February 2, 2012

FAQ: Why Isn’t This Working?

“I have been obedient to Ephesians 5:33 for a few months. Nothing is changing in my marriage.  Why isn’t this working?”

My encouragement to you is to be consistent and do not give up! Love and respect is not a “magic bullet” nor is it a vending machine:  “If I love her, she’ll give me respect immediately!”  Or – “If I respect him, he’ll immediately give me the love I want!”

Don’t expect immediate results.  Also, check your motivation.  If your spouse senses that you are manipulating him/her in any way, this will backfire.  Of course we all want to see results, but ultimately our motivation needs to be our obedience to Christ and His design for marriage.  He will honor our efforts, but it may not always look exactly like we want it to, or happen in our time frame.

Furthermore, depending on your marital history, things don’t change overnight when there has been a pattern of unloving and disrespectful behavior.  You need to learn to trust one another again.  Does your spouse trust you?  If not, this will take more time.  For example, if you have been unloving for 5 years, it could take 5 months of fairly consistent loving behavior to turn things around.  Likewise, if you have been disrespectful for 10 years, it could take 10 months of fairly consistent respectful behavior to turn things around, etc.  The point is…this is not a magic bullet…and it takes time to rebuild trust.

We all fail at this.  None of us are loving and respectful all of the time - not even me and Sarah!  When you fail, seek forgiveness from your spouse, then get back up and try again.  Your spouse will eventually see your heart.

Remember – love and respect is God’s design for marriage (Ephesians 5:33).  If you love Christ, do this unto Him and He will reward you, either here on earth or in eternity.  If you struggle to be consistent, ask yourself if you have a crisis of faith, rather than a crisis in your marriage.  Do you believe that God is good?  Do you believe that He can heal your marriage?  Focus on doing your part, and trust God to do what only He can do in the heart of your spouse and in your marriage.


Unknown said...

My wife was a Jehova Witness over 25 yrs. I knew of God, but I didnt have faith in him. We were in a really bad situation. I found faith, and God brought me to him. I needed to learn that I was no longer in control, and I didnt even know how to save my own wife as she is still working not only in our marriage, but also for her beliefs. I found that I was paying to much attention on her, and not on the things I needed to be doing. Once I started praying for her, and learning to be humble and have faith that God would take care of the rest, did it start working for us. Now, we are watching Emerson's video, and then reading his book after wards. Emerson's book will not save your marriage, its God that will do it. Use his book as an instrument and have faith in the rest. God bless you, and I will be praying for you !
Eric Baca

Robyn Buxton said...

You book, Love and Respect helped me realize my own faults in my marriage.
I still have to work even today, but my marriage was saved... By the willingness of one to begin to live according to my role as a wife in obedience to Christ.
It took three years, but Satan was defeated, and God was the only saving grace.

Anonymous said...

I came across the title to your book, Love and Respect in another book I was reading and read your book. So encouraged I found a friend who had another one titled Craking the Communication code. My husband and I have been married 19 years last December and have a good marriage with Christ as our Saviour. I do believe that a good marriage can become an amazing marriage! As I understand your writing completley and have already reaped the blessings of honoring my Lord. I cannot believe what respecting my husband the way God wants me to is doing. I said open the eyes of my heart Lord, and He surley is showing me some amazing things! Last year the Lord whispered.... Adulterous to Miraculous in my ear and so Im working on a book about how years ago I broke the chains of sin and how the Love of Christ through my husbands love and forgiveness turned our marriage into something beautiful. God has put so many friends with broken marriages or relationships in our lives in the past few years, and I know God's plan. Thank you for such a wonderful reminder that God honors the righteous. I have since ordered some of your resources to start on this journey that God is leading us on. Praise God!

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