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How To Persevere In Marriage

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
October 14, 2021 2:00 am

How To Persevere In Marriage

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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October 14, 2021 2:00 am

How can you keep going in your marriage when it feels so hard? Dave and Ann Wilson encourage couples to persevere and finish well.

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So let's talk about track you don't judge a winner in a race until the finish line. That's the way life is. You know you don't judge your life, your Christian walk your marriage by how you start you judge it by how you finish. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find his family life today.com or on our family life is family life today so let's talk about eighth grade track all yes, don't you remember eighth grade Dracula using you raising runner Ohio Buckeye conference women's hurdles champion 800 800 and I know that I ran that hurdles but I wasn't good. I didn't know you ready because you ran the 800. That's what I want to tell my my famous 800 city meet in middle school he excelled 50 years ago I was in eighth grade and I ran the 800 because I wasn't fast enough to run the sprints your skiing running track. I hated track absolutely hated it because I didn't want to especially the 800 (two full laps around the field in that only reason I did it was to be in condition for football.

All I was doing this will help me be ready for the late summer and fall football so I got for track and they stick me in the 800 again because I'm just not superfast, but I can run distance right. But here's the thing you know, this is Donnell junior high school now.

Like all middle school I went back to that later you were in fifth grade when I was in eighth grade you're just a little girl run around but here I am. You know so you remember the city meet is the best of the three middle schools in our city of Finley Ohio and you compete for this championship of the city so this is like the biggest meet of the season. It's the end of the year and I never wants one that 800. Ever.

My teammate Tommy Jones sport that you weren't the best one where I never won that one time I always came in second or third because my teammate Tom Jones. He was fast in you and are playing high school football with me in baseball but so he's on house so you for me. Tell this I think I decided I'm not going to finish this race.

I hate this race. I hated all I'm not gonna finish it so challenging why I didn't tell anybody that I just hated it so much and I know that I can win anyway. Now we got Tom Jones who's going to win and there were six of us to from each school so the six fastest and the whole city and I'm not gonna win a priority at the top three, so my why even try. So I decided I'm to run the first lap, and right at the turn going into the second lab and fall. I plan to like you and you you can fall into your heart just cannot finish this race and I can win anyway. So why do it so I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm telling the story publicly, but so sure enough the gun they start the race and Tom's in first place and I'm literally in the last place going in the first lap yeah come around the turn at the first lab and now we have one more left to go and I'm looking up ahead, and I'm last and I'm like, there's the turn and right at that turn. I'm just going to trip online when I looked into the infield_fall to the grass, grab my leg and be done with this.

Maybe I can relate just like I just don't want to do this anymore. And this is my plan to be humiliated to come in last place you have city meet. That's probably more of this was my my self-image so anyway as I'm coming up this turn again in last place.

I wasn't far behind, but I was funeral behind. The last guy here at the flagpole.

I know where this is because it's when you start your kick now this is the beginning of the second lab eigenstate dialogue. There is no all they want to check out wrongdoing. The 400 and about. Was it a 420 more yards so I'm starting the second lab and just as I'm getting to me like three more steps.

There is out there is there. I'm just about all the sudden right in front of me like 54 runners got jumbled together, and they fell down they stepped out each other and they all went down right in front of me.

I literally had to step over them Tom Jones on Tom and the other two, three runners that were right there in first place with them because they were all jockeying for position and you've seen it yet again Olympics or some they go down while they went down right in front of me and I literally have to swing outside them a jumbo room. Next thing I know I look up I'm in first place.

There's like two more runners left in their trying to get back up and run, but you know what, 30 yards ahead of now the time to get back on track. So now I'm like I'm finished and I did the city meet eighth grade 800, I'm your champ right here hello there has to be a great lesson learned in this I mean it's because they fell down and they finish later but yeah the lesson learned is this. I learned a really important lesson that day. One is this. You never know if you happen, you may just think it's too hard. You want to give up. You want to quit. You just don't know what's around the corner that's really true for marriage lottery for life is for parenting is true in your marriage. But here's the big principle that I think we want to talk about today and this applies to marriage and family you don't judge a winner in a race until the finish line.

Like if you would've looked at me at the starting block, you would've said loser he's in last place right from the beginning. There's no ways can win but you get to the end of the race and there I am standing and that's the way life is.

You know you don't judge your life, your Christian walk your marriage by how you start you judge it by how you finish and so I thought. Be good to talk about how you finish. Well here's the thing about finishing it on a race you know where the finish line is it's two laps or one lap or whatever in life you don't know. But if you're going to finish well. It means I go live today well because today could be the finish line so your living today like it's your link could be your last day in many ways and I would say that this is a big idea big ideas, not how you start that matters, but how you finish. You know, you often think the greatest picture of a marriage is your wedding picture on your wedding day and that's a glorious moment in many ways a glorious picture but I think a more beautiful pictures. The couple that's standing together 20 years later 40th anniversary 50th anniversary.

That's finishing well and you know and we know after being married 41 years.

There are a lot of dark moments is been in 40 some years, 50 years for any couple where you want to quit and you can quit and you can even pick the day like I'm I'm checking out right here, right now, but you just never know what could be around the next corner think that's true for those that have been re-married to think if you're thinking right now. Like the first one didn't work and maybe they feel like this one's not eat there to not give up that I'm thinking about my parents. They were married 70 years and I remember looking at family are there to celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary. We went down for that and I can remember seeing and my mom had Alzheimer's for 12 years. By that time my dad had cancer. He also had several heart attacks but I'll never forget, they'd both on the sleeping ahead chair side-by-side. Remember, this they were sleeping.

They were just holding each other's hands and I thought that the picture of marriage of being it the long haul. Like that's a true picture of love because they've endured in a country so might save. Here's a word I think we need to resurrect persevered. Yeah, I actually looked up the definition to persevere like this. It says to continue in a course of action, even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.

Well, that's perseverance and I mean if you're dating engaged in your newlywed days you may think all or not you need to. Oh yes, you're going to persevere in the face of difficulty with little or no prospect of success in meeting our great start to marriage lasted less than six months.

It was six months of paradise.

It was glorious on wedding day and we go to the we can remember even two weeks before our wedding and we think we don't even need this, we are still amazing that six months later, we are struggling and that didn't end it continued to struggle. And here we are 41 years later because we persevered and many know our story, but God met us there and helped us persevere in the valley but it has been tough. It's sort of interesting. I think we live in a time where watching a lot of people not finish well there falling on track. Christian leaders people are deconstructing from the face and some of our leaders have made decisions that have become public and they're not finishing well. So what would it look like to finish. Well, not just as a follower of Christ, but as a husband or wife or a mom or dad that I think of Paul writing to Timothy, one of the last books that Paul wrote was the second letter to Timothy. It is the last book that he wrote in. So the last chapter is sort of his closing remarks on his life and I love what he said in chapter 4, he says I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is the judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom preach the word be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching which is a great word is he speaking sort on his deathbed he will be ready in season to do the work of the kingdom, and then he goes on. As for you, always be sober minded enduring suffering doing the work and evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

We all have a call and then he says this for I am already being poured out as a drink offering in the time of my departure has come. I love the statement of resume and I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

That's perseverance in the Christian walk.

And we know Paul's story is all kinds of hardship all kinds of persecution.

He could easily quit and set up done but many talk about a leader in the faith of persevered and finished well if Paul ask you we both have this passion of finishing well.

It was even before we are finishing were older.

Now that we just wanted to burn for Jesus and I see that in you.

What compels you like why guess at why do you want to finish well why he wanted it so well on me. I think it's a marathon it's a long race, and the testimony of God's power and presence is finishing well I think it's a testimony to our generation and the next generation that they didn't quit that intern in the towel. They hung in there and good times and dark times and they experience the very power God in their life and in their marriage and in their family, and even want to got hard, they rolled their sleeves and I said Jesus is here.

He can meet us and can get us through it and there were looking for.

I think I see feel that same way. If I can't Jesus change his life. He gives people hope he gives marriages and families hope and isn't that what people are looking for, especially in our culture today like we need hope and we need answers of how to do this well yeah I would say you know is you think about this.

I would be asking this question. So how how you finish well and so were to give you force days to finish well and I if I can remember 20 some years ago.

I think I read in a book by Steve for our what he called the force days and some borrowing from Steve for our but it's like the first one would be this day in the word stay in the word. I think we get off the rails or we lose focus and purpose. When we get out of God's word and and if we do that we can easily not finish well and I think what Jesus said in John 15. He said abide in me and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

So when you hear that what you think that think same thing like how do I stay connected to Jesus.

And I don't mean when I'm about to die or finishing I'm saying every single day. Staying connected to the vine is essential like working away there and diet. Think of our grandson picking flowers for me and by the time he walks them into the house. There kind of will think because they're disconnected, you know from the root and suffer and we cannot be disconnected because that's our power source that I know one of the greatest things I love about you which nobody gets to see but me is almost every day of our marriage.

I can remember, and it's still true now walking into the kitchen and seeing you with your one year Bible or seen you on the deck with your one year Bible in your journal and your pen to paper, sometimes seen you on your knees with their hands raise even on the deck worshiping God. How many years of you going through the one year Bible I think 16 row yeah and every year I do have Mike sell new things that God shows me there is new things I want to study and it ignites my soul.

I can remember one time talking to these women about what happens when I don't spend time in God's word and I brought out this old sponge that had been used in years and if you took your finger across that sponge. It would sound like you know it just crusty and hard, but when you're eating God's word. It's like a poor water like Jesus said I will give you rivers of living water, and so every day that I mean that word I feel like God's word is being poured into me and it softens my heart so that's not hard and crusty and it helps meet and hear God's word helps me to obey can help me to know what he says. Yet one of the things that you know our listeners will know their intent to get the car were going to trip you say this every day region. What I'm reading today and when you're by what I got very timely manner, reading aloud you love to read it out loud it honestly, I never stop you.

And then I say the same thing to you do every time and it's like the fire in your relationship with Christ in the fire of my relationship with Bryce really resonates out of staying in the word and you do the same thing you're not going to the one year Bible, but you're always studying God's word. Yeah, I'm just like, you know, even as a pastor I thought over 40+ years of ministry.

I realize people really only want from their minister.

They want to know that you been with Jesus today.

Yeah, I just wanted when I meet with you for lunch or they need help in counseling.

They just sort of wonder if you been with Jesus today has he met you and do you have anything for me It's either an overflow or it isn't like Jesus said you abide in there will be fruit and it's so easy ministry to concentrate on the fruit and he said not all countries in the fruit concentrate on the root connected and so we set even our vertical marriage book man. If you keep your relationship dynamic, you need to pray together daily and that's staying in the word together so that you finish well in your marriage.

So I would say that if you're married and you're not praying together daily that your action step. Just choose today to say what if we started praying together as a couple and some you may be as I can with ever. I don't pray out loud you can start today could be a very short prayer and you say, honey, was pray and what would you save your husband doesn't want to pray uses all the time anyway.

Just pray anyway. Put your hand on your husband. Thank God for them, pray, Jesus I pray that you would protect ask tight ass and if your spouse isn't good with just pray anyway. Maybe if they don't like you prattle out this pricing only, but to love them and show them the love of Jesus because I think one of the things you put down this quote, which is so good.

Delight yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn anything through you can tell when people have been with Jesus because there burning for him and their something so attractive might want to fire they had like joy and in essence about then that's contagious and I think it's the same thing is true in a home, kids, sniff out fakery. You know, mom or dad are really walking with God, our stand in the word aren't abide in you can't fake it. You maybe a fake it outside your home. In some ways you cannot fake it in your marriage.

You cannot figure with your kids is apparent and you can't fake a fire. It's gotta be stoked in the furnace of God's word and God's spirit. And so it's like you can't go in day apart from and because you set apart from me you can do nothing. Can you do a marriage that stays hot for 10, 15, 20, 30 years and I know it's easy to think I just need to fall more in love with her more love with them and that's part of it, but I think the fire comes from the word of God in the spirit of God alive in our lives.

So I think a good question to ask at this point is if you had your heart in your hand would it sound like like that crusty sponge you know how have you filled up that heart and lean onto it perfectly by any means and I must do their something when God gets a hold of those hearts and we surrender them. He does something magnificent you know I would even add you know we said there's four stays. We've only took about one to continue this, but I do think if this first day in the word is not the foundation. The others no matter you don't have power. You don't have his perspective to be able to do the others because their action steps, but this first one is like am I going to be willing to sit and train in godliness by making the word a part of my daily work out of me week many of us work out physically and we don't miss that work out. What about your spiritual body. Are you willing to pay a price. The say I'm gonna walk with God. I'm gonna leave my family and a walk with God in you know what again one of the ways to do it just to pray every single day together with your spouse and I would add one more thing. So the what that has you sent praying getting God's word like download the new version app I'm talking right now to young moms you're thinking.

I don't even have time to read that you can listen but one ear abide in and listen to God's word as you're doing the dishes is you're doing something like, you can get God's word in your life and I'd one more. I decided to skip the story of us. Yeah, it's the devotional that we as the family speakers all wrote in and it's a Devo for couples and you could just open nothing. It's a guide and that's one way you can get in the word together and literally let God transform you and transform your family as you stay in the work. I think the key idea what David and Wilson have been talking about today is that we need to be purposeful and intentional about building spiritual practices in our own lives and in our life together as a couple and the resources they just mentioned the story of us devotional that the family like we come to remember speaker team help to create.

That's a great resource for couples to use the new version app we got a link to that app on our website@familylifetoday.com. The app is free. You can download it and start using it immediately. Again, go to family life today.com if you're interested in any of these resources. Of course Dave and I am have written a book called vertical marriage.

That is about the kinds of practices that we build into our marriage that will help our marriage go the distance. It's available both as a book and as a small group study all of the information about these resources can be found on our website@familylifetoday.com or you can call if you have any questions or would like to order any of the resources from us. Her number is one 800 FL today, 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today. Now a quick shout out today to those of you who are the. The folks who make today's program possible.

Those of you who are not only listeners to family life today but who financially support this ministry. Thank you for that support. You made this conversation possible, and there were hundreds of thousands of people who have been impacted because of your generosity family like today's luster supported your donations make available as a podcast. Our website, our resources are events, all of that happens because of your financial support.

So were grateful for that. And if you're able to make a donation today would love to send you a copy of a book we talked about earlier this week Becky Harling joined us to talk about how we can be better listeners to our children things we can do to help open them up Becky's book is called how to listen so your kids will talk.

It's our gift to you. When you make a donation online@familylifetoday.com when you call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life than the word today. Thanks in advance for your support.

We appreciate your and we hope you can join us again tomorrow when David and Wilson are to talk not only about the things we can be doing so that our marriage will stay strong all the way to the finish line. But some of the things we can avoid doing. We can watch out for continue the conversation tomorrow. Hope you can be with us for that on behalf of our host Steven M Wilson on Bob team. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life today family like today is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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