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February 12, 2021 1:00 am
Is your love tank empty? Listen as Bob Lepine and hosts Dave and Ann Wilson share hope of how to get truly filled up again. Join us on FamilyLife Today.
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There was a pop song years ago that included the lime I'm all out of love felt that way marriage there was no love left for your spouse as the Bible tells us that women were out of love. There is a place we can go get Phil back up. This is family like today hosts are Damon and Wilson about the pain. You can find us firstname.lastname@example.org how do we find how we appropriate the love we need so that we can be loving husbands and wives to one another in marriage, spend time talking about that today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us. I remember sitting down with a couple asking them for their definition of love years ago and what I got was romantic poetry back from them, and what I really wanted them to understand before we were all done in our conversation is that while romantic poetry is lovely and wonderful when you get down to the core. What real love looks like his commitment and self-sacrifice. I mean if I if I am to boil it down to two words, what is love been read or talk about this course is because Valentine's Day's this weekend and so it's the holiday about love and I think everybody's thinking about what can we do that special and where I can express my love.
Do you all that's good. But if the foundation is not, commitment and self-sacrifice, then you're trying to build on the wrong foundation. Jesus said, greater love has no man than this, that he lays down his life for his friends, and in marriage, don't you think it's the same absolutely recalling in the Bible studies that have led over the years and have have a lot of 20-year-old women in there that are married, newly married and output a picture in front of them as a couple in their 20s newly married so in love feeling so high you can tell by the looks on their faces. And then I'll show a couple walking down the road holding hands in their 90s and I said which one to you. Looks like it there more in love and I was always so glad that they take the couple and their 90s because it gone through so much and yet they're still together because love is way more than just feelings. Yeah couple in their later years are committed and they've had to daily if not hourly, self-sacrifice for one another and it is so interesting is that love is in a feeling right it's not poetry, although those are wonderful to want that but at the end of the day it's not even about me it's about serving someone I love and I think when you're committed to one another committed to your marriage and your sacrifice and for one another. I think what happens is on top of that, the feelings yeah they spring out of that. That's kinda like the soil. In fact, the better. Feelings come out of that than just the momentary fleeting kind of romantic feelings that occasionally come our way. We thought with Valentine's Day coming up this week and we ought to revisit what real love is and so we been listening this week to excerpts from the video series that we put together called love like you mean it based on the book that I wrote the came out last year and this is where that series finds its conclusion with the last thing that the Bible has to say in its definition of love in first Corinthians 13. Love never fails and we had a number of couples who were involved in this video series with us who shared their stories with us talked about their experiences of love. You can hear some of these folks on the program today as we explore what real love is this thing about the mayor to you is that I get to live every with the best thing about being married to you is I get to be protected. I can always depend on you remaining say and they think is stability and learning your care for our family waiting to get done and you make sure that were good.
You give me a home base and you make home an incredible place to be in happens, flashy chair, unable to follow you twice how much fun we have become the best part is going to be going on dates and senior passion because it's not what we do me your servant heart, but it shows is just how unwavering you are in your commitment to our family for marriage and you fought for me for so long. When I wasn't available emotionally. That's partly married to you is how you push me to grow closer to Christ and to other people. Radio is your heart for learning your tenderness towards this part about being married to you. Everything is the best part of being married to you, you all in the part of the country where we live and most of my life.
We may see flurries in the winter snow flurries and will get an occasional snowfall. Maybe every other year but it's not a place where you can count on snow every winter as often as we like the snowstorm we we might also get an ice storm does come as frequently as snow storms do for us. In fact, right after Christmas. Back in the year 2000 there was a an ice storm in our city that knocked out power for almost the entire city for a couple of days.
I remember this was on the afternoon of 27 December. We just finished up Christmas and everything was was winding down from Christmas start family at home have five kids all five of our kids were home. Ages 19 down to six and that afternoon the power went out, not just in our house but in our neighborhood. We later found out I think it was 300,000 homes in our community that lost power lot of people who work out power and you did not want the powers to be out you just knew that your refrigerator was working.
You also knew that your Internet was down that there's no TV to watch and that first afternoon, I will literally put fire in the fireplace and we got flashlights and candles and it felt like an adventure for a few hours will gas stoves, we were still able to cook stuff on the gas stove. We were glad for that.
But after a while. What started off as an adventure started to wear and you got pretty discouraging about 10 o'clock that night with no electricity and no TV and no computers and can't even charge up your your devices is not power but at night. We all decide, okay, let's go to bed and we got up extra blankets concluded that heat in the house and we cuddled up under those blankets and we went to sleep in the cold. I remember that I even with all those blankets and was really cold the next day. The power still out halfway through the day.
This is not fun anymore.
Now do not have any power you don't how long it's got to be there estimating some neighborhood to start get the power back but ours hasn't yet went up the whole day that day in the evening with no power to get really discouraged and depressed. How long is to be should we drive out of town will you can't really because the roads are still ice over the third day you wake up to no power and this is no fun at all. Any adventure you have on that first night is completely drained and you got nothing to do in life is no fun. I remember thinking how did people live 150 years ago when nobody electricity those pioneers. I knew something I didn't know I was realizing how custom I had become to be able to flick a switch on a light wood, try to take a shower in the bathroom and there's no light in the bathroom no fun. We've all through power outages or power failures. That's gonna happen with thunderstorms in any city, something that affect the power grid you lose power for a while.
The Bible says about love. That love never goes out never fails.
Never falters, even a thunderstorm. Love does not flicker what we sing about it in church. Love never fails. Never gives up. Never runs out God's love for us is endless, and our love for one another ought to be endless as well that does that sound like you are you the kind of person whose love never fails where it never runs out or are there times when you're all out of love.
The hardest moments our marriage was also the best and it was that we can finally admitted to each other that we felt like we made the wrong choice, but were committed choice and said that that was the foundation more important than any other tweaking of behaviors or rules setting for myself or for our family took to create a barrier of a wall around the marriage like the most important was the foundational commitment that even if we feel like we made the wrong choice we made it more stick into it.
I think we have had really hires conversations and kind of like building a calendar now and when he We were so not respecting any level. We are not considering their really treating you today like we belong to think it's important to be said that the more committed with. We've been through that confession. The more wrong I think we realize we are by saying that we were wrong choice for like Cicero ironic way that I think God is accomplished is will yes we we may have made a mistake and that mistake it's become the perfect decision everything for his glory. And even now we can feel that way with the wrong choice and confessing out loud really. I how are we getting it forward now that we've had a mutual ground thing that maintains understanding.
Review one for wearing divorce is not an option and we don't leave and we know how to awful thing and fell on his heart as it's been. I honestly would not have any other way even though it's been hard. It's been so good it's been challenging behind me and I think, individually and as a couple for sex and it God's love for us is different than our love for one another. Right in the Bible it says that the steadfast love steadfast. It never changes. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end.
Their new every morning great is his faithfulness are loves not like that is our love flickers and falters and fails in this next part really important.
So stay with me here.
You are probably not lived in a house where the water supply is fed by a sister.
Most of us live in a in a place where our water comes into our house, either from a well or from the city water supply. A cistern is different in the old days, gutters used to collect rainwater and that rainwater would be diverted to a holding tank that was the cistern and that cistern would be the supply of water, either to irrigate the crops or through a filter to supply water for household use. So everything is fine as long as the cistern is full of water slides got enough rain that feeds the cistern when you got enough water to take care of the field to take care the house, but in a drought when it has rained for a while. The cistern gets low.
You don't have water for your crops for your fields for your house. Now the supply is out and that's when things get hard. I've heard people talk for years about how each one of us has a love came in us. Maybe you've heard this too that we have this bucket in us that longs to be filled up with love and from the time were born, our caregivers are parents. Those people come around us.
They they love on us and our bucket gets filled up even as little babies are love tank gets billed as people love us for if nobody's loving on you then you wind up with an empty love tank and as you grow up you love others.
They love you and so sometimes you're given love, sometimes you're filling your own tank up your own bucket of love up, and the idea here is that in order for us to love others well we have to have a supply of love in us. We have to have been loved will in order to love others well and we should be working to fill each other's love tank up, but the problem with that idea is that there's not enough love among us to keep filling one another's buckets of their always good to be people whose love tank runs dry because they didn't get the human love to fill them up that they need blog comes God and he says when you surrender your life to me when you become a part of my family become one of my children you become a child of God. He says I have an endless supply of love that I will keep pouring into you, so that the love in you will never run dry. So, as God's child are writing buckets get filled up from his supply.
Now his love for us comes into us and it's out of the abundance of love that he has for us that were able to love other people that you may be thinking what a child of God, but my love tank still runs dry. Sometimes that's because something is crimped the line. Something has kept you from receiving God's love for you from being poured into you, so that it's available to be poured out to others. It's not because God ran out of love is supply never runs out. It's because you've not gone to the supply and been filled up with God's love for you when we are out of love. As children of God. The place to go is to Jesus and say I'm out of love.
I need to be filled again with your love for me and we do that through spiritual disciplines.
We do that through reading and memorizing passages of Scripture meditating on the Bible, praying, worshiping, joining together with others and fellowship.
These habits of grace as one author has referred to them. These are the habits that God uses to keep pouring love and grace into us so that as it's poured into us again overflow out of us to other. This is God's principal for us being the kind of loving people.
He's called us to be for our love to never fail. We have to be connected to the endless supply of love that God provides. And we have to make sure that the hose is not printed up, but that we keep it open that were always growing on his endless supply of love and that it's overflowing from us to others illustrate this with a favorite illustration of mine. This is something that had a profound impact on me the first time I read it.
It's a story about a woman who lived in Holland in the 1940s. Her name was Corrie 10 boom and Corey was part of the family that provided shelter and refuge for Jews who were fleeing persecution from the Nazis at the beginning of World War II. That's talked about in a book that's been written called the hiding place. Corey and her family give shelter to these Jews. They were eventually found out not only were the Jews taken to concentration camps but his family was arrested and they were sent to the same concentration camps with the Jews that they had been hiding. Corey and her sister Betsy were in their 50s at this time and they would to a number of different camps ultimately ended up in the ravens for camp in northern Germany and there they were prisoners they were ill treated but they never lost their hope. In fact they had smuggled the Bible into the concentration camp and they work sharing God's word with other prisoners.
Shortly before Christmas in 1944 Corey's sister Betsy died. She had become weak in the concentration camp and ultimately passed right before Christmas. 15 days later, Corey wound up being released from the concentration camp turned out later, it was because of a clerical error. In fact, right after the new year had begun the women in Corey's unit were all taken to the gas chambers were exterminated, Corey would have died if it had not been for that clerical error that saved her life a few years after that Corey had begun speaking about her experiences and sharing about God's love and forgiveness in churches all around Europe and she found herself one night in a church in Munich Germany where she was preaching to a congregation about God's love and forgiveness and she tells the story of what happened that night at this church in Munich let me bring this to her.
He says it was in a church in Munich that I saw him, a balding, heavyset man in the gray overcoat Brown felt hat, clutched between his hands.
People were filing out of the basement room where I had just spoken moving along the rows of the wooden chairs to the door at the rear was 1947 I come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives. That's when I saw him working his way forward against the others. One moment I saw the overcoat Brown had the next a blue uniform advisor With skull and cross bones.
It came back to me with a rush. The huge room with its harsh overhead lights, the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes at the center of the floor. The shame of walking they could pass this man. I could see my sister's perennial form ahead of me, ribs, sharp beneath the parchment. Now this man was in front of me.
His hand thrust out. Find message from how good it is to know that as you say, our sins are at the bottom of the sea.
Corey says and I went spoken so glibly and forgiveness fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take his hand, he would not remember me.
Of course, how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women.
I remembered him in the leather crop swinging from his belt I was face-to-face with my captors and my blood seemed to freeze. You mentioned ravens broken your talk. He said I was a guard there now. He did not me but since that time went on I become a Christian. I know God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Problem is hand came out again will you forgive me. I stood there I sins had again and again been forgiven. I could not forgive. Betsy had died in that place.
He could not been many seconds that he stood there with his hand held out to me it seemed like hours as I wrestle with the most difficult thing I ever had to do. I had to do it. I knew that the message of God forgives has a prior condition. We must forgive those who have injured us. If you do not forgive men their trespasses, Jesus says, neither will your father in heaven forgive your trespasses and still I stood there with the coldness, clutching my heart, but forgiveness is not an emotion. I knew that to forgiveness is an act of the will and the will and function. Regardless of the temperature of the heart. Help I prayed silently. I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling and so Corey says Woodley mechanically. I thrust my hand into the one stretched in front of me and as I did an incredible thing took place current started in my shoulder raced down my arm sprang into our joined hands and then this healing work seem to flood my whole being bringing tears to my eyes. I forgive your brother I cried with all my heart for a long moment, the grass each other's hands the former guard the former prisoner I'd never known this, she says. I had never known God's love, so intently as I did them in her book the hiding place. Corey says I discovered that when God tells us to love our enemies he gives along with the command to love itself. I think we have to remember that in marriage.
Our love will fail God's love will never fail. We'll run out. He never will. When you're out of love God can supply the love you need so that your marriage can continue and go the distance and that love can grow. We can spring up in you like it did for Corey.
Love never fails.
That's good news for more than 40 years.
Marianne and I have had hanging in our bedroom, our wedding petition. It's prayed and at the bottom of the invitation is first John 419 verse that says simply we love because he first loved us. That's the message of the Bible God calls us to be dispensers of the love that he has poured out on us through his son is love never fails. We been listing to session 10 from the love like you mean a video series that will we hope couples will go through this content. Get the book.
Go through the video series with other couples that we made this video series so that if you don't have 10 weeks to go through all of it you pick week one and you do week 10 and then you can fill in the middle with whatever issues you want to work on right so if you need to work on patients or kindness or not being rude or irritable or commitment. You can decide what the middle parts need to be by the of the day you can fry watch all of them because you realize are actually your spouse is going to tell you what you need to like the patient's one yeah whatever I do I bit the other day that what you said is so true it the foundation and the only way you're going to go the long term is commitment and sacrifice You half to stay committed to that or you're never going to make it. It's not easy and fun. Depending on my own strength or my own supply of love to pour out to my spouse that's gonna run dry at cell interesting because I used to think when we first got married that the closer I wanted to get today. I would just move closer I would do more.
I would say my which are all good things, but the older I got, the more I realize the closer I come to Jesus, the more I know him and I spent time with him and it pours out of me as a natural outflow of his spirit, and I can't count the number times in our 40 years that we been in conversation or in some dark curtain hard spot and I pride and say the standard I'm thinking I can't love her. I key it, get the feelings I need to have right now to speak kind words back to her. I am I don't have it. I can't do it in on some ways you like.
I'm hopeless and the other side you like to Zachary God wants you like yeah you can't I can. You gotta come to me to get filled up and then you can but you can in your own strength that's I think action point for all of us when we go. I feel like I'm out of love my spouse spend time with Jesus. If you need a retreat day you need to get away and just spend it with Jesus as he pours his love into you.
You will be filled up with blood for other people. That's what the message of first Corinthians 13 is an our hope is that that message is a message that more and more couples will have a chance to hear to interact with. We put together the love like you mean it video series in hopes that blisters like you would call for five other couples and say hey let's go through this study on marriage together each video session is about 15 or 20 minutes longer is a workbook some great discussion questions for you. Some homework for you to do. We think this can have up a powerful impact on your marriage and on the marriages of others you know if you'll just invite them to be part of this series with you the love like you mean it video series is available now from us here at family life. You can go to our website. Family life to a.com to see some clips from the series.
Find out more. Order the series from us but I just found this out.
I found out that now through Valentine's Day so this week our team has been telling anybody who's been calling to get the video series that they're throwing in my book free so you get the video series and the book love like you mean it together when you go to our website family email@example.com to order when you call one 800 FL today that's good through Valentine's Day, so take advantage of that again. The website family life to a.com or call one 800 FL today and do something proactive for your marriage and the marriages of other people you know me to say a word quickly to those of you who are maybe your empty-nesters you been married for I don't 25, 30 years or longer.
Why don't you invite some younger couples who are in the first 10 years of their marriage to join you to go through this study.
I know you're thinking those younger people don't want to go to a marriage study with old folks like us. Well actually yeah they do they want to hear the wisdom of people who have figured out how to go the distance. So you would be a great asset.
Just think about four or five couples you know who are younger couples and make this your assignment this spring to take them through love like you mean again.
More information about the study, available firstname.lastname@example.org or call one 800 FL today for more information and we hope you have a great weekend this weekend.
Hope you're able in some way to celebrate Valentine's Day together as a couple and hope you're able to worship together as a family in your local church in some way as well. We hope you can join us on Monday. Gary Thomas is gonna be here to talk about what happens when a relationship gets toxic or destructive, are there times when you do need to walk away. Talk more about that with Gary Thomas on Monday you can tune in for that. I think our engineer today. Keith Lynch got some help this week from Justin Adams think our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Anna Wilson about the peen. Have a great weekend see you Monday for another edition of family life today.
Family life to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas approved ministry help for today hope for tomorrow