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Dean Inserra: When the Problem is Your Spouse

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 30, 2022 10:00 pm

Dean Inserra: When the Problem is Your Spouse

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 30, 2022 10:00 pm

When you suspect your marriage problem is actually your spouse -- what then? On FamilyLife Today, Dave & Ann Wilson host author Dean Inserra, who plunges into what to expect from marriage when it goes wrong.

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Before passage baby name for today show, this is David Robbins, president of family life and we've had this very unique opportunity this month for a matching gift challenge where any gift that's given to family life is doubled or been so encouraged and grateful for the ways many of you have joined with us were so thankful for your passion for the gospel to get to more homes were so grateful for those of you who want God's design around marriage and family to be known to more people around the world.

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What I know is that the challenges families have faced over the last two years and as complexity in the world continues.

We are seeing people open to the gospel. We are seeing people open to receiving help and some of the most sacred places in their lives. The relationships that matter most to them. Would your home be able to help another home today. Love now is a feeling that our culture or couple say we just fell out of love. What's impossible to love the choice yeah everybody I officiate at this one mine always they did not decide what is important. Also, to your dating life. Feelings may have even gotten you to your engagement photos feelings possibly could have got you to this day right here at the altar. The note gets you to 1/50 wedding anniversary using the love each other and welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship that matter most and nothing, and I'm Dave Wilson and you can find or on our family life, family life, think one of the surprises about America in the beginning is we just weren't happy, yet I would be as surprised especially since we thought going in and let's try every couple things we will be the happiest married couple ever because we love Jesus we love Jesus we love each other were going in the full-time vocational ministry.

How could it lightly. Jesus blessed and give us happiness in our marriage.

Isn't that what he does, yeah, and again we don't go understory because our listeners have heard it many times but you know six months and you say the biggest mistake your life was marry me, and here's what we often haven't gotten into about that part of our our story is that we both and I'm sure we talk about it at the time, but we both sort of blame God like this was on him because were following him were obeying his will leak out to be married were not happy and so you know a guy does God's about happiness and happiness in our marriage that sorta we thought maybe the goal of marriage and we found that God has a bigger vision than that that that that's a bad thing, but it is not the goal. God's goal for marriage is much more than happy, however UNICEF because we got Dean and Sarah back with us today and he did write a marriage book about it but you sorted it. I mean Dean, welcome back to fame elected a first ball think safely and write me back.

Yeah, and yesterday you know we talked a little bit about your book getting over yourself which you know that would be a great title for marriage book that line right there. I read of every spouse understood that but let me read your subtitle. It is not a marriage booklet where you talk about how it applies to marriage because it's about theology and then marriage is about theology and our theology was not God's theology, but your subtitle for getting over yourself is trading. Believe in yourself religion for Christ centered, Christianity, and again your pastor a church in Tallahassee here married to Chrissy had two sons and a daughter yeah yeah so this is stuff you're living in as a pastor theology what you teach what other churches teach so yesterday we talked about the new prosperity gospel, you sorta explain theology, give us 1/32 reminder of what that is the new prosperity gospel from asking people to get over move on from and be really be careful, be warmed over is the idea that God exists for your self-fulfillment for your personal potential for your perceived greatness to make your wildest dreams come true mostly to make you happy like I've got purpose as a life coach is a genie. It existed basely for your personal happiness. We sit with Dean before we eat.

Are you just sort of describe what a lot of us and by the way in the church as well as the church. Yeah think when we get married and really in anything but as we talk about marriage today. You know, you think, sorta, God is going to make us happy in our marriage because were following him. What is wrong with that perspective, the idea that marriage first exists for personal happiness is where we see in the Scriptures, loving marriage exist more for holiness that if God big plan for our lives is to make us more like Jesus then why would his greatest institution outside of the church that the marriage be anything but that the president try to be like Jesus and we had lunch together.

I told you is that if you want to see how selfish you are, get married, you are really selfish or have kids marriage by the sink dictation process, but ultimately marriage is what he uses to point us to himself as a visible portrait marriages of the invisible reality of the relationship between Christ and the church. So for us living that out as human beings and not God is a daily commitments and covenants to each other because the covenant that God is made with us now does God not want us to be happy.

So I think he definitely wants us to be happy with our marriage. I think he sometimes defines happiness differently than we do is argue happiness is very confined to an American Western idea of the of the sort of human flourishing in the moment, meaning things are exactly as I want them to be that I had this feeling right now. Happiness in the moment. If it's not that, then something must change. So in the new prosperity gospel comes a marriage. What is happening as this message comes regularly that you just do more what makes you happy. You can walk into different businesses will be assigned on the wall that says do more what makes you happy. But Christians will put some God language on top of that and say that God wants you to do more. What makes you happy. So sound spiritual sounds more kosher and in the new prosperity gospel, you could say one of the biggest offenses is doing what they would call settling usually so your settling for less than God's best and how that's usually translated in life is what you think. Settling means that right now in this moment I'm not happy. I don't how would somebody else as you go through Instagram you're seeing on this like the looks perfect to somebody else and here you are. You are exhausted from the kids.

You are had to work all day just got home and three kids jump at you and you just don't want to deal with it right now you how to do so much laundry your stay at home mom. It's the same exact thing. It feels like every single day over and over again, aware that the months are really short, but the days really won't cut of idea and then you had this thoughts are coming your head of on this, not that happy. I'm not miserable, but is not happy.

Melissa's heart and I friends out there that are having to deal with this.

Just to let my spouse yes love my kids but is there a way for me to find happiness in this moment and the messaging is will get rid of anything that is keeping from you happy. So in their mind. Who is that person. It's the symbol of what's mundane in their life which is there spouse is not mad at their spouse trying to save anything we bad about their spouse owes a great dad. She's a great mom but we just got married little bit young. We never had a chance to actually explore distal to find ourselves in her care comes.

We just settled and I think God has somebody out there that's better for me to make both of us happier that is happening in churches. I didn't think some wakeful sort of that's happening at having all the time had a course in the world, we should expect that to happen, but in the church. It's happening over and over again in the name of pragmatism and not wanting to offend anybody.

Were not talking about was in the pulpit because it represents so many people there sitting in the pews. So what would you say to a spouse that we come to you. Maybe as a pastor and say you know I've been married five years 10 years eat, you done matter.

Pick a number and they say I feel like a marriage wrong person and you know their cynic is not as happy as I thought to be with this person only to say to him for so I know I was there but abuse has there been adultery lightly. What's actually happening here and none of those things are taking place that I want to know if they claim to be a Christian symbols where you getting this idea from what like this these thoughts.

We are having these feelings that you're having why you letting these things. Form your understanding of marriage, rather than the scriptures.

I heard some say wontons want to know of the person is married to look at the name on your marriage license and that's how you go to the right person and I think we had to make sure that we communicate that that marriage is a forever on in this life, covenants, and God does not give us the option to get outside of exception because of Jesus would give about adultery that was in a will be reconciled. For whatever reason I was at the last resort.

Marge my personal opinion about divorce is not an option, and if you think the biggest problem in your marriage is your spouse and the only solution to it being salt is getting out of the marriage.

I would just suggest that person may have Apsley no idea what marriage is supposed to be assigned by the Scriptures. I loving marriage just make you miserable. Either God is the author of life in the Davis marriage. So that's true as my uncle used to tell me if it's gonna be forever. It might as will not be miserable start going to let start doing the work of that and I think when the biggest barriers to arsenic location to be more like Christ is our own personal selfishness said things like pick up your cross and follow me posted I die daily Jesus deny yourself as a theme throughout the Scriptures. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church how to love the church into sale of the church he died for the church right these really strong images of self-denial. So marriage is the constant practice of that and I would conclude that joy is found or doing things the way Jesus has prescribed for us to do things either in the moment. It might not feel okay to us and I think right now the biggest crisis on scene in marriages even more than things are real things like pornography and adultery, and abuse even more than that.

What I'm seeing are people buying into this best life now idea and thinking that they would be so much happier if they just had somebody else that cut grass is greener is always saying that the grass is greener's going to reality in their lives and other Christian people are even fueling it to saying things like, you just don't seem like yourself. I remember used to be so much happier and then once they separate. You seem like you again were just so happy for you got your smile back and were all doing in the name of Jesus which God is not to be mocked.

Abuse cannot be happy over seems like place right now I'm just thinking of some of the hardest moments of our married life and even our heart ever had there been a lot of there's been a lot and I'm thinking of our hardest moments in parenting, I don't think anything is quite shake me the same as those hard moments because those moments make you fell in your face before God and it's not about Jesus, I'm happy, it's that Jesus I don't know what to do and I need you desperately, and I need your guidance. I need your wisdom and effort and I go to the path of just I just want to be happy. I'm thinking if we face those hardships we wouldn't be the same people that we are because I think it's growth is biblical it grows that it takes the deeper it takes. I mean we look at biblical characters in the pain-and-suffering. Some of them went through devastating and yet and that's when God really shape them and use them yet. I think he is, but your sanding is what you say continually in your book is when you when your eyes are on yourself and you keep looking to yourself or even marriage, maybe to your spouse for your happiness you're looking in the wrong place a person says a marriage wrong person. I would say you're looking in the wrong place you you for some reason think that person you know and again we turn on TV and that's what we hear as I go that you find the right week we call the one we find the one in the wind is O Jesus is. We look vertical. That's what euro books really about. Get over yourself is a great title for that's what marriage is going to do if you are not going get over yourself. You're not gonna be happier marriage. But if you get over yourself and you say I'm fine. Life enjoy true joy in my spouse is wonderful she is or he is is coming Christ. That's where real joy is going to come in at the deep joy. It's not a worldly joy, not circumstance that is going to force me to get over myself is that we are saying yes and I would never for a moment suggest abuse new prosperity churches are telling people to get divorced. That's unfair and that's untrue what I'm saying is the messaging about ourselves carries over every area of life rather than in your marriage anything is all about me and my potential.

My dreams, my happiness when you live in a life you think is mundane and boring that you believe this God's will for you then to get out of that situation because he wants you to be thriving by your own definition of personal thriving by his definition and you really do think that he exist for you in the moment to be as happy as you want to talk about you and Chrissy is married how many years I've been married for 18 years, has it all been butterfly romance and know are our biggest struggles have been the weirdest from two completely different backgrounds.

Not good or bad history differently or raises very different are our parasite appearance is very different. Good not good or bad, is totally different so so our biggest adjustments is not to complete the back of the truly marriage is right right you.

For this reason a man leave his father mother come to life. You cling to his wife isolate the outworking of that taking place. That's a great beauty is a marriage I think why Paul calls it a mystery. In Ephesians 50 2002 completely different backgrounds to different experiences life stories coming together as one. It really is an amazing story. So what makes our marriage work is that we just really try daily to battle selfishness. I tell people asked the question regularly. What would be like to be married to me that you were well aware of that and Chrissy truly is part of a sunset was person I know she just does not let things get to her as she has this just demeanor to her that has this real, humble posture to her and I to be careful and take advantage of that because she just doesn't get very worked up just where motions on her sleeve. She doesn't make mountains out of mole hills. She doesn't go 10 out of 10 on the freak out skills just really not anyone who knows her describe her that way very, very steady. I'm very much motions on your sleeve into NCO full speed ahead is likely to file take advantage of the fact that she is a God made her the way that she is so our marriage makes me more or less been aware regularly of the fact that we are very different and have a significant God's design about we just have to regularly decide together. The were optimal at the outside Instagram world influence our family.

We love social media horizontal's appeal of Instagram Oracle W normal for us will be fun for us. How do you do that, especially with teenagers in the house.

How do you make that not being normal so I tell Mike's oldest son. He only has Instagram we let them get to high school and we told him regularly will show pictures of things that are going all say hey may dismember that's not a silly real life events that we how life exactly as legs are posture in our hearts when our hearts are really being fleshly is that we want to project something to the world want to show people that I am this way I have these things. This type of posture select project and I submitted those things very fleeting side is of a constant conversation with him about it so I will enjoy social media's friends wanted to school on the participative not have fun and all that.

I just want to regularly know that it's dangerous. I can lead you astray and Instagram actually is usually the trigger and really the red flag that I see in our church or in our community people have relationships with one another. Marriage is in trouble because all the sudden the little County progression, but then also you start seeing that one of the spouses all of a sudden gets obsessed with wellness nothing wellness is important. Good thing and I to be will more serious better person, but I think it's a good thing, but what becomes of most religion and everything becomes about the gym and about health and how they look in this regular selfies there always very pretty in the picture very nice looking.

Made for guys like the muscles in the gym type idea all their friends start replying with fire about Jesus and I mean beautiful all these type of things that also becomes a reality in their life, and I in their spouse also and is never in the pictures they start it's always girls night or it's always guys trip this might start doing another thing all the girls like ones for next week you're going what's going on what they want to be home ever and I had a story where had a guy come in and I did know very well. I am your acquaintances in the ass.

I could meet with him and he came and sat down. We made small talk for a minute usual nervous and I had been following on Instagram certainty acquaintances off all his wife and Instagram follow the sky and Instagram and he said to me he said he wanted to talk you today one make a point. I just vice versa.

Despite your wife and here's how you know that I submitted a humming sound weird to some creepy belief outside Instagram by distancing the progression Instagram. I wonder if that was going on. Now there divorced. Sadly, because she really thought that he just wasn't fun enough. I wasn't outgoing enough of their lives have gotten boring that their friends that want to have more fun than that he doesn't go out enough it doesn't do all these things if kids at home. He works long job and as a result, like her reasoning for wanting to get divorced simply was that it wasn't very fun anymore and she wasn't happy. I would try to give him some pointers like me try this at home to home adjusted matter because of her eyes. He was the object of this mundane and boring life.

Wisdom of today would say they believe rather than value my husband. I made a covenant with let's work through this together and figure how we can actually have a marriage, it brings joy to support it really is happening more and more I see it all the time to and I look at you, Dave, and I think of the things that I thought that's not making me happy. You know, when we got married or you are so laid-back and I tend to be way more intense than I can.

I remember thinking kindly just change that. Why did I want him to change it. So I would be happy so you would be something else in my eyes and now I look back I think so glad that you are who you are, that God made you specifically in a certain way because you shaped me your personality. Shape me. I love that your little more laid-back than I am because I would be a mess.

If you are anything like me, but that's that perspective of one year following Jesus in your trusting in hand in your trusting the life that he has for you that will shape you and will you and I were thinking about that. I think in some sense it, you have to step back and say okay if happiness isn't the goal from God's perspective for a marriage.

Not that it isn't a goal course we will be happy Dean, what would you say God's goal is your listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Dean and Sarah on family life to clear Dean's response in just a minute. The first one to let you know about a special group of people who helped make conversations like today's possible they're called family life partners. Partners are a generous community of people who believe in our mission and give financially every month and thanks to some of these heroes right now.

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Feelings may have even gotten you to your engagement photos feelings possibly could've got you to this day right here at the altar.

The note gets you to 1/50 wedding anniversary. Choosing to love each other every single day.

It's a choice that you make, rather than a feeling of the feelings there to mess to be cultivated, but we do find love to my feelings were in big trouble.

Feelings are reliable. God gives us feelings.

Feelings are unreliable.

Try to listen to our feelings.

Also God was happy in these marriages were believing to Isaac about the garden of Eden when he was tempted.

The first lie is to go around God the things I'm looking for, not to God himself and the other light users were to be gained by disobeying God and others begin by obeying him. So I think okay I know the Bible says about divorce, but looking for some exception clause because God wants me to be happy or outdated. God is no my scenario that type of light that type of thinking in my mind ago you began by disobeying God this moment.

There's begin by obeying him and that is what has caused this crisis to happen. I think in many of my much American Christianity where the divorce rates really troubling, yet it is interesting when you think about what you said the goal marriage is to become like Christ, which I agree and I think it's biblical. It's really not about us, it's about us revealing to the world who Christ is by becoming like him well. We all know this, but we don't want to hear this to become like Christ.

This can be hard. There is rain yourself there can be a adversity you're going to have to get over yourself right.

It's amazing how much the New Testament deals are primarily two things.

False teaching and suffering repulse letters. That's what was kind of how does the church was doing with Nepal never promises them relief from their suffering points of the Christ return that one day that God's gonna make all things new.

One day it will go away and it might not be on this earth. And the guy wants to use your suffering to make his glory and his gospel known to the rest of the world and I don't think marriage is designed to be one big story of suffering, I do believe that joy is a pursuit that we actually have to go after and the cool thing about marriage is autographed by yourself right with God's will for that was good for man to be alone, so together we get to go on this journey of finding joy and then also sometimes fighting for joy and I think that's part of the Christian experience and we have to make sure that we allow it to be part of the Christian experience because the Christian experience is never designed to be one free from adversity into the person or spend most of your time with in your life is to sinners who been redeemed by God but still are in this broken world. It's going to be moments there's going to be a struggle with I think was Dave Harvey wrote a book called when sinners say I do. Yeah, that's the real to sinners is that I do, but were not doing this openly for us because were participating God's design for his glory, and for good that you know there's in my mind there's nothing more beautiful than a wedding picture of a young couple and it could be an older couple get married like their greatest day that there's a better picture definitely an SSN couple, 30, 40, well at daters later mean gets my parents never married 70 years had gone through dementia, heart attacks, death of a child and down to see them sitting together at 90 years old, holding hands, having lived life hard stuff pain and loss and yet they did it together in a covenant in a covenant of marriage emits a picture of getting over yourself as they didn't stay there because they felt fulfilled. They stayed there because they lay down their lives for one another that should be the Christian story. And Jesus laid down his life while we think were exempt for that's what so bizarre about all this is a claims know about Jesus, but Jesus we portray is not with use of the Bible we think anything of the fact that the cost us our lives is the daily death to self: I dying the same guy who wrote love is patient, love is kind. Now also a daily that Steven and Wilson with Dean and Sarah on family life Dean's book is called getting over yourself trading. Believe in yourself. Religion for Christ centered, Christianity, you can get or by calling one 800-3583 29 that's one 800 F is in family L is in life, and then the word today. If you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation. Be sure to share it from wherever you get your podcast while you're there really help us out if you rate and Regulus tomorrow and evening listening to me talking again with Dean and Sarah about how God gives us is not to make a big deal out of ourselves but to make a big deal out of him. That's coming up tomorrow. Will you join us on behalf of David and Wilson.

I'm Shelby Abbott was due back next time for another edition of family life today, family life, the days of of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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