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August 25, 2021 6:00 am
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Hi this is Jim Daly with Focus on the Family.
I will let you know about an online experience called sea life, 20, 21 in the six episode video series were sharing stories and encouragement that will inspire and empower you to live out your pro-life views. You'll also discover valuable resources to help you step up and get involved in the cause. This is a digital experience, you and your family won't want to miss all the details are Focus on the Family.com/sea life years woman can be one of two things. She can be beautiful and encouraging and inspiring to man to be all that you can be all that God created him to be or she can be destructive. She can emasculate. That's what I was doing for so many years I didn't even realize that's Kimberly Wegner. She and her husband Leroy returned to Focus on the Family today your hostess focus Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly and on John John Kim and Leroy have such a powerful message for all married couples.
They went through some very difficult times that nearly destroyed their marriage. Kim is a self-proclaimed fierce woman.
Another description of that might be strong-willed and that quality can really tear down the husband more like she said build him up depending on how it's used in this case Leroy felt emasculated and trapped, but they hung in there and God was able to get a hold of them. They shared their story with us to offer encouragement to the men who love these fierce women.
I do want to give a little update Leroy and Kim have been walking through difficult faith journey. Since this program originally aired Leroy was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that attacked a spinal cord. I hope you'll join me in praying for them. Both are really such wonderful people and have a positive outlook were really trusting God with them through this difficult time and wish them the best. Here now is the conversation with Kim and Leroy Wegner on today's Focus on the Family.
We left it a very awkward moment last time for your describing that feeling of despair and even contemplating suicide. Your response was ashamed to even say that I was in that spot as a pastor which you were why the shame I mean it's real. It's what you're feeling. Why would you feel shame like been called, even before marriage to preach and began pastoring even before I met Calvin so that was a calling of God upon my life and now realizing that her marriage created a such a problem in being able to genuinely express the gospel express the claims of Christ and then were not living them out in our marriage that I no longer felt that I could continue to pastor and so I resigned and chose at that state where I thought I've lost my calling my ministry what God created me, for I don't have a handle on marriage, which is the most important relationship with him a lot. How can I how can I do anything. How can I be a father to my children.
I'm no good for anything at this point because at the most basic point of who I am as a person. My calling to preach and to pastor and being a husband to the one woman that God has placed me with.
If I have failed in those respects, then I am a complete failure and there is no hope, and what I did know Jim is that God wanted me not to be in that place of pain. God loves us and cares for us. But that pain was so necessary that even contemplating and thinking about it would be better if I were not even alive. I can't live anymore like this was actually a work of grace and I didn't realize it at that moment.
But God was bringing me to the end of myself, the death of self. Leroy Wegner needed to die. I thought I was a great guy and I thought I'd be a great husband and I thought I was a good follower of Christ and really that was a pride issue which you viewed of known me, you would've thought that pride was involved, but pride is involved in all of our lives, and God had to bring me to that painful place of what I thought was good to be the death of me or miserable marriage was the death of me, but it was the proper death the biblical death that we need to die in Christ in order that he might resurrect us and bring us the life that he desires for us to have, not what we think we can work out on our own Kimberly and your eyes are full of tears right now and that's a beautiful thing, but what are you feeling what are you sensing samsara gas. This is no this is good in this new feeling something I want to understand Jim when I look back at that time it will have such a dark time and I knew he was in a bad place when we were in a bad place and I kept thinking there's got to be an answer to Scott to be away. I would cry out to God, no answers for coming to be a lonely place for you to mean trying to find an answer.
A fierce woman save it right.
We can talk to anyone about it because he's my pastor and I can speak against my pastor even after he stepped down from pastoring. I just didn't want others to think negatively of my husband. Even now I times he was repulsing me he was. We were living almost like enemies that I didn't want others to think badly of so I did reach out for help. I didn't turn to others. At first when I'm concerned about are women who are in the same place I was women in the church pastor's lives who are dying inside and have no one to talk to and there crying out to God, but they're not seeing their prayers answered. I am so thankful that God did eventually answer those prayers what you think it took longer than what you were hoping for. I think that was needed for one thing it was needed to bring us both to such a place of brokenness. We were both operating in pride for so long we were pointing the finger at the other person saying it's all their fault if he would just change if Leroy would just do this or if he would just be this way or if he would meet me here at this point of need. Saw is completely pointing my finger at him and it took God bringing me to place a brokenness and humility. Now I am concerned to you for wives who may not even realize that their husbands are at a point of suicide. I didn't realize that that was going through Leroy's heart and mind that he was contemplating suicide. And since the book has come out. We've had husbands contact us that that's where they are. They want to commit suicide. They have such a high level of commitment to Christ, so to say in his word that I don't want to divorce their wives and leave them that way but yet they lost so much hope they think I can just check out in the world will be better off without me. Well I think it's a perfect place for us to say if you are hurting and you need help call us or Focus on the Family with caring Christian counselors that will help you and the phone volume is at a point were we need you to leave your name and number. Do that and we will call you back quickly, but that is one of the reasons focuses here. That's why supporters support this ministry to provide the kind of help for you to better define this you talked in the book men who love fierce women. About three destructive heart issues. I'd like to unpack that. What were the three destructive heart issues that you are encountering so that those are listening can say yeah I've got to those working in my heart right now and then. The antidote for that what God was speaking to you never underestimate as I did the power of your own self-deception. I thought I was going to be a great husband and I thought I was a great guy you know lover of Jesus and so that was part of what was so hard for me to understand why wouldn't she let me why couldn't I be a good husband and really there are three things that God dealt with me. That was at the heart of my problems and that was first of all, fear God dealt with me that that I had operated long before I met Kim really on the basis of fear that that was a lot of what motivated me in my Christian experience that I was fearful of letting others down. I was fearful of not living up to the expectations and standards of of what I believe was expected of me and I had a fearful heart by nature, kind of a timid person and I'm an introvert and debit. Also the responsibility of pastoring, shepherding, leading other people and I didn't want to let them down.
I didn't want to let God down and but instead of operating on a basis of love, my Christian experience was, and I think a lot of people they operate on the basis of fear that entered and carried over into our marriage that that was the reason why that every time Kim addressed something or made a comment that it struck to the heart will never good enough. I knew that that was what I was afraid that that's what she would think of me and that she did know that that own inner struggle was going on in my heart but the enemy Attacking that week point that we point perfect love casts out fear.
And God spoke to me very very clearly through his word, son. This is an issue that I had to bring you to this very painful point to show you what was deep within your heart that you didn't even know was there.
It is so connected to how I relate to God and my relationship with my wife that was at such a horrible point was really a reflection of my relationship with God that I had thought was good but in reality God wanted to deal with the areas of my heart that was not pleasing to him.
It's so gracious of God to do that and I was so painful and emboli for ending and we thought it was going to be the end is always doing a good and gracious work.
Describe before-and-after because you've gone through this valley.
What did God look like before you realized in a deeper way.
Who God is and then describe what you learn through the valley and who he truly is what God looks like to me a sovereign ruler and King that I should be honored and was honored to serve him and to be his servant and dutifully went about serving him in all the ways that I thought that he would have me to and I sometimes of course sensed my inadequacies keenly in his displeasure.
I would project from feeling my own inadequacies. And so even though I worship God and I had a good understanding of God in many ways. It was a faulty understanding of God and God wanted me to bring me to a place of appreciating him of being in all of him of loving him, not for what he's done in the past is recorded in Scripture, not for what he may have done in my life. That's good, but for who he is, even with everything is broken all around me.
He is God and he's good and I do not think that God was good at the point were we were experiencing what we were… You put us into this. You knew this was going to happen. I've tried to follow you. I've tried to do everything that that I thought you wanted me to do any here. I got a performance yet and I went in Leroy, so that's where the ingratitude yeah and absurd oppression that we all live there. That's a reality that's the point I'm trying to make is everyone of us every one of us at the stable everyone listening to us through podcast are ready right now you can hook into this you can relate to this because were all human were all fallen creatures. And this is the area where that following this gets a hold of our hearts and just twists us, doesn't it doesn't. Now I'm just permeated you by thankfulness for who God is, as he is displayed not only in his word, which is perfect and powerful, but in pouring out his grace in our lives.
And I'm so ashamed that I didn't respond in the way that I should have that initially led to this but I'm so grateful for God taking what is the worst and only he could do this and leading us out of the grave of our marital misery and having allowing us to know what we're experiencing now as a married couple that it takes a willingness to fight through this darkness and to say okay I'm in it I want to do it better and I hope that's what were accomplishing for you today were talking with Leroy and Kimberly Wegner. They've written a wonderful resource. Men who love fierce women and that we would encourage you to get a copy of this today. If you're living in that spot where your marriage is under cloud.
Maybe nobody else knows it not your pastor not your friends, maybe not even your family. This is a resource that you can use to strengthen your marriage in the name of Christ and you know what will do is for a gift of any amount will send them along to if you can afford it. Call us and we'll get this to you so that's critical. Kimberly, I want to swing back to you because one of the things you mentioned the book that you are so desperate to get from Leroy in your relationship with Leroy was leadership now. I mean saying that I there goes the car. I throw some woman assaying leadership on the leadership for my husband were equal, and that you know in this modern day America be led by want to be a partner of his, but to be led by him, Kimberly, that's so ancient and we are created equal guide values that man and the woman equally. He created us with the same worth and value the different functions and it works best. God's way and he did create demand to be the leader but it's hard to do as a woman is not in this modern world to end what is it look like where it's healthy now as it look like when it's unhealthy and let me just say I'm healthy first that I woman hated. If you are right now going through an abusive situation is not biblical submission that is not God honoring and please reach out to your church leadership or to civil authorities because you do not need to be in a place where your under physical oppression are in a dangerous place at all. But that wasn't the case with us or with a lot of marriages, a lot of women we don't want to follow her husband's leadership unless he's leading the way we want to go. So how do you define what I would suggest is a lack of respect. Perhaps that you know aspect your husband.
I lack a busy day not doing things the way you would do them in the way you feel like is best. How did you grapple with that. How did you come to the Lord and said okay. Maybe I've got a problem here. Lord help me see it.
How did that works for your life.
We've heard Leroy's gripping tale. Where were you in this moment, I went away to a cabin because I just was done nobody knew that's why I was going to the cabin that I was just like I am not can stay in this marriage any longer. This way.if you are able to change as I've got to have you step in and live and work in that cabin.
God was so gracious. He took me through Scripture.
I wasn't there looking for an answer for me to change. I just wanted God to do something brought me to that Titus chapter 2 passage. It's a lot of times we talk about the biblical womanhood passage and now it says that these are all the things that older women are to teach younger women to love their husbands to love their children to be pure. There's a long list. There it starts out with love their husbands, that older women are to train younger women to love their husbands, that was a lightbulb moment that doesn't come naturally and need to be trained in that but at the end was really where God pricked my heart.
Where to be letting her husband's so that verse five says the word of God will not be blasphemed, blasphemed, and its timely God graciously opened my eyes to the fact that I mean resisting Leroy disrespecting Leroy demeaning him, emasculating him not bringing glory to God.
I was in fact claiming to be a believer claiming that the power of the gospel. It transformed me and yet I was blaspheming God's word. I was not letting my husband I was not honoring him and God was so gracious to bring me to a place of brokenness and humility where I begin writing out everything.
Not that Leroy was doing wrong but that God was showing me how I had been disrespectful how I no wonder he didn't want to leave me.
I wasn't leachable. I wrote all of that out and I asked to meet with him and I asked his forgiveness for that. I asked him to read through all of that first and then we met with our children as well, and I asked their forgiveness because I had so disrespected their father in front of them. I have spent it in Kimberly what's good about this.
You you talk a moment ago we were about fear and gratitude really the third destructive heart issues, pride, hearing that in what you say in Kimberly.
This is the pride aspect of it. I was operating in such pride and God was gracious to bring that humility to open my eyes to all of the ways that I had harmed him and I believe that was answer to prayer. You know we talked about levering our crying out to God and we want to sing him even work that he did in his timing. He was that Dan wise. He stepped in. He spoke to Leroy. He spoke to me and it really took it. What was necessary was humility and a willingness to stop blaming the other person and say I need to ask you to forgive me Kimberly, the difficulty in that and I want to speak to the wife, who is struggling. She's still on this wall and I paint this picture to help all of us see it better when you're on the prideful side of the wall and you are pointing the finger saying if you would do this if you would do that is just but that wall 20 foot high you can get over it and I'm sure some women right now are saying. How do I get to that better place. On the other side of the prideful that humility side when I'm not feeling Kimberly Kaman. He was disappointing. Let's be honest, there were things he was not doing that really frustrated you and for that woman who stuck in that place. How does she get to the other side. Ask God, ask God to give you compassion and kindness and care for that husband that you're so mad at right now. Ask God to change your heart.
Colossians chapter 3 start with verse 12, walk-through two about verse 18 or 19 and ask God to do those works in your heart. Ask yourself has God forgiven you. Have you lived perfectly in your heart. Yes marriages a Christ factory because what God desires for us to be as husbands and wives.
We cannot do it on her own. Even our best efforts are best intentions are Christianized formulas that we have we can do what God is called us to do on our own strength on our own wisdom in her own righteousness. And that's really what was going on in our we thought that we could because we knew all the biblical answers. We taught the Bible and all of this, but she could not be submissive in the biblical way that honor God on her own until God broke her to the place where the spirit just begin to do a transforming work. I could not be the leader of this fierce woman that God intended for me to be until God did a breaking crushing work in my own heart to show me that really I was prideful at the heart I want to repeat that because it is such a powerful statement that marriage is God's grace factory. I'm in a steel that cannot yes you love and as you describe the brokenness that you both encountered what were the next steps like for you. Did you have to let go. How did how did you start asserting your leadership and how did you start following that leadership in ways that I I'm sure was messy as he began when she first laid out to me all that God had revealed to her what was going on in her own heart.
I was so emotionally spent and did not want to enter into something that might look hopeful and promising, only to be dashed again.
And so my response was basically just stone cold so I would say to couples who begin this process again cry out to God. Trust God, trust in God's goodness and his good intentions for your marriage but don't put expectations on your spouse or a timetable where they must respond and react in a certain way. Let God do his work in his perfect timing and way because John God had yet dealt with Leroy's heart it back first mean coming to him and asking forgiveness and then it was about two years of him watching me while to see if God really had done that work of transformation and that's why I'm encouraging women take dig in the Colossians 3 because I started asking God to do those works in my heart of humility, a forgiveness of kindness they needed to be done and as he watched that and he went away to to a cabin and that's where God open his eyes about the issue that dear is really to come out of my cave. You are safe place in those two years by your response to the work of grace in your heart. I begin to sense that it was safe to come out safe to close to you. What I didn't even know myself and now God was revealing to me and it's only when you get it that very core of brokenness and self exposure where you can really begin to build a unity and a oneness that God desires in the first real step of leadership that he taught that made the most significant change in our relationship with.
He responded to the request. I asked years before if he would pray with me daily. Here he'd been a pastor would pray with other people would lead in prayer.
Publicly he would not pray recently wasn't a big big deal, but it was a wise inmates. I slowly if it can't change. And he still he prays with me daily. Never lets the day go by that many times throughout the day off and I'm amazed at how hard it is for men to do that with their seeming so insignificant and small but it is really a huge step. There's a certain ritual system especially consist of, there's a spiritual covering. You take that mantle of leadership in such it seems like such a humble way, but the woman feel secure that her man is lifting her up to God that there is a spiritual protection and covering their something that happens in the heavenly's almost mystical. I'm not a mystic, but there's something powerful when a man begins to pray for his treasure is one that we come to the close of this Focus on the Family conversation with Leroy and Kim Wegner, John Kimberly Royster is so moving and hits home with many of us. It reminds me of the stories we hear from our hope restored marriage intensive's marriage in crisis redeemed by God himself, you know here Focus on the Family we want to help every marriage thrive.
Sometimes husbands and wives like Leroy and Kim and maybe Mike you find their relationship is in serious trouble or hope restored marriage intensive experience for couples were facing terrible difficulties in their marriage is made for that moment. If you're in that spot. Feeling like your marriage is at its end or near its end. Give us a call. Let us help you find that hope in your marriage, and in each other again and maybe you've been through a crisis in your marriage and you've come out on top. You know what it's like to walk through the mud of despair and brokenness.
But God brought you through it. Consider partnering with Focus on the Family so that we together can help couples rebuild and strengthen their marriages. When you make a monthly pledge today will send you a copy of Leroy and Kim's wonderful book, men who love fierce women as our way of saying thank you for being a partner and if you can't commit to a monthly gift that we get that will send you a copy for a one-time gift of any amount. Learn more about our hope restored program or donate and get your copy of men who love fierce women.
All the details are in the episode notes will next time we hear from Kevin Thompson who will encourage you and your family to live in love, not fear. I can't help but think that God has created such strength and power sees place to spirit within us to live in this dark world and the church is walking around terrified cats when Jesus is saying there is a lien within you that is the power of the Holy Spirit now live in love and stop being driven by fear on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back.
As we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ