What To Do When You Have Different Feelings About Money

I’m a spender, my wife is not. I have a hobby that costs money, my wife’s interests cost substantially less (close to zero). We both make more than a decent living, pay all our bills and save a lot of money, but I see my wife living in a state of fear and lack (where none exists) and I see the money I do spend on my hobby as adding to my life and bringing me a tremendous amount of joy (it’s photography, so it is something I engage with and share with my family regularly). It is as though each of us is waiting for the other to change, which seems highly unlikely. What are some good solutions?

What To Do When You Have Different Feelings About Money

ANSWER:

Thanks for sharing your concern.  You are seeking a win-win situation and I salute you!  You are exercising honesty with your own desires but seeking to be sensitive to your dear wife.

In marriage, differing personal preferences arise.  As I say in my Love and Respect Marriage Conferences, when such differences arise, neither are wrong, just different. Yet, if two people let a conflict escalate – in this instance over money – each may feel they married Hitler’s distant cousin!

What should you do in the face of a stalemate? Realize that money is not the issue.  The issue goes deeper.  The money takes back seat to another issue.  In this instance, you gave voice to it. Your wife possesses a fear about future security. Whether this fear is realistic or not, it’s how you respond to her fear that becomes the focus. If you tell her she is being childish for having this fear, untrustworthy toward you, and selfish for depriving you of photography’s pleasures, she will feel devalued.  She will declare, “How can you treat me this way and say that you love me?”

What Is the Golden Rule of Marriage?

I’ve been married for 5 years now and I wanted to know what I should be doing to ensure that I’ll continue to have a great marriage. I know that each relationship is different and unique, but are there any “golden rules” that we should adhere to? I guess this could also apply to relationships for those who aren’t married yet.

What Is the Golden Rule of Marriage?

I rejoice with you over your great marriage.  One piece of advice: don’t try to fix what isn’t broken!  Keep doing what you are doing.  At the same time, I applaud your desire to ensure the continuation of your great marriage.

My wife Sarah and I have been married since 1973.  I realized several years ago that we practiced one golden rule: one for the husband and one for the wife.

Let me explain.

Are Husbands Hyper-Sensitive or Just Highly-Sensitive to Disrespect? — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 089

Some husbands are hyper-sensitive to anything that strikes them as disrespectful.

They overreact to their good willed wives who do not intend any such disrespect. Sadly, these men read disrespect into her every question, concern, or disagreement. Some husbands are just sensitive to undeserving disrespect. Though they humbly appeal to their wives to halt the rudeness toward them as men, husbands and fathers, these women claim the husbands are overly sensitive. Join Emerson and Jonathan this week as they discuss this important issue. See episode 088 to hear this topic as it pertains to wives.

Listen to the podcast HERE. Access it on iTunes HERE, on Stitcher HERE, and on the Love and Respect App HERE.

Episode 089 - Are Husbands Hyper-Sensitive or Just Highly-Sensitive to Disrespect

God Joined You Together: What Does This Mean? Part 2

In part 1, we discussed the soul-mate idea and nixed the misguided view that God has one and only one person for each of us. The idea of a soul mate distracts people from where they need to focus.

God Joined You Together- What Does This Mean?


First, the focus needs to be on being the right, mature person yourself. This is huge. Some look for the perfect person while they themselves have glaring imperfections but refuse to do an honest assessment of themselves.

They never ask, “Why would a perfect person marry someone as imperfect as me?” But the soul-mate idea makes it easy. “This is about God gifting me with a wonderful person regardless of who I am.”

God Joined You Together: What Does This Mean? Part 1

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.
—Jesus, in Matthew 19:6

I love the attitude of so many Christ followers. Regardless of the marital bumps they say things like:

“God brought us together and that is all that matters.”

“We know that God brought us together.”

“Jerry and I were married just seven months ago. He is in America and I am in India. We met over the Internet and God brought us together in the most wonderful way.”

​Why do these folks feel this way? Because of their belief in Jesus’ words about a husband and wife being “joined together” by God. But was Jesus saying that God intends to direct our steps toward one and only one person He designed from eternity past to be our soul mate?

Let’s look at the story of Isaac and Rebekah to help answer that.

God Joined You Together- What Does This Mean?

Many of us are familiar with the wonderful story of Isaac and Rebekah’s meeting and the way the angel of God directed Abraham’s servant to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham said to his servant, “[God] will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there” (Genesis 24:7).

Are Wives HyperSensitive or Just Highly Sensitive to A Husband’s Unclear Comments? — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 088

Typically speaking, most husbands are assured of their wives love. Women are virtuous and excellent caregivers. Because of a wife’s loving and nurturing nature few men have an undercurrent of curiosity and insecurity about a wife’s love. Women love to love, and men know this.  However, with many wives there is an undercurrent of curiosity and insecurity that they possess in their souls that their husbands do not possess: “Does he really love me as much as I love him?” Join Emerson and Jonathan this week as they discuss this topic. Husbands: If you use this information against your wife, claiming she is hyper-sensitive, and you say it in an unloving way, then you are in the fact the insensitive one.

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

Read the transcript HERE.

Episode 088 - Are Wives HyperSensitive or Just Highly Sensitive to A Husbands Unclear Comments

One Simple Way To Better Connect With Your Son

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.

This mother read the “Parenting Pink and Blue” chapter in Love and Respect in the Family and applied it to her daily interactions with her son.

Here is the “respect effect.”

One Simple Way To Better Connect With Your Son

She writes,

I had finally concluded—although I wasn’t ready to completely believe it—that my seven-year-old son just had one of those moody, depressed personalities and I had better just accept it instead of want him to be happier and try to teach him to be grateful for all his blessings.

How To Respond To People Who Criticize Their Spouse

I received this question from someone:

“I am surrounded by acquaintances (and even some relatives) that berate their spouses constantly. It is usually behind their spouse’s back, but sometimes it is to their face. I see this as disrespectful, disloyal, and unloving.

What is the best response? Should I tell them how bad this makes them look? I fear for their relationships, too. This behavior may lead to a worse situation.

So far I have been silent. My only response is to change the subject as soon as I am able. I’d love to say something, but I want it to be thought provoking and helpful. Please, what is your advice?”

How To Respond To People Who Criticize Their Spouse

ANSWER:

I have a pastor friend who grew so burdened about people berating others in front of him and using his silence to mean that he agreed with them, that he started pulling out a 3X5 card to take notes on what they were saying.  When the bad-mouthing person asked, “What are you doing?” he replied, “I am going to this person to report what you have said and to see if I can help solve this problem.” He made himself part of the solution. People stopped bad-mouthing others to him!

3 Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage, Part 3 — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 087

In Part 3 of this series on dating Emerson looks back briefly at becoming a mature person and looking for a mature person but that for Christians a third component is needed, Doing God’s Will As a Couple. When we do not have a purpose beyond ourselves, we end up focusing only on ourselves.

When we do not think of something bigger than ourselves, we will only think of ourselves. When nothing is more important than ourselves, than we alone are important. However, when we fight for something bigger than ourselves, we fight with each other less! That may not be the most noble of reasons to follow Christ but it certainly leads to marital satisfaction!

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

Listen to Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.

Episode 087 - 3 Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage - Part III

Three Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage, Part Three: Together Motivated by Christ’s Mission

In parts one and two we discussed the importance of your own maturity, as well as the maturity of your spouse, in leading to a successful marriage. But maturity alone is not enough. What matters most is jointly using your maturity in Christ’s mission for the two of you together.

At Joy and Matt’s wedding I said, “What makes the relationship you have all the more special is your commitment to a third component. You are committed to something bigger than your relationship and marriage.”

I expressed to Joy, “I love the fact that you love Christ. I am humbled by your choice to live for Him who died for you. As the apostle John penned in 3 John 1:4, ‘I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.’”

Three Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage, Part Three- Together Motivated by Christ’s Mission

Living for and Loving Christ

Joy and Matt intend to live for more than their relationship with each other; they intend to live for Christ.

Joy’s prayer for herself: “A desire to live this life only for Jesus.”

Joy’s prayer for her future husband: “Loves Jesus more than me.”

Matt vowed, “I promise that I will love you for the rest of my life as God gives me ability. The only Person I’ll ever love more than you is Jesus.”

Three Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage, Part Two: Finding a Mature Person

In part one, we discussed the importance of your own maturity, if you are to have a successful marriage. But now that you are committed to being a mature person yourself, what does it mean to find a mature person?

Three Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage, Part Two- Finding a Mature Person

The Mythical Perfect Person

There is a difference between finding a mature person and finding a perfect person. The latter does not exist and perchance they did, they’d not give us the time of day. Besides, none of us would want to live with a perfect person. We’d feel judged each and every day. Perfect people have a problem with imperfect people!

So why do some still hunt for the perfect person?

Every man has the perfect Eve in his imagination. Every woman has the perfect Adam in her mind. We see them as perfect!

Unfortunately, this goes way beyond what is a healthy ideal of seeing the best in another person. Instead, we project that perfect image onto the other person in opposition to the facts. That depiction distorts reality. Inevitably, we see what we look for though it really isn’t there. We take no notice of what is there that does not align with that likeness. When we lock into this projection, the red flags waving in our faces provoke no concern. We barge ahead off the cliff though we believe with all our heart a bridge awaits us.

Three Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage, Part 1: Being a Mature Person

On February 20, 2016, I had the unique experience of officiating the marriage of Matt Reed and my daughter, Joy.

As part of the ceremony, I gave voice to what I believed about both of them.

One, each sought to be a mature person prior to meeting the other.

Two, each sought to find a mature person.

And, three, each planned on being committed to Christ beyond their relationship, doing marriage motivated by a sense of mission.

Three Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage, Part 1- Being a Mature Person

Because of these three facets, I expressed my confidence that their marriage would succeed God’s way.

I also have confidence that anyone who is mature, marries someone mature, and who together is motivated by Christ’s mission for them, will succeed in their marriage.

3 Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage, Part 2 — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 086

Emerson and Jonathan continue this three part series on what leads to a successful marriage. In Part 1 they looked at being a mature person.  In Part 2 they look at finding a mature person. This three part series is perfect for anyone who is dating or unmarried, but also for anyone who knows someone that is. Additionally, do you have children or plan on having children? This can help you in your conversations with them about marriage.

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

Read the transcript HERE.

Episode 086 - 3 Goals in Dating That Lead to a Successful Marriage - Part 2

How To Keep The Romance Going With A New Baby

With a 6 month-old to care for, time is at a premium around our house. And I worry that he’s feeling pushed to the wayside – or that maybe even I will start to feel pushed to the wayside soon. How can I keep the romance going and let him know he’s still my perfect match on a regular basis?

How To Keep The Romance Going With A New Baby

ANSWER:

I deeply appreciate your sensitivity to your husband.  You are thinking wisely and pro-actively.  For example, you will do fine if you voice this kind of thing on a regular basis: “You mean the world to me and are my perfect match.”

I call this “respect talk” toward a man. Men respond to respect talk. In a moment, let me come back to the idea of “respect talk.”

Because many practical suggestions exist from outstanding parenting experts on handling a newborn and a husband who feels pushed aside, let me restrict my comments to one dimension: the attitude of love and respect in your marriage.  

What is the Difference Between Loving Someone and Being In Love?

How can you tell the love you feel is the kind which will last a lifetime and not just some overwhelming infatuation which will fade with time? It seems simple enough but if it were so simple, why is the divorce rate so high in this country?

What is the Difference Between Loving Someone and Being In Love-

ANSWER:

This is an excellent question!  

Another definition of infatuation might be falling in love with love, rather than falling in love with a loving person.

When I pastored a church and met with premarital couples, I would share that every man has his image of the perfect Eve.  If not careful, a guy can project that image of the perfect Eve upon the woman he romantically pursues.  I also shared that every woman has her image of the perfect Adam.  If not careful, a gal can project that image of the perfect Adam upon the man to whom she romantically responds.