 10 other people when suddenly the double doors into their room were kicked open by one of their fellow employees. He burst into the room, and in shock, all eyes were fixed on him. His face was flushed red with anger, his fists were clenched, and from his 6-foot, 4-inch, 280-pound frame, he shouted, “Those guys over there say I have a problem with anger.”

Everybody broke into hysterical laughing. A couple guys even fell off their chairs onto the floor. My friend said it was the funniest scene he’d ever witnessed. Everybody knew the guy and knew he had a problem with anger.

As everyone kept laughing, this brute saw himself for the first time. My friend said, “His body went limp. He realized he was living proof of what they just said and furthermore, he was in total denial. Everyone saw it but himself.”

The Family Crazy Cycle: Stop The Ineffectiveness

What do we think of a neighbor in an apartment complex who goes out at 5:30am to start his Ford pickup truck? Turning on the ignition, the starter cranks slowly—nothing. As first we don’t think much about it. We try to turn over and grab a few more winks before the alarm goes off.

However, what if that neighbor sits there for 45 minutes, right under our window, turning the ignition while the starter cranks slowly away, again and again until the battery dies?

We think to ourselves, “This is crazy! I am trying to sleep! Where is this guy’s brain? That pickup isn’t going to start! Can’t he figure this out? This is madness! He may as well scream at the engine to get it to start!”

Craziness is when a guy like the owner of the pickup truck keeps doing the same thing over and over again with the same ill effect.  

My Situation Is Complex, Beyond Love & Respect! — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 044

Emerson is often told that the Love and Respect principles are too simple for a particularly complex situation, and so therefore they don’t apply. In this week’s episode, he responds by discussing various difficult or complex situations and making the case that love and respect are like food and water to any given situation–they are necessary, but specific interventions, resources, etc. must be brought to the uniqueness of each situation.

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

Timestamps

01:01–Emerson and Sarah have never experienced this kind of whirlwind.

01:55 – Letter from a listener about Episode 042: “I was in a serious car accident and on life-support, but…I’m reminded how great our God is.”

04:49 – The critics of Love and Respect say this message is too simple.

How Unconditional Respect Transformed Her Marriage

Have you read this blog post about how a moment of unconditional love transformed this man’s marriage?

When we talk about a wife’s unconditional respect what exactly does that look like?

How does a wife respect a husband who misunderstands her heart, pulls away emotionally, thinks she wants to end the marriage, and gets caught having an affair?

Few situations rise to this level of difficulty, but read about this wife’s discovery. Read what she found out about the core of her husband.

Could it be that many husbands feel their lack of love is falsely rooted in their belief that their wife could never or would never respect them?

So how does a tender and loving woman, who has no intention of being disrespectful, endure what this wife encountered? How does she bring her husband under conviction so that he softens and stops the behaviors killing their marriage?

Read on.

How Unconditional Love Transformed His Marriage

When we talk about a husband’s unconditional love, what exactly does that look like?

How does a husband love a wife who lives with family of origin scars, thinks he wants sex too often, conveys distrust toward him, provokes him to see if he’ll get angry or violent and uses words purposely to hurt him deeply?

Few situations rise to this level of difficulty, but read about this husband’s discovery. Read what he found out about the core of his wife.

Could it be that many wives feel their disrespect is best explained as their way of protecting themselves from the fear they have of never really being loved?

How does a manly man endure this? How does a man’s man bring his wife under conviction so that she softens and stops these sabotaging behaviors?

Read on.

Parents: Do You React Or Respond?

Most of us have read about the family of Isaac and Rebekah. Their crazy drama unfolds in Genesis 24-28 as they seek to parent their sons, Jacob and Esau.

Why the madness?

The mother, Rebekah, favored her younger son, Jacob, above her older son, Esau. This favor played itself out through Rebekah deceiving her husband into giving the Jewish blessing to their younger son, instead of the older. The subsequent calamity in the family resulting from her favoritism (without suggesting that Isaac favored Esau) continued for years.

Imagine how Esau felt when he realized his mom favored Jacob. Imagine the tension between Isaac and Rebekah over her deception. Imagine the rivalry that ensued between Esau and Jacob, since Jacob went along with his mom’s deception.

How discouraging that Rebekah and Isaac detonated the craziness with their favoritism, which forced Jacob to run for his life lest Esau kill him.

Wounded Healer — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 043

In this week’s episode, Emerson speaks at Liberty University with a message titled, “Wounded Healer.”  He shares his personal story in order to help others understand how God can use past wounds to bring about healing.

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

Timestamps

01:32 – Did you miss last week’s podcast? Listen HERE.

03:08 – Emerson shares his personal story of growing up in a broken home.

08:23 – When Emerson learned that God was Abba Father and responded.

09:10 – What difference does it make if Christ is there?