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Seeing The Truth in Temptations

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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December 18, 2020 1:00 am

Seeing The Truth in Temptations

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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December 18, 2020 1:00 am

Sexual temptation is everywhere! As believers, what do we do? Join hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on FamilyLife Today as they talk with author, Carolyn Weber, about seeing the battle for purity with new eyes.

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As a university student at Oxford, Carolyn Weber wasn't really spending a lot of time thinking carefully about many of her life choices.

She says she was just kind of going along with the cultural flow.

I wasn't really really promiscuous and I wasn't dating all over the place but I just started stream and many things in the student site and talk with now.So many of the same things to me, Christian and non-Christian secular campus or Christian campus. You know I had this one night stand right had this relationship is on a part in. They identify this longing, but there's just not really anything to slotted into like Pascal said, I can't shake the way that we all have. This is family life today hosts are Damien Wilson and Bob Lapine. You can find us online. The family life will talk today with Carolyn Weber about belongings that Jesus came to satisfy stay with us and welcome to family life today fix for joining us. I wonder if other husbands or wives have felt as I have felt on occasion.

Maybe you felt this way above you, I will. I wonder if folks have ever felt like in the midst of marital conflict.

Somehow you are no longer obligated to be faithful to your spouse and I just wonder how the enemy uses conflict in our lives and our marriage is you want us to actually pretty deployed what what I've said is had that impulse and I have to think that's an impulse that is one of those whispers that we hear in our ear from the enemy how he uses conflict to try to sow seeds of the married I think the secret is identifying the whisper of the enemy because we don't really think that the reason I bring this up is what we got a friend who is joining us on family life today Carolyn Weber Carolyn, welcome back. Thank you again for having me think and please don't ask me a question about that question is because were talking this week about a book that you've written called sex and the city of God, and you were pretty transparent. This is a memoir where you're talking about your views on relationships and on sexuality how you viewed it before you came to Christ how that shifted after you came to Christ and how that has influenced your marriage relationship. You talk a lot about your dad. In this book, I'm about your relationship with him, but you tell a story here about a conflict in your marriage a time when you and Kent had had an argument and you found yourself separated from him not not legally separate. You were off for a few days to do some writing but there was a flash of temptation that came at you in that moment wasn't there absolutely anything about thought in our thoughts are where sentence start the free will of our thoughts and isolate Paradise Lost by John Milton because he actually personifies thoughts is coming out of the head of Satan becoming Satan. In that sense and I marriage is so intimate and it's the most vulnerable places the person that we we love so dearly. And what they think of us is so important to us that it cuts to the bone.

Even if we don't want to admit that and I think there is this tit-for-tat that can happen are there is this way in which we get caught and you know whatever it is who's doing more housework. Or, you know you're doing this all do not there's this way in which the pain is really really wrong when your hurts and it cuts and it should cut deeply mean you are meant to be one and it should hurt when not being severed again.

Why I did not grow up with fellowship and I think fellowship is so important.

I was really hesitant and wary, like CS Lewis and I like church but I don't like going to church and people at church now and my life is really changed by fellowship by realizing that my husband can't be everything to me and I can't be everything to him. That is God's job. Only God can do that but also that my fellowship with other believers can sustain me and not walk I can look to that of Pilgrim's progress by John Bunyan, he doesn't even go with his wife on his journey And she is on your own journey so you're with, but it's also individual. It's this kind of interesting paradox and like faith always says those places again while in Jesus people why I love sitting with all the with you guys to do is that you know you can go deep, and you can go shallow with people in the Lord, you can talk about the things that really matter in the things that are really hurtful or painful or difficult and you can also laugh about the lighthearted things in the joy and kind of safety with anyone you know you can be deeper somebody in an elevator who knows Christ in a few minutes. Then you can be with someone you know your life. Tell our listeners the story of what happened. I don't even remember what the source of the conflict was but tell them about this time when you were at the cabin at the lake.

Can you and Kent had not been getting long will fellowship with because I was feeling very lonely in my marriage and I'm sure Kent would say the same thing. We all do at times feel lonely relationship and even with our relationship with God.

We can feel that way and consolation and desolation and I think it was a combination press personally probably sleep deprivation. You know when you've had four children under 6 kn or thing everybody goes through life.

There's highs and lows in every marriage, and I think that there's angles of all different types. I've been through a serious illness suite had a very difficult situation in which our family was actually facing a crime that it happens and there was some really dark dark stuff that we were under pressure for this happens in different ways, all of us and we really we should be coming closer together and seeking each other, even more so as that kind of mini covenant. A lot of times we push apart because of anger because of fear. And I really learned that under anger is always grief. And we have a tendency sometimes to dismiss our emotions, but emotions are information as well and I think when you're in a lot of pain, especially in relationship it's hard to have a conversation and it's hard to share those emotions and it's hard to really practice holy listening. We want to do a lot of talking. We want to do a lot of yelling. We want to do a lot of judging you wanted a lot of holy listening as I was at a place where I just actually stepped away to do some work, but also just some quiet you know a lot of things can happen in that space when were really really vulnerable again it goes back to the Garden of Eden right where most likely to be attacked when we are alone and so there's a lot to be said even out of obedience of surrounding yourself with others in Christ releasing in touch with them or in prayer with them or whatever. At times when you feel threadbare and so I was in a situation where where temptation was particularly tempting because I wanted connection and relationship more than anything, but again, like any other temptation. It's just an illusion you found yourself just a short distance from where your ex-fianc might have been staying. You saw his pickup truck outside the home you're away on your own and the thought pops in your mind.

Maybe I'll go knock on the door and just say hi yes and that old not right. Nothing serious, so not really looking for anything I just filled grass is always greener. You know, I might just go say hello or see what what could have been her say hi or whatever else and those kind of thoughts come from a place of really not being not only not being obedient but not being held in the faith by others when you can't do it or you feel like you're well is low and so I share to how really and the Holy Spirit Way others do come to your aid. In that sense, especially if you can always turn to prayer. Prayer through we sometimes think of sins as having various ratings or atrocities and their all sin. And I think it doesn't always have to be where something is really really in a horrible state for it to be where it's corroding you, you know water wears down rock as well and sometimes just that sort of discontent are that way of not wanting to turn to God to fulfill those needs can start to really where you live or relationship and so I guess will metaphoric you know, go knock and see what how I can fill that need.

But it was the wrong kind of knocking and what kept you from knocking on the door to things I would say grace is a big one. I think we have no idea the warfare done on our behalf right. We have no idea the constant warfare.

We just take it for granted how the Angels on the head of a pin for us and I also think that again. I had sisters in Christ that I've always been amazed at their connection with me on their golden sort of chord with me and Jesus people have a weird way of doing that and actually what I love about Jesus.

People who used to freak me out before I was a believer, but now is there never surprised when I text you know what this was exactly what I needed right now just thinking of you are in my heart you know I was praying for you rerun my heart or whatever and we have a surprise in this non-surprise. You know, which I think is also beautiful among Christians. If you tell it is not a Christian again from the temp oral city, they think you're off your rocker. You tell someone from the eternal city and they see the whole picture. They feel that buzz and they get that connection, and so I think it was those two things and then really a recognition of the fact that God loves my husband as much as he loves me and that we've been put together for reason and that it really is a privilege to be with him and that the things I'm dealing with in my own heart actually really nothing to do with him. There between me and God. I think that's really important when you just talked about your fellowship friends how there with you.

Praying for you, knowing you and when Dave and I were first married. Think we'd only been married two or three years. We are in seminary and was Dave's third year of seminary. I didn't have as many classes and I was working at a local workout club and getting to know a lot of people that didn't go to church and getting to know this one guy always came to my class and I called Dave because we only had one car I asked him to pick me up that he wouldn't answer and I was waiting and waiting and this guy that was always in the class came up to me to have you here at home is like, you know that little bit of that warning, yelling off enough. That's good and we were pretty new in our figuring out our boundaries with one another in marriage, and I thought well you know what harm cannot do so. We got to the parking lot and he has a motorcycle, and it's not a car and then I'm like oh, should I get on his motorcycle and you have this battle going on like one side is saying some of these girls were there though that were worked at the club. That's cool. You should get on and I had this other thought like this could be dangerous. And maybe I shouldn't do this and I get on anyway because these other girls are like, who cares just getting on a motorcycle is not like you're going on a date.

So we go to my house, but he says hey I need to stop and get something to eat on the way and he stops at this little outdoor caf. Hey, let's just stop and get something to eat and so I'm sitting there and I'm starting to sweat like if Dave did this I would kill thinking what should I do should I will call me know they were in cell phones then. But inside I had this battle going on because I really didn't want to just sit and enjoy this time and I was thinking the same thing I had girlfriends that I was thinking about them thinking they're always praying for me. I need to tell them about this think I told you about it right away Dave because I was I felt so guilty. The culture, saying, who cares, it's no big deal. Nothing's going to happen, but I'm always so cognizant of the spiritual battle and that slippery slope of going too far in giving Satan a foothold. I think that's going on lot in our culture. They think it's no big deal link with God.

He saying don't put yourself in situations that could lead you and be content you absolutely situation that could be disastrous for your marriage and it is a big deal because it's protecting your own heart. You might not even know everything that you struggled with their but you know your own heart before God.

I think you are one of my favorite authors has said every time a person is tempted.

There's a lot at stake and I don't think we often think there's a lot at stake and he says your faith is at stake your family and your future and you know that's really true. Sometimes in you. You talk about this in the book. It's like what's God's perspective on love, sex and relationships. There is a lot at stake and you know I'll see her quickly, but I had a knock on my door. Talk about the knock when Ian and I were dating, brand-new Christians, the first I've ever been in a God centered, Jesus foundation relationship right in my old girlfriend knocks on my house we had dated for four years. I'm going to marry her. She's the one long story short, broke up because of me finding Christ in her not similar to your story Carolyn. And so I'm I leave her and move on. And this is six or seven months later, she knocks on my door. Out of nowhere and says I made the biggest mistake of my life. I literally caught her with another guy.

I want you back and I'm a brand-new person. Now I'm just looking out at the front door. She's like can we talk, and I'm thinking though but here here's what's amazing to get in the car and I drive with her and it's really a shame Bob because we end up at the football stadium where I played college football and just pulled in the parking lot. No one there and were talking and she's basically trying to convince me we should get back together. I'm falling in love with and our relationships about Christ. I'm on an amazing journey. My faith is never been stronger.

A lot of it because of the relationship I had with Dan and so I look at her and I have this this choice on thinking you still love her. Maybe it is I'm looking at her and again I have no thought of my head that the stakes are high right now.

No thought of that, your family, your future your Faith is that sick. None of those in my mind.

All I knew was I have a choice to make that I can take you to that parking spot because it was a significant moment when I go you know what were done. I'm a new person in Christ. I have a new future. I have a whole new purpose in my life and I don't know if only to marry in or not but she is going where I'm going and I'm gonna keep pursuing that and I'm sorry to say this but were done. I don't know if I ever talk to you again.

The rest of our life and I rumored my house and she got in her car and drove one of never talk through the rest my life. But here's the interesting thing three or four years ago. I'm back at the University for an alumni football team golf outing, of all things, and my son is with me. My youngest son and I sales go to stadium because he's playing college football, you play the stadium where I played as we pulled in the parking lot. What hits me. The memory there's the parking spot and I'm whole up with Cody and I tell them the story and now when he's preaching at my church. He goes, my dad told me the story that would've changed everything. If you decision, I thought, well, your faith, your family, your future really are at stake, and Carolyn, your whole life is what it is now because of this choice you made in that not right, and I'm just thinking the listeners listen right now. Just don't underestimate this.

I know you're being tempted.

We all are and there's moments that are so significant.

Don't forget, it's that critical. You make the right to anything but you don't know who I'm married to know when I'm not getting in my marriage that's probably true that we could all say that in some respects but you don't know what God has in store for you. There's always hope for us in our relationship with him absolutely and our bodies are not our own and other people's bodies.

We have to be respectful of those in our thinking of your story debris not only protecting your heart but also the heart of that former girlfriend you never know what way, shape or form. It might speak to you, and I remember that really spoke to me when I first met Kent because he didn't make a pass at me didn't make a move on me and whatever not because he will laugh and joke he wasn't holier than that, but you know it really spoke to me and not in some sort of cheesy.

You know, talk of purity and everything else that actually in this way of respect for the other person as well. You know, if you just got to the parking lot with her. Yes, that would've changed all of your future decisions and half and you and your relationship with your children. Everything else, but also you don't know the effect on her as well.

It might've really dismantled her opportunity to really understand and and recognize an example the faith or the respect towards her own spirit and body as well so we are in relationship with others. Carolyn, there's one other story you told the book that I just have to have you comment on because as I was Reading it I was thinking this sounds like a Nicholas Sparks book.

You know it's the kiss I read what you describe it. I have never heard a kiss on like this. Must. Most be the most amazing kiss history of the world.

So this is the first time Kim just you and it was a while after you wished you had kissed you like you'd been wanting to kiss you for a while forever. You don't even say his name.

In most of the TDH tell us about that which glorifies him tall dark of him to all my friends call them at Oxford to that theology guy somewhere his lips warm. I mean, what happened I will tell you it just takes one. And it is worth the way, what was the setting where did the kiss happen and were you instantly transform well. God gives us certain memories in your marriage to keep going at times right so take this and remember me for good reason, right yeah it was in my college and my college when I was a Dean and I had invited him for guest night dinner and it was a very beautiful black tie affair and at that point we had known each other for a long time, and neither of us were seeing anybody it was that something we had this long-standing deep friendship and it had grown a little more serious were he visited a few more times and yeah we knew it was getting serious and we knew that we were both can a Christian's life at this time were actually I knew he was something special.

Years before, but I was really gifted with a time in which to grow in my own faith and we were actually physically separated for quite some time and I never thought I would see him again picked up it to get serious fast and then he kissed me after that. Yes night dinner and it was incredible. He shows up with the tuxedo on the roses for you and you have the dinner and then worry about walking after dinner. Is that what was know we had gone back upstairs in the college and I had this beautiful office and set of rooms upstairs in a turret which you can only have a place like Oxford is crazy over the top your bedroom and office that looks like and he kiss me up there is very princess like it was literally the top of a turret. God is such a selloff because you know I kick against all that stuff forever, but it was really very fairytale like even in terms of the setting and I really admired that he didn't toy with me or take advantage of me when I was searching for the faith and asking questions, and it broken up and it been in a very emotional vulnerable position that he had really waited until he was very very sure because he said he knew that there would be a responsibility and tell with at least in good faith, right and and he remembered his father, always saying to him you are you going to have the cetaceans and you are dying. That's really really normal, but really think of the girls heart to really think of how you are respecting her in the situation.

I believe that with my whole heart I mean I think that we are all made in the reflection of God and and we have to respect that innate dignity and and one of those ways is not to be thinking about you know hey I want to kiss this woman think about what's effective. You do what what are the consequences if you do for her as well and he had really carefully thought that out and it was wow it was good clarity.

This is so much of what's at the heart of your book is the idea that when we think about relationships and when we think about sexuality and when we think about how were interacting with others. We can't just be thinking about what am I getting out of this or what's my desire or how how do I benefit from this, but we really have to care for the other people were relating to and have their best interest at heart in order to be doing what Jesus was calling us to do the things that struck me as I read your book and by the way, I couldn't put it down when I started reading from page 1 I turned in and said oh my goodness you read this book. It's just so telling so beautifully written to. I want to read paragraph, but I like to do that. But here here's what really struck me and I don't even know if this was part of your goal in the book, but I was really struck by how beautiful he can't treated you as you dated, even what you describe. The kiss was so magnificent because of the way you were treated by him as a precious jewel valued and cared for your heart. Just as a husband now and hope every man it would read it would be challenged to think am I treating my bride married one year married 40 like that because that's the love of God, he you are precious. I'm guessing you still are and I know marriage is hard to get kids and all that but your precious and remodeled for us the love of God, and I'm sure you did back as well, but I really caught that as a man reading the book like I want to treat in that way after 40 years she should not feel any less than she did when we were engaged in that. That was such a beautiful picture of the heart and love of God will thank you for saying that because I did write it from a very deep place over a long period of time and I didn't mean for the title to be salacious that all you write a book with the respect that I never did test that is literature professor and homeschooling long like what I want to tell my own children and that's exactly not thinking about what to tell my sons thinking about my daughter and high school are not sending them home with any relational information with any sense of how you treating somebody because you believe there really believe that they are precious and also looking at really how incredibly beautiful marriage is is this many confident it will get battle weary. We all get tired and you know the world comes out us and were always so busy and made a million needs of parents and families generations to caring for the elderly and for our children.

So many things that can come out essence on the temptations and issues, but really working to protect that precious is so important that sort of sacred space between the two of you is really really important and I would say that that's really what spoke to me. That also really it really spoke to my faith and I think were also there to bolster each other's faith in marriage and help each other on our journey were not responsible for each other that way. Ultimately that's of God, but that authenticity of seeing someone try to model that out and try to live that in the decisions might always not always be right or perfect.

And even when there's tension or disagreement.

There's a willingness you known to have a conversation. There's a willingness to remember that that person is precious is is everything Carolyn thank you for the book. Thanks for the conversation. Tell Kent we said hi. I hope his kiss today is just is not as well. We have a lot more viewers now in terms of the kid but you know I'll tell them that I will go for it is recommended to get a copy of the book been talking about. It's Carolyn Weber's book 6 of the city of God, a memoir of love and longing. We got our family life to the resource Center you can order it from us on why the family life or you can call one 800 FL today to get a copy. Again, the title of the book is sex and the city of God by Carolyn Weber order among the family life or call one 800 FL today to request your copy of Carolyn's book. Now we have got the personal family life Weber Robbins was joining us in the studio today to talk a little bit about the impact this ministry is having in the lives of so many people we are father write to us recently and he shared your broadcasts are a blessing to my life, first as a follower of Jesus. But secondly, now that I'm 36 I don't have the wisdom of the training to disciple my kids and in the past. This truth own to my family and you guys are equipping me with those biblical principles so that our kids don't wither when they are sent out into the world, but they know how to thrive. It is so encouraging to get feedback like that and know we are quipping and impacting a father but also his kids, as were here at the end of this very unprecedented crazy year. I invite you, and may also say I challenge you to join with us in our mission to reach every home. God is impacting and equipping our children and our children's children and leaving a lasting legacy for the kingdom. Would you financially partner with us to advance the kingdom of God and equip marriages and families all across the world.

Your gifts are making a kingdom difference and we got some exciting news this week as well. We've had an increase in the matching gift amount that is available in our matching gift fund. What was a $2 million matching gift fund is now $82.7 million matching gift fund. So the need is more urgent for family life today listers.

We need you to give so we can take full advantage of this increased matching gift opportunity.

When you give would like to send you a couple thank you gifts will send you a copy of my book.

Love, like you mean it and will send you a flash drive that includes more than 100 of the best family life today programs from the last 28 years.

You can give your gift or you can call one 800 FL today to donate. Thanks in advance for whatever you're able to do. We appreciate you and we hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend.

However, your church is meeting and I hope you can join us back on Monday morning to talk about the challenges blended families face during the holiday season one deal family life blended will join us along with some special guests to have a conversation. Hope you can join us as well. Think our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson on bumping you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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