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Marriage as a Living Painting

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2021 2:00 am

Marriage as a Living Painting

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 4, 2021 2:00 am

What does God's love look like? Authors Aaron and Jamie Ivey share that just as two different colors can add depth and beauty to a canvas, a marriage of two people is a painting that can speak the truth about God to those who experience it.

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Are there things about your spouse that you wish would change? And have you found that you're coaching? That's another word for nagging. Have you found your coaching just isn't working?

Aaron Ivey says it's time to rethink your strategy. There's something incredibly compelling and powerful about a spouse that is kind and is gracious and is patient. There's something so compelling about that. And if you would, as a believer, choose that posture, right, not to preach at, not to condemn, not to keep pointing fingers or be frustrated, but just to lovingly serve them and to keep demonstrating the gospel, not just preaching it to them.

There's something very compelling about that. This is Family Life Today. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson.

I'm Bob Lapine. You can find us online at familylifetoday.com. When you think about change that you'd like to see happen in your marriage, there's a way to go about that that may feel right to you.

And then there's the Jesus way. Let's talk about how we can help one another grow in grace today. Stay with us. And welcome to Family Life Today.

Thanks for joining us. Do you think we as couples in marriage, do you think we know how to love one another well when we get married? I mean, I didn't. We think we know.

Right. But we don't. I don't think we do. I would say we think we're in love.

We have no idea what love is. We discover what love is. It's work.

It's really hard work and it's awesome, but it's not as easy as we think. I was thinking about this because of the conversation that the two of you had recently with Erin and Jamie Ivey. They've just written a new book called Compliment. Actually, it's two books. There's a book for him and a book for her.

And the chapters in these books are the same chapters in both books. It's just Erin talking to guys about this is how I live this out. Jamie talking to the women about this. And for listeners who don't know Erin and Jamie, Jamie has a daily podcast that's very popular called The Happy Hour. Erin is a songwriter.

He's a worship leader at Austin Stone Church in Austin, Texas. In fact, when you sat down with them, I thought, are you really going to do this? You're here with a songwriter and a worship leader.

And you said, I want to get the guitar and play a song I wrote for you. Bob, this is why I love Dave. He just, he's so secure in himself. He's like, this is going to be fun. He doesn't think, oh, this is going to be terrible or what will they think? He's just confident. And I love it. Yeah, I was overly, you know, I got to be honest, though, as I was getting ready to set this up, my heart rate started racing and I started having second thoughts. Like I'm looking over there and thinking, this guy's a pro.

What am I doing? Oh, well, let's go for it. Well, and I mentioned that you're not like a singer, a professional singer. You'll hear that.

She puts that in there to make sure everybody knows. You had written a song about your love for Aaron and Jamie after reading their book and you decided to debut it for them. So here we go.

Here we go. Last night, sort of late thinking about our interview today, I decided to write a song about the Ivies. No, you did not. Yes, I did. I told him, don't play it for me until we're in studio. I tried to play it for my headphones on last night.

She was over there. Is this a song or is this like a jingle? You tell me you're the professional. I made a lot of money in college writing jingles.

I paid for college by writing lame, cheesy jingles. Really? You could make some cash off this. Here we go. I like the groove so far. This is sort of a jingling. And Dave would say he's not a singer. I'm not a singer.

I play. Everybody else sings. This is great already. And I have to look at the words because I just wrote it last night. Nobody's ever written a song for us guys. Who's the first? Well, this may be the last.

We'll see. Happy hour in Austin Stone. We love the way your laugh lights up a room.

Texas football and tattoos. Four kids make the house feel like a zoo. I heard that Jamie don't cook.

Aaron throws down in the kitchen. That's a marriage with quirks. A compliment that we love. We sure love your red beer. We love the Jamie's crazy and a bit weird. That's true.

God's got big plans for the kids are going to do great. The King. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. I'm a Beatles guy. And we will party in heaven with vegan case. I hope the listeners are saying, Oh, I know they are. We sure do love your red beer. We love the Jamie's crazy.

Jamie's crazy. And we know God's got big plans for the best is yet to come for the. He's got something greater than your song.

He didn't read your book hardly at all, but he wrote that. You knew us. Our stuff was in there. I looked at your website.

I missed a lot, but I was like, I could throw a little bit. Incredible. Well, I mean, the chorus came easy because we love the Ivy's everybody. That's a wrap, guys. Thanks for hanging out. We appreciate you tuning in.

Thank you. Now we're going to make you sing a song at the end. Yeah, real solid.

Like I did listen to something greater. So good. Oh, dude. Sure. Gifted. Thank you. That's powerful.

Worship is my language and man. Well, I love how you guys compliment each other where you're both so gifted and in different areas, too. Yeah.

But you're both drawing people closer to the kingdom. Yeah. You know, it's pretty cool. You know, we talk about that a lot because people do ask us often they look at our life and say, you guys are so different.

And, you know, Jamie's a podcaster and speaker and making media and Aaron's a songwriter and a pastor. And how do you guys do it like that's what they're wondering. And one of the things that we write about that we think is so important in marriages. And I know you guys do as well is this common mission that we have.

And I think that so many people go into a marriage thinking that they can just kind of figure it out along the way and not have a goal. I like sports. And so I think sometimes in sports, if you have a team on the field, you know, they're all playing different positions. They all have the same goal.

Yeah. They all want to win the game. You know, even if you have a coaching staff, they're all coaching different things. They all want to win the game. And so I think even with Aaron and I, we think, man, our mission is we in everything we do in our life. We want people to know Jesus. We love hospitality. We love having people in our home. It's not just because we like to be around people.

It's because we want people to know Jesus. You know, and so that common mission is so important. And, you know, we want unity within our marriages and common goals bring unity. Well, it's good because a lot of people never have that discussion. You know, they're like, oh, yeah, we're happy and we're just going to raise our kids. But to have that common mission and to even have that conversation, what is our mission?

Right. What do we want to do? Let's talk about that, because I know it's at the end of your book and we were going to save it, but you brought it up. So let's talk about because, like Ann said, we didn't really even know. We went to a conference two weeks before our marriage. That was our premarital deal. It was the Family Life Weekend to Remember that we now speak for. Which was wonderful. And they did talk about mission, but we're sitting there thinking, who cares?

We love each other. And I want to have you comment, Aaron, on your comment on mission. And you mentioned it earlier. You said marriage has the uncanny and unique ability to be a living painting that the world gets to look at with delight. And when people look at it, they are meant to see just how good God is. I wrote that?

Man. It's in your book, man. I mean, that is so well said of the bigger vision. God's saying, OK, this is what marriage is really about.

Talk about that. We talk about this a lot with couples that we might be counseling through, like about to get married. And one of the things we say is like starting your marriage is super important to have like a mission, like an end that's in mind before you even started. Because too many times, like even in a dating relationship, the relationship almost just seems to like implode on itself. You know, you kind of neglect all your other friends and you just become about each other. And so you just live like in isolation and you're just all about like yourself. And if you're not careful, that'll play out into marriage, too, where you start thinking this marriage is about you making me happy and me making you happy.

And so then there's conflict when the other person can't do that because nobody can do that for the other person. But if you start out with, hey, our mission is this, no matter what your career is or my career is, no matter how you're wired or your Enneagram number, your personality. Our common mission is this. And from day one, Jamie and I have really wrestled to the ground. Like this is what we feel like we're put on the planet to do.

And that is to know Jesus and to help other people know him. It's that simple. And so there's so much liberty that comes with that because it doesn't matter what Jamie's job is. I can cheer her on in that because we have the same mission.

Yeah. Like Jamie mentioned, a lot of times people will what they're asking is, is there competition between your two jobs because they seem so different? And you're both out front in different areas. And at the end of the day, genuinely, there is not competition because we have the same mission behind what our two different jobs are. And so if your marriage started out that way, great.

If you're in marriage and it didn't start out that way, it doesn't mean that it's hopeless. You can always go back and go, OK, maybe we didn't start out with a common mission, but we've been put on this planet for something. So spending time to pray, discern, gather your community, like what do you see in us? How is God using us already as a married couple? How do we want him to use us?

And then align yourself with that mission and just go for it because we've got this really short amount of time on this planet to live. And God wants to use your marriage for more than just yourself, but for your community, for the people around you to, like I wrote, see a painting and go, oh, my goodness, they love each other like that. They serve each other like that and they love God. There's something really compelling about God.

That's really good. And I think that infiltrates into everything that might come into your marriage. So when Aaron and I think through like that, you know, I like to think of it as like we have eternity on our mind, like that's what we're looking forward to. Then that changes the vacations we take.

And I don't mean that in a weird way. Like, are we going to Costa Rica or Florida? I mean, like who are we willing to spend our time with? You know, like you're like, oh, we're going to go on a trip with a couple or with another family. We always think to ourselves, does this have kingdom value?

You know, and that seems so weird. Or where are we going to spend our money or who are we going to invest in going on double dates with? Who are we going to have around our table?

All of those decisions are not ones you think about when you first get married. But as you add, we have four children, they all play, have activities. Our calendar is so full.

It's unbelievable how full it is. And so when we think through, are we saying yes to this or no to this? It really comes down to, does this further the mission that we have? And so there's a lot of no's that come out of that because, man, that sounds fun. And we love you, but it does not further the mission of what we have. And we have a limited time here.

It's really good. And I'm guessing even your yeses are with mission mindset. I'm thinking even putting that into your kids. You know, I joked in the song about Texas football, but I know you have season tickets to the Longhorns and your kids are playing high school football. But it's not just football, right?

It's it's almost ministry. Yeah. I mean, for me, I mean, I love college football and I love Texas Longhorns, but I don't go to those games with my friends. I take my boys because to me, I only have three more years with three of them.

I only have one year with one of them. And so those are that's an investment to me. So you're discipling like, boy, this is true football. You know, and the thing about like using your marriage for more than just you, you don't have to have like a lot of money to do that. It's not like you have to get to the spot where like now we can be generous with our resources and our time. We've been doing that from the beginning when we had nothing.

We live in a one bedroom, tiny apartment scraping by. But our table was always filled with people that we were viewing through the lens of how can we like serve them? How can we pour our lives into them to where now, like consciously when we do a writing trip? Jamie and I, we made a decision a while back that every time we go on a writing trip, you know, we go out of the town, out of the state or whatever.

We rent a house that has one or two extra bedrooms and that doesn't cost much more money, maybe a couple hundred bucks more to get a house with another bedroom. And then we'll invite a couple that we're pouring our life into so they get a free vacation because they're probably 10, 20 years behind us. It's those little small decisions like that of like, how do we use the resources that we have as a married couple?

Whatever they might be, however limited or however excessive, using what's right in front of you to say our marriage is meant for more than just us. A couple things as I'm thinking about that, I'm talking to a lot of people now that are empty nesters. They're around our age and they have found like we don't have a common mission anymore because it used to be the kids.

And so now they're floundering thinking we don't know what to do. So I'd love you to address that. And then after that, what about the person that says, I want to be on this common mission for Jesus, but I'm married to a spouse that really doesn't care about that. Those are two different questions. Sorry, I'll do the parenting one. I really enjoy talking about this because I see this happen to so many women.

Yeah. Couples for sure, but especially women. They spend, you know, 18, 25, 26 years and their entire life revolves around their children. Our common mission, it has nothing to do with our children. It really doesn't have anything to do with them.

It will not change when they're all gone and it didn't change before they were here. So I think that's what's so important because what happens is you pour your life out for your kids only. They leave and you look at your spouse and go, wait, who are you? What's your name again?

Exactly. What do you even like to do? I've never hung out with you because we're always sitting at a basketball game or I'm always running kids around. And again, we get it. We have four kids. I'm telling you, we do a lot of wrestling matches and football games and choir concerts. But at the end of the day, our kids know that our lives do not revolve around them. Our marriage doesn't revolve around them. Our mission doesn't revolve around them. Instead of it revolving around them, we get to bring them into it. And so they get to see our lives and our ministry and be a part of it. And our biggest prayer would be that they would then spread their wings and fly and create their own mission in their own life with their spouse as if God has marriage for them. But our mission won't change when they leave.

It's really good. And I think that if you're in a spot right now and you're listening and you're like, this is me, my child's 15 and I don't even think I want to have a dinner alone with my husband. I can't even imagine it. I would say, just to encourage you, it's not too late.

It's not too late at all. And this is by no means saying, you know, kick your kids out of the way. You don't care about them. You don't love them. No, it just means that your number one devotion is to God and your number two devotion is to your spouse.

Because that's the way that your marriage will flourish. You know, I can before you answer the next one, I can say this. We're old. I know you're looking at us thinking that.

No. Your hair's going to fall out too. But here's the thing. When our kids left first college and then married and we sat in the family room and it was really quiet. And we long for these days. You know, it's chaos and it's loud and you're picking up stuff. And here we are. And I remember thinking if we hadn't worked our tail off for this, this would be really empty right now. Our lives were only about them and we just looked at each other like, I don't even really like you. It was like all that work, now you get the payoff. It's pretty beautiful.

That's what I've heard. But you're right. In terms of a mission, we always had that same mission. Like we want to advance God's kingdom. We want to draw people into the kingdom and disciple them. And marriage is the vehicle. Yes. Because as Dennis Rainey said, a great marriage will be the greatest evangelistic tool of the future.

Because people are looking, thinking, I want that and yet I don't know how to get it. So, Aaron, take us. You're going to have a harder question.

It is the harder question. I know. What if only one spouse even wants to pursue Jesus or have a mission? Well, I have a couple of friends who are in that exact same scenario. So this isn't like just a, you know, idealistic sort of thing. This is something I'm walking through a couple of friends with. And it's incredibly hard, incredibly hard.

And so first I would say, like, just want to recognize how difficult that is and what a long process that is. And then I think second, this is what the conversation I had with my friend was. I want you to imagine your very best friend in life is not a believer, but you came to faith, you know, a couple of years ago. And so you all weren't synced up at the same timeline of coming to know Jesus. But now, you know Jesus and you've fallen in love with him. But that very best friend of yours, he hasn't yet.

How would you react to him? And he's like, man, I would I would never give up on him because I found Jesus and I want I want him to find Jesus, too. So I would, you know, never, ever give up. And I think so many times in marriage, it's easier to give up on your spouse than even it is to give up on your very best friend in life.

And I don't know why. Maybe it's because you live with that person and you see all the complexity and you see the worst parts. I think we have expectations, too, of our spouse. You have an expectation for, well, marriage is going to be awesome. And I met Jesus. So how have you not, you know? And my encouragement to him is the same I would use for anybody that's listening is salvation is sometimes much slower than we want it to be.

I think about my life. I did not come to meet Jesus until I was 21 years old. So in some people's stories, that seems like early on. Well, I'm so glad you met Jesus, a 20 year old. But in other stories with friends of mine that met Jesus when they're five or eight or 10, that seems like later in life. And I know that God works in a very mysterious and sometimes slow paced way. And so I wonder what it would look like to be a believing spouse and to plead with the Lord and then to also show an incredible amount of patience and kindness and grace to your spouse, just like you would a best friend where you're longing them longing for them to know Jesus.

Now, the other thing I would say is this. I think there's something incredibly compelling and powerful about a spouse that is kind and is gracious and is patient. There's something so compelling about that.

And if you would, as a believer, choose that posture, right, not to preach at, not to condemn, not to keep pointing fingers or be frustrated, but just to lovingly serve them and to keep demonstrating the gospel, not just preaching it to them. There's something very compelling about that. Is that why you started the book with love? Yeah. I mean, that's the foundational first chapter.

It's the foundation of a marriage, for sure. Yeah. I was thinking, I don't know where I read it in your book. I'm looking right now like I think I read it somewhere in your book.

You tell me if you wrote this. I'm sure it is. But this idea, obviously, in the mission was that by neighbors, non-Christians, unchurched people, anybody looking at a godly marriage, they get an image from almost your painting idea of what God looks like. Right? That's sort of the mission, which in some ways is scary. Like, whoa, that's a heavy responsibility to carry.

My neighbors are going to look over at our house and the way we raise our kids and the way I treat my spouse. And at the same time, I remember watching a talk show and the host had on as a guest, Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Right? And I remember sitting there, I'm all by myself watching this thing, and I remember thinking to myself, that dude's body is perfect. I mean, you know, actually the interview was about his workout thing and, you know, he says, do you ever cheat?

And I'll never forget. He goes, yeah, I cheat. And I go, really?

Like what? Cheat with food, you mean? Yeah. Yeah. Good, good, good. You ever cheat with food?

Because you're perfect. And it's his life. It's how he makes his money.

And he says, oh, yeah, once every six months, I'll have a pizza. Oh, my goodness. So anyway, he went in this whole thing. But anyway, here's my thought when I was sitting there. I was like, I had no idea a body could look that good.

And then it hit me. That's what marriage can be to somebody. I had no idea God looked like that.

I had no idea God was that good. Yeah. By looking at a husband and wife, the way that's sort of the mission, right? Talk about that, because that's scary. And at the same time, awesome.

Yeah, I think it can in every scenario. So it's not just because Jamie and I are going through a good season that people can see what God is like. Hopefully in the good season, you can see this is what God is like. Aaron loves Jamie generously and he serves and lays down his life for her. And Jamie loves Aaron unconditionally. And she serves and lays down her life for him, too. Right.

You could say, well, that's how you do it. But also in the example I just gave where maybe there's an unbelieving spouse, there is such an opportunity for the believing spouse in that relationship to be such a profound demonstration of what God is like. So it doesn't have to be the perfect marriage because you can show what God is like by having an imperfect marriage that's covered in grace and covered in forgiveness.

It might have like moral failure and it might have really terrible mistakes in it. You can demonstrate the gospel even in that by showing what the forgiveness of God looks like or what the patience of God looks like. So it really is just having a shift in your in your mind of going, hey, how do we put Jesus at the center of everything? I just admitted that I did something terrible. Man, isn't it amazing that God loves us even when we admit we do something terrible? It's just putting him in the front and center and not expecting our marriages to all be perfect because that'll set us up for failure.

And then we'll never try to demonstrate the gospel. One of my best friends, John, in my men's group for 20 plus years. And every man should have men in their group.

Every woman should have women. And we had couples that we did. And we did life with John and Betsy, his wife. They've given us permission to tell the story. He calls me one night out of nowhere. Eleven p.m. says, get over here now. I'm like, dude, you know, I'm watching. Get here now. I need you. And they live a couple blocks away.

Rush over there. He thinks his wife's having an affair. I'm like, dude, there's no way Betsy's having an affair. She's in the man's group.

She was. And the next day after she was caught and literally got caught, we go over to their house to start. Can we help? And long story short, get in the car to drive home. And I should have never said these words.

I literally turned it in. I say, even God can't save that marriage, which is blasphemy. Yeah.

God can do the impossible. But there I am just watching those several hours like she's not repenting. He's so angry.

They have five boys. It's the worst ever. God, it's done. Yeah. And long story short, he saved that marriage. I love that. She broke and repented. And it's beautiful.

It's really beautiful. And let me say, it was really hard. They were separated for a time.

You thought even months later, it's never. And now you look at it like, look, and they're obviously we're telling story because there's like, we want the world to know. But when you were talking about that painting, you look at their marriage. That's imperfect. As you said, very imperfect.

They would have never chosen the path taken. But now they're like, God is revealing himself to the world through a husband, a wife who stayed true to their vows. And it's a beautiful, cracked, but beautiful, resurrected picture. That's the mission of marriage.

Well, we've been listening to a recent conversation that David and Wilson had with Aaron and Jamie Ivey, the authors of a book called Compliment, a book for husbands and a book for wives, two separate books, same title, same chapters. And I think the message of the book and the message of your conversation today is no matter where you are, no matter how hard things have gotten or how hopeless you feel about where things are, there are people who can help you. There's a path out. Don't just get frustrated and quit before you get to that place where the picture, like you were saying, Dave, can be restored and be more glorious than it was before.

It's always easier to bail. You know, in any area of your life, when it gets hard, there's a part of us and a part of our flesh that says, I'm not going to work out. I'm not going to put in the time to really, really know Christ. But that's where God shows up. You know, you hang on and you get to know him in a way you've never, ever known him. Here's what I've told couples in that situation. I've said, pretend your marriage is your arm and your arm is just aching and you want the pain to stop. And somebody comes along and says, well, just amputate. And you can do that and maybe the pain will stop, but you will be missing something for the rest of your life. Now, there may be a way to fix the arm that is going to be painful and going to take time and there's rehab involved, but you'll have your arm for the rest of your life once it's healed over. And I think so many people just say, well, just amputate.

And then later on often look back and go, I wish I'd thought it through. And we can't make it universal because there are people who are in situations that are abusive. They're in situations where they've tried for decades to fix things. But I see a lot of couples today where they get sideways.

They get like you guys got in the first six months of your marriage and they say, we just married the wrong person. We're going to fix this. And it doesn't fix it. I think people are weary and they think it's just too late. It's just too late. There's too much work to be done. And I think we're all agreeing that it's never too late.

With God, all things are possible. And that's why we'd say, get to a weekend to remember marriage. Get away if you're in that situation. Get some help for your marriage. See a counselor. Go to your pastor.

Start reading books or listening to podcasts about marriage that can help give you insights that maybe you've been lacking. We're making Aaron and Jamie's books complement available this month for any family like today listener who would like to get a copy. If you can help us with a donation to help support this ministry, donation of any amount to help advance the work of the ministry, we'll send you a copy of both Aaron and Jamie's books complement. That's our gift to you. And in addition to receiving the books, your donation this month is going to be matched dollar for dollar with money from a matching gift fund that has been established for us from some friends of the ministry. Well, it's pretty wonderful, too, because these friends are saying, we want to help.

What can we do? And so they're coming in to match whatever's given. And that's pretty remarkable. And they want you to help, too. So they're not just giving the donation themselves. They're saying you be a part of this. They're being a complement.

Exactly. They've agreed to match every donation up to a total of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. We want to take full advantage of that matching gift. So if you've been listening for a while to Family Life Today, maybe you've never made a donation or maybe you've donated in the past, but it's been a while. Call us or go online today. FamilyLifeToday.com is the website.

The number is 1-800-FL-TODAY. Make as generous a donation as you can. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar. We'll send you as a thank you gift the books from the Ivies. We've also got a flash drive we're going to send you that's got our reflection on some of the top things I've learned in 28 plus years of co-hosting Family Life Today.

Which is really good, Bob. It's like gold. It's stuff that I keep telling people when they say what words are your favorite interview or what have you learned. It's just the stuff that stuck with me and helped shape my life and my marriage. You'll get all of that when you make a donation today. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com to donate or call 1-800-FL-TODAY and help us take advantage of this matching gift. Let me just say thank you in advance for your ongoing support of this ministry. It means so much to us. Now tomorrow we're going to continue to hear the conversation you guys had recently with Erin and Jamie Ivey. This time talking about the importance of being cheerleaders for one another in marriage.

In fact, I think Erin in the conversation said, I'm not going to let anybody out cheer me when it comes to my wife. So we'll hear that tomorrow. Hope you can tune in for that. I want to thank our engineer today, Bruce Goff, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Bob Lapine. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life of Little Rock, Arkansas. A crew ministry. Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-22 11:59:57 / 2023-11-22 12:13:24 / 13

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