Counseling for Healthy Relationships - Lesson 4

Empty Your Kettle

Anger results when you are hurt and you cling to a right. Yield your rights to God and focus on your responsibilities. Learn to think at the need level, not the event level. If you focus on your rights it leads to an angry revolution. If you focus on your responsibilities, it leads to a revival.

Karl Elkins
Counseling for Healthy Relationships
Lesson 4
Watching Now
Empty Your Kettle

The Number One Reason People Can't Empty Their Kettle of Negative Emotions

I. Review

II. We Need to Yield Our Rights to God and Focus on Our Responsibilities

A. Cure for anger

B. Anger is caused by an unmet need

C. Can you feel hurt without feeling anger?

D. Whether you focus on your rights or responsibilities will determine the success of your marriage

E. Story of a husband and wife

F. How God views sin

G. Philippians chapter 2

  • Dr. Parle introduces Dr. Karl Elkins and the class, Top 4 Aspects of a Great Relationship.

  • Love is meeting the need of the moment, not meeting a need with good intentions. All you have to do to upset someone is to lovingly meet the wrong need. You can only hit an emotional target with an emotional arrow. 

  • Acknowledge that you have needs and transfer the ownership of these needs into the hands of God, which is meekness. You and I have an emotional kettle that is designed to experience positive emotions. Over time, an unmet need is like a flame under the kettle, which results in the "pressure" of anger and hurt. Unmet needs lead to hurt, and hurt leads to disappointment and sadness. Empty the kettle of negative emotions and the positive emotions will come back.

  • Anger results when you are hurt and you cling to a right. Yield your rights to God and focus on your responsibilities. Learn to think at the need level, not the event level. If you focus on your rights it leads to an angry revolution. If you focus on your responsibilities, it leads to a revival.

  • Having a structure to serve as a model for communicating your needs and emotions of the moment helps you to communicate clearly and creates space to meet each other's needs by responding in love. It helps initially if you have someone to coach you as you work through the steps to help you stay focused on the current issue so you can identify and meet the need of the moment. 

You show love to someone when you identify the need of the moment and meet it. Mr. Elkins identifies and describes the top 12 commonly identified needs. He also suggests a pattern of communication to use to resolve a situation where one or more of these needs is not met.

Dr. Karl Elkins

Counseling for Healthy Relationships


Empty Your Kettle

Lesson Transcript


Karl Elkins: Welcome to our series The Top Four Aspects of Great Relationships. In our first series, we talked about 12 Intimacy needs, God given needs that we all have. And when those needs are met, at least intimacy when they're not met leads to frustration. In our second session, we talked about how our cattle, our emotional cattle, can get filled with negative emotions when our needs are not met and we have to empty the cattle. The encouraging thing is if we can empty the hurts we've caused in other people, we can restore intimacy and actually become stronger than we ever were before. And make sure you stay for session four, because I actually have a story of a couple who's actually done that in a situation that you would think would have never worked out. But I'm going to save the introduction for them in our next session. But I want to share with you the number one reason that most couples cannot resolve their own conflict. I personally feel it is the number one reason most relationships struggle and fail, and I think this one is so important. I just want you, wherever you are to right now. Ask the Lord if there's something here for me. Please help me see it. Just a short, simple prayer. If there's something here for me, help me see it. The main point here is that we need to yield our rights to God and focus on our responsibilities. Now, there's lots of ways I can introduce this subject. One is it's the cure for anger, fear and worry. And it really is the cure for anxiety, fear, worry. I could also introduce it as the number one reason. Relationships struggle and fail. But I really want to introduce it as the cure for anger. The cure for anger. And you may not struggle with anger, but it's a whole lot easier to understand if you understand it as the cure for anger. Now, our premise is going to be that all unrighteous anger and there is a righteous anger, but unrighteous anger is caused by a right, a need or an expectation that was violated that we felt like we were entitled to. And by needs, I mean the 12 needs that we've already introduced by rights. I mean something the Bible would justify. Let's say the Bible says, take husbands, love your wives. You have a right to love wives because the Bible commands husbands to love you. Right? Wives respect your husbands, husbands you have a right to respect because the Bible commands it. So for our purposes, a right is a biblical something that has a biblical basis. Now, an expectation doesn't necessarily have a biblical basis. It's an assumption that you have based on what someone's told you. Meet me tomorrow at Starbucks at six in the morning. I don't show up til seven. Well, you can be upset with me. Not because the Bible says I shall be at the coffeehouse, but I said I would be there. So I didn't hold up to the assumption that I gave you. All right. So if you remember in our second series, what do we do with our needs? The three obstacles are we can exalt our needs, which makes us selfish. We can deny our needs, which leads to self-sufficiency. Or we can feel ashamed of our needs, which leads to self condemnation. What do we do with our needs in this session? My aim is to get you to acknowledge that you have God given needs, but then you transfer the ownership of those needs into the hands of an all knowing, all loving, all powerful God. That's what we're calling meekness, and it leads to self-confidence. All right. So what I want to do here is try to show you how anger is caused by an unmet need. So I want you to participate in that. Those of you here in the room for the filming and if you're watching by camera as well, tell me a time that you became irritated, angry, peeved at your partner. And let's see if we can trace it to just one of those 12 things. All right. Tell me a time you got angry at your partner. Irritated.

Husband 1: Driving.

Karl Elkins: All right. What's the what's the instance?

Husband 1: Most of the time, it used to drive.

Karl Elkins: All right. Is she telling you where to turn or where to park?

Husband 1: Trying to tell me how to drive.

Karl Elkins: Trying to tell you how to drive. Okay. How many of you connect with that? Every man's hand just went up. Okay, so which of the needs is not being met when she tells you how to turn water apart? Course. Support and respect. She's probably given support. But what you really want is respect. Right. Notice how easy it was to connect that one hurt to that one. Need respect. 10 seconds. I've been doing this for 23 years with couples and I've been able to do that with every single hurt with just these 12 needs. You will be, too, if you know these needs really well. All right. What's another instance of anger where you were angry with your spouse?

Husband 2: While disciplining the children and she interrupts. Is this.

Karl Elkins: Wow, you're disciplining the children? Your wife jumps in and tries to keep you from doing what you're doing. Right. Right. Yeah. Which of those needs would not be met when she does that respect? Notice how quickly you were able to trace that instance of irritation, anger, whatever it was to the unmet need. You can do this all day long. Give me one more a time. You were irritated at your spouse. We need a woman's perspective on this.

Wife 1: When I get all fixed up and I think I look exceptionally nice and he doesn't notice. 

Karl Elkins: You got all dressed up. He doesn't notice, doesn't say anything. Which of your needs is not being met? Attention. Didn't even notice. Yeah. Notice how quickly you were able to trace that hurt to one of these 12 needs. Isn't it amazing how quickly you can do with those 12 needs? All right. What I want to share with you is that can you feel hurt without feeling anger? If your partner tells you how to turn, should you feel hurt? Yes. Do you have to get angry? No. When your partner interrupts you while you're trying to discipline, you should feel hurt. But do you have to get angry? Can you feel hurt without feeling anger?

Wife 1: I don't think so.

Karl Elkins: Well, believe it or not, take it back where you can, if you actually can. Here's the difference. Give me a chance to prove this, because this was a little weird first. You should feel her, but you don't have to give in. The anger comes when you reach up and you start clinging to this. Right? I deserve my partner not telling me how to drop. I deserve you. Let me finish this discipline without her jumping it. I deserve to have my spouse tell me. At least notice that I got on like the dress and then say something about it. I'm going to say the anger comes from the playing to the right. All right. So you don't believe that just yet. Hang on to that thought. But if it's true, then can you see how the anger is caused by the riot? There were plenty. So if we want to get rid of anger and anger is caused by the right, it means we have to do something right. Well, there's two things we can do with our rights that are wrong. We can demand. All right. That's what the world tells us to do, isn't it? Don't take that from her. Don't let them do that to you. Be assertive. Be aggressive, Be bold. Are all that you need to do is draw more boundaries. Now may be the only therapist in the world that's going to tell you this, but I think the modern boundary movement is hurting more Christian marriages than just about any other concept. I am not against boundaries. I'm against selfish boundaries, which is problem. The 99%. How it's always shared underground is when we're talking about responsibilities. I'm not going to have sex outside of marriage. Okay? That's a boundary. I call that responsibility. Or I'm for other center values. Friends don't let friends drive drunk. You give me your keys. No conflicts. It's never said that this kicked your husband out of the house, changed the locks. Well, I'm just so much against that. And it's the opposite of meekness. If Jesus were to exercise that kind of boundary setting, would he have gone to the cross, you know, with the 12 - 11 disciples had died in order to. So I'm not against boundaries. I'm against selfish boundaries. Philippians two says, Do nothing from selfishness are empty conceit. Now, I think the way the reason the world tells us to demand our rights is because the Christian community, up until about 40 years ago, taught us to deny our rights. You don't have any rights. You gave those up the day you became a Christian. Jesus didn't have any rights. He took up his cross. You need to take up your cross and follow him. Well, that's not really true. You can't deny you have rights because the Bible says you do have rights. Husbands love your wives. Wives. You have a right to love whether you want it or not, because the Bible commands and love you. Wives respect your husbands. You have a right to respect because the Bible commands her to respect you. Now, it's wrong to say Jesus didn't have rights. He did have rights. So it's what he did with his rights. He yielded those up into the hands of an all knowing, all loving, all powerful God. And I believe that's the balance. We acknowledge we have God given rights. But the question is, who are we entrusting them to to meet? I'm saying it can't be you. If God exists. All right. So let me give you an example. And I do need for all of you here to respond, because I'm going to build on this one example. It's going to get confusing if you don't understand the example. And I'm going to choose love and respect. I could have chosen bunch of different needs, but I'm going to use love and respect. The Bible says husbands love your wives. Whose responsibility is it to love their wife? That's his responsibility. Whose right is to receive love, her right Notice his responsibility to her, become her what? Right That her rights are basically his responsibilities. Very good. The Bible says wives respect your husbands. Whose responsibility is that? Wow. That's her responsibility. Whose right is it to receive respect? That's the husband. Okay, take a close look. Can you see how husbands. You have both rights and you have responsibilities? Wives. Can you see how you have both rights and responsibilities? Here it is. Don't miss it. This is huge. Which one of those you focus on will determine the success of your marriage, period. What's the wrong focus? What do you think the wrong focus is on our rights? What's the right focus and responsibility? But we tend, even as Christians, don't we wrongly tend to focus on our rights. Here's what we wrongly do as Christians. We wrongly yield up our responsibility. So the man in our example, what was his responsibility? Was it love or respect his love? Oh, Lord. You say I'm supposed to love my wife. How do you love a wife like mine? I mean, she keeps telling me where to turn, where to park. I'm just trying to get these kids disciplined so they grow up to be good citizens. Right? And she keeps interfering. How do you love a woman like that? Let me go put my foot down and demand my right to respect. Isn't that what we wrongly do? And what would the woman wrongly do in this example? She would wrongly yield up her responsibility, which in our example is what? Respect all. Or you say I'm supposed to respect to my man, but how do you respect a man like that? I mean, I get all dressed up and you don't even notice. I can't respect a character like that. Let me go put my foot down and demand my right to. Love or attention or whatever our need is. I'm just using love and respect. Now, that's just the opposite. And by the way, can I mention there's three things that I think help most women with respect. It's a big deal for a man. You can respect someone for their personhood, their position, and their character. Sometimes you don't respect character. But you still have to respect personhood and position. I got a speeding ticket once from a police officer that I think had a really bad attitude. I mean, God would agree with me on this one. And you know what? I finally told him? I said, Sir, I really can't take this ticket. You, sir, have a really bad attitude. Do you think I said that? Of course not. I didn't respect his character, but I still had to respect his position. And if you believe in headship as I do, that there may be times you don't respect your partner's character, but you still have to respect their position and their personhood. They do have the image of God on them. It has not been erased by the fall, only effaced by the fall. All right. Now, here's the right way to do it. We should yield our rights to God and focus on our responsibility. So in our example, the man would yield his right to what we should respect. Now, let's be practical. What does that really look like? That means you and I, as men, would come to the place where we say, Oh, Lord, you know, I need respect. You must know how much I need respect. You're the one that created me was such a high need for respect. That need is so important to me. I don't want to be the one ultimately responsible for managing it. I want someone who's all knowing a loving, all powerful to me money for respect. Then that frees me up to focus 100% of my energy on fulfilling my responsibility to what? Love my wife. Now, don't do this. If God doesn't exist. If God doesn't exist, it's a silly thing to do, isn't it? It's kind of like that atheist dying a prayer. Do you know there's an atheist for. You dial up, nobody answers. Well, if you dial up, nobody answers. It's a foolish thing to do, is it not? And I wouldn't do it if God's not perfect. If he's only 99%. All knowing, all loving, all powerful, I wouldn't do it. He might make a mistake with you. Has not ever made a mistake. Not once, not ever. He won't with you. He won't with me. And if he did make a mistake, do you know it would be his very first mistake ever? He would topple from his throne in heaven, and the world, I believe, would implode because the Bible says he holds all things together. He's no longer there to hold all things together. This is our core problem. We don't really believe that God is who he says He is all knowing, all loving, all powerful. So we yield our rights to God. The man would yield his right to respect. Focus on his responsibility To what? Love. What does this look like for the woman? Oh, Lord. You know, I have a need for love. You must know how much I need love. You're the one that created It was such a honey for love. This need is so important. I don't want to be the one ultimately responsible for managing it. I want someone all knowing, all loving, all powerful to manage money for love. That then frees me up to focus all my energy on fulfilling my responsibility. To what? Respect. I actually having a couple who lets me share their story if I don't use their name, but it's pretty classic of how they would typically fight. So if you connect with this, he was upset because she was rude to one of his friends. He had a friend that would call most evenings. She'd answer the phone, recognize the voice role, arise, slam the phone on the countertop and say, It's your blankety blank suck, buddy. She didn't like him very much. He get on the phone. Hey, sorry about that. You know, maybe I think it's that time of the month for my wife. Well, how long is I stop in the last for your wife? Because she's been treating me that way for three years. Right? So. She quickly owned that because she was able to say, Lord, please forgive me for being rude to my husband. Grabbed her husband by the hands and said these magical words. Which if you were taking our 18 hour course, you would know these words really well. They're pretty powerful. He would grab she grabbed her husband by the hands and said, God has helped me to see. How wrong I was to be rude to you and your friend. How did that make you feel? I'm really sad that I hurt you that way. And I was wrong. Would you please forgive me? And she he forgave her. That was easy to do because she had done this seven six, that warm up that we teach. We haven't been able to teach that. And all I did while she was warmed up was ask her this question, ma'am. Which of your husbands need of the moment or are you trying to meet with the buddy comment? Well, I was trying to meet any of his needs. I was trying to give that man a subtle hint not to call her anymore. Okay. Well, it really wasn't all that subtle. You do realize that, don't you? And can you see how you just spoken unwholesome word? Think about that before you and I say something to anybody. We should have pinpointed the name we're trying to meet. And when we talk about the needs of the moment, are we talking about their need or my need of the moment? What do you think? Their need that burst just takes care. Selflessness, which is behind most of the problem. It's a wonderful word. Okay. So I learned that day a really valuable question, probably one of the most helpful tools I've learned in counseling after she confessed to him that she was wrong to be rude. I asked him, sir. Is there anything you're doing or not doing that might influence your wife to want to be rude? Notice the question was not, is there anything you're doing to cause her to be worried? What's the only cause for choosing to be root? Her choice. She chose to be rude. She could have chosen to be nice. And let's not forget that all important truth that God was giving her grace. Philippians 213. God is at work and you two will. And to work for His good pleasure. God's giving us the desire to be like Christ, the power to be like Christ. She resisted God's grace and she chose to be rude instead. But the question wasn't, did you and cause her to be rude. The question is, did you influence her to be rude? Now, that's a different question. Do you see the difference? Did you create an environment they may have tempted or to be rude? When I asked him that, you know what he said, Look, I can't think of a thing. I said, Well, we all have blind spots. If you had a blind spot that was influencing your wife to be rude, would you want to know? Well, I think I would. All right. Ask God to show you. Lord, if there's anything I'm doing to influence my wife's rudeness, help me see it. Way to go. Great prayer. You're on the right track. Now, let's just add one more thing to that prayer. Ask God to use your wife to help you see the answer to it. He said, Do I have to? Yeah, you have to. All right, Lord, you're welcome to use my wife to help me. It grabbed her by the hands, looked at me and said, Honey, do anything I'm doing that would influence you to be rude to my friend. Yeah. That guy calls here every night of the week. I hear you get on the phone, talk about where you went to for lunch, what you had to eat for lunch. I hear you guys talking about your goals and dreams for the future. What's she feeling? Left out. Wouldn't eat of hers is not being that too much attention. By the way, you need to learn to think at the need level rather than the event level. The event is that he's excluded her. But what's the real need? Attention. If you concentrate on the need, it'll take you so much further. Because he can just say, Well, I'll never talk to that guy again. Does that mean her need for attention? No. He could take up golf every night or whatever and still avoid her. Right. So you got to think of the need level. So the need level for her being rude when she was rude to her husband wouldn't need of his. It's not been that. Respect. Very good. So you got to learn to think at the knee level. That'll take you so much further. So he asked God's forgiveness, grabbed her by the hands and asked her forgiveness, using these magical words that I want to suggest you learn. Well, God is helping me to see how wrong I was. How they make you feel. I am so sad that I hurt you that way. And I was wrong. Would you please forgive me? And she forgave him. Do you know what my next question was to her now? Ma'am, could there be anything you're doing or not doing that would influence your husband to avoid you? No, she said. No, I can't think of a thing. I said, Well, we all have blind spot. If there was a blind spot, would you want to know? And she said, I'm not sure. You're not going to make me play that use my husband thing, are you? Well, yeah. It won't be as bad as you think. And I'll never forget this woman. She said, Well, Lord, if there's anything I'm doing, the influences I'll dumb down here to avoid me, then I guess I want to know. And she looked up, opened her eyes and looked at and says, I'm not do anything right. Just tell the man I'm listening. Go ahead. I'm gonna do anything. Right. Right. Go ahead. Yeah. You don't listen to me when I try to talk to you. Oh, that's just not true. I know that's not true. Just give me one example. I'll give you a great example. I got to raise 3000. $6,000 came in the back door. Yahoo! Guess what? I got some good news to tell you. And you said, I want to hear it, but you forgot to take the trash out again. You know, you have to take the trash out every day. You get to go off work. I have to smell this nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, takes a trash out, comes back in. Honey, I really want to tell you some good news. Well, I want to hear little Johnny's crying. Think it's time for an exchange? And you said you're going to start helping me with the kids. I have to remind you every day to take the kids so I can cook dinner, takes the kid, changes the diaper, comes back in, finally just holds her down and says, Look, I got to tell you something, great news. I got to raise $6,000. Isn't that terrific? To which she said, Oh, wonderful. I bet you forgot to get that milk on the way home like I asked you to. What need of hers is not being met. His Excuse me. What need of his is not being push attention. Is she entering his world? Think about it. What should that conversation have sounded like? I've got some good news to tell you. Really? What is it? I got to raise $6,000. Really? What for? What did your boss say? How does that make you feel? Let's go shopping. Something. Right. But we're not getting to that. And she will not own that. She will not ask us forgiveness for failing to show perfect Christlike attentiveness. And that is the standard, isn't it? Perfect Christ likeness. To prove it. Let me ask you a question. How many sense did Adam and Eve commit to lose complete fellowship with God? I'm one, two and root, as the Canadians would say. Right. And I'll tell you. To send the entire human race to hell apart from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Because one couple. Broke their diet. Seems like an overkill, no pun intended. I think that just shows how high God's standard is. So if we compare ourselves to Christ, we're a whole lot more open to see flaws in our life. And she was not showing perfect Christ like attentiveness. Can you see it? But she would known it. I pushed it as far as I could get. I could tell she was getting upset. I was only a counselor. Maybe six months at the time. I didn't know what to do. It's one of those times I throw up a Hail Mary prayer. Oh, Lord. What do I do now? And I stumbled into the best response. I think I just put him back in the hot seat. I said, sir, you got a wife not repenting of the sin. She didn't like that. But it was true. And I said, You got a wife not repenting of the sin, Sir, I wonder if there's anything you're doing that might be influencing that. Well, guess what we found out. In the last 12 months. He had threatened to divorce her on 12 occasions if she screws up one more time, unquote. What need of hers is not being met? Security. All right. I want to take a little theological commercial just for a few minutes. Okay. This is highly debated. There's scholars who are differ with what I'm about to say. But my life was changed by a mentor. I had Dr. Norman Geisler while I was in seminary. And I want to ask you a question he asked us. So how many of you think all sin is the same degree of sin? This in the eyes of God, that's we want you to would be there's a hierarchy of sin in the eyes of God. I'm not asking is all sense in. Paulson is, of course, in. The question is, in the eyes of God, are some sins actually more sinful, more egregious in the eyes of God than other sins? How many would say all sins the same? Can I see your hand? How many would say there might be a hierarchy? I grew up all my life hearing all sin is the same. And I tell you, Norm Geisler convinced me in 5 minutes that there's a hierarchy. What's the greatest commandment? Love the Lord your God. What's the second greatest? Love your neighbor as yourself while loving God. So if the virtue of loving God's higher than loving others, maybe the opposite is more not loving God is even worse. I'll give you another one. Faith, hope and love. What's the rest of that verse? The. The what? The what? The greatest of these is love. Love is a greater virtue than faith and hope. Which would imply that not loving is even worse than not having faith in hope. Pilot has Jesus in front of him towards the end of Jesus life and he says Jesus isn't talking. And pilot says, Look, I have your life in my hands. You're not going to talk to me. And what does Jesus say? Finally, he spoke up and said, You have no authority over me unless it's been given to you from above. Therefore, he who handed me over to you has the greater sin. Rahab lied and it's wrong to lie to save the lives of the Hebrew spies. And the way Geissler describes it is there are higher laws and lower laws like gravity. It always exists on planet Earth. Why is it that a plane flies? There is a higher law that transcends the law of gravity, and there are higher laws and lower laws. And we see it all throughout. Example in Exodus one, the Hebrew midwives, they lied about aborting the children and then they lied about it. They just pop out of the chute too quickly. We can't do anything and God bless them. So you may not agree with that, but I want you to put yourself in my shoes as a counselor, and I've got a couple in front of me. He is up, let's say, cheated this account. I'm talking about a client I've had in yesteryear that this person cheated on his wife. That's how he hurt her. She hurt him by not picking up his cleaning. And he had to wear a dirty shirt to a job interview. Which of those hurts would you address first? What happens if you address the cleaning? But you're telling me you didn't pick up his cleaning and he had the word dirty? What's she going to do? People are going to stand up, walk out, said, What kind of Christian counselor are you? My husband's cheating on me. And you want to talk about dirty laundry? I believe there's a hierarchy. Doesn't it just make sense that murdering an innocent person is worth worse than stealing a piece of bubblegum? Now, stealing a piece of bubblegum, is it? It's enough to keep you out of the heaven If you'd never done anything else wrong. And you were born perfect and you're not. But my point is, there's a hierarchy. Some sense have even a different consequence if a man doesn't work. Need a lie to me. If a man takes a man's life, his life should be taken. So I believe there's a hierarchy. Why do I think that's important as a counselor? Sometimes if my wife is if if I'm having a hard time, if my wife is having a hard time owning something. It might be a $6,000 issue. But beneath it is a way of hurt her. Maybe in a $100,000 way, let's say. It's going to be hard for her to own the $6,000 issue until I own 100,000 a dollar issue. And I think that's what's going on here in this example. Do you think it'd be hard for her to own the fact that she didn't give a little up to do over his $6,000 raise when he is threatening to divorce her if she's think in two three strikes, you're out. I've got two strikes against me. I'm not going on this attentiveness thing because he's already out the door. All right. So sometimes the need of the moment is admonition. Remember, the 12 needs. No one ever wants it. But I perceived he needed admonition for divorce. And here's how I advised him. I said, Sir, did you vow for better or worse. Yeah, I felt better or worse. Sickness and health. Yeah. Sickness and health. Poverty, wealth, juvenile. That. Yeah. Poverty. Well, till death do us part. Oh, yeah, about that. What can I ask you, sir? Are things better or worse? Ha. Never been so worse in all my life. Really unhappy. Well, are you closer to poverty or wealth? Poverty, man. All she does are shop, shop, shop, spend, spend, spend. Okay. Is she closer to sickness or health? Oh, I'm convinced she's a whacko psycho. Okay. Is she dead yet? Cause we got this valve thing all wrong. I am all for. Making a contract that says, I love you non-Christians, and maybe saying, I love you if you love me back. But that's not what we're doing. We're making a unilateral vow that says, I vow to love you, period. Implying even if you don't love me, will back. And it just seems to me there should not be so much disagreement on what the Bible says about divorce. It seems so much more clear, and we'll have to save that for another topic. But. When I admonish that man, he did something better than any other client I've ever had. None of you on camera will ever do it as good as this guy did it. He dropped to his knees with tears in his eyes, grabbed his wife by the hands and said this. I have not loved you very well all these years. But to love you Will is my greatest desire. I don't know how you could ever find it in your heart. Forgive me. But would you? We can't say it any better than that. Most people try to tell their friends, I love you, I love you, I love you. And the wife says, If you love me, don't you think I'd feel it? We'd be much better off saying, I'm not doing a very good job here, but I want to more than life itself. Now, when he said that excuse me, when he said that, the next words, unprompted by me out of her mouth were, Oh, yes, I forgive you. And by the way, all those times I failed to listen to you. I know that's wrong. Would you please forgive me? You see, it was hard for her to own a $6,000 issue when there was $1,000,000 one beneath it. Trust me, you're going to need that. If your partner won't own someone, just own something. Just jump in the hot seat. Ask him. Okay. You're having a hard time owning this. I'm curious. Is there anything I'm doing or not doing that's behind that? All right. Here's how this conversation would normally go. You tell me where the focus is. This is how they would normally talk. Not applying this principle. I'm trying to tell you I'm sick and tired of you being rude to my friends. Well, maybe I wouldn't be rude to your friends if you talk to me every now and then. You talk to him like you're married to him. Why don't you just go sleep with him, you little somebody? Well, maybe I'll talk to you every now and then. If you wouldn't send me on a trash haul and diaper change and no fetch and run. Well, maybe I'd be nicer if you wouldn't threaten to divorce me every time we make a mistake. Where's the focus? Right. Or responsibilities? Right. If you focus on your rights, it leads to an angry revolution. In fact. That's how you start a revolution. You get people to focus on their rights. You don't see people marching around the White House with signs and placards that say, Somebody help me with my responsibilities. What are they standing up for? Their rights? But here's how this conversation went. Applying the concept I'm trying to teach you, of course, the focus does help me to see how wrong I was to be rude to you and your friend. Well, I can see why you wouldn't like the guy. I spend more time talking to him than I do. I know that's wrong. Well, I know you do a better job of talking. If I were just a better listener. Well, I'm sure you wouldn't be so fearful. I wouldn't threaten to divorce every time we fight. Where's the focus? Rights are responsibilities. If you focus on your rights, it leads to an angry revolution. If you focus on your responsibilities, it leads to a revival. Now, I want to illustrate this with Philippians chapter two. One of the best passages. You'll see it in this passage. Philippians two 513 have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God, a thing to be grass, but entered himself taking the form of a monster being made in the likeness of Smith being found in appearance as a man. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. For this reason. Also God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every name will be out of those who are in heaven and on Earth and under the earth. And that every time that Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of Father. Jesus had rights, but he transferred the ownership of them into God's hands. And when we do that, it comes back as a reward. Did Jesus have a right to a good reputation? How about to respect? But he yielded that right. Born in a city so bad, people said, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? He hung around prostitutes and tax shelters. The damage to his reputation. But notice at the end, the Bible says God gave him the name above every name. The name above How many names? Every. Everything. That's the ultimate reputation. You can't do one name better than every other name. He yielded up his right to respect, and God said every knee will bow. How many knees will bow? You can't do even one knee better then every other knee. That is the ultimate respect. We could go on and talk about how Jesus yielded up his right to wealth, to be served His physical comforts, his own decisions as good reputation. But I want to take it back to this one phrase. Have this attitude in yourselves. That's a command to be meek. We don't like the word meekness because it rhymes with weak weakness. Jesus was meek. Was he weak? Not at all. Would you like to obey that command to be meek? If so, I'd like to lead you through a prayer where you transfer all your rights, all your needs, all your expectations into God's hands. I'll pray a phrase. You pray the phrase. I'll pray the next phrase. You pray the next phrase. Just pray quietly on your own heart. Sincerely to the Lord. Heavenly Father, as best I know how. And I don't understand at all. But our purpose to be make. Therefore, I transfer all my rights. All my needs. All my expectations. Into your all knowing a loving, all powerful hands. Including money for acceptance, Attention, affection, appreciation, approval. Comfort, admonition, encouragement, instruction, respect, security and support. All my possessions, homes and cars, savings and investments. My health. Including the length of my life. My vocation. My ministry. Food and drink and drugs. My sleep. My music. My friendships. My children. My reputation. And especially the needs only my mate can meet. Thank you, Lord, for hearing this prayer. I look forward to how you're going to manage this for me. In Jesus name, we pray. They met. Many times. I'll ask people. Do you feel anything different having prayed that you wouldn't have to? But I'm surprised how many people say I filled a lighter like a burden has been lifted. We describe this as a cure for anger, but can you also see how it's helpful for fear, worry and anxiety? Why you just transfer the ownership in the God's hands? What could a perfect God do with things you give him? You're going to feel worry to the degree you try to control things out of your control. Now, here's a great insight. One of my favorite insights of everything we do. I want you to think through the last times you've had fights, arguments, spats, conflicts, whatever you call them. Where you focusing on your rights or your responsibilities? What do you think?

Husband 1 Rights.

Karl Elkins: Rights. How many of the times? All the time. All the time? Most of the time. If that's true, we have just found the solution for all fights. Most fights? Wow. Someone want to shout Hallelujah. That is amazing. Now you can still fight, but you know what you're fighting on. Sound like I should have taken that trash out, Terry. Oh, no, Carl, I shouldn't. I dressed you down in anger about taking that trash. Now, you shouldn't even have to tell me. I should just see in Toronto. But you do more around the house. If I. If I were more grateful. Well, you shouldn't have to even tell me, right? I mean, that's a fight. But that's what the Bible calls outdoing one another and showing love. Guys, this is a life changing principle, and it's the opposite of what the world tells us. Let me encourage you to yield your rights and focus on your responsibilities. In the last thought on this is this. It's been my experience when my clients pray that prayer, they come back and usually tell me all hell has just broken loose in their life. I don't want to tell you that till after you prayed. But you can expect that if you've given some to God, He may let it go badly to see what you do. Do you take it back? You're not shown meekness, but if you keep entrusting it to the Lord. You're growing in meekness, and I personally believe meekness is the key, the key to relationships, because we learn to focus on the other person more than ourself. We become more of the center. Lord, help us all to be meek. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.