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Short Fuse for the Long Haul! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
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June 8, 2023 6:00 am

Short Fuse for the Long Haul! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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June 8, 2023 6:00 am

The devil will jump at any opportunity to destroy the good things God has created—including your marriage. Today Pastor Skip cautions you against letting the enemy drive a wedge of division between you and your spouse.

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Skip Heitzig

If you let it grow unresolved, you are giving Satan an opportunity to alienate you and your spouse. And listen, if you give Satan a foothold, he will make it a stronghold. You give him an inch, he'll take a mile.

The devil will jump on any opportunity to destroy the good things God has created, and that includes your marriage. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzel, Pastor Skip concludes his message, Short Fuse for the Long Haul, and cautions you against letting the enemy drive a wedge of division between you and your spouse. Now, here's an offer that'll help you connect with God's design for fathers and understand why they are such a vital part of a strong family. America is reaping the whirlwind of bad fruit from a generation of young men who lack the influence of a father. We desperately need to educate men of all ages and stages of life to begin to turn this destructive social trend.

Listen to Skip Heitzel. Where's dad? That's a crucial question in our world today. When fathers abandon their children, a series of dominoes begin to fall with devastating results. We see young men rampaging through streets destroyed by drugs, then continuing the vicious cycle by creating fatherless homes. We need to educate boys and men of all ages about how dads make a difference, and that's the theme of our current resource package that includes my full hour video documentary called Where's Dad, plus seven of my most important messages to men. I hope you'll order your copy now. Dads Make a Difference.

That's the title of a critical issues package you can order now. The Dads Make a Difference package includes seven of Skip's most important messages to men and the full hour video documentary, Where's Dad, hosted by Skip. I think it's pretty easy to see from just a reading through of scripture that it is dad's responsibility to set the moral spiritual tone in the home. Remember it was Joshua who said, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Get this package in either digital download or CD and DVD when you support Connect with Skip with your gift of $50 or more. You'll be joining us as we take Skip's Bible teachings into more major cities.

Request the Dads Make a Difference package online at or by calling 1-800-922-1888. We're in Ephesians 4 as we go now to Skip for today's lesson. Be honest without lying. Or as it says here, put away lying. And I think that includes under the banner of lying, exaggeration. Have you ever noticed that we exaggerate when we argue? There are certain words we use and I'm just going to recommend you put them away from your fighting vocabulary. Words are always and never.

You know what I'm getting at? We say things like, we say things like, you never tell me anything. That's an exaggeration. You always say that.

We never go out anywhere. I've told you not to do that a million times. That's exaggeration. It's untrue and it's unhelpful. Those words are untrue and unhelpful. There's not someone who always does something and it's untrue that someone never does something. When you use words like that, you lower your credibility because if those are the first words out of your mouth, you never, you always, your mate will tune you out instantly and believe less and less that you have to say.

And they get very defensive by the way when that kind of language is used. Notice what it says at the very end of verse 25. It says for, that's giving you a cause now, for we are members of one another.

Now stop right there. You know what makes a Christian marriage different from all other married couples in the universe? This truth. We are members of the family of God. When a Christian husband takes on a Christian wife, he takes on more than a wife. He takes on a daughter of God, a member of the spiritual family, which puts a different dimension on the marriage and I would say adds another level of responsibility. Speak the truth with one another.

We are members of one another. If that is true generally for all believers, it is most true for a married couple. To look at that husband and say, you are a son of the living God. To look at that wife and say, you are a daughter of the living God adds a whole new texture to the relationship.

So be honest without lying. That's the first rule of engagement. The second principle, be angry without sinning. Verse 26, a very famous verse. Be angry and do not sin. Now I read that as a commandment.

Do you? Be angry and do not sin. Do not sin. There was a lady, she went to a gun dealer and she said, I want to buy a gun for my husband. And the gun dealer said, okay, great. What model of gun would your husband want? And she said, I don't know. He doesn't know I'm going to shoot him. Now the dealer understood what she meant.

I want to buy a gun for my husband. Anger or should I say unresolved anger is one of the most deadly enemies in a relationship. It irritates and it poisons. Proverbs 29 says, an angry man stirs up dissension.

What a picture. Dissension is there under the surface. This guy stirs it up. And a hot tempered one commits many sins. One author that I read calls anger the noise of the soul.

It's a good description. The noise of the soul. It's that thing that hangs back in your mind that gets louder and louder and louder until pretty soon it's the only thing you can hear. Many couples have unresolved anger issues, but they don't want to deal with it or they don't identify it. So they'll come and they'll want to dance around and they'll talk about this issue and that issue and this problem and that problem. And all of those are problems, but they really stem from and feed from the one problem of unresolved anger.

The noise of the soul is just getting louder and louder and pouring out into all of these different issues in their marriage. Back to verse 26. Again, it sounds like a command, an imperative. Be angry and do not sin. Scholars will call this a permissive imperative. A permissive imperative. It's not like God is saying, thus saith the Lord, get ticked off. Blow your stack.

Yell at somebody. He's giving permission. He's saying in certain cases anger is permissible, but here's the warning, don't let it lead to sin. That's the idea. Because sin always leads to what?

Anybody? Death. Sin always results in death, the Bible says. The sin of anger always results in the death of something.

Death of joy, death of peace, death of friendship, trust. A lot of things are decimated by the sin of anger. Be angry, but the warning, don't let it lead you into sin. Now, I think all of us know when anger gets to the level of sinful anger, we don't need to spell it out, but I'll offer some suggestions. Bursts of temper are sinful. Anger that leads to out of control rage is sinful.

Anger that aims to hurt the other person or family members is sinful. Listen to Proverbs chapter 18 verse 14. Solomon writes, the spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?

Interesting, great truth. The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit? When a spouse becomes sick, physically ill, most marriages can sustain that. In fact, I would say they prepare for that, even in the vows that they say, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, tell death do us part. But the writer says, but who can bear a broken spirit? When the spirit of a mate, when a spirit of a spouse gets crushed, broken, that's unsustainable, it's unbearable.

I'll be confessional with you for a moment. When we were first married, and we got married pretty quickly, she lived in Hawaii, I lived on the coast of California, we married, and within a week we moved out here. So we were adjusting to a new place, a new state, new friends, new job, new everything, with each other at the same time. Quite an adjustment, very stressful. And newlyweds make discoveries about each other.

And sometimes those discoveries can be a pretty interesting and not very easy. I remember on a couple occasions where we had some stressful words, escalating words, and on one particular occasion, our voices raised, words were very biting and sharp that crushed both of our spirits in that one fight. It left both of us in tears. And when the smoke on that battlefield cleared, and we got together again, we made an agreement that we would never, we could never allow an episode like that ever to happen again in our marriage, because we saw what it did just that one time. We could never get to that kind of an escalation. And immediately we put two rules of engagement into place. Number one, when we got into a spat like that, there would always be a cool-down period.

We wouldn't try to fix it when we're on high stress. We'd let it cool and we'd come back to it. And number two, that we would go to a public place to resolve that in those early days. We would go to a restaurant, and here's why. Restaurant protocol is different than living room protocol. There are certain things in a restaurant you just won't do or say, and a tone that you will not employ in a restaurant that you could if you were alone at home in your apartment, unless you're just a maniac and out of control. So those were helpful things to resolve our conflict early on.

It prevented outbursts, cool-down period, public place, until we learned how to deal with our emotions and communicate clearly, openly, and honestly. And I will also say that my wife has shown me over the years the grace of how to be angry and not sin. She over the years has simply done this. She'll come up to me and she'll say, I'm angry. We need to talk. I get the message.

It's with a smile, not a whole lot of words used, just, I'm angry. We need to talk. That to me is a huge red flag.

Right? You got to be an idiot to not pick up on that. So I'm pretty dumb, and I just sort of need that. I'm angry. Okay.

Very helpful. Be angry without sinning. Here's the third. Be reconciled without waiting. Be angry and do not sin, verse 26. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, and notice the next verse, nor give place, some translations say opportunity, to the devil. Resolve anger quickly.

Gary Smalley put it this way. When we bury anger inside of us, it's always buried alive. Anger keeps growing. And if you let it grow unresolved, you are giving Satan an opportunity to alienate you and your spouse. And listen, if you give Satan a foothold, he will make it a stronghold.

You give him an inch, he'll take a mile. So resolve it quickly. Back to verse 27, look at the word place, nor give place to the devil. The Greek word is tapas.

Tapas. Think of topography. It literally means the office of authority in a government place.

The office of authority in a government place. So don't let Satan come in and have a place of authority in the government of your marriage, and you give him that authority when you erect an altar of anger. When you erect an altar of anger, the devil makes himself the priest of that altar. So deal with it quickly. So deal with it quickly. Many wise couples take this to heart and will not go to sleep at night until they resolve their issues.

It's a good practice. We're going to stay up and talk about it. Of course, at 3 30 in the morning, you'll agree to just about anything, even losing the argument, but that's better than the alternative.

Now, just a couple of notes on this. There is a proper time to disagree, and whatever time you both agree on is the proper time. There's a proper time to disagree and there's an improper time to disagree. Example, when your husband, ladies, comes to the door after a long day of work or he's traveled for a few days and battle fatigue has set in, that's not a good time to resolve disagreements. Men, if your wives are looking at a stack of dishes or clothes to be washed or chores to be done or demanding screaming children, not a good time. If either of you is highly stressed, those aren't good times. You need to find the right time to talk through these deep issues so that when the conversation begins to escalate, a simple sweetheart, I want to resolve this. Now is not that time. Or when the kids are down and they're asleep, then we'll talk about these issues.

Now, let me add to that. If you make that appointment, you keep that appointment. Guys, don't think, well, she's not yelling at me now, everything's okay. It's not okay. It's not resolved.

It's not fixed. If you make that appointment, keep that appointment. If you don't keep that appointment, more resentment, more anger will be the result. So there's a proper time. Second, there's a proper place to deal with conflict. And the public setting is not that place. Never swing at your mate in public.

I mean that both figuratively and literally. Don't drag out dirty laundry. Don't say things that will embarrass your spouse.

And let me just add to that little bit of it. Don't bring in the dirty details of your spouse to your family. They don't need to know it.

It's none of their business and you will just make the wedge deeper and deeper if you share that. This includes not only public embarrassment but that subtle cutting sarcasm. You know, just that little word, that little tone.

Sure. That communicates a lot, doesn't it? Years ago, we had a fellow who I met in the foyer, a ministry leader from a substantial ministry volunteering to work with some of our leaders on the church, willing to disciple them. And we had a good conversation after a church service. And his wife then after our little conversation came up and got just the tail end of it. And I conveyed to her that he was willing to train our leadership. And she said something I'll never forget.

She said, he seems to think he can. And I just said, hey, well, God bless you guys. You know, it's one of those awkward kind of moments, right?

So something is not good. There are battle flags that tell you it's time to talk. When he gets really, really quiet, time to talk. If she gets on the phone and talks, talks, talks, talks, and doesn't let you say anything and just hangs up, it's probably time to talk. If little things irritate one or the other, it's time to talk.

If your husband doesn't eat, ladies, that's a red flag. It's time to talk. If she bites her nails, if she buys a gun, might be too late, but it's time to talk. Here's the fourth and final rule of engagement. Be open without hurting. Now Paul is principally here talking about words that you choose to use. Verse 29, let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, no profanity, but what is good for necessary edification that it may impart grace to the hearers and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. The emphasis here is on the choice of one's words.

Remember what James said in that great little epistle, he said, if anyone is not at fault in what he says, the same is a perfect man. The speech. I read an article by a pharmaceutical manufacturing company that did research on anesthesia drugs that put a patient down under before they have surgery. And what words sound like to patients that are heard in the operating room. Things that doctors and nurses shouldn't say like, I'm going to shoot him now, meaning with a hypodermic needle, putting medicine into the IV.

But you don't want to say that. I'm going to shoot him now when you're going under. Also, when they said hook him up or hook her up to the monitor, the word monitor sounds like monster to a drug-induced person. And then one of the worst things the doctor could say before his patient goes under is, this just is not my day.

Thanks, doc, as you go under the knife. Yet how many times careless words have been said that get under, get into the mind, a nuance, a choice morsel, body language along with that word. Proverbs 18, death and life are in the power of the tongue. They can bring life to a marriage or they can kill it.

See, whenever you attack the person rather than the problem, you're creating a bigger problem. You're using hurtful, not helpful words, words that reject rather than reprove. Words like, I wish I never would have married you. Yikes. Never should be said. I wish I never would have met you. Or you're just like your mother.

See, that's a hot button. Or if he says, you look horrible in that dress. If I ever hear a guy say that, I want to just say, are you like an idiot?

I mean, you can say, I love that other dress you had on. That'll get the message across, but not like, you know, that's just stinking ugly. Proverbs 12 sums it up better than I can. There's one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health. Have you ever heard a word directed at you that cut through you, pierced you deeply, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.

Now tell me if I'm right. When you're having an argument with someone and you feel like you have a point that needs to be heard, you raise your voice. You turn up the volume. You need to hear what I have to say. Why so loud? Because you feel they need to hear it and they'll hear it if you turn it up to 10.

Do you know the opposite is actually true? When you lower your voice, you'll be listened to. When you raise it up and you use ugly words, the less you have to say. Proverbs 15 verse 1, a soft answer turns away wrath.

Harsh words stir up anger. So if you have something really important to say, try this, lower your voice. Kind words, tenderhearted, and you'll watch it work. Watch it work. You can walk hand in hand without seeing eye to eye. That's called marriage. But you have to be committed to resolving conflict.

And the most productive fights are these ground rules employed. Let me give you a little help. Three monosyllabic words, memorize them.

Here it is. I am wrong. It's not magic, but just watch that work. You are right. So picture it. He comes home seething, angry, yelling, and you say, you're right.

What's he going to do? It's kind of over at that point. Oh, well, okay then. I'm glad to see it my way.

There's not much else you can do with that. I'll conclude with some anonymous, but well-timed words. To keep your marriage brimming with love in the loving cup whenever you're wrong, admit it, and when you're right, shut up.

Isn't that helpful? That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series, Keep Calm and Marry On. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and complete teaching series at Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep these messages coming your way to connect you and many others around the world with God's Word. God's Word is filled with timeless wisdom.

Timeless wisdom for every area of life to lead you to an abundant life connected with God. And that's why we share these Bible-based messages online and on the air to connect you and many others around the world with Jesus through God's Word. When you give a gift to support this radio ministry, you not only help reach more listeners, but you also keep these messages that you love coming to you. With your support, we can expand the ministry this year into more major U.S. cities, reaching more people who desperately need the gospel.

Will you help make that happen? Here's how you can give now. Visit slash donate to give a gift. That's slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

Thank you for your generosity. And did you know you can watch Skip Heitzig's teaching from the comfort of your couch on Apple TV or Roku? Simply download the Connect with Skip Heitzig app on your streaming device and you'll have tons of content at your fingertips. Be here again tomorrow as Skip shares a powerful message about dealing with sickness and honoring your vow to stick together in health and in sickness. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross. And cast your burdens on his word, make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-08 05:17:49 / 2023-06-08 05:26:53 / 9

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