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Protecting Your Marriage

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
September 29, 2021 2:00 am

Protecting Your Marriage

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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September 29, 2021 2:00 am

How do we protect our marriages in a world that tries to pull us apart? John and Debra Fileta break down three main areas of needed protection and share invaluable advice from their own marriage.

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My gut when I say I think were living in a day and age where it's really easy for marriages to be tempted in every way unfaithfulness were bombarded with social media for connecting with people that we've never been able to connect you confessing right now. No welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson Wilson.

You can find his family life or on our family life. His family life today, and boundaries in our marriage. I had a good friend that just happened to reach out to an old guy that she went to college with. They had five kids. They been married for quite a while and sadly enough, she kept connecting and ended up in an affair that was one of our best friends and best couple friends. Yet it was obviously some.

We then walked through with them and the miracle God did a miracle, because I literally said to you, even God can't save this marriage and I was a horrible thing to think, but he did. He really did, but it highlighted how critical protection is to protect your marriage to set up boundaries. Not just sexually, but in all different areas and people younger people think we have been ridiculous like you guys are so overboard because we've been very intentional about protecting and putting boundaries in our marriage and so I think it's a great topic to talk about it and we got the couple in the studio All the talk about it every we got Deborah for Leda and her husband John and usually Deborah's on podcasts and interviews by herself because she's the author wrote a book called choosing marriage which you wrote without your husband John Johnson over there in the engineer booth and we had lunch with the rectus guys got dynamite.

I pulled the saw is he that he smart. He's really why were like oh yeah and Deborah. She's amazing. She's a podcast or she's an author there both mom and dad a four kids one daughter, three son homeschoolers you guys are just going to homeschooling your kids so this is fun. Welcome to both of you to family today. Thanks for white, why have you never done this to know I live the adventure from behind the scenes. I guess that he did so much behind the scene so he's maybe doesn't do as much with the mic but so much of the background of the ministry is because of him. So Deborah tell the story of when you are speaking at a large conference in your selling books and have someone come up to you commenting about the guy selling the books for you is like how did you get an ophthalmologist to follow you around the country and sell your books like well he is my husband works out good so you guys been married only years 14 years 14.04 kids and your youngest is what six months old six months old. You do homeschool you do right, you're a therapist you're an eye surgeon. How do you keep your marriage strong and I would say it's something we didn't get right in the beginning, like when you first get married, even as a therapist at the time I was a therapist and training you still don't know what you're doing you know it takes learning and experience doing things wrong and then getting it right. Did you ever say stop being affair say that I have definitely heard those words couple. I'm not a quiet house but yeah I went to go because you feel like you're getting noise though.

With Deborah, you know, at lunch and when I'm a preacher and I see Jack Wilson is a therapist in our church. I feel like he's gotta be looking at me like oh my goodness you have so many issues have you ever felt that I don't actually feel better than the reality being totally truthful.

She's usually right to come out of that window.

The font is you know we've been learning together growing together and it's been amazing.

The water marriage transformed over the past, ducted and were still learning today so you have a totally figured out that were on the journey together. That's really cool.

Yeah, one of the things you wrote about in choosing marriage but you also together. I found your passion about is this idea of protecting your marriage. I love your chapter title yeah yeah always use protection, obviously were Nero tongue-in-cheek on that one.

But talk about protection. How do you protect your marriage yeah and first and foremost, I wouldn't be able to write these chapters.

If I didn't have a spouse who is helping me live them out just right. It definitely now so this is something that I think were both passionate about. Proverbs 423. Above all else, guard your heart and in dozens I guard other people's hearts or other people should guard your heart like were responsible for protecting what God has given us and that's our our marriage so were deliberate about that in a few ways. Right, John, did you guys start out like that. Like hey this is good to be something that were talking about. This is important to us. Did you start there and know that the green were to start a group we've always been totally committed to one another, but I think as we watch to see knows you go shared. You see other couples falter.

People make mistakes. You see, you know, we see unfortunately on the news all the time with even church leaders and you realize no one is immune to this email can happen to anyone in any place include NOC including us and and you realize you don't find a great marriage you make a great marriage and part of making it up as this process of putting boundaries around your marriage and what's that look like Deborah, like you, you have some principles start us off with with how how you teach this yeah I would say three main things and we can kinda talk about them in order that we we protect our emotions. We protect our interactions and we protect our time. Those are like the three. What I like to say the intruders because that's where were most susceptible to making a decision that's not healthy or going down a path that's not good for our relationship.

So when it comes to our emotions, you realize that there are so many opportunities to either miss sharing your emotions with one another or ending up sharing them with somebody other than your spouse. So we try to be really intentional about making sure that we give the firstfruits of our emotional connection to one another how you guys do that, especially now. You've got four kids.

You've got a six month old and right now you're probably just surviving.

Some days, so how do you do that. I think now it looks like were very deliberate with how we interact in our time, so, so, like by 9 PM and were finding it all which is about and kids notes mommy daddy time after the there's no come in the bedroom. I don't care who's hiding in the closet. As you know like like it's our time and they know that our room was kind of our sanctuary and were very deliberate about spending time together.

You know, minced is easy to know how been bugged around to be flexible enough. That's you know that's the quick easy relaxing way. It's been deliberate about hey let's talk all about tell another Sunday night ritual.

Yeah this is good. Yeah so suck something that we started early on a marriage that I would actually say totally transformed her marriage has made it incredible and is transforming as a man and him him everywhere has made me better, as are some of my checkups so every Sunday night at 9 PM. You know, initially, have my phone alarm Popoff 9 PM comes I got a week we got a check to them that you sent your lawn. Otherwise he wouldn't remember that's how I knew that he was being intentional about this so your alarm goes off, sir alarm goes off.

We help on the couch and you know the first time we sit there, you know there's a lot of crickets, or it was really just a for you was really the emotional, supra I talk more infamous with her than I pressure my emotions when her life really some great endeavor will recall that I did think it was just like having these big picture check ins like let's talk about how are doing emotionally.

Let's talk about sins and struggles with just Kenny's big picture things that we would both take turns talking to Dave like let's talk about how you're doing emotionally. I was just asked John what you say because if man said that to me I'd be like, I don't know I'm okay. That's exactly what I don't know what I do know is not good enough you got you got to think for a second him take a moment to pause and what you actually feeling some of them I said how you know because at the time. I think I was in medical school, you know there's always a solid baseline test of baseline stress of you know, if I don't score high enough my tests, I can go on the field that I want to study and so I want to be ophthalmology, which if the score really hard to do, what to give into it and so I always was feeling a little stressed with school, you know, we literally were living on like to know $2000 a year like basically nothing on loan so sweet. We always have monies like yours.

My two kids to little kids. We started this because we were actually not a good place we were at a place where we were both defaulting to unhealthy patterns and not connecting well and it's like this isn't going to work for either of us like this is not a good place. We can't just let her marriage be on autopilot and just see what happened.

Yeah you now so we were like this is what we need to be deliberate about connecting John, did you find yourself because I'm thinking okay if I'm you and I'm I then you you know I filled exactly those things in different times my life if I was being really honest, I would be saying I'm scared.

I'm afraid stressed. I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if I is that the because things are toward dogma just saying that out loud is lamb oh man this is good be helpful said that to me. Did you feel like this dad like that gearing their ability deep it is and anything if there's any bitterness he's working too much or I have too much on my plate in medical school. He's I'm home with the kids that sharing dissolves that it invites you in to their heart, and I feel like it's it's it's an endearing thing because it's an invitation. Yeah, to come and and experience what I'm experiencing. Let me share this with you and why you have to protect your emotions is because it is such an intimate part of who you are. If your spouse isn't receiving that part of you. Who is your mom, your sister, your best friend buddy outside somebody are appropriate. You know like that's where it begins is having that comfort level to just be honest about how we feel as though we can remember marriage get away. The we do a family life. We talk about level V communication where one is sort of superficial, but five is like him to go and open my heart so you're going there was a struggle it was unnatural yeah you know my body is like a Devcon five high alert to her Ido and part of it to like we can foster each other. We confess and you know and at first it's really awkward to say things are done wrong, look like a it's time for you to confess their sin is that we are asking you get into all, it's your turn now it's my turn to decide that.

I mean, you, you just begin to realize that it's easy to live in a way where you don't fully know each other unless you're intentional about asking those questions and I am a therapist but I was that newbie therapist at the time this is not like I had this extraordinary set of skills that the average person doesn't have. It was just a matter of what is it look like to connect with my spouse and to share my heart.

James five tells us, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you can be healed like I had accountability in college with some girlfriends. Why can't we have that in our relationship and what is that look like that.

Does this mean there's no secret there's no secret smell were open with everything so start early like if I have an appropriate thought or if I look to the woman appropriately.

I told her he and you know what happens when you confess those things you get freedom from them and I realized if I have to tell her these things on Sunday night.

Your highly motivated during the week to choose the right thing how it's accounted because you realize this is what I'm going to share this home to field his arm to hurt my wife to make me feel horrible and I'm wrong in doing this helps you become less Ice Age transformers made me a better man because you live in freedom and joy in the fullness that you get to experience of being fully known. Fully, love fully accepted his deeper than anything you can imagine now is it our own will cool things that you think shouldn't be shared like emotionally or far tell people that if your life is like a book chapter by chapter. Make sure that your spouse knows the summary don't have to know every sentence and every detail you know let's just even talk about that example of I had an inappropriate thought. While I don't have to know who it was and what you are thinking and all the nitty-gritty details or something in my past that I need to know exactly what you did and how you did it but I just need to have a general idea of where you're struggling and you need to have a general idea of where I'm struggling it's accountability and it's also freedom. I think I think there's something here for the church as well, but but what if it started in our marriages. Here's a weird question for you and your therapist so I love to hear your you thought a husband tells his wife after he sprayed one night I just prayed to God. I'd rather be dead than married to you actually say that this is our conversation. This was Mary here for you the honest size of that and I said because we were told before marriage share every thought you ever had and when I think some things about what you noticing.

I don't know if I want to hear thing a lot of spiritual lingo used to Canon tell her what you really need to tell her like a member when he said he brought you a list that he prayed about now you're crying again. You've got to live the second it came out of my mouth. This is when the first nine months of our marriage. The second I sent you and I said because over supposed be totally honest and want to hide anything.

Susan came out I looked at her when I saw her face just drop it was like that was stupid. That's one of those things that I did need to be that specific really had just said that because we were really struggling.

Anoint yeah the difference I'm not sharing my honest opinion about what he needs to work on and change and what I don't like about him honest assessment of me.

You know what I'm doing what I'm struggling with where I'm at. It's not me assessing him easy to be honest about assessing my spouse here, but you gotta work on yes but how the key to freedom I think is learning to give that honest assessment to ourselves taking the plank out of our own I follow Congress diligent of exposing this is who I am and it's not pretty and having her spouse continue to receive us is the gospel I think is really cool that what what you're modeling for us in every couple can be done by anybody. I made it part of me is likely your therapist. So you're really good at this like no any husband-and-wife if they would have the guts and the courage to say was to check in. To be honest, this can really change the marriage and I think a great starting point. You look at your own life and think about what's what's one thing I want to do better.

One thing I want to get better and you know if you're a parent who gives super angry trees that just check in that weeks ahead. How was you know I struggle with anger this week with the kids.

I responded this way or when you told me the source. You know I think if you look at yourself. We each have one thing that we usually struggle with on the go to. That's a great starting point that you know do is talking to magically change one day you know it's a process of years and years and then and then it's also building in the accountability so being open about things like one of the things that we talked about for protecting your interactions like dub are very deliberate about like I haven't deleted my Internet history didn't hurt. I'm afraid my computer for seven years. Just total freedom. She can with my phone chicken with my computer. I have nothing.

I'm afraid of her.

To see God from guarding your motion you're looking at how you got your actions and actions okay and what about you.what's that look like what else you guys did you know just even in that in the ministry world year meeting a lot of people then and there some the opportunities to connect with people of the opposite sex. So were always cautious about not accepting invitations will really be alone with someone of the opposite sex. I mean it's really not a big deal to throw in 1/3 party, and it's not even because were worried or we don't trust each other, some of it also is just so that there's no opportunity for anyone else to think something might be happening. That's not even getting a hint hint of an opportunity or aura misunderstanding now, so I just really careful with interactions if if if there's an someone I'm interacting with on a regular basis. The email or text. I'm always telling him what's going on. He's always telling me we look at each other and I mean in marriage are one and so seeing that in the context of your interactions with people. It isn't weird to cc him into an email because one day than I do that all the time. Just include him on the text if it's with another guy I K days on this and it's it just become a habit for us. Some people think it's ridiculous that you're right where one my world is days world and we don't want to disclose one another from last when you talk about time I guarding your time. What's that look like this is the trickiest one, and I think something that we struggle with the most in the world because with set within seconds, you can be on your phone in the same room but doing completely different things.

John can be playing chess, I can be on Instagram and the time passes just like that. So I think protecting your time is one of the most important things that you can do for you really struggled with this.

Just because screen time.

It's just so assessable where our hands. We can work we can do emails we can play games and we have found that to be isolating at times.

So you're saying the same thing you do it yeah I think it's realizing that anytime you say yes to something or signal something else. So if you're saying you just be aware of the choices you're making so technology, you know, I try sometimes go through the summer. My phone in the evenings checking things, but being delivered about okay this next hour through dinner whatever my wife on the desk. There's nothing really urgent, I actually have to go to, you know like I don't need to know this fact on Google immediately. I could wish you know so it's putting her phone.

You know what the score is of the girls love the water and the other thing to his just learning to do things together like our hobbies instead of having separate hobby yeah doing things that we both like I did a survey of the thousand married couples and over 50% of them said they have separate hobbies and interests. Think about how much time is spent in separate things with the little time you have that you could actually be doing something together to take up things that the other likes or learn about something that the other person likes or do something together that's new for both of us just kinda learning to guard our time in that way. I felt like I should probably start playing golf. You play golf tennis is good enough for me. You can both take up some new together. That's truth. It also looks really different different seasons and I was working you know I won't point my training hundred hours a week. We have young children under five multiple kids under five.

The reality is when you have no time.

You have no time for hobbies need to accept. You know my free time is not I can go golfing for six hours. That's just a poor choice to separate me from my wife. So when you don't have time, you don't have supper time. This is the reality and I think sometimes as Americans we try to squeeze everything and go go go go. We don't pause and stop and that's were we tried to be deliberate about choosing hobbies together like will go for walks will go hiking. I will fling chess random game she learned how to play chess so she could play with me. I don't love it, but I've learned that I do know that I sent you and I think you know.

Ultimately, this idea of trust of the fruit of it is that you end up experiencing the deepest joy, pleasure, satisfaction greater than any of these other things appear to give you what you get to experience in your marriage mean I think it is. I'm listening whole idea protecting your marriage when you choose to do that it builds trust. That's probably the biggest thing I'm hearing is like when when you say my life is not mine. It's ours. And so my interactions you're going to know my Internet history, you're going to know my my conversation with other people, my time, my emotions yeah that builds trust in a marriage has to be built on trust and if I'm withholding that that creates this trust and immerse her fall parcel one are great gifts in this conversation I think is been for couples is that okay you have given us really practical and even if coupled to said okay will start with the Sunday night or Monday know what works or day yeah you a check in and say I'm going to be open with my heart and my life to you.

That's going to start some new luminaries that could save the marriage and everything one is like a string, a new string that connects you, dear spouse, the more you have, more deliberate, you have the stronger your marriage is, and I love that you guys have been incredibly intentional about your relationship and about your family.

It's inspiring to see how God is using you that I love Evan John on the rug and thinking things are happening. I don't know why it is that we think that our marriages will get better and better. If we do nothing, you know if if we just let them coast there going there to flourish. Marriage needs intentionality because David and Wilson were just thing with John and Deborah Florida and we need to protect our marriage. We need to build some protective boundaries around our relationship.

Deborah fully to his address the specific subject in a book she's written called choosing marriage why it has to start with we is greater than me and we got copies of that book in our family life today resource Center you can order the book from us or you can call Porter, one 800 FL today I think it's chapter 6 in the book where she she's titled it.

Always use protection from insecurity to safety how to guard your marriage how to protect your emotions and your interactions in your time. Again, this is part of Deborah's will. Choosing marriage, you can request your copy from or you can call to order one 800 FL today at one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today.

You know, helping marriages thrive and helping to protect marriage relationships. This is at the heart of what we are all about your family life. Our goal is a ministry is to effectively develop godly marriages and families. We believe godly marriages and families can change the world one home at a time and were so grateful for those of you were not only regular listeners to this program, but you're the people who make this program possible in your community and for audiences all around the world. Those of you contribute from time to time or for monthly legacy partners. Thank you for your support of the ministry of family life to the you need to know that today there are hundreds of thousands of people who have benefited from this conversation because of your generosity. So, on behalf of those couples thank you for your support and if you're a longtime listener and you've never made a donation to support family life today.

I will invite you to join the team today and help make family life to the possible in the future so more people more often can be impacted by practical biblical help and hope you can donate call to donate one 800 FL today is her number and that we hope to hear from you.

We also hope you can be back with us again tomorrow when our friend Ron deal is gonna be here to talk about some of the very practical very wise things couples should be thinking about if they are preparing to start a blended family. If you're getting remarried. Ron is here with counsel on that tomorrow.

Hope you can join us as well. If you know somebody who's in that situation, encourage them to listen in as well on behalf of our host Steven M Wilson on Bob Lapine. We will see you next time for another edition of family life family like today is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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