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Marriage 101: Happily Even After

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2022 3:00 am

Marriage 101: Happily Even After

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 15, 2022 3:00 am

Marriage is a union of two imperfect people . . . and often that’s the perfect recipe for conflict. How can couples learn to disagree agreeably? How can couples bring harmony to the home when each spouse is singing a different tune? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie brings a practical study of biblical marriage. Sometimes that relationship can be filled with questions, but the answers are easy to find. Let’s all pay attention for a new presentation called Marriage 101.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at Again, it's

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to Often in marriage, spouses may see things differently. It can create some tension. Pastor Greg Laurie says be careful about calling it irreconcilable differences. Don't tell me about irreconcilable differences. I've had irreconcilable differences with my wife for 44 years. They're irreconcilable. She's neat and I'm messy. She likes British TV dramas and I like shoot-em-ups. She's cute and I'm fat.

It's irreconcilable. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace how sweet the sound. Again you hear all the angels are singing.

This is the day, the day when life begins. Marriage is a union of two imperfect people and often that's the perfect recipe for conflict. How can couples learn to disagree agreeably? How can couples bring harmony to the home when each spouse is singing a different tune? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings a practical study of biblical marriage.

Sometimes that relationship can be filled with questions, but the answers are easy to find. Let's all pay attention for a new presentation called Marriage 101. I heard about a husband and wife who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

So the husband took the wife by the hand and made a dramatic announcement in front of friends and family. He said, dear wife I love you so much and in honor of 25 years with you. 25 years of really wedded bliss I am going to take you to China. She was so excited. She said, I have never been to China before. Thank you. So if this is what you are going to do for our 25th anniversary what will you do for our 50th?

He says, that's when I will pick you up. That's not good. That's not good. Maybe that's why someone said marriage is like a three ring circus. Engagement ring. Wedding ring. Suffering. So you don't want that to happen.

And it doesn't have to happen. J. Paul Getty. He was one of the wealthiest men that ever lived.

Also one of the most miserable men that ever lived. He made this statement and I quote, I would give my entire fortune for one happy marriage. One happy marriage.

Is that even possible? In our culture today the divorce rate is around 50 percent more or less. But that rises when you get to the second marriage or it goes to 60 percent. Then you go to a third marriage it goes up to 73 percent.

So you wonder is it even possible. I will tell you what I have told you this before but my mother was married and divorced seven times. So I kind of know a little bit about divorce. I have not been divorced but I have seen it up close and personal. I know about the devastation of divorce and I want to do everything I can to encourage you when that day comes if you are single and you get married to honor that commitment for a lifetime. To keep your eyes wide open before marriage and then half shut afterwards.

Ok. To know what you are getting yourself into. I think sometimes we think marriage should be like a fairy tale. And they lived happily ever after. Well it doesn't always work out that way but I do believe you can live happily even after. Not ever after. Even after.

If you do it God's way. Now let's just sort of establish a fact here that I think we would all agree on. Culture. And by culture I mean media, Hollywood, television, etc. doesn't know anything about how to have a good marriage so we don't need to listen to them. In fact if anything in many ways it seems like culture is almost opposed to a happy marriage.

I mean look at all the celebrities. You know they marry each other. And their marriages are over so quickly. Some years ago Kid Rock married Pamela Anderson. Their marriage lasted four months. Renee Zellweger married country star Kenny Chesney. Four months the marriage lasted. Eddie Murphy and Tracy Edmonds. Two weeks was the length of their marriage.

Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman. That was six days. Sinead O'Connor ended her fourth marriage after 16 days. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dwan Tatum recently divorced after nine years of marriage. And in their divorce announcement they made this statement. They lovingly have chosen to separate. Lovingly have chosen to separate. When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin of Coldplay divorced they described it as a conscious uncoupling. A conscious uncoupling. So ok now we are learning.

They are telling us what they are doing. A conscious uncoupling and lovingly choosing to separate. How about consciously choosing to lovingly stay together instead. That is possible. It is possible. But some wonder. I just read an article the other day about a well-known actress who got a divorce. And she said I don't want to sound cynical about marriage or be bitter. But I don't know if people are meant to be together forever.

The article went on to say she isn't alone in wondering that. There is no doubt particularly as lifespans have increased that there is less certainty about finding and keeping lifelong love with just one person. A survey conducted among millennials found 43% would support what they call a beta marriage model. Which means you test the relationship for two years before you decide whether or not you are going to commit to it or dissolve it. And then 36% of the millennials back the real estate marriage model.

Real estate marriage model in which couples would commit to a set period of time ranging from five to 30 years and at the end they have to renegotiate if they want to remain married. Ok. I am going to save you a lot of trouble.

Alright. And here is what it is. The real estate model and the beta model are not going to work.

And here is why. Studies show that those that live together have a far higher divorce rate than those who don't live together. In fact couples who live together are losing out in 85% of their marriages. So if you want to set your marriage up for failure live together. Try the beta model. Try the real estate model.

Or better yet try God's model. Which is it is a life long commitment. I wish we could strike the word divorce from our vocabularies. If you are going to go into it thinking you are going to get out of it here or there don't go into it.

Stay single instead. Because God has a plan. There is a TV show on right now. It is called Marriage at First Sight.

And it features people who agree to participate in an extreme experiment. Each covenant. Legal marriage with a complete stranger. So you walk in.

You have never met this person. You make a commitment. I am going to marry them. They put a nice wedding on for you. All the trimmings.

All the good things you know. And it is all there on television. And they say it is going to work because they have specialists helping you. Which include a spiritualist, a relationship coach, and a sociologist using scientific matchmaking methods to determine each couple who have not yet met will have a marriage that lasts. Listen.

What could go wrong if you have a spiritualist counseling you? Right. They have a 22 percent success rate. You are better off just going out and randomly doing it on your own.

But this is the kind of thing people look to as a possible example. We need to make a commitment for a lifetime. And if you want to know how to have a successful marriage God has given you a user's manual. It is called the Bible. And it works. It works. B-I-B-L-E. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

So check the user's manual. It tells you how to have a successful and a blessed marriage. Yes well you don't know Greg what we are going through in our marriage. We have irreconcilable differences. What are you talking about irreconcilable differences? I have had irreconcilable differences with my wife for 44 years.

They are irreconcilable. She is neat and I am messy. She is sometimes late.

I am often early. She likes British TV dramas and I like shoot them ups. She is cute and I am fat. It is irreconcilable. Don't tell me about irreconcilable differences.

Question. What attracted you to your spouse in the first place? Probably the fact that they were different than you. You have heard the expression opposite to attract.

There is truth to that. You didn't want someone just like you so you probably picked someone that in some ways was your opposite. And now that difference that attracted you has somehow at least in your mind turned into some wide chasm that you describe as irreconcilable or an obstacle that is insurmountable.

No. Listen. You make a commitment for life and we all recognize we need to constantly grow in our marriages. When someone comes to me and my wife says it is all his fault and then he says no it is all her fault I can see what the problem is. They are not taking any responsibility. They are saying it is all them. It is not me. Both people have to work at having a good marriage.

It doesn't happen by accident. And you can have a happy and a blessed marriage. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of today's presentation in just a moment. You know sometimes we can't always make it to church but here is the good news. Church is coming to you.

It is coming to you on your TV screen or on your tablet or your computer or even your phone. We do it every weekend and it is called Harvest at Home. We have worship. We have a message from the word of God. If you want to find out more just go to and join us this weekend for Harvest at Home. Well recently Pastor Greg was joined by several others on stage to address questions from the congregation on this subject of marriage. The discussion begins with Pastor Jason Powell. Alrighty so hey we just want to say thank you for all of the questions you've been texting in. We've got some amazing ones and we're going to take a few moments now just to hear from the panel.

Really just practical cookies on the bottom shelf. How do we deal with marriage and some problems in marriage? And so right out of the gate you know Pastor Greg someone asked this question to you and Kathy. What are some challenges that you and Kathy faced early on in your marriage and how did you get through them? Go ahead Kathy.

Do you really want to hear this? And that sums it up right there. Well we had some good fights that's for sure. We quarreled before we got married.

We quarreled after we got married. To be totally honest with you marriage does not fix who you are. It shows you who you are and then you have a choice to surrender to the Lord and repent of your sin. But I'm telling you that marriage will show you faster your flaws than almost anything else. You're bringing a person another sinful flawed person into close proximity.

You're living with them under the same roof and you see in one another those things often in the other person unfortunately and they see them in you. And you know when Greg and I first got married you know Greg was a pastor. I was married to a pastor.

I loved the Lord. I was in the church but that doesn't mean that marriage is easy. And we had our quarrels but I will say this that early on in our courtship we determined to put God at the center and that we decided that we would follow his book and that it wasn't about us. That marriage wasn't about personal self fulfillment as much as it was. We were entering into a promise into a covenant with God and his word was going to be upheld.

Both of us agreed to that. And through the quarrels and through the petty fights and things like that that we had over the years the Lord brought us back to each other time and time again. Sometimes he'd be the first one to you know just come and reach out and sometimes I would be the first one but both of us had made that clear before we got married. And I think that's really important that you walk into it with your eyes wide open that you do know marriage is hard. It's not easy but a lot of things are hard and we do them anyway.

Right? You want to be a great football player or a great ballerina tell me you don't suffer to get there. Marriage is like that. If you want a great marriage you're gonna have to work hard at it. God will give you the grace and strength as you seek him and you recognize that you are married to a sinner.

He is married to a sinner and somehow in the middle of all that the Holy Spirit has his place and can transform lives. Yeah I would add to that that I think that instead of selfishness it needs to be selflessness. And if you pick a guy or a girl and say I am going to marry them and they are my project and I am going to fix them don't marry them.

Because here is reality. They may end up worse than they are now. Ok. Oh well I am going to change them. No you probably aren't.

They are going to just be a more exaggerated version of the person you see now later in life. So if you are not down with that. If you can't live with that maybe you shouldn't go into that marriage. But I think the key is you need to learn how to fight fair. When I say fight fair I mean you are going to have disagreements. If I have a couple coming to see me who are wanting to get married I will ask them have you had a disagreement yet and they will say no we love each other so much we never disagree. I will say get out of here and go have a fight.

You know. Because you have to learn how to have conflict resolution and to fight fair. So here is just a couple of rules. Never let it get physical. You know you never strike each other.

Don't throw things. Don't even let it turn into a screaming match. Try to hear what the other person is saying.

Listen to them. And then the key operative principle from Scripture is don't let the sun go down on your anger. In other words don't go to bed angry at each other. Get it resolved. And honestly someone has got to take point.

And really I think husbands should be the ones to do it because we are to love our wife as Christ loves the church. So there is a conflict. And maybe in your mind she is wrong and you are right. Still seek to resolve the conflict. And sometimes what you will find out is actually she wasn't wrong. You were wrong. Or you both were wrong. Or whatever.

Who cares. Get it resolved and don't let the sun go down on your anger. Ok so we have got some questions and it is directed toward some of the young couples. How do you guys deal with fights or disagreements?

Greg just touched on this question. But now for you that has been married a little less time. You are not as comfortable or don't know each other as well.

How do you deal with fights? We actually have a rule where we don't use the D word. We never call each other dorks. So you are a dork.

No I am just kidding. It is divorce. We never use the word divorce. And since we know that we are never going to get a divorce we might as well get this resolved.

There is no reason to go on angry if we are going to be together forever. So let's get this resolved right now and get it over with and done. Wedlock should be a padlock. I love that. Elijah strike the word divorce. I mean whatever the conflict is it is yeah we have this conflict but we are going to get through this and just don't have that as an option.

And if I could just add to that really quickly too. Another thing that has really helped us is not so much as focusing on each other but focusing on the problem at hand. And that is something that helps us to fight fair like Pastor Greg said. So kind of pulling off of what the problem is with each other and saying ok what is really the problem here.

And then you are actually kind of tackling that thing together instead of fighting each other. So we have got two different types of marriages. There is a person that wrote and has an amazing marriage. But they want to make it better and they want to know how do you introduce devotions or reading the Bible together. What do you each of the couples do to help your marriage become more godly. Well we could start. Basically we start every day with God's Word. Basically I will read my devotional. Kathy will read hers and we will talk about what we are reading. We will have an ongoing discussion. I think it is a really good way to start the day but I don't think you should limit it to just the beginning of the day. I think it is an ongoing conversation you should have throughout the day. We are always talking about God's Word. How it applies to this situation.

That situation. And of course we both teach. She teaches. And by the way girls if you don't come to the virtue studies that Kathy leads the virtue ministry which is our ministry for women here at the church you should come.

It is amazing. So she is always studying. I am usually studying of course as well. So we have a lot of discussions. I will run messages by her and thoughts and that.

So it is kind of an ongoing conversation. You know Moses talked about when you are raising your children teach them the Word of God. When you lie down. When you rise up.

When you walk in the way. So I think sometimes we overthink devotions. Devotions. Devotions. We have to do. How long should devotions be. Just relax.

Ok. Just read the Bible and talk about the Bible. And let it be a part of the woof and warp of your life. And even better yet weave it through all of your life. Not only in the morning but you know throughout the day and the evening.

I think to grow in a marriage you need to like anything else you need to continually work on it. Forty four years we still work on it. I don't.

He is not the same guy. I am pretty much done. That is why I am working so hard.

No I am serious. I am done. I am done. I am doing the work for both of us.

I have pretty much given my all. We. Ok. Here is an interesting thing.

You think you know the person you are marrying. Wait five years. You are going to be. We are different people. Gosh. 1970.

You know. When did we get married. Seventy three. We got married in seventy three. And it has been.

It has been like I have been married to five different men and they have all been Greg. And so you have to work on that. And I think to keep that brief you know that part of it.

But then just always be learning. Growing. Moving. You have a garden. You have a yard. Many of us have gardens and yards. What does it take to maintain a yard? Do you do. Do you plant flowers one day and expect forty four years later that those flowers are going to be thriving.

No. You have to pull weeds. You have to build fences. You have to repair.

We lived in our house now twenty years and you know it is like twenty years. Oh my gosh. Everything breaks. You have to work on it. Constant attention and a little bit every day. Don't ever take your hand off the wheel.

Don't ever put it in cruise control. Because the law of entropy. I think someone mentioned it in one of the messages. Everything is going to slide downward. And so you have to be working on it. So a strong marriage needs constant attention. Today on A New Beginning we've been hearing from Kathy Lorre and Pastor Greg Lorre and his other guests on stage Pastor Jason Powell along with Sarah and Pastor Elijah Braggs.

Pastor Greg we're making available a great book by Dr. Tony Evans and actually all of his kids as well. It's called Divine Disruption. Talking about hope in spite of tragedy and crisis and loss. That's right. Is it fair to say that we're all either going through a crisis or we've gone through a crisis or are about to go through a crisis? Yeah. You know the person who says no crises here.

I don't need that book. That's just foolish isn't it? It is.

Give it time. You know as I've often said you're either going into a storm or you're pulling out of one. Hey enjoy those in between times for sure. But you know here's the reality Dave. In our times of crisis in the storms of life if you will we learn things that we don't learn anywhere else. As I've said before fruit does not grow on mountaintops it grows in spiritual valleys. So if you're going through a valley right now a hardship if you've lost a loved one recently or you yourself are suffering this book is really going to be an encouragement to you because it's written in real time. This is a book that is honest. It's heartfelt. It's candid. It's biblical. It's hopeful. It's encouraging.

So it kind of fires in every cylinder. As you mentioned written by Tony Evans and members of his family in light of the loss of their wonderful mother and Tony's wife Lois Evans. But this is a book that just tells you how to deal with these issues. How to grapple with it because you know when we lose loved ones as Christians we mourn and we should mourn. In fact it's very important to mourn. The Bible even says there's a time to laugh and there's a time to mourn. But during that time of mourning during those times of sorrow you come closer to the Lord. Jesus said blessed or happy are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. It's almost as though you could translate that happy are the unhappy.

I know that doesn't make sense but here's what it's saying. It causes you to turn to God and find the strength you need. One little quote in the book that I love goes as follows.

There is no better summary of a successful life. Lois Evans served the purposes of God in her generation and then she fell asleep. You know Dave this phrase falling asleep is used in the Bible and it is only used of a believer dying.

Never of a non-believer. And I think it's just the perfect picture because when you think of falling asleep that is not the worst thing that can happen. In fact as you get older you start enjoying naps right.

And it's worth noting that when young Stephen was actually dying a violent death the Bible says he fell asleep. And I love this part where they write Lois served the purposes of God in her generation. Look every one of us has a beginning a middle and an end to our life. Here's the question. How are we going to live that life?

We have nothing to do with the date of our birth really nothing to do with the date of our death but we have everything to do with that dash in the middle. Lois Evans lived her life well. She served God's purposes in her generation raising amazing children that all love the Lord and are serving the Lord today. Also there alongside Tony I know he misses her so deeply but you're going to be blessed by this book because it's going to help you as you go through your times of difficulty as well. And the title of the book is Divine Disruption and we'll send you a copy for your gift of any size whatever you can send in return we will invest in this ministry so we can continue to bring a message of hope to people literally around the world. Yeah that's right when you give to us you're really giving through us. We take your investment and put it to work reaching those who need biblical hope and direction those who need to hear the gospel. We hear from people every day who've had their lives impacted and changed through this outreach and you can have a part in helping it continue with your donation today.

When you make that donation be sure to ask for this new book Divine Disruption. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. And you can call anytime 24-7. Or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514.

Or go online to Well next time more practical counsel from Pastor Greg's message called Marriage 101. Including some time tested insight on avoiding infidelity. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible Teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life share your story. Leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-04 18:22:08 / 2023-06-04 18:32:21 / 10

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