Unconditional Love and Respect Do Not Operate on a Scale of 1–10

Wives, what would you think if your husband said something like the following? “On a scale of 1–10, you have to be at least a 7 according to my standards before I will speak to you with a loving tone of voice. If you are a 6 or below, I will talk to you any way I like. If I sound a little rough or crude, get used to it.”

Husbands, what would you think if your wife said something like the following? “On a scale of 1–10, you have to be at least a 7 according to my standards before I will speak to you respectfully. If you are a 6 or below, I will say what I like, usually with some contempt.”

Unconditional Love and Respect Do Not Operate on a Scale of 1–10

Judging each other on a scale of 1–10 is no way to have a good marriage, but I have counseled many couples who appeared to approach each other from just this perspective. The mentality seems to be: “You have to earn my loving or respectful speech because I am placing conditions on just how much I will love or respect you.”

This Christmas Will You Speak Only What is Necessary When Gathered as a Family? Why?

A person who modeled thinking before speaking what was unnecessary was my mom. My parents divorced when I was one, remarried, then separated again for five years. Even though Mom could’ve thrown Dad under the bus while raising me on her own, I appreciate that she abstained from doing so. She expressed later in her life that it was unnecessary for me to hear such things.

Mom was other-focused. Because of her heart of love for me, she sought to serve my needs with her words. She was not careless in her words because she cared. She pulled back from communicating information that I didn’t need to hear, even though she may have felt better after having done it.

This Christmas Will You Speak Only What is Necessary When Gathered as a Family? Why?

As I have reflected on my mom, who is in Heaven now, I do not recall my mom doing any of the following. She had a sense about what was necessary and what wasn’t. She wasn’t perfect but she was mature.

Should a Husband Submit to His Wife?

We don’t hear too much about submission anymore. And if we do, it’s usually a command to the wife, to submit to her husband. Still, this is considered a bit archaic in today’s modern culture.

Submit to one another.

Should a Husband Submit to His Wife?

But what does the Bible say? Before the section on marriage in Ephesians 5, we read in verse 21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Does An Apology Work?

The Bible says, “It’s harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars” (Proverbs 18:19 NLT).

According to this Proverb, if you have offended each other, will healing easily come to your marriage if you express words of love or respect? Why?

Though a wife wounded her husband with disrespect (most often unintentionally) and though a husband wounded his wife with lack of love (most often unintentionally), why can a sincere apology speed up healing?

-Dr. E

Does an Apology Work?

What To Do When He Says He “Isn’t In Love”

A wife wrote me: “HELP!!!!! What happens when he tells you he’s not in love with you due to all the fighting and arguing? I’ve been doing the Love and Respect challenge, but he says it will not work for him since there is no love. Emerson, can this work?”

What To Do When He Says He Isn't In Love

My Reply

Not knowing your situation, I cannot reply with wisdom. I can say, “Yes, Ephesians 5:33 does work, but not with people who do not wish to receive the love and respect we give to them.”

Celebrating 125 Episodes and Future Plans — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 126

In this week’s episode Emerson and Jonathan share that they are taking a sabbatical from the podcast. This leave of absence, so to speak, is occurring in order to produce more in depth resources on marriage, parenting, for businesses, and anywhere in between. They have exciting goals and share them with you in this episode. Also covered is what it has meant to them to produce these 125 episodes.

Finally, they believe the information is not time sensitive and will be useful tomorrow and five years from now. The episodes will remain an archive that you can listen to and share with others. Thank you for joining them these last 2.5 years and they look forward to continuing to provide meaningful, life changing content.

Give Emerson and Jonathan feedback on topics and formats you would like to see in the future or show how the show has impacted you.

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

Episode 126 - Celebrating 125 Episodes and Future Plans

The Everyday Challenge to Communicate Successfully with Your Mate

It was a beautiful June morning where we live in Michigan, a great time to be eating breakfast on the patio in our backyard filled with colorful flowers and overlooking a beautiful watery marsh covered with lily pads and cattails. I was just finishing my bowl of cereal when Sarah came out, her Bible and devotional books in hand. The moment I saw her, I said, “I’m leaving.” No “Good morning” or even a “Hi.” Just “I’m leaving.”

The Everyday Challenge to Communicate Successfully with Your Mate

Was I angry with Sarah? Not at all. I was just remembering other occasions when she had found me on the patio and had said lightheartedly, “I find a spot I enjoy, and then you take it.” Anticipating she was about to say this again, I quickly sought to reassure her that I was about to make my exit and not usurp her precious quiet-time retreat. I saw no need for any formalities like “Good morning” or even “Hi!” Besides, I was sure she would know exactly what I was talking about.

Saying “Thanks” Versus Being Grateful, Part II — Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 125

We can say “thanks” but not be grateful. We can mouth words but our hearts are elsewhere. We are fixated on ourselves. We have probably all seen this in ourselves. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:2 that people can be “lovers of self… ungrateful.” We can even sing a song of thanks while in a worship service at church but inwardly dwell on the hurt and offense we feel toward someone who wronged us the day before. Join Emerson and Jonathan in part 2 this week and continuing the conversation about gratefulness but focusing on the intangible.

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

Episode 125 - Saying "Thanks" Versus Being Grateful - Part II

In a Time of Trial? This Prayer May Help

The following prayer is for anyone going through deep waters in his or her marriage and needing God’s sustaining love and help.

Lord, whether or not my marriage turns around, I know You are using this struggle to reveal more of Yourself to me. I thank You for that because I need You in so many ways right now.

Father, I desire first of all Your presence. Suppose I had a “perfect” marriage. If I didn’t feel Your presence, what good would my life be? My trials give me new opportunities to encounter You. And Your Word promises me that You will draw near to me if I draw near to You. So by faith I draw near to You right now, trusting that You draw near to me so that I might feel Your very presence.

In a Time of Trial? This Prayer May Help

Lord, I know that You say in Your Word, “My peace I give unto you.” Right now, right here, I ask You to grant me Your peace. I confess that if I were at total peace with my spouse, I would be tempted to live in a bub- ble of superficial contentment, thinking I do not need Your peace. But now, Lord, I am driven to seek You, the only Place where real Peace can be found. I open my heart to You, Lord. Grant to me Your peace—this day, this very hour.