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January 4, 2021 1:00 am
Dave and Ann Wilson are very transparent about the early challenges in their marriage. Today, they tell the remarkable God-orchestrated story of how they started dating and how they got engaged.
Show Notes and Resources
Dave and Ann Wilson's Vertical Marriage Study. https://www.familylife.com/verticalmarriagestudy/
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As a teenager under new Christian and Baron realized her relationship with her boyfriend was something that was off there.
I'm always pushing him like he should drink the answer will we should pray about this but I always felt like I'm pulling him along and we over the years have seen so many couples do that so many dating couples.
Well, I think that he'll start growing. I think you will become this guy instead of already getting somebody that is on fire. This is family like today hosts are David and Wilson by Bob Lapine. Some on the family like today.com will hear today about how God was guiding and directing and Baron and Dave Wilson's lives while they were still teenagers how he brought them together and welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us. Welcome to 2021 are good to be a good leader for 2020. Behind us, and we've had people who have been regularly coming up to me come up you guys and send. So the weekend to remember yeah are are we doing those again the answer is yeah yeah the answer is does anybody really know what anybody's doing this year but yet we have plans this spring for about a dozen weekend. Remember, getaways and and they're gonna be in cities across the country in socially distanced settings and ballrooms, which means that you may be in a ballroom that can hold a thousand people, and there may be a couple hundred of you in the ballroom right which also means these dozen events are probably a sellout quickly yeah yeah like right away. So if this is something that you go.
This is a priority for us in the spring of 2008.
So tonight or tomorrow doing a tear like we've been locked down and I think some of us are itching to get out and marriages need this help you and will talk more this spring about marriage maintenance. But the weekend to remember you shared with us before party your story from before you were married three weeks before you're married, you want up to we can remember that two weeks to the day.
This was something that something was discipling you had said you should do that. I was a senior in college and was a freshman and I'm not recommending by the way that seniors married freshman's but that's where we were and I was involved in crew ministry on our campus and elsewhere athletes in action. She a Kentucky me of the illustrious Harvard of the Midwest Ball State University. When you know or going to. They just said if you're going to get married. It was like mandatory. You have to go down to the we can remember.
They say I said I was good advice. He said they teach God's game plan for marriage and we had no idea what would've asked S hey why do you think God created marriage. We would've looked at each other dumbfounded and thought to make us happy to do so we can have legitimate sex that I think a lot of us have this shallow, superficial understanding of marriage, so you get the car you drive to Chicago for the we can remember.
Yes, you know a lot about us. But I'm not. He's heard it heard the story is 41 years ago we didn't stay in a hotel.
We just stated his sister's house, since even look as I what he is doing up here going up pretty married thing is like 100 married couples there. I mean there were a thousand people in the ballroom. It was a big one in probably 30, 40 or 50 of us were engaged in pre-marriage that went that way. Here's what we thought Bob. We don't really eat this email.
This is nice to hear about work and be anything great marriage that we thought we love each other we love Jesus were going in the ministry marriage really for us will be very part of that was because of the way we started dating and the way we Matt we just thought this will be a supernatural marriage and no one else will have as good of a marriage. As we well when Mary and I got engaged. I think we had the thought that we are two people who love Jesus therefore marriages go to work. Yes, marriage is hard for people who don't love Jesus marriage is easy for people who do love Jesus.
What takes about five minutes of marriage before you go okay so that was exactly right. And yet we do have that kind of na´vetÚ and then we get the wake-up call about this is harder than we realized exactly we never saw I never saw a single blemish in the long dating relationship.
We had six months to nine months total.
We had never spent more than five days together total in the same town. Yes, because we are different colleges. We started dating in the summer.
Dave went off to college pretty early because of football so we didn't know each other very well and we both were coming from this point of being fairly new and I walks with God and I can remember when I first saw Dave and someone told me he became a Christian as I was flowing locks of hair.
Slow motion as a guy was walking through RGN high school gym at Christmas.
Getting ready to have Christmas break site going in my car and all the girls were fluttering about Wilson's in the can, playing basketball, because everybody knew Dave Wilson he was a junior in college and they were all scattered and not knowing what to do because they are so excited to see Dave never heard the start and I will never tell you this because it would make your head and so I walk through the gym kind of ignoring him and someone came up to me and they said that he became a Christian and I was very new in my faith but I was really excited about my faith. And so I walked straight over to Dave and my brothers were friends with him and I went up to him and said you so you became a Christian gave your life to Jesus he sees. Nice to remember this conversation didn't say you she goes yeah like gear that she just looks right, and she don't say hiring things like your Christian yeah right that I go yeah I actually just became a Christian I took that can't be true. Now your wellhead radii wasn't that that little had a really bad reputation with alcohol with girls and so I had a hard time believing that.
But that night I was sitting in her high school gym watching a basketball game.
Her boyfriend was playing and I happen to be sitting beside a guy that Dave knew who was a classmate and I was sharing the gospel like I was a Christian that had never given my life to Jesus and this is how he's changed-they were sitting right in front of me and I patted him on the shoulder telling what happened to you. So all night during this ballgame.
She was sharing the gospel right behind me and inviting me into this conversation. This was one of my best friend's younger brother and she was sharing with Scott and I would turn around and basically share my testimony and add some things. All I know is a member get in the car that night and driving home and thinking. I've never met a young woman on fire for Jesus like that and I was like what I was in a long-term relationship with a girl that I figured in about a year year and 1/2 we would get married that we've been dating since my junior in high school, now a junior college and so I it struck me that night. You know like love and fairness she's gone for cheese on fire and I thought the same thing about Dave. I thought all this is for real. Like this guy is serious about his faith, and I also thought I wish my boyfriend was like that and then I thought what would it be like to be married to date someone who was really passionate about their walk with God and then the kind of forgot about that that was what was attractive about him dance exactly and that was big giving to be attractive for you about a him or someone like you and you just were attracted to someone who had the kind about yeah I been. It wasn't as much in as much is that woman on fire.
I don't think I've ever seen anything like that and you know because of that and was Christmas break for me.
I go back to college and my girlfriend was at a different university so the next weekend I'm driving to go see her which I did almost every weekend and it hit me. While when were together.
Jesus is not even in the in the equation. You know I'm trying to walk with God at my campus when I get with her. I go right back into where I know Jesus and want me to live 55 spend the night at her place were sexually active and I'm trying to grow on my walk and not live in and she's and I'm not blaming her but she's pull me a different way, and I'd seen what it could be like again. Just one evening watching and share Christ. But that mark me a member a never forgotten that me to because I realized when I was with this boyfriend. I thought I'm always pushing him like he should drink the answer. Oh, we should pray about this but I always felt like I'm pulling him along and we over the years have seen so many couples do that so many dating couples. Well, I think. I think that he'll start growing or I think he'll become this guy instead of already getting somebody that is on fire for Jesus died even actually started that in my mind after seeing and knowing I'm never going to date her thinking well went after I get married I'll get my girlfriend where I am, spiritually, and you know now, after 40 years of marriage. How many times and we've heard very couple say that's what I thought too. And it doesn't always go that way I quoted this for years but I heard Tommy Nelson on family life today pastor from Denton, Texas. He said I will say to single people if if you are single, your job is to run as hard and as fast toward Jesus. As you can.
He said if while you're running in the corner of your eye. You see somebody running in the same direction at the same speed. Take a second look that your dating philosophy. That's how you do this and that struck me because a lot of people say look for another Christian. Yeah, there's a difference between looking for a Christian and somebody who's running at your speed in your direction, because if you're on fire for Jesus. In somebody else's lukewarm for Jesus that we have blaming the guy laying on the track now. We got the unequally yoked situation where you're pulling hard and they don't they're just dragging their heels and you just spinning in circles going. Why are you running self.
And that relationship is gonna be frustrating and draining and you can't think okay will will try this and it'll get better and there's everything that I realize and I've now spoken and try to encourage singles to listen to. This is usually the lukewarm believer or the nonbeliever pulls the believers back where they are, rather than the other way a member here in Chuck's window decades ago. Talk about a white glove and mud and he says you know mom gets on the glove but glove didn't get on the mud. It is in a gloving mud.
It's a muddy glove. You know that it's like wow that's what I was trying to do so after that Christmas break. I member trying to pull my girlfriend where I was and she could pull me back in again.
I'm not blaming her. I chose to go lukewarm and I'll never forget going to see your three or four months later, sort of surprising her at your university's newest common bus will succumb a couple hours later and I had her key to her room and I jump in bed and she's with another guy and it broke my heart. I member look at him to marry this girl even though now I'm thinking I should've never even think I was going to marry her, and when I saw that it was like all those things I thought I might've been seen was there it is that it is. Yes, people even told me you don't really know she that's who she is.
I member just sort of yelling at her and they looked at me and I just slammed the door and I ran to my car and I started driving 30 miles from her university to my hometown and cried the whole way. I was devastated.
Like why did I just see what is my life. What is happening in America got to the back door of our house walked in. I have the greatest single mom. She loved me to death. She's a sweetheart, she's with the Lord now, but she's a member. She looks him and him and sobbing. She's like are you okay Mike.
I can't talk you right now I need to go to my room. I member I walk straight back back room, shut the doors as my childhood bedroom got right on my knees and Bob and Dona right there and then I said okay Jesus, I'm all in.
I've been trying to control my life. I was sort of hold on the football and I just blown out my knee and I didn't know if I play again. Well, that went real well for me and I was like that one, and I held under this release of a girl one willing to turn it over and do it God's way and right then and there I got my knees and said okay got. Obviously my plan is not a great one years is better I choose you.
I put you on the throne of my life.
I'm going to do and go and be anything you want me to be. I don't know what that is but I'm completely all in.
And here's the crazy thing I get done with that prayer and I know at this moment.
I have to grow spiritually and I've been living in this town.
I don't even have a church. All I know is there's a woman, a man baron who's on fire and so I say God bump me into her because I don't want to date her, but she's got a church and she's got a fire and that's kind of fire I want. I think she can help me you had never in the back your mom thought she's kinda cute. I me. I thought she was extremely cute. I was not attracted the dater I'm I mean people here this and then again a look at you.
You married or she's gorgeous that was.
I think my I think my I think my heart was pure Bob okay I really minute, let me ask you okay from a bleacher conversation. Yeah, this is Dave Wilson would been the star of the football team at the high school. He's back in these two years older, and all the girls like take Wilson's in the Township were you looking at him and I thought he may be super arrogant that he so hot I felt yeah I was attracted but I didn't think I would ever date him or marry him or think about that. I thought it was good to get married to somebody else and honestly I didn't know him well enough and so I didn't have any intention of dating but here's the thing. So the same night that David is on his knees praying I'm working a night shift at Whirlpool the factory shooting screws into dishwasher doors on an assembly. Her dad was a whirlpool employee yeah and it was a great job for the summer, making lots of money, but it's this monotonous job are you shooting the screws and I remember praying this whole time. I can play my delete be in college next year. If you like I'm dating this guy is going nowhere and I should be doing things that I'm doing. They can feel like that's pulling me back. I want to grow and I said this panic had Jesus I'm done playing this game I'm to be all and making I give you my life. Everything my future my boyfriend. I will go anywhere you call me I will do anything you want me to do. I will say whatever you want me to say God because I'm years I am all yours.
From this day forward. And then I was done praying that at the end of my prayer because I was new in my faith, my sister led me to Jesus.
I didn't really have anyone discipling me I was growing on my own, going to church, but the end of the prayer. I thought Dave Wilson's home this summer and so at the end of my pain like Lord I don't know what's going on. Dave Wilson maybe he's married. At this point, but if you want me to bump into him and he could help me travel help me to just somehow bump into him. Amen.
So this sounds like a thing like all later said it sounds like neither one of us had the right motivations that I tell anything. My motivation was pure in the next morning I get up on course. I don't know she prayed that cross the other side of town.
I get up and I pick up my buddy Greg who is my high school kicker and we have a painting business and so were going to paint my grandma's house and you're not late to your grandma's house, rights, and so were driving over there and I tell Greg Hesse do I surrender my life to Jesus yesterday was what it dullness and I told my prayer literally walked to the whole thing. I even said at the NAV prayed to bump into him.
Baron, and a member he goes supposed to pray for yourself. I go I know you're still spray Greg but that's what I pray you you that's weird were driving my grandma's and were gone by the high school just on the way and he goes hey, let's stop in real quick and see Coach Jones or high school football coach I will know dude we we can get my grandma split that we can't be late. Now, males don't know we can't and I just said no were not. He reaches over and flips the steering wheel as I'm driving just pushes it might do okay is okay will run at her for five minutes run and see how it goes. Jones were walking out I'm talking to co-shows grades walking on front of me past the tennis courts and Greg Mr. nuts was pray for yourself goes over Mother Goose good used it to Drew Perdue I go, what you look at Turner's and plan tennis with her mom, which on the tennis court, as were walking I was in a tennis tournament that morning and I had played horribly and so we were driving home and I said oh mom I need to get my stroke back. Let's just stop at the high school court so we can hit a little bit and I can get my confidence back.
So were hitting and all of a sudden Dave Wilson comes up to the fence and says hey what do we play the truth is I said there she was with her back to me and I was so afraid to say that Greg hits me and goes, do not answer your prayer.
My K when we go to put Dennis. Long story short. Next morning we played tennis tennis whenever there we sat and talked about Jesus a member asking her what he would do with your life. She said them will follow Jesus, serve Jesus I believe is got a call my life American and current going to never talk to an 18-year-old girl who knew what she wanted with her life.
It didn't matter if I was part of it or not, we started on a dating relationship unlike any dating relationship either on notice of ever been a part of because Christ was never the center. It was the first time as you said earlier Bob. She springing on the track on spring on the track and Jesus was the center, sent was this perfect dating relationship, but it is it was the way God has designed dating and engagement of the it's like he's the beginning we pray to the beginning. We prayed at the end we kept ourselves sexually pure week. It was just a totally different perspective and then we went to the family.
If we can remember we heard of all the things we heard. Here's God's plan for your marriage. It's bigger than you. He was to reveal to the world who he is through marriage. So we knew we were entering a partnership to questions I got ask you. The first is when your dad who knew Dave Wilson because he coached him as a baseball player knew his reputation knew his past when he heard you're spending time with Dave Wilson would be say to you, he said, you are no longer going to see Dave Wilson I from he barred me from last not allow bad taste different, I guess I yeah I don't really care if you think it's different.
I know his reputation and you are not going to date him so but you ignored that you snuck out. Would you do. My dad was so busy doing other things and I knew that I could convince him that we were praying about it really praying like Lord I pray that you show my dad in my high school football coach just happened to speak with my dad in the high school football coach said here that evening Dave are hanging out and I did let that happen. And the coach said why wouldn't you.
He's one of the nicest guys I know so my dad said okay softened up. Yeah I feel like that was God jump ahead a little bit. You're now 19 the freshman in college and you say Dave and I want to get married was your dad like okay cool, actually he was because my brother was married at 20, my sister was married at 19.
My other brother was 21 and so we all got married young and by that point she really saw something different in us and he really trusted day. It was pretty cool. Her dad who wasn't a believer at the time really saw. He told us there is something in your relationship. I've never seen number one time after first year marriage. He came home and we were there in this this captures what he'd seen. He said God is at work today and schedule get in a fight on the factory line and I said to them you to need what David had half.
I looked at my 012-1171 we have is I don't know but you that Jesus thing is real and they needed while I like what about you, so it was, as we look back. It really was miraculous, though obviously miraculous DC why we thought we went struggle sure yet it it's this amazing story in God's hand is all over it and so therefore we won't have challenges in marriage right and how long did it take before you remember the first time you thought I wonder if I made a mistake. Yes, six months six months and I yelled at Dave marrying you list the biggest mistake of my life. He's the wrong person the right person is out there. I should go find you, you shared that story in vertical married by both the video series and the book and that was the beginning of what I would call the second chapter of your journey. Because from the miraculous beginning to the reality of married life and the challenges and the adjustments in all of the baggage you brought in that needed to be dealt with thought God took you through a refining process to get you ready for where he has you today speak in the hundreds of thousands of people every day on radio on this podcast as you speak of events, God had to take you through the refiners fire the purifying chapters and those were not easy years, but it was a part of his work to prepare you for how he wants to use you wrote goddess. I get teary thinking about it because I think we had so much baggage that God was so gracious to walk through with us unloading that baggage and the pain and the things that he could've just healed automatically. But there is a beauty in God walking with us through the refinement of the fire that we held on tight to each other. Even though we are fighting along that way, but there is this amazing Grace that in the midst of our pain in our struggle and our Valley.
God uses all those things to help other people. I think back, we started dating with the right perspective that Jesus is the answer.
Jesus is our source of life, not the person of dating and then you forget yeah we started our marriage same way within months were like you need to do this and you need to be this so that I can be happy and were our eyes. Our eyes are on the arson house rather than no, no, no, it's back to Jesus is the source and you know, last thing I'll say is you know in the book of Revelation.
He speaks of Revelation to John and he says you've lost your first love to a church and it's interesting what he says to do repent and do the things you did at first. And so when you think about that in our marriage or anyone's marriage. It's like repent means, go back and and put him back on the throne or verticals. What we call memory and what you were doing when your date when you really were passionate and loving you pursued with reckless abandon that again. We started out in prayer ended in prayer that you get lazy and you think I guy I can do it and I hope if you're listening is a single person like I want to do dating and engagement God's way and again us and we did it perfectly, but there is a way that he he says the doing his word and it's the right way and if you're married go back if you floss those feelings of fear in a rough place. Go back and do the things you did at first. And in the you need a refresher. And you can get to one of the weekend. Remember ghettoize a spring do that like a sonogram about a dozen of those this spring.
You can find out more go to family life today.com there to be socially distanced event.
So we expect they will sell out a ballroom that has a thousand people capacity that we may have 200 people. In the event so life-changing yet handy. Go find out firstname.lastname@example.org and then find out more about Dave and Anne's story get a copy of their book vertical marriage or get the small group study and go through the messages from vertical marriage with other couples go email@example.com for more information about these resources or call us at one 800 FL today and seriously, if you haven't read vertical marriage.
Get a copy and start the new year with a great book on marriage from David and Wilson go to family life today.com for more information about the book or call us at one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today as we start the new year. We want to say thank you to those of you who during the month of December, responded to the matching gift challenge that had been laid out in front of us here at family life were still getting mail from some of you, and it'll be a few days before we know the final outcome, but we are so grateful for those of you who responded and who voted for us.
Really that's what you are doing when you made a donation here at your end.
You were saying family like today matters for me for my community for our country. This is a critical time in our nation for a biblical truth about marriage and family to be available to more and more people and you're helping to make that happen through your donations to this ministry. So thank you to those of you who donated in December.
And thanks to those of you who will continue to support us in 2021 need your help this year and we just want to say thanks in advance for your financial support of this ministry and we hope you can join us tomorrow when we talk about the habits that help to create a joy filled marriage. Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi join us and we hope you can be back with us as well. Think our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson. I'm Bob Lapine. See you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. Accrue ministry help for today hope for tomorrow