Making Your Marriage a Picture of the Gospel (Part 2 of 2)
Donna grew up in a dysfunctional home where no one ever said I love you but then she found healing for her own family. God has US focus on family to truly blessed me away from a life. The Stat was devastatingly harsh. I'm Jim Daly. Imagine how many more hurting people God can rescue through your support. Please call eight hundred the letter A. and the word family we're retired of fighting. We retired a fuss and it was the small little landmines. It was things that we didn't deal with. We never saw resolution to our conflicts. We would sweep things under the rug. We were piece. He's faking is Ken. Sandy would say we were doing all those name that we thought that you know let's just put a band aid on it but it's a gaping wound that goes back to our childhood that go back to pass relationships and we just begin to realize there's a lot of depth to the baggage pitch. That's Pasture D._A.. Horton describing the aftermath of an epic argument that he and his fiancee Alesia had just a few months before their wedding. The good news is D._A.. Andalucia are still happily married and we're back with us today on focused on the family your host is focused president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller John. We had a great and I would say at times eye opening conversation with D._A.. And Alicia about their love story it was beautiful. It was tragic repair of it was all of those things in the most important thing it was was God centered and I know the listeners would have heard that last time. If you missed the broadcast get a copy. Just let us know you can download it or condescending indeed mobile APP lots of all those ways obviously God worked in their hearts and those are the principles that they've written about in their great book enter the ring and I love the analogy. I know some go out. Don't talk about fighting but you know what what if you're really into it. If you're passionate about your marriage you're going to have disagreement at times and you're going to have to work these things out and don't step back from that. Go in full force and let the Lord work in your relationship John. I think one of the profound things I heard last time from D. A. and Alesia was this idea. Don't fight against each other fight for each other. That's a takeaway and today we're going to hear more great insights about how to be spiritually healthy in your marriage which is floor one yeah and if you're thinking gee we fight a lot but we're not fighting about the right things then as Jim said get a copy of the previous conversation get this book by D._A.. And Lisa called enter the ring talk to one of our counselors. We are a phone call away. It's eight hundred illiterate a in the word family and like you Jim. I appreciated the vulnerability and the commitment to really stay together that our guests communicated about they had a lot of opportunities where couples I would hang it up but they didn't D._A.. Militia welcome back to focus thank you. We talked about that six hour marathon argument that you had we'll just let people being suspense there. If you didn't hear that you gotta you gotta listen to it but let's pick it up today. On some of the tools rules that you talk about in the book enter the ring that helps you and your marriage and has you know really brought you too much healthier place that idea of communication conflict as the big banner Youtube have had those epoch arguments and you've been able to make through there. I know some couples listening right now are saying how did you do that and that's WanNa talk about. Tell us about the day when you were about to do some marriage counseling with another couple and all of a sudden things things went haywire set the picture because this gene and I can relate to this one show so Saturday evening. It's in the fall time November and it's chilly. We live in Kansas City Missouri at this time and we have a couple of coming over for marriage. Counseling and Alesia has been cleaning the house. She's been making our world famous lasagna bread salad. The whole nine kids have been cleaning and all of a sudden. I get out the shower. Give my clothes on. I'm ready and ask Aska Lisa how I can help and this is the eleventh hour and she looks at me and says Oh now you want to help when I've been cooking and cleaning and I've been getting up to the kids. I'm glad you gotTA shower. I didn't get a shower but you gotta get a shout and she's just sitting. There and I'm like okay. You know what I'm just going to wash the dishes and let you kind of do what your flesh. Why don't you just go get us? Our go get ready gloves. She comes right back and says you know what I'm sick of being in a loveless marriage and when she said that as daily just like the previous broadcast. I said I rebuke you. That was my thing for her. She when she says loveless marriage that is that's where I go from zero to one hundred immediately so I just slammed my fist on the counter and I said forget it. I'm done on and I walked out which is jeans timbaland boots on in a Hoodie in the middle of November. It was cold outside and you have guests coming for guests. You're going to be council for marriage counseling and teaching them how to have togetherness. What's what's the next frame look like walking around frustrated praying back home again? Daddy's gone you know I'm trying to console them. Make sure everything's okay also contact the couple's. Tell him hey probably tonight. It's not a good day schedule yeah so we're literally trying to figure out okay. How do we talk about this but not make this a knock-out drag-out conversation? I ended up coming back to the House and consultant children. Let them know sometimes this happens. They had not seen US act like that. It's not because we didn't have arguments but it just never escalated to that degree in them being old enough to be aware that mom and dad ain't good right now and so we had to let them know divorce is not an option. That's not on the table. Dad got frustrated but it's the whole day it's not just just the blow up and so from there we contacted the family and you know I gotta get up the next morning and I had a preach before congregation and I don't hide these things so you know I'm just saying man. It was a rough night last night. Walk through the passage then we have a meal as we had an got happy feast the very next day and so the couple as members of our church so they come up and say hey we're sorry about last night. We say we got to be honest with you. Look we got to an argument. She said we in a level of marriage. I lost it. I was out walking the streets for like thirty minutes trying to you know tempered myself down and they just is Boston. I laugh why they were so relieved and just thankful that we could just be vulnerable in real to let them know y'all. We don't have it altogether don't and so. I felt like that kind of helped tear. Sure that wall down for them to really see us as just regular people who have regular issues. Did you need to help each other yeah. Did you eventually do that counseling with them. And what did they seem like how did that go. We actually started out the GOP fees and we started talking into them. Just sharing what happened and I I think we schedule another time with them but that point after we got up from that table. The wife came to me said I'm just so thankful that this is probably been one of the best counseling sessions we've ever had so thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for your openness and thank you for helping to see that we're going to be okay. We just walked through some practical steps that we've had to develop in our own rhythm of marriage to say how do we go from the point of escalation to conflict resolution. They had to be all ears how they were in a few other. People were too in terms of the projections. I think a lot of us feel like we have to put out there. Were together couple. We have our act together. We don't have issues so why is VAT and how many couples do you deal with that. That's really the barrier to honesty into one this. I think there's for US number one millennial so we're just GONNA put that out there that may encourage somebody. They may discourage somebody out but what I recognize is one of the virtues who's generation lead generally speaking we value authenticity and so I think an generation there's a little bit more of a Segue to be honest about broken lists and being human beings rather than previous generations from what I've seen in my own limited understanding manning. Is this facade that everything is altogether. We got the picture perfect family <hes> it doesn't work that way anymore and we recognize. We're not tired retired of playing the charades like we really want to make sure that people understand Jesus meets us in in our mess and people need to see that in realized that and so that way when you take down that facade people recognize may have gotten work on Y'all then he can work on us so it actually gives more hope to say Jesus as more accessible than what you think so. I think that's one of the things things it's helped us. Help couples deconstruct those walls. I think that language in Fiji's to Paul Talks about Jesus finished work it just dissolved the barriers of separation that we as human beings consent ourselves specifically in the body of Christ whether it's ethnic or gender but I think that we build these walls of self preservation has helped me see how I even build walls of self preservation but Jesus came to destroy those walls so that I can be who he wants me to be. It's really well said and it really it goes right to the root of our flesh. That's why again in marriage we become more selfish selfless and that's I think Ghinwa the Lord set it up. You identified four what you call never see the things never to do in marriage <hes>. Let's go there for some practical health absolutely <hes> I'll start and you want to piggyback off each other okay so one of the things I realize is when we came back from the fight and had to talk to our kids. We wanted them to understand. We never want to avoid the issue. I think that's one of the things couples often fall into this idea that we're just gonNA avoid it. We're GONNA pray that goes away and whenever bring it up again and then they sweep it under the rug and the trip over it and so we want to make sure that even though in our moment in the heat of the flesh we don't want to escalate things with our flesh. We just say hey. Let's table this for another time. When we can actually talk sensibly and more lovely it'd be more civil about it so avoiding the issue shouldn't be something that we do <hes> but we make sure that we say hey is not a good time to talk about us? Now we can. How can we come back and talk about add another time? Yeah that's good I think in addition to that also we want to try to develop rhythm of not fighting back so never fight back. What I mean is like in the situation that we just talked about? At least you said a trigger word came right back with another another trigger word. I could have said something would made her upset. I could've said I rebuke you and then that would have been fighting back. So what we recognize is that you know what it's okay to walk away but in the way we in which we walk away has to be dealt with tenderly and filled with compassion to say listen. I'm walking away from the moment. I'm not walking the marriage on my flesh. I'm so tempted to fight back and right now. I know that we should never fight back so I need space. I'm going to give you space. Let me get along with the Lord limit gather my thoughts and we will come back so that again we won't avoid the issue so we have never avoid the issue never fight back. What are the other two now the other one we would say never act as if you don't care I feel like for me? I think one of the greatest things I can do to hurt him as act like I don't care about his feelings and emotions after he just just laid it all out there and expressed his heart that it'd be the most hurtful thing that I've done to him before out of my own hurt was act like I just don't care about what you just said and so I felt like that's a trigger. Don't try to avoid that and try to make sure that you are actively actively listening but also acknowledging the fact that they just laid their emotions out there. So what are we going to do about it. So if you're not ready for that discussion how would you say it to D._A.. If you don't want to act like you don't care but he's just told you something. That really irritated. Did you yeah what would you say to him. I would say hey like I think it's I hear your heart but I'm I'm just going to be honest. I'm stuck on my my her right now and if you can just give me some time in space to be with Jesus so that way we can come back together are and <hes> revisit the conversation but I feel like he's. He's really good about giving me that space so that's why said creating space would be important because in that moment if the person's not ready to talk about it. Let them have that space yeah nothing. That's one thing that we've had to learn. Is that for someone for the spouse that this is just been brewing. I had to use the analogy just a few weeks ago to help you understand. I'm not being emotional list. I'm not a robot but you interrupted my train of thought when I'm working on something deeply bleak concentrating on something and you came to me with something that you've been thinking about so we grew up in the mid west it gets very cold winter and I said basically it's like euro warmed up car and you're coming to me and when you engage the conversation you're warm. You've been running heats work in you've been on the freeway. You're you're all going but I'm just now getting the ignition started on my car and I'm cold so I'm cold compared to where you're warm. Give me a few minutes to disconnect mentally from the work that I'm doing so that I can give you full attention and that you give me space is to let the car my heart warm up so now we can go on this drive together and we've had to learn because I do the same thing she'll put it all out there and I have nothing to say and she just takes that as the worst defense because she just literally gave me her heart and I'm like I don't you know what to do with this and a lot of that as I've talked to other men they're like I don't know what to say. I don't have the right words. Am I going to say something and I'm like I know I have all those thoughts going on in my head I think in that moment you just gotTa beyond say. I don't know what to say other than thank you for trusting being me with the content of your heart like thank you. I don't know what to do with it. I know you don't want me to solve the problem because when I try to solve it you learn here on pins and needles so. Takes time that last one is never used manipulation boy that can be you can be blind your own manipulation so hey I guess how do you become aware of win your manipulating and then how do you back off yeah. I think that's what Colossians three where you you know. Paul tells us to put on Compassionate hearts be tenderhearted full of compassion full of forgiveness when when your spouse is becoming vulnerable they're like Klay in your hands and if you have evil intentions impure motives karnal thoughts you can shape them by shaming them and guilting them and turning the entire issue back on your spouse and you think you're Scott free you went and argument but you could potentially lose your spouse. It's not worth it and I think from me. Philippians chapter two one often often have to go back to is saying do not nothing from selfish ambition but consider others needs more significant than your own and if in that moment I'm not thinking about my spouses needs and what he needs from we at that time I'm GonNa easily manipulate the situations and from my outcome for the betterment of me moment even if it satisfaction of winning argument so he another area that really creates marital strain are the finances and I know in writing the book you took a close look at that I think identified a stat of thirty five percent of couples it meant that finances or the core reason that they have such disharmony in their marriage you to experience that like most of us is young couples that what was does your story when it came to finances what was going on. I always tell people when Damon I got married. I had a checking account and savings account <hes> with money in it and with <hes> red numbers right four different checking and savings accounts with red numbers on my end until we obviously had <hes> different perspectives when it came to our finances and we still do we still do we don't we don't see I on everything but there's a lot more harmony mini now than there was when we first got together so over some of the colossal missteps that you had what was did did you hit a bankruptcy moment or we did early on and on marriage <hes> so we grew up in poverty we grew up in the inner city and <hes> we always believed in the American dream that that was the the reason for living and so our faith in Christ everything giving to the local church all that came as a footnote to the American dream and so you know at a young age we were a year and a half into our marriage. We got approved for alone much more than we should have got approved for this was on the twenty two thousand seven two thousand eight era of the bubble yes and so we took all that equity in the home and we added a basketball court redid our basement fifty one an inch screen TV cars family trips timeshare that we never used credit card debt and we were just racking it all up in the entire time I can't even think of time we ever contributed to the local church and and we're working with Jesus the whole time we're like man thank you for these blessings. You're renting from heaven and <hes> and we hit we hit the reality that man we have racked up debt that there is absolutely no way we could pay off and we had to come to Jesus and repents. It's and in that moment of repentance we recognize we surrender all these things we had filed bankruptcy Chapter Seven and we were twenty twenty seven twenty eight years old in our some of those disagreements I mean did you guys. Did you fight fight fair and that or did you play together. No we didn't pull it together because I felt that and here's here's the kicker it was a house right next door to my parents also across the street from my brother. You're not just was it the American dream but whole family was there you know and I felt that what from me walk away from this means. I'm walking away from everything that I want my family everything that I ever knew everything that ever wanted to live for you know but obviously it was the wrong way to live <hes> and so yeah we never came together on that. He wanted to go. I wanted to stay and it was a law that really did a a move on both of our hearts as okay we're going to go in this direction and he humbled us and it was in a good way because we went to a Bible College. We stayed on campus. It was a two bedroom apartment that was old army barrick and <hes> roach filled mold infested and that was some of the best times are Mary. We felt that it was more of a simple way of life. We felt that we were able to concentrate on things that actually mattered versus trying to fill it with things I didn't matter <hes> and just really spend more time together the move from the fifty one inch T._v. to the thirteen inch Disney he princess television that was our daughter's we borrow that from our it does and those were sweet moments sweet memories because that's when God began to allow us to form an interdependency so I had to shed my independent mindset at Lisa had to shed her co dependent mindset and we had to form this new authentic interdependency and Jesus use that that old renovated army barrick as the space was our beth-el we met with God there and I yeah I think it leads us to the next kind of emphasis in the book that you talked about and that's suffering together and the benefit of suffering together. I don't think in the Western culture certainly in the United States. That's something we run too. I think we run from an even as you're describing driving it. Oh How quaint that you had to go to this cockroach-infested area for a little while to get close to God isn't that sweet and you had to give up your big TV right so sweet but described the benefits the deep spiritual benefits of suffering hiring and I know people are cringing right now. Go WHOA WHOA I didn't sign up for this Gospel stuff too well. Then you aren't really reading the word that's true you know I think from my heart. The idols of greed consumerism comfort and self self were the distractions that kept me from seeing the full radiance of Christ in my life but then also on my marriage and my parenting and then when Jesus stripped away all those things because we would prey those dangerous prayers Lord anything that you don't desire for us that we've amassed take it away any did answer operators which is a good thing according to i John Three our hearts nut condemned and got his answering our praise and harmony with his wheel so if that means shedding materialism so we can have more of our Messiah then so be it sold our marriage can flourish and so we begin to recognize denies that and realize that you know what come hell or high water Jesus is with us. He's never gonNA leave us and we're committed to each other and then came deaths and our families then came <hes> a diagnosis with multiple sclerosis for Alesia then came challenges <hes> with God. Relocating our family from Kansas City Atlanta to North Carolina then finally to Long Beach you know all those seasons of change and suffering allowed us to recognize that God was forming us as husband and wife melting us together in those fiery trials trials like what we read about James Von Yeah. This is so good. I'm sure people are thinking I want that. I want that. The subtitle of Your Book Is Fighting Together for Gospel saturated marriage. We talked about that last time and you gave some definition around that you defined what that looks like <hes> so eloquently but you also believe that discipleship within your marriage is a key component for living our lives according to the Gospel. I'm sure some guys are backing up from hearing that just now discipleship discipleship in my marriage. That's where I want to rest. That's where I want escape. That's where I wanNA get away because I've been beat up all day work tough and I'm trying to be the best dad I could be. I can feel men backing up because it feels too heavy. You want me to disciple in my marriage and you want wives to disciple their husbands and marriage described that force make that edible down to bite size. I think for us <hes> it just came with understanding that we both had a lot of spiritual immaturity and I felt like from me I got had a really brick may have my pride and helped me to understand that I need my husband to pour into me and not just be my pastor but be one that brings me back to Jesus when I don't want to go and vice versa and was we realized that we are strongest accountability partners in that's a good thing and not necessarily a bad thing then we both said okay. What does it look like on a day-to-day you know kill we stop and pray together? Can we go chromebook together. You know we begin to see what fits our schedules and make time for that and even if it came from Hey I'm gonNA listen to podcasts. Can you listen to it and then we talk about later sure it came from both of us doing those things together and we Botha edified and we wanted to do more of it so I felt like those are some practical ways that we thought that we needed it and it helped us but it had for me personally ahead realize how to overcome my pride and say I do need discipleship in this area. 'cause you're a stronger in this area examples over and over again to me. It keeps ringing in my mind that you're creating intimacy. Yeah everything you're doing when you talk about the tools of a strong gospel saturated marriage. It's creating intimacy which is what the Lord does yeah I mean that is his tool a man the intimate with me and I'm GonNa take places but <hes> you know we're down to the last few minutes in there is some cutting questions as I read the book that really caught my attention and these were questions you defined as for husbands to ask their wives the D._a.. What are those questions that you might want to start with you know in the area of communication <hes> basically how can I improve the ways I communicate also does my tone of voice a nonverbal body language reassure or does it upset you? I so appreciate everybody's cringing. We've been married. My wife and I've been married for thirty four years. These are questions. I need to ask tonight because I know I put her off. Sometimes I know there's an eye roll or there's a certain tone it just she hears it differently so I appreciate it very much what you're saying right and it takes courage to ask but it actually takes more courage in great occurred in disciplines listen and here the answer responses well. There's a couple more so hit those up for in the area of listening to you feel like I'm paying attention to daily also in what ways do you feel like. I'm not listening well I've had asked her that on numerous occasions and she gives me are honest feedback and again it's come to Jesus moment rob gotta confess and repents and then finally I think in time together and knowing his love language quality time it's huge so I have to ask her. Am I paying enough attention to you. And do you feel like I make you a priority or not. I just wanted to add something here because I feel like these Zor some of the great questions that we often feel like it's just the husband's job to do and to ask but I think for US wives. We need to be asking these questions to them so don't WanNa miss that I want people to understand. It takes both of us working until Dina tonight the you have to ask careful. Let's ask how to go about getting that question asked Yeah I love when he when he leads in that then I wanna follow and when he followed when I follow I wanNA fall that example by asking asking him those same questions. That's good now. That's really good man. This has been a great today experience and I do appreciate that vulnerability that you've brought in as you described the millennial attitude of authenticity. I mean it's good. That's the way we should all be. <hes> sometimes sometimes we we described too much but there are things that are learned in our culture and that you pick up and I think authenticity is a great thing. It's one of the reasons I'm so excited about the younger generation younger leadership in the church because I think they are connecting in ways. The older leadership failed to slow down and take notice of or to change behavior so that they were more real in allowed people to attached to the Gospel in easier ways so I love it. I see what is being done and I think it's a something that's led by by the Holy Spirit frankly I think that's what he's up to. What a wonderful message entered the ring fighting together for a gospel saturated marriage who doesn't want this book? Just call us here at focus on the family. Get a hold of us. If you can afford to support the ministry mystery on a monthly basis that is great. It helps us to help other marriages help parents do a better job help save a baby's life. I can't think of anything that's not worth supporting here but if you can do that a monthly basis that is great. It helps us with budgeting. If if it's one time gift that's great if you can't afford it we believe in the content so much others will take care of covering the cost for that. Just get a hold of us and we'll get you a copy of the book but the bottom line is do something with what you've heard today act on it so that tomorrow it'll change your life and for that. I'm grateful thanks for being with us. Thank you so much and if you can't please make a financial gift to focus on the family we really would appreciate it. Generous friends like you have empowered us to strengthen rescue tens of thousands of marriages each year and we'd ask you to imagine just how many more hurting couples God can impact when we work together donate by clicking on the link in the program notes or call eight hundred the letter a. and the word family eight hundred two three to six four or five nine and when you make a monthly pledge of any amount or a one time gift we'll say thanks by sending a complimentary copy of the great book by the Horton's and coming up next time on this broadcast Dr David Clarke reflects upon a need that every child has time is so important for child even a young child it loves measured and time.