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March 29, 2021 2:00 am
What's more important than the ring in a marriage engagement? On FamilyLife Today, join Dave and Ann Wilson as they interview authors and speakers, Jackie and Stephana Bledsoe, about their book, "The Seven Rings of Marriage," and what they wish they hadn't learned the hard way.
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Jackie and Stepanek Bledsoe were not walking with Christ. When they got married they were already parents. So after they were married and they experienced turbulence stuff and I began to wonder if maybe she had gotten married outside of God's will. I didn't ask God I didn't know that. He said this is supposed to be my husband. So what do I do now because now you're telling me divorce is not an option and I just remember the counsel that I received at that time was that if I made this commitment to Jackie Mary's. And even if it was out of order God's grace was big enough to cover it. This is family life today. Our hosts are Dave and Wilson pump up pain. You can find us email@example.com will hear from Jackie and Stepanek Bledsoe today about marriage being a covenant out once we say I do. God adds his amen. So be it. In the covenant is sealed.
Stay tuned, and welcome to family life to.
Thanks for joining us to a quick poll here so we'll see what you did and what you would recommend. Okay so the question is, should a husband to be.
Should he include his girlfriend in the search for a wedding ring or should he pick it out and surprise her.
So first I want to know what you did it and see ring you picked up for her. Before you pick it up for her to spend so long you know, I guess, really, she did not seem as I did give him an idea some hints. Yes, this is kind of what I like that like you were out of the mall and she's been giving me hints again if Mary and did not see the one that I picked up for her until I proposed until I offered it to her and did he have any input I don't remember hearing from her what she had in mind.
I think I picked it out all on my own which could be.
We'll talk about this. This could be a big fail for somebody we got some friends were joining us today are experts in ring. Jackie and Stepanek Bledsoe are joining us on family life to Jackie's to better welcome to the Bledsoe's speak with us at our we can remember marriage getaways there from Indianapolis today to ministry in the marriage space they've written a book called the seven rings of marriage which got me think about engagement rings did you pick up Stefano's engagement ring before you proposed. I did she didn't see it. She did not like it like I do. So if you were counseling a young groom to be today, would you say bring her in, or would you say, surprise, or what your answer might say let her have input, you can't really do the surprise thing if she knows her shop in Paris. Well, if you're talking about marriage and you're praying about marriage in advance than I think you are kind of expecting everyone to come. Maybe you don't know when it's gonna come back to get an idea of what she might like really talking so wear that ring for a lifetime's permanent I did one time in our marriage by a home that Mary was so if you're picking between wedding rings and home going pick the ring out. Let her see the house.
I think that's wise advice so woman's that we were in the center and she wants it to look good doing the same home rings you that you've written, seven rings of marriage you take that picture of a ring and you say there are seasons there are episodes we evolve in our relationship and marriage. But it all does start with that pre-marriage. As you start with the engagement ring and at that point you know that's the excitement you dislike yes week.
She said yes and that was that was a big deal for me because I wasn't sure that she is going to say yes so and she said yes and yes were here but now we have to go through like okay what's next were the excitement is there when the excitement wears off, were we going to depend on your foundation. That's we can lean on that you want to go we gotta build something that is going to get about a tall and strong mayors at last forever. You mentioned obviously seven different sort of seasons and you come rings in your marriage here. I'm sure you're familiar Bob I know is with the family like we can to remember we always talk about the three rings you know that one thing wedding ring and suffering is suffering as part of the plan you develop that more in depth as you obviously include suffering, let's talk about it so I want to know this. What is your engaged story like how did you propose was it like epic school moment special that it was not expected were preparing for it.
We had prayed about it was not what we would advise Frank Green wasn't in our story is the opposite of what we teach couples. Now that we were not prepared because our relationship was on rocky ground at the time it was okay Lord is this, you got for me for the rest of my life. If so, you know what I do something okay I will get myself together and it was sexy. Her birthday 2001 and is like okay this is not what you pray. Phyllis, this is not what you say said she says yes yes that means God did set aside for me. She says no but know the details of the actual proposal we are at her favorite restaurant at the time, which is no longer there. I can remember sitting in the back row so happy that they put us in the back corner. There was one other couple there off the couple were couple ladies or something. And the whole time were talking, I couldn't think something here nervous, just probably sweat not enough, I'll sweat my heart was racing and that was like a Michael to do it I might not going to do it finally did it.
I got down on the ascot. I don't think she could even hear what I said I was so nervous I could hear me to hear the people cite this. I think it is behind us is like now. We got an audience that she has to say yes are asking the question now let you share was sweet and I didn't expect it but it was it was sweet and I said yes. Obviously, how long have you guys been dating probably two or three years. So why didn't you expected. After two or three years we were completely out of order so we weren't exclusive to one another. Okay time was next, I will why you're saying we get Ron we have a vision of how to do it. There was no prayer there was no counsel. There is no premarital counseling which is kind of me living a life and I was like, this is not what you're supposed to be going with your life.
Need to start making you more increasingly more uncomfortable with how we were living there.
How I was leaving I can put that on fun stuff in it and then final is okay Lord. This is what I want to do. We actually had our daughter was two months old at our wedding day so we were completely out of order, and we always tell couples this, because we were that couples sit in the small group in here and everybody show them your story how I pray for this, I pray for that yet. Premarital counseling and we are, like all on and I was in us. We didn't do so without shame we feel shame because of that, and so now we share openly because we know there's some other couples that didn't start quote unquote right way, which as we know in order what God says we don't do those things before mayors because we know what it brings back us all the way up the numbers in my head. So you guys met when you were teenagers and started dating while you were teenagers. Yes we met my senior year Stefan, a sophomore year in high school small town. 40,000 people. Everybody knows everybody, but for whatever reason we didn't mean to my senior year families literally, our grandmothers are maternal grandmothers were best friends. But God must've known what she would've seen in me that she met me before then so we were friends in Canada dated a little bit I went away to college.
The mutual friend that introduced us, contact with both of us will always let us know. Hey, Jackie's back intact. I went to state Jack is back in town or hey did you know Stefan is here so everybody else, saw something there but I don't think me mentally or mostly, I was ready and you are probably not ready. At that time you write. After graduating college and moved into Napa she was one of the two people that I met that I know had known since I was in a new city and we kinda got reintroduced by the same mutual friend and that started a friendship of the probably the best way should've started from the beginning that we were in high school and so that's the quick summary of it but it sounds like you. You had some good input. You're listening to other couples in their talk about how to do it right and yet you didn't.
So the question is why was it we don't need that we don't believe that him it was or something going on and made you go. That's good wisdom, but not for us yet. Well, those couples we met after we were married so you have those relationships before we were married so we didn't have the right environment. I think around us. At that time. For mayors the way we know it got intended to be, we say we got our premarital counseling around our first anniversary knows that but just the class at our church that we took in a couple, you know, connected to them that attracted to really can't continue the conversation with them and that's when we met the other couples in our circle started the change God to started surrounded us with couples who are living for him in their marriages and then we found that is like okay this is how marriage should be so callous about how did that come to be where you already involved in church what was going on spiritually engage in you getting married yeah I think after we had our daughter. It made me want to live life the right way.
So I started going to church. Jackie came with us to church in we just kind of jumped into everything that we possibly could have a class that the church was offering. We were involved in, and we just started learning and growing and having mentors. We didn't even know that we needed so that was kind of the beginning. Yes, we jumped in.
Once we got exposure to it. Scott, touched her heart was like okay this is what we need to do so. We were hungry for what he was teaching we have a family you know that we don't know if it's going to last as a family like it should be so like we got one of the change direction and I just believe the gap in my heart that he was going to use me to change the direction of our family and then also not just us but extended family and things like that. He's continue to do that but it started with saying yes to him.
Then we continually just, lived the way we wanted to. So as you write in the book about the engagement ring. The first ring.
What should happen. What is your vision. You caught the vision face right is where you start, get a vision for what marriages so talk to a primary couples okay what what should happen and that what would be the best for a couple. It's dating her couples are living together before they get married past. I deftly say it's not best. It makes it easy for you to have an escape when things don't go the way that you want because what Jackie and I realized in the early phases that we were both selfish. We had lived our lives for ourselves, and that it wasn't easy to come into marriage and sacrifice in different areas and so had we you know we could have easily said this is not working. I don't like it this way. I'm out, whereas if you do it the right way in your living for the Lord in your praying and seeking him. Then when you come together. It's not an easy out. It's a covenant that you've made, not just what that other person but with the Lord.
The engagement ring is really about creating a foundation foundation is rooted in a relation with Jesus Christ, so we we realize that after he got our first anniversary and so we want to make sure that everything we did at that point was built on the foundations like how would how the Lord have us to handle this quote we need to do so. We sought out his word and counsel, we sought is worded in classes. We said we read is where we prayed and that set the foundation because we we were counseled, disagreements will be at different spectrums but at the end of the day we can agree on one thing we're going to try to do our best to find out how Christ would have us to handle this in order to try to do that is best we can. Without that, I don't know what we were done I think you meeting for the first time and were engaged were living together and we have no dates that it's really hard. We don't see the hurry we see the Roche counsel S just starting to grow in our relationship with Jesus. Many couples I think today is marriages continue to not be as important as it used to be. I think I'll just start asking questions and income to get into the mind. Why are they making these decisions. Why are you choosing to live together now parents divorced both of our parents seems really risky. He now our whole future is at stake. Why would we put on the line with Scripture to start going to the Scripture. And at that time we really want to know if you guys were a couple who believed in Christ, if you relation with him or not. If not, then we have to start there because we can talk to them were blue in the face about all kinds of other things in his why shouldn't do it but we don't get them rooted in the truth and get that relationship they can receive that in their heart.
Now that's sort of ring number one. The engagement ring wedding ring you call it the commitment face. So what's happening during this phase, it goes from just the butterflies to work where in a relationship that we are committed to be in for the long run, so there's no more outs. There's no more options. It is a relationship that you are committed to because you made this with your spouse and the Lord yeah we sever real estate investment company and every month I would look at probably hundreds of properties either virtually or driving neighborhoods. We signed a lot of contracts to purchase properties, but we didn't purchase every single one of them because everything on one of them had basing out costs were basically a contingency clause or something happen or something about the house did lineup or maybe that the numbers did line up we discover something new is like oh this is no longer great investment for us to be out. That's the opposite of what happens during this ring, because this is a covenant commitment where no matter if the Fanta meets the expectations that I set which may not be the right expectations are that or whatever may be vice versa that we have created a relationship built on a covenant commitment between us and between Christ as well. So that's what that commitment is it stronger than just the contract that you can sign and sale were out of it. We are committing in a come away were no matter what you do when no matter what I do think before together and with God what you mean by the cornerstone. Jesus is the cornerstone of your Mary play out for you guys early on, did you struggle you first got married did you hit a phase of a reality face. I think that first class that we were in.
I remember questioning as we were here and everybody else's story. I didn't do that. I didn't ask God I didn't I don't know that.
He said this is supposed to be my husband.
So what do I do now because now you're telling me divorce is not an option and I just remember the counsel that I received at that time was that if I made this commitment to Jackie in marriage and even if it was out of order God's grace was big enough to cover it. And so that was that was kind of a turning point for us in the marriage just kind of realizing that God would take care of even en masse he was, he was afraid that you were thinking I want out here. I was questioning whether I made the right decision. I deftly was based on what just hearing other people's story in the way that it should have been done and knowing that we hadn't done that but were you happy in your marriage.
It was hard that first year was really hard. We were both, I'm Jackie is the youngest and I was an only child, and so we were both very selfish. We hadn't ever had to consider that another person's well-being in a relationship and so that was tough and so we were coming up against a lot of disagreement on how to be married couple could be listening think and what we did it the right way and we still feel the same thing. You know like we try to do the right steps and yet were in year one, feeling the same thing you felt like we did backwards.
We did the right way and we still were like I'm done. This is so hard. This is gonna work about a year until I had a couple come up to us at the weekend.
Remember conference and they said we had married in Vegas. We were so drunk no idea what we were doing and they came to the conference saying I think that were supposed to get out of this because we didn't delete God's plan for little bit what you are sharing before right like is God asking we were Christians at the time you address that with people yeah and that's where you have to lean on him. That's for the foundation is so crucial just because you did it God's way and you pray and you saw counsel does not keep you from going through challenges and troubles works told to expect fiery ordeals in his word he teaches that were going to go through some things and that's where you gotta have that fall back on. You have your relationship with him, that God promise this guy will not leave us or forsake us, and that was it for us was so rough and so rocky and just really, you know, I think young kids come together. Neither one of us had fully thought about marriage. We had a 10 month old. We were try to learn each other with some baggage in our history.
We are also trying to figure out life on her own and were trying to raise a baby mouse and were married, and this stuff is just so much so any little conversation could spin off into something that would last days, weeks, or whatever. In a couple is brand-new or who has done everything what were counseling and coaching couples to do now can go to the same stuff we always had a reverb act is where we always had to revert back to prayer and distrust him and that point and that is a make it any easier, but that's what we had to hold on that. We believe that's what we were taught, and that's where coast at that stage and you know I guess you could say we are blind enough to do it but I'm so glad that we were because that allowed us got to get into our hearts to start working on us individually and not me, prayed about this and I wish you would do this later. Or vice versa. But he worked on us.
He began work on us and he kept us through whatever stones were doing. There were some storms that we went through. It's interesting to because you call this wedding ring. The commitment phase.
It's easy to think sometimes you make a commitment and you're done.
Commitment phase rings never go blank yet almost up your commitment daily, sometimes hourly because you get so hurt or so frustrated her so discouraged mostly in your spouse right is your good spouse.
You know you do not you, it's like like working out saying things like I got surgery up every time I walk in the gym it's like to re-up to get to the you know to say I'm gonna do it again.
Does that ever end.
I mean you've been married many years now. The commitment isn't just the wedding ring. It doesn't just happen her wedding day, or even for six months or for sure it never so how do you live that out because there's any days, there's there's a couple listener announces I'm done and how you speak to them and say don't give up re-upping your commitment.
What would you say you're constantly continue to grow closer to your spouse that Dr. Chapman says marriages either grow or they regress, they never stand still. So if you're not practicing your oneness and getting closer to each other in your marriage and you're going the opposite way. So it is a constant thing that you remind yourself it's forgot the quote.
Somebody said you know motivation is like taking a bad you can't just do what you do everyday.
Continue to push yourself forward in connection trying and striving for oneness so it is never anything for us and we understand that you cannot make a right decision today and something happen between us in the next week make the wrong decision all the time but I have to get up, like you said in the more you'll feel like working out when I was like okay I gotta get up today. I gotta go to the gym to get up enough to show kindness I got a show love to my wife do all these different things because it just doesn't come natural for us here in two big ideas emerge from this conversation.
One is if you're on the front end of your relationship in the engagement or in the first year of marriage, your foundation really is important building a future on the foundation you are pouring today so don't skimp don't ship them to neutral and just cruise.
Be intentional. Be purposeful. Build a strong foundation in the engagement ring.
Do the hard work premarital preparation, get advice, get wisdom, learn, grow in that first year of marriage where you hit those bumps in those hiccups of those to come along for all of us instead of just going all I must've made a mistake to say will let me figure out how we make this work. Other couples in the second big idea. I'm hearing emerge out of this is a pure 10 or 15, 20 years in and you go, we didn't pour a good foundation. I mean we we messed up on that early phase okay call permit check is your foundation can be fixed it can be repaired. It's not like we just need to blow this up and start all you know you need to do the repair work, get some counseling get to a weekend to remember do the work today. It may be hard work today because you didn't pour the foundation well at the beginning but do the work today so that you can start building for a new future anything else here aware that you mentioned several time mentoring mentors and toys and I think some people think they can do it alone. Jesus meant touring is really important that you have people ahead of you that you can look up to her speaking into you continually observing and helping someone to go to. We need Christ and were supposed to have that. It also obviously we can remember a book called the seven rings of Mary, I'm guessing you say read it together. Just a long time together and start working on the marriage figure out where are we, or where did and where did we do it right. Where did we do it wrong.
How can we, how can we move forward in health and in strengths where making your book available this week to family life today listeners who can help support the ministry with a donation. Thanks to those of you who partner with us to expand the reach of this program you're helping us reach hundreds of thousands of people every day who are tuning into family life to local radio stations receiving this via podcast using our mobile app so they can listen lots of different ways that people are connecting with family like today people are telling Alexa to play family life today. I'm listing to us. That way you make that possible when you support the ongoing work of this ministry and if you can make a donation today would love to say thank you by sending you Jackie and Stephanie Bledsoe's book, the seven rings of marriage your model for a lasting unfulfilling marriage and the book is our thank you gift to you. When you donate to support family life to make that donation firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call to donate one 800, FL, today is our number again the number is one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today my the way we just wrapped up our first weekend to remember him more than a year at the we can remember in Branson Missouri. We still have a handful of these events happening this spring and I'm not giving you details because these details are kinda changing as time goes depending on what's going on in different regions and hotel ballroom policies things like that but you can go to our website family like today.com and find out when you can join the Bledsoe serve the Wilson's are any of us that these weekend. Remember marriage getaways that we host in cities all around the country again.
Find out more about the spring schedule for weekend to remember marriage getaways and our hope and prayer is that come fall will be back on full strength with the weekend, remember, so stay connected and will keep you up-to-date with that and we hope you can join us again tomorrow as were to continue talking about the stages or phases that marriages go through Jackie and Stephanie Bledsoe will be back as well, thank our engineer today. Keith Lynch got some extra help this week from Bruce Goff and of course our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson unpopular opinion will see you back next time for another edition of family life today.
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