How to Have an Honest Marriage
They basically just said I can't do this anymore. I can't do. This ally describes the day his wife had her suitcase packed ready to walk away from their marriage and I was all about know my. My Obsession, which was at the time, pornography and And this career? This dream job that I had one for years, but trying to do that with an addiction. It didn't go anywhere. The good news is you lies journey toward help in healing. Begin with our podcast. Folks on family helped me and my marriage probably exact point in time that I needed. I'm Jim Daly. Working together, we can rescue more marriages like allies. And when you donate today, your gift will be doubled. Learn more at focus on the family dot com slash, strengthen families or call eight hundred a family. We come to marriage with these. Ideas of who we are. And who we're going to be as a spouse, and we show up, and that's probably for most of its shattered. And we have an opportunity. We faced that and face who we really are, and grow closer to God and closer as a couple, and if we don't then what we do is, we skip out on intimacy. You can't be. With another fully if you're not fully. Open with yourself open with the Lord and open with each other. Joshua Rogers and his wife Raquel our guest today on focus on the family. They're going to offer encouragement for finding God in the messy -ness of every day married life. Your host is focused president and author. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller John this from time to time but I. don't think there's a perfect marriage now. I know someone's going to say I've got the perfect marriage. Please let us know about that and. I'm sure it's ninety nine point nine percent perfect, but as fallen creatures. I just can't be convinced that we're perfect yet. And for most of us, and certainly when you have marriage, it's too imperfect. People coming together usually get imperfect marriages. It doesn't mean we don't work on them now, and we want to strive every day. Especially for Christians in order to show God's glory in our relationship, we want to model a loving Christian marriage, so others might see it and be drawn toward it right well i. hope that's the goal for our listeners. A trusted as have listened to long. They've heard. Heard US addressing this topic before of marriage and being vulnerable is a key aspect of having a better deeper relationship with your spouse. We're talking. As I said with Joshua and recall Rogers, they have been married for twelve years and have three children under the age of ten, Joshua has been a frequent contributor to our young adult ministry here at Focus Boundless, and he's written a book called Confessions of a happily married man finding God in the Messi -ness of marriage. We. Do have copies of that book here. Click the link in the episode notes for more Josh. Lewin Raquel welcome to focus. Thank you good to have you here. Let's jump right in with your story. There was a night early in your marriage when it was very clear that your relationship needed. Some work was going on, and what happened that night? Every couples leaning in right now going Oh yeah we had that night I think you're probably talking about the most humiliating moment of our marriage ever what a great place! A Great Place Guy! So! We were actually on vacation in Puerto Rico, but it wasn't much vacation. Raquel had just had our first child and she was three months old. We were sleep deprived. We were constantly at odds with each other, so we're in Puerto Rico. Her family's there and we try our best when we're with our family to behave as well as we can. There was one day where we started having one of those whisper fights and living room, and we're said go to the bedroom, so the veteran called them out. Let's go to the bedroom and finish this. Oh, we've and we were finishing. They were accusations insults, going back and forth, and all of a sudden I looked over to my right, and I said Oh. My Gosh, the baby monitors there, so I go to the living room immediately, and that's where actually the speaker for the Bay Monitor was. That's right. I realized that I can hear Joshua moving around in the room and I look to the kitchen and my grandmother's there and I'm just hits me. Oh, my Gosh! She just heard everything and my aunts walking down the hallway. They just heard everything that we were saying and so that was a moment ago. What was there to do at that point? What did you say to them what they say nothing? We learned I think ten years later. They heard the whole thing you know. Her aunt finally told us, but you knew. I definitely knew honestly what we did was pretended didn't happen, and that's really kind of a metaphor. For what we do in general when we're kind of exposed in cotton sin, what do we do? We cover up we. Just pretend that that in happen and you move on. That was. A really an epic moment, but we have. We had lots of little moments like that were. God was really starting to be like okay. put his finger on something. There's something that I. WanNa show up and I. Want you to come to me and say you know I'm right here Adam and Eve genesis three. Right after that moment that they send what happens God says Adam. And where are you? They had already covered up. They hid. That's what we all do. In our marriages, we hide, and we cover up. We pretend self defense mechanisms and so that baby monitor story is really a moment of. Really an egg moment of God being. Here's an opportunity. Are you gonNA come to me? You're going to hide and cover up and pretend. Can you just confess and let me ask you this? I mean given you lived on both sides of this equation meaning putting forward this perfect facade or better facade, and then being caught behind closed doors with the baby monitor. What compels us all I mean you guys aren't unique in that way. Right I mean this is what marriage is about especially early, and especially with the the pressure of having three young children being sleep deprived like you said you're. You're working from a deficit. But you're still trying to present the pinterest family right here we are. We're good. We're perfect praised God. Why are we in that spot rather than being vulnerable, authentic and real? I, think a lot of people are like that and we were on that trip, but I think that one of the strengths marriages is that people have known when we had issues and the reason they've known because we tell them some of the times it was in a healthy way I'm an immense small group. I'm like I don't get it I'm angry with her. At the same time you know the next week I'm talking about how great marriages, but our marriages are not going to be safe if they're insular, and so we from the beginning have been really honest with people, and sometimes it was embarrassing. I think our family got tired of hearing. US fight around them, and so we actually weren't trying to fool anybody on that trip. Yes, because we were never around those family members, but in general I think one of the strengths of our marriages, the willingness to be vulnerable. Yeah, and I think a lot of people what we all have opportunities in everyday life. Marriage is a perfect gift. A mirror for. Your insular and you have you have enough pressures happening around you where stuff starts to bubble up your ways of pretending and hiding your sin patterns. They come up. But what do you do with? That is really what's important. You can either deny and say. I'm not going to. Face that part of myself or you have the opportunity I think it is a strengthen our marriage to say alright. God has shown this to me. Enough Times that I can submit and come to him and allow him to bring healing and wholeness and transformation, but it really brings humility instead of denial. But it is a process and I. think that's part of it I, think marriage that the Lord put marriage in our hearts, and in our institutions as a way to make us better. I mean really let me though explore Joshua start with you. Cal will come in your way next, but your childhood so many guests John that we have on the broadcast, the Ymca Vicenza's and Gary, Chapman, and others. There's so much that we learn in our childhood that trigger us. And, then we get married in our twenties typically, and all those triggers start getting punched again whatever that might be insecurity. Whatever it is, and it leads to combat in the marriage rather than growth hopefully overtime leads to growth the shorter the time, the better so Joshua in that respect your childhood experiences. How how did you see those affecting your marriage? I grew up in a Christian home with two parents. They loved each other. They love the Lord and the deck was stacked against them. There was just one catastrophe after the the other two siblings. My Dad's first marriage died and you know. The dominoes fell over and over again until when I was twelve. You know my dad. He had left before just to find himself, and he said for the last time I'm leaving. And Cinderella took that glass slipper and. and. She threw it at him and said go away. I don't WanNa. See you again and I watched. Their marriage collapsed over the course of that time, and it was so confusing because you've got your dad who's supposed to be playing this role of like father God in your life. And then he's been in your mom. And what lesson I learned is that marriage is not safe. It, is dangerous and so became extremely legalistic in college, and I was like I. This is a quote. I'm going to be a eunuch. Christ because it's easier because I am going to. Distance Myself from the thing that can hurt me, so I would say I'm not gonNA date because I don't have a mini divorce, but what I was saying was. I. Don't ever put myself in the position. My parents did so what I wanted out of marriage was eventually came to the place that I wanted it was. It's either going to be awesome or other. It's going to be a mess. My marriage has to be awesome so when we would butt heads with agitate me so much because it would bring out not just my weaknesses, but the weakness of the whole ideal that I had. Well. I mean that's powerful. and. That's you know we're going to explore more how you deal with that, but. That is insightful as to what you were seeking in your marriage, so you had this incredibly high bar. Obviously right and the bar was not what my parents add instead amazing. You know when you say to yourself. Lord I'm never going to do that. You know what he hears Lord Send Me In. This direct can learn thanks. So we're cal. Okay, so you get into this marriage? Did you realize that about Joshua? Did you know this high expectation of marriage and commitment was there? Did He talk about that? Hardly knew me yeah, so art dating story was very short when he met and four months later, he proposed five months after we were married, and so in less than a year we met were married, and really it was as soon as we got engaged. We started about heads immediately. You know fighting for control and. These life changing decisions in a very quick period of time, and so I wasn't necessarily thinking about his expectations marriage, although we did go over that and premarital counseling, and but butted some heads some more, but we were just immediately started hashing it out. We culturally are very different. You know he's comes from southern, Patriarchal Culture and I'm Puerto Rican. And I come from a major agriculture where there are amazing, strong women and so. We didn't notice it at the time, but we were butting heads over our expectations of marriage and. I think it was probably an engagement though I mean literally it had been just tip toeing through the tulips and then the next morning. Start talking negotiating. And, that's where it all falls apart and I think that so much of any of our conflicts have come back to negotiation and. I think what I did not even admit to myself until maybe last year. Is that then in a lot of my marriage? As this like I'm the southern man. I'm the strong spiritual leader. That I was like that woman is not going to tell me what to do. So now became combat Oh. Yeah, remember from her place. I mean this is she? Comes from my strength family of some strong like amazing women and I was saying the same thing internally I'm not gonNA. Let him tell me what to do. And so, but this was really perfect opportunities for us to really look at ourselves so easy in an marriage going back to the garden Eden to point the finger at the other person and say he did it. She did it. You Know Satan did it, but really in marriage. It's so important what has helped us grow is a looking within ourselves and say God. Why am I responding this way? What do you want me to see about me and most importantly? What do you want me to see about you? Because you are right here? In the everyday ordinary messy, big life decisions, hard decisions, and you know raising kids life. And you know. Incorporating that whole story of the baby monitor, it sounds like your immediate family. Kinda backed up. Nobody stepped in it. It sounds like to say hey. Let's help you sort this out. There was a couple that caught your attention. Why did they catch your attention how to respond to them? Well? It was before I got married when I did not believe really in marriage, I said I did, but I didn't think candidate. Got The guy that's right, so I didn't I. Didn't believe it was. It was something that was safe and I met this couple was Sean. And I we went to church together, and they just loved each other. They brought me into their lives, and I saw them walk through difficulties together parenting I saw them have disagreements, and they managed to through all this stay in love, and I mean there was a strong care for one another. It was rooted in Jesus and there was passion, and they were funny, and they were the ones in the back of my head. That always told me you can believe in love. It's real, and that's what we want for our marriage today. We want people to see. You can meet God. Of Marriage and we are not afraid to do that, so they're good, the bad and the ugly. That's right. The good dividing the ugliest where you can find him everywhere, and there's freedom and that you know when we pretend you're only hurting yourself or your marriage or your kids in the people around you when you're honest and a- Joshua can talk about the integrity interview. He really. It was a turning point for him especially to. Look around to interview some of his friends and the people close in his life, and say what what am I? What am I really like? What is it like to be my friend or you know you could talk more about that, but. so I actually when? I was in my second year of marriage I was. To Be Clear Kellen I've always liked each other, always been passion some. Sometimes it's misdirected but I was Margaret with a couple of guys and one night we were talking and one of the guys said to me I was like. Hey, guys, do you? Is there anything in my life? You know you think my when I should change and my friend Pat said you know the way you speak to. Raquel sometimes really embarrasses me. And I thought what? You ask the question expecting unclean. I'm good. With him, I said you know Pat. You're just too nice to me and I'm going to give it a try. Though and I asked him, and he immediately told me. The way you speak to kill, really embarrasses me and I was so shocked because I was like her. She's the embarrassing one. I didn't realize that actually had something going on. So my other friend talked about this book Integrity by Dr Henry Cloud. And this idea of an integrity interview where I would go around and ask questions of friends and say what is really liked to be on the other end of my life. So I talked to five people that I was Raquel and she's crying and she saying the things that I've heard before and I'm taking notes and smiling and nodding politely and not defending myself but I. Walk Away From It and I've been there. I heard that. But what broke? My heart was the next four people because they said eighty percent of what she said. And, that was the moment that was a huge moment for me, and a turning point because I actually thought for the first time and I'm not trying to be funny. She may actually be right. I mean like maybe she's right. That was huge. I think that their spouses that never get to that point. Yeah, that's a great point because I think you're absolutely right. And just being vulnerable. I guess that's called. Humility right and it was amazing that got even gave me the grace to be humble like that well. Let's speak to that because I'm sure there's listeners who are going. Okay connecting with what you're saying, but you have to paths in front of you at that point, you can hear your four friends affirm what Raquel has said, and you can get hard of heart. Or you can be supple and say okay. I'm blowing it. What do I need to learn? Speak to that other kind of way. You could lean now. Did you have that feeling at first? Did you have the wait a minute the rigidity? I was a mix of angry and depressed after those two weeks. Because the first thing you want to do is turn on them. You just don't get me you don't understand. Let me explain myself Alex, but the thing that I was told to do if I was going to do the interview. Don't defend yourself, or you are an attorney. That's right. It's got to be really hard. It was really hard it's been hard on her being married to an attorney. Because I'm always trying to make my case, but the thing is is I. Want Jesus. I love Jesus and I love Jesus so much. That I'm willing to meet him in my marriage. I've come to see after twelve years. I'm really in writing confessions. The thing that hit me as a new book was going, but I was not prepared to see just how much Jesus had manifested himself and this amazing woman. Who's sitting here with me? I didn't realize that all of the headbutting all of the love that we had in the fun times and the kids and the hard times in the crises we went through. He was there and all of a sudden realized. It's you Jesus. That was you and I think that was probably the first because after those first two weeks. There was a part of me. That stopped and said God. Is there something that needs to change? One point needs to go on and I. Just pursued Jesus in it, and that's what made the difference, but those are all the right decisions. That's what so good and I guess. My earlier point was men. Don't always even in those circumstances. We don't make those right decisions. We make wrong decisions. That's where we suffer, but really this wasn't overnight I. mean he did these entirely interviews in the first couple years of our marriage? But you know year after year we have opportunities every single day to turn around. It's in the little things where we get to practice. Okay I'm going to choose life. I'm GONNA choose humility. Here's an opportunity with my kids or my wife to just. Come, exposed before the Lord here. I am Lord. There's some weaknesses there some sin. There's some things that need transformation. And so here I am I can. I can bring God into it a lot of times. We just try to live life on our own and and try to fix these things on our own. That's not how it's supposed to be one of the things we come to marriage. We come to marriage with these. Ideas of who we are. And who we're going to be as a spouse and we show up, and that's probably for most of us. It's shattered. And we have an opportunity. We faced that and face who we really are and grow closer to God and a couple, and if we don't then what we do is we skip out on intimacy? You can't be intimate with one another fully if you're not fully. Open with yourself open with the Lord and open with each other. If you intimacy, that's what it takes, so for the the man of the woman out there who shuts down and says I'm fine. I'm not going to take this from him I. Don't need to hear this I'm not the one who's going to be the first to change well. You just forfeited intimacy in your marriage there. You're listening to focus on the family today. We're talking to Joshua and Raquel Rogers Joshua's wonderful book confessions of a happily married man is the topic today, and it's available from us here at focus on the family. Get your copy of that book when you call eight hundred a family or click the episode notes and find more one of the issues. As I was reading the book and looking at the prep for the program at home this morning. Every gene and I were talking about it and she. She lit up. She goes. Oh, people are really going to benefit with this and one of the things control. You've touched on it a couple of times, but I think it's probably one of the biggest issues and marriage. Today's battled for control, and I want to hit that one head on and how you can get to the point where you can let go. And you know not standards, not moral principles. We're not talking about those things, but just the need to control the marriage so either. One of you jump out there how you let go of your controlling temperament. Yeah I mean I can definitely confess. That's been one of my issues. Control and being critical. Instead. Bringing God into it bringing myself in my own issues into it then speak going back to your earlier point of what do I say to the women who are just? You know they're looking at their husbands. They're just. They want to give up to do anymore because he doesn't want to grow or he doesn't. WanNa pray. He doesn't want to change in these areas as to really. Trust God and I know and I don't say that that's not Glib like you. Either Trescott or you don't, and you can pray and watch God. Do a work which is what I saw. Happen again and again. I would see the Holy Spirit at work changing him from Glory to glory little thing by little thing that he would change and I just trusted. I just knew that guy was at work, not just in his life, but in my life, because he was doing the same thing in me and so really let go and let God be that Third Strand in your marriage and let him really take place. Not just you know at Church or sometimes part of your marriage, but every day like God I am by Bahir be near the Lord is near. Are you near yes? He is fine for me. Control the control issue has everything to do with 'em are willing to stop trying to control Jesus. Jesus is working through your spouse. Let him do what he's going to do I. wrote this book. It was all but done, and the idea came up. What if kill wrote a little epilogue and I said I would like for it to be little because it's my book. And she gave me a thirty two hundred word epilogue, and it was a chapter. It ended up being called the last word and when I looked at that chapter. I was like. Oh my gosh. Eventually got the place where I realized. This is not my book. This is our book and what she's done is beautiful and if I had to stop that if I had insisted on doing a little epilogue, instead of that beautiful, she chapter, she writes at the end. It just brings it home. I would have science what Jesus was trying to do through that book. Your so let Jesus do what he's going. Do your spouse. Yes, it's really good, and you know typically when we talk in this way, we're going to have a man or many men right and say. Why are you bashing men today and I would only say if that's where your. Feelings are going. We must be touching a nerve. Bold and there's two responses. Do that evaluation. Look at your life. Ask Your Wife to give you some input. Ask Your friends like you did Joshua. Four of your friends to speak into your life as it pertains to your marriage. That's the way to go with that writing US complaining that we're bashing men. Today I'd use that energy differently. We're not attempting to do that. What we're trying to do is show where there may be some areas to improve in your marriage, and that's the goal and a really. My chapter where I wrote about examine, it's not just about men, men and women, coming to the Lord at the end of the day in reflective prayer, and saying search me, O God save there's any wicked way in me to really wait with God to see if he'll point anything out about your your the little fat. You had this morning. Let's go back to that moment in and review what happened. What happened in your heart? So that's really been something that transformed us. It wasn't just the integrity. Interview was a daily posture of openness and reflection before God in search me Oh God. Where do I need to change what? What do you want me to see about me? What do you want me to see about you? And about our marriage? Nothing that works better, I mean. That's what we're always saying in couples that pray together read the word together that divorce rate is really low like one percent so I mean you want to have that kind of fulfiled marriage. You're hitting it even though you've been married, you know short number of years. You're beyond your years in terms of the wisdom. You're bringing today. Thank you so much. What a great book! Confessions of a happily married man! Joshua and Raquel Rogers. Thank you for being with us our pleasure. Thank. You let me turn to you the listener. We have something that can help you in this area that Joshua and Raquel have been talking about today. Three, it's our online marriage assessment. It takes about five to seven minutes to complete, and it will identify some of the strengths and weaknesses in your own marriage. It's a great place to start to take an inventory of where your marriage needs to go to get to the next level, and I think we have about a million folks now who have taken that marriage assessment join in, have some. Some Fun along the way and find articles as well about almost any issue. You might be facing in your relationship This help is online. Just click the link in the episode notes and John I love hearing stats like this one. In past year, our broadcast and other resources here focus have helped. At least eight hundred thousand couples build stronger and more satisfying marriages. That's why we do this. This in here at Focus, we have a heart for helping couples not only stay together, but enjoy God's gift of marriage. If your own marriage is doing well, and you share our passion for helping couples, we need your help were behind on our budget this year. certainly due to cove it and we're struggling to keep up, and it would be great to hear from your right now, maybe having. Having given in a while or ever be a part of the team. Let's help more people strengthen their marriage. Be a better parent and even save a baby's life, but we need you to be part of the team, so contact us today. And when you give, we'll send you. A copy of Josh is Great Book Confessions of a happily married man as our way of saying, thank you. And right now we have a special matching gift opportunity so when you donate, your contribution goes twice as far. Donate today and get the book by calling eight hundred the letter in the word family, or find the link in the episode show notes. On behalf of gym daily and the entire team, thanks for joining us today four focus on the family I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we once more help. You and your family thrive in Christ. Convinced that nothing could change. What was going on in our marriage and I don't want to try anymore, but my commitment to God. Helped me try one more time we went to a hope restored marriage intensive, and it was life changing. The counselors created the safest environment. We could imagine so that let us really talk. We're on a much different course now and I believe we received a miracle that we receive your free consultation at hope restored dot com.