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When Expectations in Marriage Fall Flat

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
December 8, 2021 9:00 pm

When Expectations in Marriage Fall Flat

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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December 8, 2021 9:00 pm

I didn't sign up for this. FamilyLife President David Robbins & his wife Meg discuss how to deal when expectations in marriage fall short of reality.

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Let's talk about our wedding day to even have pictures. Pictures here as I remember our wedding day. Besides your dad hiring a guy at work, pictures, member of the paper cups for the reception of late. That's what you remember about our is the cheapest wedding man could have is your dad was she that I love the guy would've done it exactly as they would if I had done lately. Let's go back when he remember that I wedding day.

I remember I had here. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and will send Dave Wilson and you can find us@familylifetoday.com or on our family life Family life today when he remember about our wedding day. Though actually the first thing I remember is forgetting the lyrics of the song I wrote you remember yes I laughed so hard, but you don't remember the valves all the vows they were traditional well sailor without you like that day was so special that were nervous. You are singing yes on the made up which was a big surprise. I think Everett I forget the lyrics that I just did there in the past. Remember he covered a really good yes.

Look what happens to a man in the mist of beauty or something like that.

You know that I remember the lyrics and you marry me.

I did that.

What I remember about that day wasn't the actual ceremony was when we started our honeymoon we got on our knees before we got into our bed and we prayed remember exactly word for word God were not asking you for good marriage but a great marriage that will one day impact the world for your kingdom.

That's what I remember and I remember surrendering our lives to Jesus and that to me is a holy moment was a holy moment. It reminded me of Dr. Bill Bright and find that right there contract they made with God surrendering their lives. They wrote it out and they gave God, their lives and so today to be a great day because we have David Robbins and his wife met with us, who is the president of family life. So like today guys so much good to be here and we have you here on a pretty important month in the yearly calendar family life. Tell us why it's a critical month of December is a huge month for us and will remind our listeners as we approach this critical time this month of December, over 40% of our donations for the entire year coming this month. These 30 days determine how family life will be able to fuel ministry over the course of the next 12 months. And so as you can imagine.

We had to make some tough calls over this last year and were hoping that through the generosity of people like you, we can continue to reach your home with timeless truths and gospel centered truth around marriage and family and that we want to continue reach more homes. We want to help other homes pursue the relationships that matter most and encouraging thing is, as it were, growing our podcast of been downloaded by almost half a million times around the world each month in your gift helps fuel ministry to those homes and those hearts. It makes it possible. So not only will your donation doubled matched dollar for dollar but were also going to send you a couple thank you gifts and that is a bonus. Guys that is a pretty cool thank you gift Dana Bartlett has been a guest on here before, wrote a book called in the Lord. I take refuge, which is 150 devotionals from the book of Psalms. That's 20 or guess what, here's another one playing cards that have conversation starters on hope. What's that mean I mean it's awesome get play cards that you get to talk my way so this is a good direction going to play cars now, but that's a gift to you if you give a gift to family life and as David said this is critical. I mean if you believe in what this ministry does. And I know you do send a gift that will make a difference not only in your lives. But in your neighbor's life's and impact the world for the kingdom, and you can do that simply by donating right now. Family life today.com or you can even call one 800 FL today and make your gift right now just go back David Meg to your wedding day.

Talk about that moment that special day was fascinated about hearing you guys talk about your wedding night is that that same couple. Dr. Bill Bright and Yvonne that his wife inspired us to. We got on our knees and we surrendering, signed the contract of our lives away to the Lord. Also, and I must say you actually sign something to me that we had heard that they had been really couple years before that had really been challenged to think incentive like writing out what we want our life to be signing away and asking the Lord on it like what if they flip that around. You probably heard this challenge from them before, but like you just sign a blank page and say okay Lord, what do you have rest and where were willing to sign off on whatever you might write a story relies that scary scary in a lot of ways that I think clarify the so you actually signed a blank page with nothing on before we were engaged like on our own, brought that together under we did sign a piece of paper we have in the scrapbook. Joshua 116 was the first we felt like the Lord was asking us to trust him with wherever you send us. We will go whatever you command us to do. We will do that was the people's response to Joshua when the Lord gave him the mantle of leadership from Moses and that was our hearts desire before the Lord. Blank sheet of paper we want to keep that going together not messed that up as all joy when you follow him and like that, and we experience that in our singleness and so we will experience that together here is interesting is the blank sheet of paper. I know that I only heard one other person talking about that but I mean we sort of signed a contract to said were expecting you to do this this and this. I'm kidding, but I think most of us when we come to Christ. We do have an expectation. This is what I look like even as I was joking earlier as a pastor. I've done several hundred weddings and as you get better, for worse, you richer, for poorer, you look at the couple and you know they're thinking it's better and it's richer there.

I think in worse and poor, and yet is a seasoned marriage veteran a sense, you sort of smile knowing your stand but a lot of this the hours can be flushed out. That's what you signed a blank sheet, meaning if it's for worse, or if it's poor were in talk about that because that isn't whatever by signs up for your right that I think when where you're standing. There were so many details about that day I can remember at that paper cups see on it.

I just sponsored her for the Westmore club which was to swim and tennis club is part owner of concession stand as the Sagan spent all the money wanted her wedding or spend nothing. It has really very little rebel relevance to your wedding can how you merge get it up really spent probably less than five.

And here we are in your thinking be amazing. This is the beginning of all the other amazing deck is like we all know almost 20 years and that's not always the story. Think about that blank sheet of paper and I go there was a sincere heart to it and there was a reason why we were on our knees before the Lord wanted to give our lives to him and commit to Joshua 116 together is engraved in her wedding band.

However blank sheet actually does is expose my selfishness over and over and over again was exposed how selfish I am, and sometimes unwilling to follow what the Lord prompted me to do until he uses it to draw me back and as he says to me. David is is your life mine you know is is at the Lord's, and Mike still committed in an ongoing way to the blank sheet of paper and so it's a very practical yes, life comes at you hard. But there's also that continual invitation to the blank sheet of paper that got you shaking that's hard and beautiful like we don't sign that paper one time that daily kind of surrender. Yes, it's time to yourself and what your dreams are dreams are beautiful and got given.

And sometimes God cultivates this, and sometimes we don't see that as things become a reality. But you're right it's constantly saying okay Lord, whatever you have for me whether that's today. This year, this season of life for our entire life that yes coming back to that, ever, never again think the Lord keeps bringing us back to that, whether we see as the blank page back on her wedding day or just as daily moments okay do I trust you this level with whatever you have never and maybe in hands I've never met another couple that had gotten under knees on their wedding night. I'm not sure of ever heard that. I must say it's like that unique sure but I think it's sort of unique something is there because you know Fran and I in that moment. We had no idea that that prayer in some ways would put us in this seat right here but as you think back about that moment I remembered you remember like decide to do it impromptu or was a sum you planned out ago it was something we planned about this hello that was from Walmart think it was a red king-size pillow like this will be our prayer pillow like pregnancy body pillow is for well wedding sweet little preparation there already and it was a surprise.

You commit to Joshua 116 together, built like a before we do anything else in our marriage want to get on her knees together, but what's also true in bunnies that I don't think we use a pillow. Another is it being like a permanent you know read pillow of prayer and you might well we used to that one night and it was a pillow. Did you think it's a prayer pillow ground on pretty quick to say great guys there were making fun of you but that is pretty cool actually me you have a pillow advice a mentor couple to the new husband. And if you're dazed about to be married get a small thoughtful gift every day of the honeymoon was someone to what made such a fun thing for little surprised couple encouraged that to pray every day I pray together every day in your marriage and we did not get on the pillow.

Certainly there we just can't have.

We pray before bed every night and certainly there been nights where whatever fats and sometimes a superfast and were exhausted and sometimes it's longer we paper our kids are different things. But I think it best that I think I and how we ended up doing before the ration of dependence in the declaration of really dying daily got my day is ending my life tomorrow is yours. We always pray about the next day. Just looking at our lives got hurt those prayers that prayer that night and I think often we can think is a couple likely pray big, I didn't do anything that he dies he hears those lie in our situation, which may be similar to your subvention to hear about your first year but I mean six months later, we've written about this and talked about it we were really in trouble I'm in. We're struggling but also questioning our decision to marry one another because we really were so disappointed one another was like do we make it big mistake that even in that moment your thinking got in here us guys not answering. He's not can really use this marriage because it's not a good marriage did you know it's funny, is our first few years were really simplified a lot of life we had dated for really long time since she was a freshman's. We dated for 3 1/2 years and it was like hey we could actually live together and do this together. This is awesome, sort simplified a lot of initially and we had a great companionship. But then we moved overseas and all of a sudden a lot of in particular for me a lot of the crutches.

I leaned on for my identity were kicked out from under me and that is when I think this are being put to the test and just who and whom I am.

I called this water my gifts. I don't even know myself anymore and I had a companion that we continue to pray with me helping me figure this out and I'm so grateful how Meg was really living out those bowels when I was in the season that felt like obscurity and wilderness. You know, but I remember it was actually we are still in our hunting and we did married a week and I've never had this before I was young and my faith.

They was young and his faith to that we are coming on staff at campus Crusade for Christ crew. Now that I woke up in the middle the night on our honeymoon, but this feeling of dads in the room. I felt like this holy moment, so much so that I got on my knee beside the bed Davis asleep and I was just praying like Lord I feel like you want to speak to me and I just had this impression. My mind to read the book of James and I was young in my face.

I might Be like happiness book.

So the next day Dave and I are talking, I said hey I had this experience. Last night he felt this impression to read the book of James, and Dave says that's all about trials. I would be rereading about trials in our marriage. Mind you we just pray seven days earlier. Lord, we give you our entire marriage. Our lives everything to glorify you and what a sweet gift because I remember thinking must read that book we read it on our honeymoon. James one. Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, I want to stop right there because you know it's interesting in 33 seasons as a Detroit Lions chaplain. I bet you we went through that book twice my players so I don't ever read the book of James. Again, we always start losing but I mean it sorta prepped us. You know, to understand that there will be trials in our marriage, and there is a joy that is literally possible middle of it, but I think we lost hope in terms of God can fix us God can help us please not can be only use us because we sort perspective.

Back then God uses the good marriages you know people go to church are good people and are not, they are messed up like me.

Yes, I sorta thought you sorta forfeited your right to be abused by God. And yet we found the man he meets us right there and then he actually uses it because all the other couples are going through similar style pole. That's been there right that's right you look through all of Scripture and God uses broken people that he redeems and restores and then uses them as agents of transformation and reconciliation because they been reconciled. I can speak first hand about it and that's what all of us who are in Christ. We all have the Holy Spirit inside of us that he is doing this ongoing work in that second part of that verse you know of James one verse four so that the mature and complete, not lacking anything. I think as we think back to our wedding day and week. We think back to those bowels. You don't think of all the trials that are coming for the poor times or the sick times but yet it is through those times of wilderness or obscurity or suffering that you are shaped into the likeness of Christ, and we share in his suffering are not able to be agents of transformation to people around us.

None of us want to go through the seasons, yet it's because of the seasons that we end up out of a really authentic place pouring out Jesus to those people around us think Joshua 1/16 as whatever you command us. We will daily for every sentence we will go a lot of times we think that the physical sense. I think it has meant so much US over the years that God started us out in the beginning, saying whatever you sent us will go because I did grab living in the same house my entire life and time into college or even knew much less native cities and we have made a lot got called us emerald her places and it's been hard to pack up and move especially as it had more children even more. Even in that the spiritual sense of the emotional sense wherever you send us. We will go even if it's into the valleys and into the depths of places that are painful and hard and we wish we weren't there times that it's like what we will follow you.

Even in today's hard places because like David was just saying those are the things that shaped us and we experience more of him. He says even in those hard actually.

Especially not really even in depths and in the hard painful places we experience even more.

I think got it.

I think make you it's also as we going to those valleys, we are exposed, his people really see one another piece, each of the weaknesses we see our flaws, we see the past pain and how that is shaped us and I think to love each other when we see the true like I see your brokenness and sometimes you want to run away from, like we on our honeymoon. And yet God is continually asking. Can you love her.

Can you love him as you see the flies and that's not always easy. Is there a Valley that you remember can you take us through one that was really hard for you to marriage. Maybe I think back to that time in Italy where Meg was amazing that language in her spiritual gifts were alive and well and flourishing in this culture, and like I remember the day I put my PalmPilot to remember those so to say my personality like love that I gave as my groomsmen gifts a sterling silver stylus space pen because this was the wave of the future everyone will stylus again for people who may not know it. A PalmPilot digital account like Google calendar before I found the tricep get in your pocket revolutionary. You know, before the blackberry way. What like ourselves cutting edge totally all remember the day I put it in the drawer and just like this divisive hour by hour, the way I like to be. My life is offensive to this culture that's more circular and people in Bristol afternoon with you and and is offensive to go run to the next things I put it in the drawer and it was really a season of like who am I and what was being exposed was that I view God as a master which is a right way to view them. The King of Kings and Lord of lords, the master of my soul and all I lettuce in our wedding day two will go wherever you want us to go and do whatever he wants to do yet in this season early in our marriage. God was inviting me into more that he's not just our master and I'm a servant that is also the love of our soul and we are the beloved, and when you said Valley. The reason I thought of this was that Hosea to which you know is right in line of this prophet who God tells go show who I am by constantly pursuing and keep pursuing your wife that is going after other lovers and we all go after other lovers in life and one of mine is how much can I do what can I do for the kingdom, and I can become a quick idol in my life and in Hosea 2 it says I will lure her into the wilderness. It will be there that I speak tenderly to her. It will be there that she no longer calls me my master but will call me, my lover and you just go.

That is what God wanted invite me into in that valley where I really am I not called in the ministry anymore like it's sure duty when I was overseas in Italy just I'm just scraper myself off the bed and going all right go live this out. Let's go tell people that was really what was going on in my heart and I was goes, this identity crisis happening of who am I and in that valley God was inviting me to experience more of him and who he was. When it comes to my mind is just when we had three children, so went after our third was born.

Our oldest was barely 3 said they were three and under any first-tier you're kind of living in a file for a couple months whatever with the third one I think I was in the fog for like 10 to half time for me whether children love getting to be a mom that they all need me all the time. His physical needs constantly and now we have teenagers and it's a totally different thing. We moved to Atlanta and David was traveling more and he was in regional role with trail and that meant I was at home with the kids by myself a lot and realize I was starting to get so frustrated and better because I wasn't getting today you as much ministry anymore ministry just looked really different children, changing diapers whether discipleship in the way that day on college campuses. Before that, and so there I remember driving to Wednesday night church which we are not going to church that Wednesday night church forever, but we were like, whatever programs are were showing up in order to send the kids to jog over some time for us. You know, and with other adults and I remember I just got back from a trip where I will was coaching the campus and the couple that was in charge.

That campus was having a pretty big crisis moment and we had sent them off some counseling and they come back and gotten report. I was telling Meg a little bit about and I just leaned over and I go driving to church go, so does the me talking that much about their marriage make you wonder about hours and what I remember just let out a little well. Even a slight exaggeration.

Think there are little things that I realize were starting to bother me so much that ship David would say 615 615 your surviving all day and you're thinking about Amtrak 616, 617, 6:30 AM I realized I was letting that build was creating such division and then me that that was just one example of things that I was getting really angry about LED we need to really talk about how this is affecting his new season of life.

Three small children, you're traveling a lot, and what's happening between. We work through like it was a Valley just created by circumstances that might stand and was totally getting in the way not going to him and talking it out and say since about. Just don't tell me what time you're going to be home. Make it a lot better if you just let alone driveway and stay on your phone for two more is in small simple steps. There was nothing dramatic, but there was a okay let's own this your same prayer on your way not want a great marriage, not just a good marriage and I remember one of the simple steps we took was right. Instead of going on Wednesday nights and don't hang out with other adults eating dinner. Let's go to that marriage group and it ended up being a really safe place that was one of the things God used to restore us in that season you know is implicit, unthinking Deer Valley is your vehicle as a preacher provided so is it we've often said your pain is your purpose and I was thinking as you talk about that and we talked about our valleys.

It's amazing how God often meets us there, but then says I actually want to use this moment this season to help other families that are going to have it. We didn't talk about this, but it came to my mind.

I love this passage is one of the verses I just I didn't understand for years and now I think I sort of do. Second Corinthians 13 rep. All right.

Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort. So this, who comforts us in all our troubles suss in the Valley so that it's a purpose statement is just so we can comfort us. There's a reason so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God, and you know when you're in that moment infected in a vertical merge book. We called them the season your dog about this. The shadow of the Valley of little toddlers in the home and your exhausted and your wife come home later, did your husband totally and you're so mad because they're not there to be a partner with you and it's hard season. But the thing we never understood is God, OSUs Valley is the vehicle in your life to minister to others. Here we are were sitting the studio. There are families in the Valley right now and all I can say, and we Artie said this earlier.

Here's my my application get on your knees together tonight as a couple and said to me three months ago. We should start praying to get on her knees at the foot of our bed and we started doing it. I would love to tell you right now are doing every night were not. But I tell you the other night I got a you know were in bed and I jumped out of bed. I went down to my knees and she literally goes you on your knees you find me how much your partner wants to pray with you I miss you jumps out of bed. We pray for 30 seconds a minute. It's not like this big thing but it's like a bonding moment vertically, but it's horizontal because you're doing it together and I think that helps you get to the Valley's Saito a couple listing right now. Get on your knees together tonight. Maybe start a practice and if your spouse won't do it. You do it because you can pray for you and you can pray for God's comfort to meet you in this marriage and I bet you guys can meet you and that actually use you to help others when we go through challenging seasons in our marriage. It really reveals where our hope is where our source of strength is Jesus said in the sermon on the mount that when the rains come in the storms blow it will be evident. Whether your house is built on sand were built on a rock and it's so important for us to make sure that we are building our relationship.

The rock of God's word on our relationship with him. Our friends Jeff and Sarah Walton have written a book called together through the storms biblical encouragement for facing challenges in marriage.

We got copies of the book in our family life to the resource Center for those of you who are in the midst of a storm want to prepare for the storm.

You can get a copy of the book go to our website.

Family life to the.com or call us at one 800 FL today to request your copy again the number is one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today. Know your family like everything we do is to help get you ready for the challenging moments your face and marriage. Our goal is to effectively develop godly marriages and families. We want your marriage, your family, to stand strong in the storms.

We trust that these daily times together.

As you tune into family life to those who listen to the podcast as you take advantage of resources we offer or attend the events that we host. We trust that all of these efforts are helping you to build your marriage, your relationship on a solid foundation on a biblical foundation family life to exist to provide practical biblical help and hope for your marriage, your family, to effectively develop godly marriages and families that can change the world one home at the time these last few weeks of 2021 are significant for our ministry hearing from listeners over the next few weeks will determine for us just how aggressively were able to move forward in the new year to continue providing this daily radio program the resources you depend on the events that you look forward to the real issue is how many marriages and families will be impacted in the year ahead. A lot of it comes down to what we hear from listeners over the next few weeks so were asking all of you to consider making a generous urine contribution be as generous as you can be the reason for that is because there's a matching gift fund that's been made available to us. $1.5 million in matching funds that are available, but we need to hear from listeners like you to take advantage of those matching funds whatever donation you make will receive an equal amount from the matching gift fund. Your donation will be effectively double. You can donate online@familylifetothe.com or call one 800 FL today to donate by phone when you do will send you a copy of Dana workman's new book called in the Lord. I take refuge, hundred and 50 devotions from the book of Psalms chart.

Thank you gift to you. When you make a urine donation and we look forward to hearing from you again donate online. The family life to.com or call one 800 FL today and be sure to join us tomorrow.

Working to hear from David and Meg Robbins about when they received the news that one of their children would be born with special needs and will hear about how that impacted the relationship with one another.

Hope you can tune in for that on behalf of our host statement and Wilson. I'm Bob team.

We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life to the family like to the user. Production of family accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most


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