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Love Is Virtuous and Honest

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2020 9:00 pm

Love Is Virtuous and Honest

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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July 29, 2020 9:00 pm

Bob Lepine along with hosts Dave and Ann Wilson continue their discussion of agape love found in 1 Corinthians 13, a passage that reveals the most common cracks found in marriage relationships. What exactly does it mean to "rejoice in the truth," and why is it so vital to a relationship? What do you do if your spouse isn't interested in pursuing a virtuous and honest relationship? And how should you approach your spouse with areas where you've been deceitful in the past?

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Every marriage is being lived out in the middle of a spiritual battle and there is an enemy who is looking for opportunities to take down your marriage is a Wilson. I don't know how long ago it was, but sitting in a conference with Dennis Rainey speaking to men 30 years ago and he said to not let your life be the door through which sin enters your family and just that commitment is a man. This would be for a woman as well that I want to live righteously in such a way that sin, and since getting getting every families part but I don't wanted to be through me. This is family life today.

Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Lapine. The Bible says love does not rejoice in wrongdoing. So for love to thrive in a marriage relationship. We have to be husbands and wives who are committed to holiness and righteousness stay with us and welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us. We talked earlier this week about love songs you get up the guitar you played a few love songs and do it again. I want to play a song I don't if you ever heard this one. This is one of the oh the lesser known love songs from Steven Curtis Chapman. I think I go Nazareth that Kristi then let her know this is Stephen Curtis. The master my opinion of love song, so I mean everybody knows his song about me. He can't help someone in the nose play the song wrote what that was his very first love song that most of our list or to probably never heard this one before but he he explains this by saying he was recognizing as a young songwriter that he needed to write love songs. So this is what he wrote that again. I held your hand fill some not going now I can get you all since I will this morning. My head is and my knees shake and is over.

This could be maybe be me and I and you will go in and in whole that you classic. It's one of the earlier he wrote a song about being that his brother in the backyard that is out in the backyard be not Herbie.

I remembered so he used to do these in concert.

I don't think there on any records, but that's on YouTube if you may want you to pick good our way to family life and we got a link to that particular YouTube, but think about it.

That's how we've thought about love to all our lives that it's my knees were shaking them and my palm and what were trying to say. As we talk about the subject. This month is that we need to have a more biblically anchored definition of what love is and that's at the heart of the book that I wrote called a love like you mean it. That's been out now for a few weeks and listers are starting to order, order a lot more weight when he talked about this. How did you decide this would be your book going to first Corinthians. So to exit gene that in helping us understand. I mean, where did the idea come from where here's a long story there. I began to realize after I worked at family life for a few years that there's a whole lot more in the Bible about marriage that I realized. So when I came here I thought you know the Bible's got Ephesians 5 it's got first Peter three Genesis 12. Song of Solomon. There's some stuff about marriage in there, but most of it's not about marriage, and then I realized the Bible is essentially about two things. Our relationship with God in our relationship with one another so everything you read in the Bible that talks about how we relate to one another can be applied in a marriage relationship. You get the first Corinthians, and it's talking about how were to relate to one another in love. And I thought what if we take this classic definition that to read at weddings all the time and we stopped and we said let's really think about this. Somebody said this is what you're signing up for when you got married but is this really what you are signing up for. Because this is what makes marriage work with you.

Do premarital counseling based on these verses, I would bring this in. In fact, I've I've had the opportunity since the book has been written to share chapters with couples who are getting married share chapters with couples who are in conflict in a particular area.

I think we can identify most of the major cracks that exist in a marriage relationship by looking at this passage and seeing are we living according to this passage.

I don't think there's much that's happening in marriage that's pushing us toward isolation that is outside of these verses.

So we talked about the fact that love is patient and love is kind and loving does not envy, it does not boasted, it is not self-seeking, but there's more to it than that. In fact, later on in the passage the apostle Paul says love does not rejoice in wrongdoing but love rejoices in the truth. What is that mean I think this is something that's not been on our radar screen. When we think about love, but I think what Paul is saying is a fundamental commitment to living and walking in righteousness and righteousness is one of those Bible words that we don't use very often. It just means living according to God's design and purpose for your life. Living according to his standard of what's right and wrong so love does not rejoice.

Love can't rejoice when we are committed to unrighteousness when we are choosing to live outside of God's design for our lives.

We have polluted the seedbed in which love is designed to grow.

Here's what I'm saying. If you're married to somebody and that person has a perpetual tendency in a particular area of sin in their lives that works against love in the marriage relationship. So if I'm married to a wife who is has a critical spirit and she nags her and this is not my wife at all. But if I was married to somebody and this was was her pattern and she was not dealing with that she was not trying to address in our life that she just said this is how who I am and you just need to learn to live with this. That doesn't facilitate love by the same token, if you're living with somebody who's committed to a pattern of lust and that dominates a marriage or relationship that's going to be an inhibitor to love in that relationship.

So Paul is saying that the way we respond to God's standards and purposes for us is either going to provide a good foundation for love to thrive or not use this as a metaphor. If the garden of your life is full of sin, weeds, and you're not pulling those regularly, then love can't thrive when all of those weeds are there choking it out, you never ever talk to a couple met a couple even heard of a couple that does rejoice in wrongdoing is like well of course you wouldn't. There are couples who may be on the same page.

They may have the same predispositions towards sin.

So let's say a couple gets married and let's say a part of their pattern in life has been to overindulge in drinking and they like going up together and having too much to drink right and they think this is fun for us and this is good, and there's nothing wrong or maybe we did we do it at home so that we don't have to drive are not hurting anybody.

It's just us what what the Bible saying is love does not flourish. Love does not find delight or rejoice when that wrongdoing when that going again that the Bible is clear you're not to become drunk with wine, sobriety is what God calls us to. So if you're both liking this particular sin pattern rep talk to couples who say well we will sometimes watch pornography together because it it helps our our relationship. I would go there's no rejoicing happening. Love does not find it does not take root when your garden is polluted with that kind of unrighteousness in your life. I remember Bobby my remember this, too, and I don't know how long ago it was, but sitting in a conference.

I'm guessing with Dennis Rainey speaking to men and he said do not let your life be the door through which sin enters your family and just that that statement it was like that commitment as a man, and this would be for a woman as well that I want to live righteously in such a way that sin, and since getting getting every families part but I don't wanted to be through me so that that statement is like my goodness, I can't play with this this little minor not big deal, it could be the thing that gets a hold of my son or gets destroyed my marriage. I'm not can rejoice in my own wrongdoing, let alone in my in my marriage but often we we just think it's not a big deal and it creeps into our family and destroys it and that you're saying all is getting at. That's not love.

One of the good gifts of God is to give us the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin.

So the Holy Spirit will will make you aware, this is not right. This is not good and we have two responses when the Holy Spirit does that one is to go ice that it's not that bad, I can manage this I can deal with the that's to reject the Holy Spirit to quench the work of the Holy Spirit. Or we can say you're right.

Lord help me to put to death. This sin pattern in my life, to the extent that we minimize sin.

It's going to affect our relationship with one another. Our love for one another, to the extent that we would seek to put to death. Sin in our lives. It's gonna create the kind of soil where love can flourish and grow think it's important to remember the reason God gives us boundaries are guidelines or lies or scripture that will just pull us in the right direction is to protect us.

Remember I'm leading a Bible study where a woman was saying that she and her husband would go to a gentleman's club, which is not a gentleman's club and I'll write exactly go together and she would tell him I don't mind us doing this. I don't even mind you going alone.

As long as you're just looking at not partaking when I said to her lips has so much more for you and thinks he has so much more for your relationship and if he seemed not to partake in something like that. It's for your for your benefit because he's loving you and protecting you and she said I just see it as a hindrance. Why do I have to obey God's lies because they seem like they're hindering us from joy and fun and I think I've said this before but not too long after that. A few months later she called me to say that her husband had just had a baby with the woman that she had met there and as a result of that, they surrendered their lives to Christ they really gave God, their lives and their marriage and they're really doing well. I think she thought like all I see now that this is meant for my protection and for my good. It's not something that's hindering us it's growing us to be closer together that there's a connection. Here's what I think the Bible saying to us, there's a connection between the pursuit of righteousness in our lives and how we love one another and to the extent that were pursuing righteousness were rejoicing in the truth because love does not rejoice in unrighteousness. It rejoices in the truth. To the extent were rejoicing in the truth that's going to cause our love for one another and our love for God to flourish together and I think we tend to compartmentalize and think, well, the moral choices I'm making those don't affect my relationship with my spouse or my kids or anybody else know that it bleeds together because were one person and whatever we bring into that relationship is what we are cultivating in our lives whether you whether we realize it or not, every time were were tempted to play with us in our temptation. The stakes are high.

I don't think we realize in that moment we are jeopardizing our faith, our family, our future. It's that high. With any sort of wrongdoing and post illness your marriage, your love relationship is at stake as you decide what you can do with this sin right right but what if one spouse is saying this is ridiculous. I can't get to do whatever I want, you can be holy and you can do whatever you want that for me you're being overboard.

I want to watch the show on TV I think is ridiculous that you don't want to watch it and so I think here we do have to first of all acknowledge that the only person we can control is ourselves and we want to be careful to avoid self-righteousness, which is that idea that when your spouse is heading off. You don't want to come across like well I'm holy and you're not and I don't understand why you don't abide by the standards that I'm abiding by. But Galatians chapter 6 gives us a pattern here. Galatians 6 says brothers if you see somebody who is trapped in a sin.

So let's say you're married to your spouse and you see your spouse who is engaged in some behavior or pattern that you look at you. I think this is simple, I think this is wrong. Well, it says you who are spiritual so and all of a sudden you gotta go way to my spiritual and that doesn't mean my perfect. That means am I walking with the spirit am I listening to the spirit or is it just something I don't like and so I've said it's wrong because I don't like it you who are spiritual spiritually minded your job is to restore your brother with the spirit of gentleness so most of the time when a husband or wife comes to correct their spouse for something they're doing the spouse doesn't like there is not a spirit of Jim Mr. right and then it says be careful because you you two might get tempted. You might get tempted into the sin that your spouses participating in but you might get tempted in the other direction to pride and self-righteousness. What we talked about earlier rent for so you have to be careful as you approach this humble hearted and approach her spouse with gentleness since I can't talk you about something or something that that I just don't understand. It's a struggle for me. It's something that you don't seem to have a problem with, just help me understand that.

Now if you're married to somebody is an unbeliever and they say well yeah, I know that you know because of Jesus that but I don't believe that. Okay. At that point, your job is not to try to clean up your spouse's life. Your job is to talk to him about Jesus because nothing's gonna get fixed until I love Jesus and not in a way that saying you need Jesus else I need to go to church that are not well you don't go to them about that but you also don't try to get to modify their behavior and think that's what I need to focus on, not the behaviors destructive for the family up if somebody says yeah I know you don't get drunk because of Jesus, but I don't have a problem with that. Well at their drunken behavior is a problem for the family. Then we have to address that is a family dynamic. But your goal here is not to get them to quit drinking. Your goal here is to introduce them to Jesus and let him go to work on their life and let him work on these issues point them to the source of righteousness not to your behavior modification. I mean, it's interesting you come up with that analogy.

I know for now, remember this but before we married where engage with talking about what our marriage is going to look like you gently brought up the conversation of will. We have alcohol in our home and gently reminded me that I was raised by alcoholic parents and we made a decision as we got married and it was really my decision because in really reminded me that be a dangerous thing. So we never had alcohol. Hello was scared for our own kids and when my dad was 10 years old. He spent that night in jail with his own dad who was drunk and beat up his mom and my dad vowed that he would never take a drink.

After that, because it scared him so much. I think my dad kind of planted that in me a little bit to her bed, knowing Dave's past Dennis we just had a great discussion about it and I think husbands and wives. If you're on the same page about professed faith in Christ. You can have those kinds of conversations and said let's talk about this. We both want our lives to be what God wants them to be. So let's talk about the areas in our life where we need to to align ourselves, were not living the way that we should. What's the self-improvement we need to work on the not self-improvement but spirit improvement mover God can be at work in our lives and how can we make sure that were pursuing righteousness and loving truth rather than asking the question what can we get away with what kind of sin.

Can we just can escape toward the edges of the and and does not go too far. But you know like somebody was said to me that I wasn't drunk. I think it was just buzzed and I go so where is that line between buzzed and drunk right and why restatement of the buzzed side of the pond and guess where that's going to land the skin of take you over the cliff to eventually limit it. We only have governments left let me ask you this, Paul writes love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. We have said a lot about that side of it in a couple minutes.

What does that mean to rejoice in the truth, having no secrets. I think a means to big things.

Love rejoices when we are able to be completely transparent with one another, naked and unashamed to that was at the end of the that the statement in Genesis 2. The couple were naked and unashamed.

Not just physically right they were transparent. They knew one another. They loved one another. There was no shame in them and so rejoicing in the truth is saying we want to get to a place in our marriage where there are no secrets where we can be honest and truthful with one another.

Every everybody is longing to be fully known and fully loved so rejoicing in the truth. I think in part is saying. Love rejoices when that kind of transparency can exist in a marriage relationship and we can be who we really are and know it's safe to be who we really are.

You'll still be here even even when you see the flaws of the scariest things we can do because the fear is if I let you see all the wickedness and who I really am afraid that you won't accept me.

I think that Dave and I we went through that quite a bit, especially years and years ago when we are first married and Dave talked that he had a problem with looking at porn and I was so upset and I wanted him to share it with me because I wanted to know truth. I wanted to know the truth but I also wanted to know who he was and I didn't like that is like oh I don't like it that's in there. But now, years and years later I'm thinking I'm so glad you let me into that world because you are struggling and I wanted to be your partner. Even I didn't respond but first I wanted to know all of you, your struggles, your pain, I think it's important how we respond as a spouse and I knew as I hid that that I wasn't loving her. That was not love to hide that and I would say there's a man listening right now that has that secret or another. The voice of God is saying today sedated to love her by telling her to the truth and it's a hard conversation.

It may not go well initially but that is loving and then this journey can start because longest sentence in the dark. The dark wins the second it's in the light. Jesus can say we can begin the healing process and don't suspect the dump truck up and said okay so you dump it and be casual, but if you can't go to your wife in brokenness and with grief over the reality of the sin in your own life. I say I need your help in dealing with something that's had its grip on me and it's I've kept it in darkness because I'm ashamed of you and because I'm afraid you won't love me if you know this is true about me. This is whether it's a husband or vibrate when we approach one another with that kind of tenderness and say I need to bring something to the light are oneness our intimacy will grow and thrive when we know one another more fully and we love one another in the midst of say that as well as wise. I know we can keep a lot of secrets and we can keep a lot of things hidden so they go to your husband I would say this before you go to your husband go to your heavenly father, I would say that meant to and pray for God to prepare their hearts for God to prepare your words as you are about to communicate with a soft spirit and asked them for their help. Asked them for prayer asked them to relate know you and see you and love you in the next event. I think when the Bible says love rejoices in the truth that such a study, but horizontal truth, but it's also talked about vertical truth love rejoices when we line ourselves up with the truth of God's word.

When we are committed to the one who is the truth that's Jesus declares that about himself. I am the truth so love rejoices when we say were committed to the truth and to pursuing the truth of God's word and living that out in our lives and in our marriage so it's about being open and honest with one another but love also rejoices when we say I'm not can pursue wrongdoing. The darkness that the untruth I'm in a pursue truth and live my life accordingly. That's what righteousness is, is aligning yourself with truth and living that way and it would be a good book to read tonight and how she jobs month three thoughts and then sit down and have a conversation with God and with your spouse and see where God takes it know the truth is I I'm hearing from people who are starting to read this book together as a couple and in each chapter. There are some talk together moments that we've outlined there so that it's not just something you read and highlight, but it's something that you can use to provoke some helpful conversation in your marriage. At least that's what my hope is in writing the book and so I hope the blisters have not got a copy yet though. Go to our website family like and order the book love like you mean it all about. First Corinthians 13 in your marriage. Again, the title of the book is love like you mean it. You can order or you can order by calling 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today may also recommend a resource were making available to help couples strengthen the foundation of your marriage.

This is a free resource that includes access to a couple of online video courses access to messages from Paul David Tripp and Gary Chapman Bodie Baucom Julie Slattery some downloadable resources. We recognize many couples here in 2020 have been under an unusual amount of stress and that's when it's time to start doing some things to intentionally strengthen the foundation of your marriage and that's what this online resource is all about. It's called take your marriage from good to great and all of the content were making available here, is free to you and as a little extra incentive for you to start to engage with these messages, anybody who signs up for this content is going to be automatically entered into a contest and were to draw one name here in a couple weeks and one couple will be our guests were to fly you to family life, you'll sit in on a family like today recording session and then have dinner that night with Dave and Ann Wilson. All you have to do to be eligible to win that it's go to family life and sign up for the take your marriage from good to great resource.

Again, it's completely free. No purchase necessary. All the rules about the contest are available online and we hope you'll take advantage of the resource and hope to see one couple joining us here at family life for an upcoming recording session and we hope you can join us again tomorrow to talk about what the Bible means when it says love bears all things, and endures all things that really mean all things will have that conversation tomorrow.

Hope you can tune in for that think our engineer today.

Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Anna Wilson on Bob Lapine see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life today. Family life to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. A crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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