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Love Like You Mean It - Bob Lepine

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
September 12, 2020 1:00 am

Love Like You Mean It - Bob Lepine

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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September 12, 2020 1:00 am

Every year, millions of couples pledge their love before family and friends. Do they know what they’d getting into? On today's Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, veteran radio host and pastor Bob Lepine (luh PEEN) encourages husbands and wives to “love like you mean it.” Part of the struggle in today’s culture is that we don’t understand the meaning of the word “love.” Don’t miss the marriage encouragement on this edition of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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If you want a marriage that lasts radio host pastor and author Bob Lapine has some good advice today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

I think we need revitalization all the hard-working durable kind of love rather than the Hallmark Channel. That is all about the emotional component of how I feel this is about building relations with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" every year millions and before friends, family, and pledged to love for a lifetime. But do they know what they're getting into Bob Lapine joins us today to talk about how to live like you mean it.

That's the title of today's featured resource of five love subtitled the heart of a marriage that honors God. Gary, I think our guest today is going to speak your love life which because your writing and your speaking Polish been about making marriages last and helping couples grown, you're exactly right to a Christian I am super excited about our guest and I have no problem paying for many years, sometimes up and sitting on the other side of the desk. He's asking me questions about one of my books today. I will ask him questions of this book is written from excited about our time together today. Since 1992. Bob Lapine has served as cohost of family life today you hear my truth for life without bags well. He has a rich broadcasting history, which means he's really old wife, Mary, the parents of five adult children and they live in Little Rock Arkansas where Bob's the teaching pastor at Redeemer Community Church and the featured resource.

Today's brief said love like you mean it. The heart of a marriage that honors God. Find out more. Five love about welcome to Building Relationships.

Gary it is a delight to be with you guys today. It's always good to sit down with friends and have a conversation. Many of our listeners. Of course, will know you from my family life today because they listen to that program. Through the years and you been there almost 30 years now. Talk about the conversations through the years versus reflect a little bit on that experience and and that maybe what you've learned from all the conversations you had with people on this topic of family relationships. Well, I have to tell you to have had the opportunity to talk with Bible teachers and Bible scholars and counselors and pastors and with so many couples over the years about marriage and relationship dynamics. If it's left a mark on my marriage on my own soul. It's helped disciple me in knowing how to be a better husband and a better father and so it's been a privilege and people passed through the years about programs or interviews that have stood out for us and your you know this, that the interviews that we've done with people who whose names folks might not know but whose stories are stories of powerful redemption. Those are the ones that have stuck with me the most to see God bring beauty from ashes in the lives of couples who you look at the circumstances need say I don't know how marriage like this survives with with this set of circumstances. I don't know how this couple can rebuild and to see couples today who are thriving and can cannot point to God and say here's what God did in our marriage.

Those have been the conversations that I think I'm stood with me that there's never a time in a marriage where we should lose hope because as first Corinthians 13 says love hopes all things. Love always hopes, and we always hope because we have a God who is a God who can accomplish exceedingly abundantly more than we could ask or think that just sitting here thinking about the new numerous people you've interviewed through the years. I'm expecting that there's probably some humorous things that have happened in those interviews, as well as a serious to talk to your 11 classic family life today moment that you were involved with. This was back many years when you and Dr. Russ Campbell had co-authored a book on love languages for teenagers right know where this is going. I can't wait to hear it the first day of the interview I said so Gary just remind our listeners or those who don't know what what are "The 5 Love Languages" , and you started off and you rattled four of them right off the top your head and you froze up on number five could read it all and we laughed and I thought well will edit this together without not working to leave Gary Chapman hanging in the here and the funny thing was that the very next interview because we recorded two days in a row so this is the second day we did the same thing. So just give us a recap of "The 5 Love Languages" and I think it was Russ Campbell's time and he froze up on getting it for the five of them. So much for the experts. He is on our blooper reel here at family life is one of the ones we pull out and play for people all the time writing books is one thing, remember what you wrote is another thing that well. It's great to have a little after time to time. Let's just talk about this book now part of the reason he wrote this book love like you mean it is to help couples who are about to say. I do, and their wedding understand what they're saying due to right yeah III did have both pre-married and already married couples in mind as I was writing this because I think a lot of already married couples didn't fully understand or if what they understood. They didn't understand the ramifications of it and so now after marriage.

They're trying to figure out how do we do this right, but I would love to think that pre-married couples could could read a book like this go through a book like this with a mentor couple and get a better understanding of what it is they are signing up for what it is they're about to pledge to one another. The most significant the most sober kind of vowel we can take with one another. This is not a relationship to get to enter into lightly and you and Gary, I thought about something I've heard you say for years as I was writing this book so many so many couples are trying to build a marriage.

The tingles I've heard you talk about the tingles for years and they think you know as long as we got the tingles we got what we need for a healthy marriage and as you said the tingles are not a sufficient foundation to build a lifelong married John because tingles come and go, and the kind of love that the Bible describes for us is a love that goes much deeper than the tingles now and about the whole idea of a book like this that a couple can take before they get married and work through it to me is so important about you Bob and your marriage Carolyn I didn't read a book, we had one session with the pastor who married us. That's all we had never met a man that was it. What what what about your experience. We had a couple of obsessions of premarital counseling that I have vague recollections of and that I don't think I was paying careful attention to because I was so overwhelmed with the power of the emotional attraction that I think I was kinda half listening like why do I need to hearing it in the this may be hard for some people, but it's certainly not can be hard for us because were so in love with one another and then it's after you get married that you you start to go. I should've been paying a little more attention to what that guy was trying to tell me and I think for all of us. We we get into a marriage and we go there. There things that that take us sideways things that we didn't expect the adjustments we have to make to one another by events that come along that were on the and anticipated, and we have to figure out how what does love look like in this kind of a situation so I'm hoping with this book, we can help couples redefine love and move it away from an emotion-based feeling oriented kind of a definition to a definition that is not more substantive, more concrete, more biblical at the end of the day, and I like the idea also that your writing, and not only for those couples who were anticipating getting married but for those who have been married may be a while because what you're saying is exactly why that's what Carol and I went through and I think this book could be very very helpful to couples who been married a year or two or three enter facing reality. Now some excited about it now, you mentioned the word biblical just now and you talk about a biblical vision of marriage. Explain what you mean by that.

What years ago. In fact, before I came to work here at family life and started working on family life today. I thought the Bible had a couple chapters that addressed marriage in others.

Ephesians 5 and first Peter three Genesis 2 is a pretty important chapter, there are few other places. Here, there were husbands and wives are talked about, so I thought this is one of those minor themes that the Bible addresses but is not that the big idea marriage is this kind of secondary and and then working here at family life. I began to realize that marriage is the first institution that God created when the man and the woman were in the garden.

He didn't say okay Adam, you be the pastor and Eve. You be the organist and will start a church. He didn't say Adam, you be the president leave you be the vice president will start a government. He said Adam is really a husband, even to me why for certain family and everything blossoms off of that for the rest of Scripture. So I began to realize the family and and ultimately marriage the two becoming one is the climax of the creation narrative in Genesis chapter 2 and then it's the first thing that the enemy begins to attack. He divides the husband and wife when they sin against God. They turn against each other and start blaming one another for what just happened. I started to see marriage is central to God's plan and all of the passages in the Bible to talk about how Christians are to relate to one another. Apply first and foremost to how husbands and wives should be relating to one another, so there's a lot more in the Bible about marriage that I realized and I think all of us need to have an expanded view of how God speaks to how were to love one another relate to one another in all of our relationships, but especially in marriage. I've often felt if if we treated our spouses as well as we treats fellow Christians, you know, sometimes, are you and sometimes strangers cover marriages would be better if we just did that but I like that concept that it's not just the two of three passes that kind of focus on marriage but is the biblical principles on how to relate to people right. It is an and I learned this early on when Marianne and I were dating, she came to me. At one point she said, have you ever thought about maybe us memorizing some scripture together and I said now that that's a great idea. Now I said that Gary because we were dating and I wanted to impress her.

Not because I thought memorizing Scripture his great idea, but II figured I better act like it was because it seemed like it was important to her and we were dating. So you lied each other when your date and and so I suggest that's a great idea.

I said did you have a verse in mind and she said I was thinking about a whole chapter and I said no and again I'm thinking are you are your mind memorizing chapter of the Bible does that, but I said wow okay and and I said did you have at a chapter in mind and she said I was thinking about Philippians chapter 2 and II kinda nodded my head like oh yeah, and I'm thinking to myself is that Old Testament or New Testament because I really I was. I was pretty shallow. Back in these days, but we started memorizing Scripture together and I'm not great at memorizing Scripture but I got to verse three of Philippians chapter 2 and for whatever reason it got locked into my thinking. Almost instantly, and it stuck with me for decades. It's a verse that says do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility. Let each of you regard one another as more important than himself, and I'm convinced that if married couples would memorize and apply that verse of the Bible and start to apply to marriage. 85% of the marriage issues would dissolve because when you get right down to it the reason we have conflict in marriage is the same reason we have conflict anywhere. It's because our passions are at war.

This is what James four says our passions are at war against us. We want what we want and we don't care what you want and that's why we fight with one another and if we would reorient ourselves to think I'm I'm knocking to be motivated by selfishness or conceit, but with humility on the regard you as more important than me not to merely look out for my own interests, but for your interests.

I'm to have this mind in me. That was also in Jesus who emptied himself, for others, that's a principal that I think is is what separates a biblical view of marriage from a secular or cultural view of marriage point if we could get that intermarriage agree with you Bob, met equipment, you wouldn't have to read your book. It will not go that far. But you been in this area for a long time now you've watched our culture over some decades.

Hear what you think is the biggest problem in marriage today. I think it's right to that self focused self orientation. It's individuals who get married and they think I'm in this for what it's going to provide for me. I look back on my motivation for marriage.

At the very beginning of our marriage. I think I loved being loved by Marianne.

I think I wanted to marry her because I wanted her to keep loving me because it felt really good to be loved.

That way, and I've I've said to her, honestly, I'm not sure it was heard that I was in love with as much as it was being loved by her in its that's kind of self focus, and I had to learn in marriage that you can't sustain a marriage if if your focus is on as long as you keep loving me the way that I want to be loved and will have a happy marriage. I soon learned that the Bible says no husbands. Your focus should be laying down your life for your wives, and so on. Now I thought okay I got a goal. I'm gonna love you the way you deserve to be loved, but even then Gary are I recognized at the end of the day it's not does this marriage make me happy or even does this marriage make you happy. At the end of the day it's does this marriage make God happy. This is please God. Are we in our marriage, living and loving one another in a way that God says this is what I intended for it to be in the first place. So I thought.

I think the biggest problem. Most couples are facing in marriages. They have a a an earthbound not a heavenly view of marriage and earthbound view of marriage that tends to be focused on what am I getting out of this not one of my contributing so that this relationship cannot be pleasing to the Lord again with all of your experience and at this stage in your life you're pastoring a church as well as working with the radio ministry. What really led you to write this book. Love, like you mean it.

I preached a series on first Corinthians 13. A number of years ago, in a general sense not talking about marriage, but just talking about what love looks like. I was aware of the fact that in our culture about we talk a lot about how important love is but we we can't seem to apply it wheat we are divided culture we are people who are more often angry with one another than we are loving one another and I just thought this passage from Scripture.

We need to soak in this so that we can start to relate to one another in the way God calls us to relate to one another in effect at the beginning of first Corinthians 13.

Gary, you know this.

Paul says if you're doing everything else right and you have loved wrong or there is not love their than everything else you're doing right amounts to nothing, so you can be gifted.

You can be talented you can be you can you can be going through all of the motions right if love is absent, it amounts to nothing, and I think that's true in marriage. I think we need a revitalization in our lives as followers of Christ and in our marriages as couples committed to Christ are a revitalization of the. The hard-working durable kind of love that the Bible lays out for us rather than the Hallmark Channel vision of love that is all about the back to the tingles.

It's all about the emotional component and how I feel and whether this is pleasing to me.

We need to recapture the, the hard work of love. Jesus said, greater love has no man than this, that he lays down his life for his friends. This is how we know what love is. Jesus laid down his life for us so recapturing this idea of the fact that laying down our lives is central to how we love another person. That's what's at the heart of this book. That's what I'm hoping. Married couples will take away from this book we can get that right and marriage are in our culture. It would certainly move us in the right direction. Even a pastor. I don't know how long you been at the church where you are now, but what did you learn about marriage in the context of leading a church. I've learned that what's going on in the. The homes in the kitchens and the living rooms in the bedrooms of the couples who are coming to church is very different than what you see happening on Sunday morning folks coming on Sunday morning and you look at that Nido these couples are all doing great. Look at the smiling, there sit next each other. They appear happy and then you begin to realize there are fractures and fault lines going on there is more struggle and more hurt and more pain. There is baggage that's been brought into marriage relationships that couples didn't anticipate and that they don't have the resources in themselves to know how to fix and I've I've seen couples who will get to a point where they go they go.

I've done everything I know how to do and it's not getting better and they lose hope and they give up on their marriage and everybody in the church is surprised because they looked normal on Sunday morning and and II was told couples when you run out of what you know to do that doesn't mean that that you've run out of options. It's just you run out of what you know to do, but there are a lot of people who have been at this for a long time. There are books and conferences and radio programs and that there are folks can help mentor you and guide you and can give you a fresh sense of hope for your marriage and can give you the tools you need to begin to apply that can correct some bad patterns and habits and begin to turn your relationship around you know it at the end of first Corinthians 13 that the passage unloved at the beginning of the chapter at verse seven it says love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Literally it says love always bears always believes, always hopes, always endures.

Love never fails. It never runs out of never ends.

And we see you in our churches today. Couples where we think everything looks like it's okay but but what's going on at home there. There are fractures and fault lines in and this is were pastors and folks like you and me who are committed to trying to help couples we need to be not assuming that the veneer were seeing is an accurate reflection of what's really going on in those marriage relationships will and often they don't turn to the pastor or to a counselor until they get to that place where they feel like giving up an account to get the sent. Sometimes they want us to say it will understand so maybe you just go ahead and divorce.

You have what I know you say and I say I've often said, I can understand that they mostly lose hope. After a while, said about been there. My own marriage early on us about what to go home. I hope because I have hope for you and just as you said earlier Bob. You know their books and their counselors and their ideas and all that they haven't tried to go home.

I hope for a while and let's see what can happen, but when you read that endures all things in my head I'm thinking of the person who is sitting listening today and says I'm being abused. I'm innocent. My spouse is hurling up verbal insults just that. But also, my life is endangered and is just to endure all things what is love look like for me yeah Chris and I'm so glad you brought this up, but II address this in the book because love is patient, but were not patient with with evil or wrongdoing. In fact, one of the things the Bible says about love is that love does not rejoice in wrongdoing. This is where I think we have to recognize we are not loving another person. If we enable that person to persist in a pattern of abuse or violence, give, if we if we sit still and allow that to happen were not loving that person that that person is caught in a sin and and they need help, but first of all you need protection but then they need help. So whether it's calling the authorities or calling the leadership at your church or calling other people to bring them in on the situation so that this person who is an abuser can can be confronted with and get the help they need to to be free from their abusive tendencies and patterns they need that sin issue addressed anytime we see a spouse with the besetting sin issue. We need to be an ally with our spouse to try to set them free to help them be set free spiritually get victory over that sin pattern in their life, and if abuse is what that sin pattern. That's how it's manifesting itself then then your job is not to simply endure abuse.

Your job is to continue to believe and hope that God can do a redeeming work in your spouse and then get people alongside you, who can help arrest that out of control sin pattern in the in another person's life and and get them free from it so I'm I'm really glad you brought that up as I wouldn't want a listener to think well and was supposed to endure and turn the other cheek you are supposed to be an ally to to help your spouse get free from their their sinful tendencies are about. That's often what we call tough love right it's it like that's what is still love because the object is that you want to help that person break that destructive habit you can do it for them that you can reach out and find help, but what misconceptions do you think people have about marriage today that it's going to be easy and that it's gonna be just all the fun I'm not. I think back I grew up in an era when the Beach boys were teaching me what what love is all about, and it they said it's gonna make it that much better when we can say good night and stayed together and and I think I had the thought marriage is just can be that much better if if dating is fun. Marriage is just gonna be fun, squared or or fun cubed. You know it's just gonna be work together all the time. What could be better than that. So I think we have this misconception that that's what it's gonna be, or then we have the misconception that that's what it's supposed to be and when we get into marriage and we realize, oh it's harder than I I realized it was gonna be a lot of couples go And when I signed up for and sign up for hard. I signed up for fun, I signed up for joy. I signed up for happiness and and I'm not happy today, so there's something wrong with my marriage. I would say whether something wrong with your perception of marriage is supposed to be in the first place and if what you're looking for is happiness. I would suggest to you, you are settling for something less than what God has for you because what God has for you is joy and joy is deeper than happiness. Happiness. I learned this years ago. Somebody told me that happiness comes from the same root word as as happening so they they said even in Great Britain years ago. They used to say to somebody made the haps be with you, and what they were saying was make things go your way may circumstances work out for you and this is where people say happiness is really tied to circumstances what's happening is what makes me happy. Well that's true joy is something completely different. Joy is transcendent and and so the apostle Paul says I've learned in the middle of whatever circumstance I'm in to find joy Christ strengthens me, and there is joy in the middle of whatever the circumstances, I mentor. I think the misconception about marriage is I will always be happy and it's your job to make me happy and I think God says no. There's something much deeper than just happiness here and you will go through hard times and you'll go through struggles but as you go through them together you will find something that is richer and more substantive and ultimately more satisfying and more fulfilling for you than just momentary happiness earlier you said that the emphasis of this book or the strong emphasis is first Carthage 13 which actually describes love. Let let's talk about some of those characteristics in their hand and how they apply to marriage, for example. Love is patient, was that look like a marriage. Isn't it interesting that that's where the Bible starts when it's describing love is with patients and if if if we set down your you and I sat down with a couple and said just write down five words that you think describe love. I'm guessing we could do that hundred times and patients would not show up very often as one of those top five words and yet that's where the Bible starts when it describes love and then if you'd pull out your old King James Bible and you open it says love is long-suffering. So the very first place it starts is when you love somebody you gonna suffer for a long time know who's who's signing up for the have to write but this is where love is putting on workboots and and saying this is going to be a challenge. This is going to be hard but it's gonna be so worth it for you to do it. Love is patient, he is is the Bible telling us that when things become irritable your big become challenging when things aren't going the way you want them to go. What love does is it perseveres that you think back to the vows when we said, for richer, for poorer sickness, health, better or worse. We're in this thing working to persevere hardship and suffering will be a part of marriage but love is patient, means that I will endure. I will persist I will persevere in the midst of this, again, not enduring abuse but I will. I will respond to circumstances with grace that is fueled by love and think about the fact that God is patient with us.

He he he and his patience is demonstrated in that while we were still sinning against him. Christ died for us and and I think we need to recognize when things get hard.

Patient says I'm not going anywhere.

I'm a stick with this. I'm to be here with you. It takes time doesn't to have the kind of marriage that we dream of having and that the Bible says we can have, but it is a process and not appeal you take a look at it takes time and it takes work.

Marion will often say to me when were talking with the young couple or a couple who's engaged and I say to them, you know, marriage is hard and you always say and it's glorious. Let's not lose sight of the fact that it's a bit that it don't don't make it sound like it's just drudgery it. It's not drudgery but I think the couples who are our engaged are thinking it's gonna be easier then than it winds up being yes it's gonna take time and it's gonna take work and you're going to have to be able to bite your tongue and be patient and accept the fact that you're married to a flawed human being. You married a sinner and and they married a sinner and you're going to have to have to endure with one another and be patient with one another love. The Bible says overlooks a multitude of sins covers a multitude of sins. And that's a man's glory to overlook some of these minor transgressions. There are times when we have to confront one another about issues but most of the time were just going to be patient with one another and say I'm I'm not gonna let this become a wedge in between us about love is kind. What is that like well it it's interesting to me that I think people sell this word short wheat we think of kindnesses kind of niceness and I think niceness is a part of kindness but kindness goes deeper than just being nice. If I said to you I want you to meet to my friends and this person. He's a really nice guy and then I said in this other person. He's a really kind person you would instinctively understand that the nice person is gonna be pleasant to be around. But the kind person is bringing something more to the table than just niceness. A kind person is somebody who is proactively intentionally doing things that bring about good for another person.

A kind person is somebody who is intentionally seeking the best for you that they want you to thrive that the Bible this is. This was interesting for me as I was working on this book. I recognize that the most often listed attribute of God in the Old Testament. The thing that the Bible says about God more than anything else in the Old Testament is that he is a God who is full of loving kindness, his loving kindness is better than life Michael card. The, the Bible teacher singer-songwriter said that in the Old Testament you would expect God to be holy and awesome and powerful that didn't surprise anybody that God would be those things, but the Bible writers were continually amazed at the fact that in addition to those things God was a God of loving kindness, which meant he would sacrifice himself for the good of his people and to be kind in a marriage relationship means I will sacrifice myself that my goal is your good. I'm in a sacrifice myself for your for your good and for you to thrive and for you to not to be the person that God wants you to be every one of us would like to be married to a person like that to us, but doing that what yet part of the way that we we find ourselves married to a person like that is we start doing it ourselves and I think some of that rubs off. I think when when we are abundantly kind to our spouse. Over time that softens the heart of our spouse and some of that kindness gets returned our way and asking what you talk about with "The 5 Love Languages" gear you know you you move into somebody else's life with their the way that they receive love and that massages that relationship right now because love stimulates love in the Bible says we love God because he first loved us. His love stimulated our love and that principle is true on the human plane. So yeah, I fully agree that, and Phuket are expressing kindness in words and deeds to your spouse, your influencing them in a very powerful way that were not manipulating people right. Bob these things. No, I do not, then it is not manipulating if I do this they'll do that, but it's choosing to follow the biblical pattern here. They were discussing, and it is a positive influence on them and you brought up words and deeds and not I would say even at the heart of all that has got to be an attitude of kindness that those words and deeds come out of if all were doing is saying, well, I'll manufacture some words today or I'll do a few kind actions today, but we don't really have a heart attitude of kindness that is bent in that direction.

This is where I had had to pray for God to put in me an attitude that says Maryann's good is what you're here for. And so now out of that attitude my words and my deeds are being reshaped, so kindness has to happen at the three levels. First, it has to happen at the attitudinal level, then it has to happen in kind words being exchanged between husband and wife and then acts of kindness toward one another, and that's how kindness begins to thrive in a marriage. I was going to ask you where you get this attitude but you enter that already yeah on the God right and and that's the source for all of this. I mean, anything that were trying to do if all were trying to do his behavior modification. You know this. That'll last for a while that we can develop some new habits or attitudes, but pretty soon working the default back to what's in our heart and if were not addressing the attitudes of our heart and letting our words and actions come out of that. Then all were doing is trying to hang ornaments on a dead tree. We we've got to wait.

We got have a tree that that has the deep roots that that are growing life from God and then the ornaments just blossom off of that first with 13 also says that love is humble. The whole idea of humility. What is that like well it specifically it says love is not arrogant and does not boast that love is not self seeking. Those ideas are all put together an end. Humility is it it's but it's back to Philippians chapter 2 that passage that Marianne wanted me to memorize. Maybe she had that in mind, because you recognize that the guy she was dating was not a naturally humble person and she thought maybe the Bible can help. You can help do a work here. Humble is an idea that says there's there's a priority here that I'm a put your agenda ahead of my own. It goes on to be described in in Philippians 2 where Paul says that you should have this attitude in you that was also in Jesus, who, although he existed as God did not regard that equality with God to be clung to, but instead he emptied himself for the good of others and and this is something you and I've talked about this before Gary when we talk about somebody being humble were not what were or were not talking about them thinking lower of themselves than they really are. But sometimes people think humility means I'm supposed to think I'm a wretched warm of a person well, the Bible does say that we were sinful people and and wretchedness is a part of that we need to have a biblical understanding the Bible also says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made were created in God's image.

We have worth and value and dignity is as God's creation.

Every human being is an image bearer of God and and four children of God we have his spirit in us. Humility I think is not thinking more highly of yourself than you should. It's also not thinking more lowly of yourself than you should. In fact, humility is not thinking about yourself as much as you do. Now it's thinking accurately about yourself and thinking I am. I am a sinful person in need of a Savior. I'm also a child of God and both of those things are true about me and and I need to live out of that new identity in all of my relationships and particularly in my marriage is that whole thing about Jesus again right putting our interest above his own. Lincoln's passage you mentioned earlier, he humbled himself, so we choose to put the other person and their well-being above our own and work work for that arrogance and self-centeredness are incompatible.

You would never say about somebody that person is is such a loving person there so arrogant I mean it just saying that would laugh at that thosewho are like oil and water. They can't mix so them, the more were focused on self love leaves when we start to become self focused, generous is another characteristic of love that you discuss being generous toward the spot and and this is a generosity that says that that what matters here in our marriage is what does God want not what do I want or what do you want what what matters here is for us to have a a focus that is not self-seeking, but that is God seeking as I told when I got married I think I was thinking what will this marriage make me happy, and then later in marriage. I was thinking okay what can I do to make Marianne happy the real turning point for us was when I started to think how can this marriage make God happy.

How can this marriage be pleasing to him because that's when now we were allies together saying we want our awesomeness to be more important than our individual desires ourselves we want who we are together as a couple to matter more than our own individual preferences or wants. And when you start to get to that point in a marriage you you start to turn a corner, I think, or at least we did where marriage is not about you it's not about me it's about us and it's about our us this being something that people can look at and and see God in that and and glorify God when they see how we love one another and in the early days of the church, the Christian church began to grow and begin to thrive and the. The early church fathers say that it began to grow and thrive because the pagans saw how the Christians loved one another and they were astounded by their sacrificial love for one another. They were astounded that when a plague came. The Christians went and took care of the people who are hurting, rather than then backing off and saying okay, how do I protect myself in the situation. I think marriage today has has a great opportunity to be a cultural signpost to say there is a God and he transforms lives because look at how the couple loves one another. Love you Marianne been married now for more than 40 years and I you shared already.

Some of your journey. What's been the hardest part of loving like you mean it in your own life in your own experience there. There was a moment I always go back to a moment we been married. I just would been married five years we had gone through a series of challenges I'd gotten fired from a job.

I was looking for a new job and the one I found was what we were living in Tulsa Oklahoma at the time in the job I found was in Phoenix and Marianna grown up in Tulsa. Her whole family was in Tulsa. Her support structure was in Tulsa. We had one child at the time and right after I got fired from a job, we found out we were pregnant with number two I find a new job that's in Phoenix I'm I go out there and start looking for a house while Marianna Stainback she's again she's pregnant. She's trying to sell the house were insular separated for about and was about six weeks. I found a house and Gary, I bought a house for us, that my wife did not see before I bought it to this rookie mistake I Marianne joins me in Phoenix at our new house that she is seeing for the first time she is six months pregnant and it's Phoenix and it's July and she's not got no friends and no family and and she's she said she was miserable.

She's sunk into a depression that I don't know if it qualified as clinical but I would come home from work at the end of the day and she was sheet she didn't want to talk.

She didn't want to be with me. I would say I do try to solve it by seven let's go out to eat part of the reason I said that's deserved nothing there the cook had made me think so. I was hungry. Let's go out to eat or I try to do things that would bring happiness into our our marriage, and she was miserable and I was becoming miserable.

I remember one night out in the backyard she'd gone to bed and I was kicked in the dirt in the backyard and looking up at the stars and thinking I'm not going to the divorce because you're not supposed to but I understand what people want to. I didn't want to be married. This was this was not a happy time for me and you know for some couples, that's when they say I don't have any hope, and I don't know how to fix it and I was right there and and what you do in those moments and what we did. By God's grace was we persevered and we stayed together and we got some help and we grew together and we worked our way through it. I've always look back on that time and and you've seen the studies that couples who are right on the verge of divorce who who stay married five years later. They report that their marital satisfaction is is good for five years later, our marriage was good in part because we bore all things believed all things. Hope all things endured all things and we didn't quit and God will meet you in those moments when you just persevere through the hard times and you come out the other side and you go God taught us some things we learned how to love one another better. We grew through that experience. Our marriage is better on the other side. I mean now it's 40+ years for us and I'm so grateful that we persevered in the hard times they'll absolutely when you do persevere and you look back you think God you didn't give up because it becomes really the marriage he wanted Bob. Obviously we cannot talk about all the characteristics of love that you discuss in the book, but would assess this as we come to the end of our time want your main hope for this book. Love, like you mean it is my hope and prayer is that couples will read through this together. Talk about what they're reading I got questions for couples interact all through the book.

I hope they'll come out with an understanding that love is is going to take more work than they realized. But that there's a payoff with this that when you love the way the Bible teaches us to love one another. What you get at the end of the day. It's the difference between plywood furniture with a veneer on top and solid hardwood furniture that is durable and and steady and strong. Nobody wants plywood with veneer when you can have the real hardwood in the real hardwood of marriage is when you have the kind of love that the Bible illustrates for us describes for us. You live that out in your marriage.

That's the marriage that goes the distance in a marriage that brings a kind of joy that you can't get with veneer.

I like that analogy and that's what all of us want nobody ever got married hoping they would not have that kind of marriage well above our time is going quickly, and I really appreciate your time with us today, and I do believe that this book will do exactly what you just said for any couple who will simply take it and work through it and discuss the questions at the end of the chapter soaked again, thanks for being with us today well and thanks to you for the years and years how you've poured into my life and all I've learned from you and how you have shepherded and gotten so many couples it's just great to be able to have a conversation with somebody who is on the same page and appoint people in the same direction. Appreciate you think the grading of the heart above. Today husbands or prospective husbands. If you take nothing else from the conversation killed by house without your wife to find out more about the book our featured resource go to five love love like you mean it part of the marriage that honors God begins@ and next week pursuing the love, faith, and Mount Everest Carolyn Rachel Earl Jonas in one week.

A big thank you to our production team. Steve and Janice time Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman's production of the radio in association with many publishers in ministry in any violent thanks

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