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Starting Together

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2020 2:00 am

Starting Together

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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April 20, 2020 2:00 am

Dave Harvey, author of "I Still Do," talks about the circles of influence that make up each one of us. In the center is the heart, which is the wellspring of our worship and motivations. Surrounding that is our embodied soul wrapped in flesh. Another circle is our social systems, like families, which influence who we are. Everyone has a context, and once a husband or wife understands what their spouse's context is, they'll love and understand each other better.

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Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

We often forget that we are living in the middle of a spiritual battlefield through spiritual warfare going on all around us all the time.

Dave Harvey says that's one reason why marriage can be so difficult. We struggle not against flesh and blood. The devil is a roaring lion, seeking whom he will devour. There are these things in Scripture were Scripture is clear that these issues are influences we don't necessarily understand all the ways that they influence or where they influence and it's not like we study Scripture would come away with 123 this is the pathway that Satan attacks us. Nevertheless, we cannot understand personhood from a biblical perspective unless we include these influences as well. This is family life today.

Our hosts are Damien Wilson and Bob Lapine to find us when we begin to understand that there is an enemy who wants to destroy our marriage and was actively working toward that end, that can change our perspective on conflict in marriage talk more about that today.

Stay with us to family life to. Thanks for joining us.

You know this was more than a decade ago, the night I got a book sent to me that had a an interesting title. I mean if you think you want a book to be something that people would go. Oh yeah, I want to read this book called when sinners say I do you look I don't know if I want to identify at least not at the start but I picked it up's great book on marriage we call the author Dave Harvey. We said come in and and do some interviews that were great interviews about because the book was great is a long time ago but was a long time where's we were.

This was more than 10 years ago because we started a few years later putting the art of marriage video series together and I said we need to do an interview with Dave Harvey for the art of marriage I went to Adelphia where he was set down with him videotaped interview that wound up in the art of marriage. It was really good to send this great great content that was a part of that. And so Dave's been back here a few times since then to talk about other books he's written. This is the Dave Harvey that through a pitch that Dan Marino headlight Dave is joining us again on family like today. Welcome back.

So good to have you here.

It's great that Dave is not only an author, but he has been a pastor for more than three decades. He and his wife Kim live in South Florida and now more than a decade later he is revisiting the subject of marriage with a new book called I still do and part of this really came of the fact that you have so many people over the years who have been impacted by when sinners say I do that you said the their stuff. I forgot to say or still want to say, a decade later you ruminated on the subject a lot. Jim and I were married over 37 years. I think I began writing this after we were married for 35 years and we were just found ourselves reflecting upon just the last 35 years progress that we've made places that we've plateaued and began thinking about yeah boy, there's these things that I we really wish we've known that we really wish that we could've heard that a read that somewhere, and in those kind of began to pileup and I realize those were a lot of those things were things that I didn't address and when sinners say I do and so this was an opportunity to write a little bit about that and I thought was interesting because the book spoke up in the three sections. There is the starting together than the sticking together and the ending together. So you're really following the trajectory of a marriage but the guy who wrote a book about the impact of sin on the marriage starts off this new book by talking about. It's not all sin. That's the issue. There is a bigger picture than an and I found this really fascinating and helpful as I read this beginning part of your book yeah I think the field we got, the more we came to appreciate the other categories. The Scripture talks about that are so significant in marriage, but don't often get discussed things like weakness, suffering, and in the book, I tell a story about being in a room with the late Dave policy and a policy was the president of CCF and that's a Christian counselor education is on the rights yeah and brilliant Bible teacher and counselor somebody who really understands the human condition. Broadway brought great thought leadership to biblical counseling movements and small group of people sitting in the room and somebody pose the question to him just said so, how should we understand personhood, how should we can you basically map out for us how you understand and articulate the nature of change and so he knew he was just thrilled at the question and exhilarated to build answers or stood up and went to whiteboard with a marker and drew a circle and read and circle the human heart and he began describing how Scripture talks about the human heart, that the human heart is the source of motivations, it's that you know that were were born worshipers. We have longings and desires and that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Jesus said, guard your heart with all vigilance for from it flows the springs of life. And he just said you know that we know that the heart is is really where one starts when you want to think about how Scripture describes who we are and why we are what we are and so I'm sitting there and I'm thinking okay yeah you I've seen that I've been that I've done some counseling training, I was aware of that category. But then he said, but it doesn't end there any drew another circle around that and he said he wrote in that other circle. The embodied soul and he said, but the heart is. You know doesn't stand apart. The heart is not alone that the heart is embodied is that there is a flesh wrapped around the soul and that you can't separate the two as if there isn't a direct relationship because that heart is is physically embodied were in a frame that is is decaying where you were aging. There is depression. There's there's menopause. There's all these physical things that are happening about our life right now and testify what I so you know just things that people have to deal with all the time that are a vital part of bringing understanding to if you're going to have a marriage that that is really unified and we can't just reduce life down the heart. We can't reduce it down motivations because oftentimes it reduces it down to sin you say in our physical frame affects who we are and how we relate to one another, not just the motivations of the heart, but our bodies are part of this whole equation. You mean you take the average parent and you removed two days of sleep from them previously for them and they asked him to do bills to watch for children and there's all kind of fireworks that are to be coming out right but the rational person does not think all we need to correct them will there's issues of sin emerging. Now you that rational person knows that that person need sleep, but the physical part is has a direct effect upon the soul is a direct effect upon what's happening in the heart. So were physically embodied that you know are our souls are directly connected. II have since I was a teenager. I have struggled with like a mild form of depression that I would say you know visits me in unpredictable times and is at times related to circumstances is at other times, unrelated to circumstances. But I have learned that what I eat and how I exercise has a direct effect upon managing that and that part of the soul work that I do includes eating well and exercising.

Even though I do neither very well so it you know it all just comes back around to this idea that there is in this world in the fallen world.

There is a an inseparable bond between the body and the soul, and that we were going to live for him to live with each other in a really understanding way we have to understand not only the heart but that the heart is physically embodied Summit room and David Paulson is drawing a circle is also something okay that's really good. I I haven't really heard it put that way, and then he draws another circle and he says, but that heart and that body are socially embedded, and then he begins to describe how you know we all have social systems. We have families or we don't have families or know there's something that has affected us and influenced us in our upbringing in our past and that that can have a profound and shaping effect on us. It doesn't necessarily determine who we are but it has a profound effect. So you you've had an abusive father or you you were raised in poverty or you or I never said you raised with loving two-parent family where where you were affirmed in all all kind of different ways. Those kinds of things have a profound effect on on who we end up becoming and you forget to live with our spouse again in a in a way that united in the way the truly able to help in a way that knows them.

These are the kind of things that we wade into the wee surface that we talk about it in the process of getting to know one another so you take out a way.

For instance, who has a history of of being sexually abused and and perhaps for her. It's really difficult to negotiate their into their sexual lives will you know husbands not to just sit across from her flip open the first Corinthians 7 and say hey you know give your spouse their conjugal right now it's just there's nothing about that. That makes sense is note there is no love in that obviously there is a way of understanding her experience and importance in understanding her experience that becomes an important part of reaching her an important part of loving her in caring for her and bring the relationship to a place where enjoyable sexuality can be a part of their relationship and yet most people is you and you but they don't think about any of these things for the boy to get married and no I did not have this I guy like her. She loves me and I love Jesus.

I literally walked down the with no idea of the three circles times two so you get complexity going on and you just described my wife. She's been sexually abuse so I was the nave honeymoon or set this years ago. If not, can affect this now like additive get over it happened a long time ago. Why is it affecting you. Now, when I was younger. I think that was very much my you know my approach and my attitude. I think it was as I got older and connected with more people and sat with more couples and then just even just trying to evaluate yourself and your marriage in a healthy way, you begin to realize while know these things have influence and grace is potent enough to help us to move beyond them, but man, only the full would act like they have no influence whatsoever in support of living with each other in a way that is building for the future is building for adorable marriage involves really being able to talk about those things and more portly understand them for many years.

I remember having conversations with Dennis Rainey who was the host of this program and we would run into people who would express what seemed like irrational fear or rage or anger at a level that was not commensurate with what they'd been through something where just emotions were out of proportion to that the facts and Dennis would often in those situations, I'd be describing something or he'd say something and he would often say, you know, everybody's got a context and that phrased this kinda became a mantra for us to recognize that a lot of the acting out that we do in marriage that we see other people do that our spouse does, or people around us.

A lot of that is influenced by the context what you're talking about the social context that they grew up in, which doesn't excuse how they are responding their wages still sinful rage, but it does now give us a framework and an understanding of what's going on and allows us to bring grace to that situation in a different way than if they were just being purposefully sinful. In that moment right yeah yeah were not trying to displace, blame or culpability or go light on sin were were just trying to acknowledge these influences that exert a powerful imprints on who we become. And because I think it makes grace more Mason you know when we only understand it and don't ignore it makes the work of God and in the power of the gospel all the more amazing and who were becoming some of the things where she has transformed us. But those things they don't determine who we are, but they can have an influence over who we are. How do you then. Now, as he sat with couples at this point in your life and your marriage counseling now in comparison to what you used to do. So what kind of things can do to help them. I think that is a pastor and as a husband and as a father I think that for a long time. I felt like my task was to help another person uncover the sin that was in the human heart, and that by uncovering that sin that was going to be the biggest help to them so they could apply the gospel.

It's not as if that is unimportant. Now it's more the pathway that we take in order to get to the human heart, so I'm I'm talking with a guy not long ago who was just acknowledging out a history of fear and has set with different people in and tried to get help and has kind of locked on this idea that because his father was abusive that he has these fears and so I realize that that was a really deeply and entrenched idea that it kind of locked in through counseling and that I in order to love him in order serve him.

I really had to park there and let that breathe a bit and find space for him to be able to express that ask him a lot of questions and so we kind of parked at that socially embedded phase and talked around his upbringing tucked around his father talk to Ron his hit that influence and how those things affected him and as we continued. There he became open to beginning to think about okay what else is going on as we talked a little about you know his physical how I was he doing hanging out as he had a physical lately as he is he omitting medications or anything I should know about and then wheat we opened up the word of God and we we looked at John chapter 12 together where there's this description of fear.

Many of even of the authorities believed in Jesus, but for fear the Pharisees. They didn't confess it because they didn't want to be put out of the synagogue and so we talked about how there is this legitimate fear that comes from the circumstances comes from the environment and is an understandable fear because their reputation would be completely trashed if they identified with Jesus, but the next verse kind of pops the hood and helps the reader see the engine that's driving the fear where it says, for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God and some translations say they love the praise that comes from man, and as we begin to look at the heart we begin to look at what are the longings and and desires and drawings of the heart that are in play here that are causing you to experience some of the fear let's not relate to fear as if it's bottoming things out.

Let's see fear as may be a want or desire. That's masquerading as a fear that we can get beneath the sink. You're saying the pathway to the heart is important for us to be aware of and to acknowledge when we want to address heart issues rather than just diving straight to what are the sin issues that may be present in your life. We may need to spend some time working our way through these circles through the life circumstances through the. The physical issues and and their other week. We haven't covered the full circle yet happily yet so what I'm saying is that is that this helps define the path of care. This helps define the path for helping other people. In other words, they're not just like a heart on a stick. We just approach them and all we see is their heart, we want to recognize them holistically. We want to identify the personhood which was the exercise that Dave policy was getting and using this is visible personhood looks like it has the all of these leases. They each layer affects another layer yes and all of those land that's right using algae early in her book and it's what you're saying right now. I love the picture of the luggage that we bring into marriage for me and I when we do our marriage weekends. Every once while will have a couple stand up like on their wedding day and have bags beside them to make a joke, as this is what you don't see that every couples bring in and you know when you get married you like what is that in the husband's life living with this is been part of my life my life you're getting at. Layers of bags just one sin bag which a lot of us to identify mere centering to go do that's in your say in there is a carry-on that you know there's multiple matters. Yet what's in the bags has changed its broadness when my daughter yeah the chapters brokenness is broader than sin I think is our brokenness has sink that is in addition to our heart motivations and to our physical bodies and the social environment were in Paulison gave you two other layers to consider as a part of personhood right in the next one was mind-boggling because I just did not expect David Paulison of biblical counseling fame go here but he drew the next circle and and wrote down spiritually and battled and began talking about how we struggle not against flesh and blood about how the devil is a roaring lion, seeking whom he will devour and that there are these things in Scripture were Scripture is clear that these issues are influences we don't necessarily understand all the ways that they influence or where they influence and it's not like we study Scripture would come away with 123 this is the pathway that Satan attacks us. Nevertheless, we cannot understand personhood from a biblical perspective unless we include these influences as well and marriage is well at that we can remember marriage get away. We said for years. Your marriage does not take place on automatic balcony.

It takes place on the spiritual battlefield and when we recognize that that's the environment in which our marriage is happening all of a sudden we can see the conflict with different eyes we can see the tension between us and go out.

This is not just the two of us in this there somebody is trying to take our marriage down every day. Yeah. And I think we that that particular category is the one that is were least likely to reference in the West and were more apt to just go to the other ones and talk around those minutes also easy to think my spouse is the devil is that honestly we in couples do that but yet there is a real devil. What you're saying and is that your spouse but there's 1/3 entity that we often don't even acknowledge but it's real yeah I think when we get to heaven and avails fullback working to be astonished at at the extent of the of of some of the ways that the enemy sought to influence us and marvel over the power of God and the power of grace and the potency of the gospel and holding him at bay. What's the last circle the Paulison Groveport well the last circles by far the most glorious and that is that he just wrote in the last circle, the God of Providence.

He just begin to describe how a providential God is encircling all of these things with his good purposes that that he is the God who causes all things to work together for good in a Joseph is this object of a totally dysfunctional family with an enabling father and brothers that sold him into slavery. He lives in exile. As a result of their decisions.

He is unjustly incarcerated. He is oppressed and yet you know you he comes out of the whole thing and he becomes comes into a position of influence, but fast forward to the end of his story and it's what you meant it for evil but God meant it for good.

And so there is this sense, where there is a sovereign not to suffer but the providence of God, the goodness of God in his sovereignty and circles all these things and work through all these things so that his purposes are worked out for our good and godliness is created even through the worst circumstances I got to this chapter, and you can the rest of the book as a bonus and and not an inconsequential bonuses will hear as we continue our conversation, but the books work just this chapter I remember reading this the first time and thinking how helpful for a couple to be able to go. The conflict were dealing with that. The lack of oneness in our marriage.

There are other factors, not just my sinful heart which is real and at work here, but my background is a part of this that social construct.

I grew up in my physical body. How much rest I got there.

Whether I'm cranky for some other reason, the spiritual warfare that's going on around me, and in our marriage and then it may be the God for providential purposes as it works now all of a sudden I go there if there's more pleasure than just my wife said something cranky and she needs to be confronted about that and that reshapes the way we think about how we interact with one another and about how we serve one another in marriage. I think that's really important because it takes the blame off because so often when dating or straddling her kids were little hungry tired and think that I would do is I would think what's wrong and my finger would go directly to my husband that was never me and I think it's good to have those things in mind, there is much more going on than just tending. It felt tender prey through those categories in the think about those categories and say what where do I need to pour grace on this because there are places you may need to pour grace, a conflict and that doesn't mean you minimize or you dismiss what are sinful patterns or tendencies, but now all of a sudden you see them in a different context. And when I picked up your book Dave. I still do and I read the first chapter I thought to myself this is gonna be a different marriage book then any marriage book I've read in a long time and it it is the second thing I thought is this chapter right here is worth the price of the book. What we been talking about today. This is a paradigm shift for a lot of couples and a healthy paradigm shift.

Dave's book is called. I still do and we got copies of the book available in our family life to the resource center. We can go to get your copy or you can call one 800 FL today again Dave Harvey's book is called. I still do growing closer and stronger to life's defining moments order the book from us or call 1-800-358-6329 to order at one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today. I think all of a sudden look back on the spring of 2020 is a defining moment for our marriages for our families for our nation.

This is one of those seasons where were having to come back to what is most important.

That's why we've seen so many people coming back to the family coming back to the home is that the most important thing I'm guessing you have had more contact with extended family members adult children you're talking well regularly with one another in your family then maybe have done a long time in that way the pandemic we been living through has been a good thing for us.

God has been at work in the midst of this season, and we been at work here to family life commitment in every season is to provide you with practical biblical help and hope for your marriage and your family. We want to see marriages and families thrive and we want to make sure that marriages and families are ready for seasons like we're living through that were building our homes stronger in season and out of season.

We appreciate so much.

Those of you who are able to stand with us and to support the ongoing work of family life to day during challenging times. All of us have had to re-examine priorities. We understand that and were doing that here at family life and making adjustments as a result of that, those of you who are able to continue to support this ministry on an ongoing basis. Just know that you are helping tens of thousands of marriages and families. Every time you make an investment in this ministry and were grateful for the partnership we have with you. You can donate to support family life to day by going or you can call one 800 FL today to donate. We are grateful for your prayers for us and were grateful for every donation that is made during this challenging season.

Thank you and we hope to be back with us again tomorrow to talk about seasons of suffering a marriage and family, and how God is at work in the midst of those seasons. Dave Harvey will be with us again. We hope you can be with us as well engineered today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast connection team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob will see you back next time for another edition. Family life today.

Family life to date is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. A clue ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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