I was honored to receive the following email from a friend of ours who is a professor at Michigan State University. Because Marilyn keeps a close pulse on how our secular culture processes information, especially as it relates to faith, I wanted to share her encouraging thoughts with you as well. Emerson
Dear Emerson and Sarah,
I had a thought last night and want to share it. It's a meta-perspective on why the L&R message is speaking to so many. An article in yesterday's New York Times 2-09-10) discusses a research study that examined the characteristics of the most frequently e-mailed New York Times articles.
The researchers were stunned by their findings. They had predicted that people would share sensational news - articles about celebrities and scandals and political corruption and business deals gone bad.
They were wrong.
Instead, New York Times readers share articles about science and scientific discoveries. (Based on my own frequent scans of the most e-mailed lists, this includes social science discoveries.) When the researchers probed further, they discovered that the common denominator in these articles was that they inspired awe, which the researchers defined as an "emotion of self-transcendence, a feeling of admiration and elevation in the face of something greater than self."
In other words, New York Times readers are attracted to articles that provide evidence of God!
In his book, Eternity In Their Hearts, Don Richardson discusses the idea that in every culture, God gives hints of himself - fingerprints of his handiwork. Our goal as Christ-followers is to see the signs of God's redemptive story in our culture and to point others to them.
In our culture, it is awe of scientific understanding that can point others to God's design and in so doing, to God.
That's what you've done with Love and Respect. You've used John Gottman's marvelous discoveries as an entree for pointing hurting husbands and wives to the awesomeness of God's design for marriage and our Awesome God.
Thanks again for L&R!!!!
Ecclesiastes 3:11: He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.