My Response is My Responsibility — Part 2

The Sin in All of Us

All of us have within us a flawed character. Jesus called it sin. In fact, Jesus said in Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

My Response is My Responsibility Part 2

Notice that Jesus said these things come “from within, out of the heart of men.” In other words, others do not cause me to react sinfully but reveal my choice to react sinfully.

My Response is My Responsibility – Part 1

There is a story that has been told of a Christian Frenchman during World War II who had been harboring Jews before the Nazis eventually captured him. German soldiers brought him before an S.S. officer known as “The Torturer.”

At that moment, the peace of Christ came upon this Frenchman who manifested on his face the serenity of the Lord. However, the S.S. officer interpreted that tranquility as a snide look and screamed, “Get that smirk off your face. Don’t you know who I am?” The Frenchman said, “Yes sir, I know who you are. You are known as ‘The Torturer.’ I know you have the power to torture me. You have the power to kill me. But sir, you do not have the power to get me to hate you.

My Response is My Responsibility

Does God Want Me To Divorce To Be Happy? — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 102

“God wants you to be happy.” Have you heard this platitude before? Has it perhaps been spoken to you? Maybe you’ve even heard it said in the context of someone being encouraged to divorce their spouse, because “God wants you to be happy.” However, some platitudes, though quite memorable, are not based on biblical truth. Join Emerson and Jonathan this week as they discuss this important topic.

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

Read the transcript HERE.

Episode 102 - Does God Want Me to Divorce to Be Happy?

Within Five Years, Your Unhappy Marriage Will Turn Happy

President Ronald Reagan joked, “I won’t say their marriage is unhappy, but the husband went down to the marriage license bureau to see if the license had expired.”

Are you unhappy? Do you want “out” of your marriage? Do you want a divorce? Do not quit!

Within Five Years, Your Unhappy Marriage Will Turn Happy

The Happy News About Being Unhappy

Research found that 8 out of 10  who rated their marriages as “very unhappy,” were happily married to the same person five years later.

Can you believe it? Eighty-percent of the very unhappy couples were happy!

You might say, “…But, I can be happy in a new marriage.”

Does God Want Me to Divorce to Be Happy?

This can be a controversial topic. Please be sure to read the full post before commenting.

“God wants you to be happy.”

Have you heard this platitude before? Has it perhaps been spoken to you? Maybe you’ve even heard it said in the context of encouraging someone to divorce their spouse, because “God wants you to be happy.”

However, some platitudes, though quite memorable, are not based on biblical truth.

Does God Want Me to Divorce to Be Happy?

Job levels a powerful critique of the counsel his friends offered him. We read in Job 13:12 where he tells them, “Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes.”

These are the infamous friends who argued that Job’s sufferings were the result of his sin. Though they appeared wise, they could not have been more wrong. They used sayings that were easily remembered but which were not lasting truths. They were “proverbs of ashes.”

Today we have such sayings like “God helps those who help themselves.” Many quote this as from the Bible, but it can be found nowhere in God’s Word. Instead, Benjamin Franklin said it. In fact, this quote completely contradicts why we were given the Holy Spirit. Though each of us must act responsibly, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, the Helper, to help us since we could not help ourselves sufficiently.

My Response Is My Responsibility, Part 2 — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 101

Join Emerson and Jonathan this week for part 2 of My Response Is My Responsibility. In discussing this challenging but freeing topic they will look at the fact that no one can make a person disobey God, owning one’s responses, letting others off the hook and confronting others.

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

Read the transcript HERE.

Episode 101 - My Response Is My Responsibility - Part II

Can We Manipulate Each Other with the Love and Respect Teaching?

Though God commands the husband to love and a wife to respect, a strange twist might take place.

              A wife puts on respect for one reason: to get her husband to be loving.

              A husband puts on love solely to get his wife to respect him.

Can We Manipulate Each Other with the Love and Respect Teaching- (1)

One pastor who wrote me shared his concerns fearing this very thing: that husbands and wives will manipulate each other when applying love and respect based on Ephesians 5:33:

I understand that this message will be appealing to non-followers of Christ, but it concerns me when believers are motivated in the flesh to manipulate their spouse to get what they want. I recognize this tendency in my own life and need to keep coming back to the cross to receive His forgiveness.

My Response is My Responsibility, Part 1 — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 100

We possess a God given right to rule our own inner responses. No one can make us hate them. No one can force us to have contempt for them. That’s a choice we make. Others cannot make that decision for us. What brings a person to this place of freedom? How does a person discover their right to rule their inner response? It begins with subscribing to this axiom: My Response is My Responsibility. Join Emerson and Jonathan this week as they discuss this topic.

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

Episode 100 - My Response Is My Responsibility - Part I

Why Are Believers Mad at God? Part 3

In part 1 and part 2, we discussed the first three categories I have found in which most believers who find themselves angry with God fall. In the third and final part, we’ll take a look at the last category—raging when foolish.

Why Are Believers Mad at God? Part 3

When Foolish, Do I Rage Against God?

There is a fourth reason people rage against God. They do something stupid that brings about suffering and ruin and then they shake a fist at God.

The Bible says, “The foolishness of man ruins his way, and his heart rages against the Lord” (Proverbs 19:3).

Why Are Believers Mad at God? Part 2

In part 1, we began by asking why many believers get mad at God. Of the many stories I’ve been told and letters I’ve been sent, I have concluded that almost all instances of believers being angry with God fall under one of four categories. The first we discussed was cursing when suffering. Here in part 2, we’ll discuss two more categories—hostile when disobeying and hating when proven guilty.

Why Are Believers Mad at God?

When I Disobey God, Am I Hostile?

I mentioned previously a youth pastor who felt God had failed to come through for him, and now his wife was writing me, frustrated. She continued, “I also feel like he is tired of walking the line and he wants to go out and have fun and not feel guilty for his thoughts and actions, being a Christian is no fun!”

Over the years people have candidly confessed, “I was angry and mad at God because it conveniently enabled me to live a selfish and sensual life.”

Why Are Believers Mad at God? Part 1

Does the Bible teach that people who claim to believe in God can hate God?

Jesus said, “He who hates Me hates My Father also” (John 15:23). So according to Jesus, yes, people can hate God the Father. And for those of us who believe Jesus is God’s Son, people can hate the Son of God.

The apostle Paul tells us that there will be “haters of God” (Romans 1:30).

People who believe in God can hate God. You cannot hate someone you do not believe exists.

Listen to these people who e-mailed me about being angry at God. They are mad at Him and some seem to hate Him.

Why Are Believers Mad at God?

Unfaithful Spouse

“I have been divorced . . . for seven years due to him having an affair and getting the other girl pregnant—who also had been married. I am a workaholic and yet I have single-handedly raised my son by myself since the day he was born, because my ex-husband felt that children were not the father’s responsibility. I recognize that from the beginning my marriage was doomed because I didn’t have family support or friend support to help me find the tools to get off the crazy cycle created from a lifetime of watching my parents’ bad relationship and then marrying a man unable to love me and that I didn’t respect. . . . I hated God during this time period.”

Can We Manipulate Each Other With The Love And Respect Teaching? — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 099

Though God commands the husband to love and a wife to respect, a strange twist might take place. A wife puts on respect for one reason: to get her husband to be loving. A husband puts on love solely to get his wife to respect him. One pastor wrote Emerson and shared his concerns fearing this very thing: that husbands and wives will manipulate each other when applying love and respect based on Ephesians 5:33.  Join Emerson and Jonathan this weeks as they discuss this topic.

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

Don’t forget to enter the Podcast 100 Giveaway ($250 value)!

Episode 099 - Can We Manipulate Each Other With The Love And Respect Teaching?

Different Views on Sex and Parenting: How to Avoid Marital Crisis

Husbands and wives have many hot topics, but not many rate higher than sex and childrearing techniques. Yes, we can throw finances, in-laws, and work issues into the mix, but sex and childrearing are usually right up there for most couples.

Different Views on Sex and Parenting- How to Avoid Marital Crisis

A husband wrote:

Unlike my wife, I grew up in a home that was pretty much run by shame, and the list of taboo subjects was as long as your arm. Sex, language (even the word “dam” was forbidden as it sounded like the cuss word), alcohol, anger . . . these just were not mentioned more than once, on pain of punishment; mainly from Mom, who had lots of “issues.” So, when I got out on my own (and eventually married), I was free to investigate “the Dark Side,” but with that load of guilt and shame riding my back. That carried over into our marriage where, as misfortune would have it, my new bride was the “Last Utterly Innocent Eighteen-Year-Old” alive. The honeymoon was awkward, to say the least, as sex, it seemed, was mainly an icky surprise to her more than anything. The women at the church we first attended . . . were only too happy to reinforce that idea in her, which set us firmly on the road of less-than-marital bliss.