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Closer: A More Connected Marriage: David and Meg Robbins

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 20, 2023 4:15 am

Closer: A More Connected Marriage: David and Meg Robbins

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 20, 2023 4:15 am

You want a connected marriage. You have two very different people who want what they want. David and Meg Robbins chat about what helps them live unified.

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Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

I think we all know this, but it's worth saying again, that praying together transforms a home. And the next time you see your spouse, just grab her hand or grab his hand and just start praying.

Lord, would you help us? Because we need you. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson, and you can find us at or on the Family Life app.

This is Family Life Today. All right, we're doing something today we've never done before. I'm excited. You are? Yeah.

Why? I'm just excited because David and Meg Robbins are in the house with us today, and that's always fun to me. Well, we've done that before.

I know. We've done that before, but welcome back. This is the president of Family Life Today, and he's in the studio with his wife, Meg. We're grateful for you. My wife, my wife, my wife, my wife, Meg.

We do deserve an echo, you know? But what we've never done is, you know, the last four days, we've been talking about real man and real woman, R-E-A-L, the acronym for a man or a woman, and we get to apply that to marriage today. So let's review real quickly.

Okay. The real man is a man who rejects passivity, the E is engages with God, the A is accepts responsibility, and the L is a real man leads courageously. And then we also did what it looks like to be a real woman of God, and the R is a real woman of God releases control to God.

The E is she embraces her role, the A is she accepts herself, and then the L is she loves God and loves others. And we have been talking about those for the last four days. So if you haven't listened to those, go back and take a listen so you can really understand what we mean by those pillars. And here's our plan. Who knows where we're going to end up, but we're going to try and understand the pillars very quickly. Man and woman, husband and wife, and then say, okay, if a husband's living this out and a wife's living this out, how would that impact their marriage? So we're sort of calling today, you know, we got real man, we got real woman, now we got real oneness.

What would that look like? Right. Okay.

David and Meg, as you hear that, we could go anywhere. We could start with reject passivity, but we don't have to. What are some of your first thoughts?

I mean, well, the first thing I want to say is that if you haven't had a chance to listen, it is worth going back and listening to all the previous four days. Because I do think it's just really powerful and freeing to think about, okay, well, how is God calling us to live as real men and real women? And when I think about how these connect and really when I'm living out what God's called me to, and when David's living that out, we can experience much deeper oneness.

I mean, the first one, I mean, some of them line up directly and some of them just kind of overlap in different ways. But even this first one, reject passivity, I just think about, Dave, you talked about how, you know, this is a tendency we've had since the beginning, since Adam. You know, he was so tempted to be passive and he was.

That's where the first sin came from when Eve was standing there with the apple and she turns to him and says, take this, eat it with me. I just think about in our marriage, like when David is able to reject passivity and step up as a leader and fill that role that God's called him to, it is also motivating to me to lean in and trust the Lord and even just the reality of release control. I feel like when he is being passive, I'm so tempted to step in and take over. When he rejects that passivity, then I'm able to let things be in the Lord's hands more easily. I think that's really true for women. I think we get in this situation where like, well, if he's not going to do it, I guess I have to do it. So we step into areas that we control.

David, has Meg ever got into that control run? You know what's interesting? I was actually thinking a total opposite version of how those two connect and bring real oneness. Oh, I want to hear this. When I'm bringing strength and rejecting passivity, okay, that gives you a security to trust the Lord and release control. And yeah, we experience oneness when that happens. There's the other side of rejecting passivity when I am in sin and I come and reject the passivity to be silent and passive and therefore absent in real connection. And I bring that sin and confession to you. One of the things that you do so well is not enter in with controlling and like, all right, I'm going to fix you.

I'm going to change you. Like that role that you play of releasing control and going, okay, you're bringing some of the most intimate things to me of how you are seeking legitimate things and illegitimate ways to find security in your life. This could be an opportunity for oneness for us. And instead of you just hammering down, I mean, you care about accountability. You care about me pursuing righteousness and holiness, but instead of you hammering down and control, you actually release control to the Lord and go, thank you so much for bringing this to our marriage that this is going to affect us.

And how do we intersect together in that? And it reminds me of the risk and time continuum, like if there's the X axis of time and the Y axis of risk, a healthy marriage that's being a real man and a real woman is living in that zone one that not very much time gets out where we go, we're tempted to say, oh, it's not that big of a deal. It won't affect us much. So I don't need to confess that to my wife or I don't need to confess that to my husband. But that zone one is so crucial that real men and real women reject passivity, release control, and talk about zone one all the time, short accounts about your sin so you can keep growing with the Lord. But what we're tempted to do is go in that X and Y axis keeps growing. We don't confess.

We don't talk about it. We sometimes take more and more risk. And you end up in a zone three that you go, and this is such a big deal. I can't tell her or I can't tell him about it. And we all know the Holy Spirit is going to keep pushing us.

It's going to come out. The sooner the better a man rejects that passivity in zone one, a woman doesn't come in and go, okay, well, let me fix this for you. And yeah, let me pile onto it, but go, okay, let's enter in this together and run to the throne of grace of Jesus together. Have you guys had to do that recently? I mean, you're sounding like you're talking about something that's recent in your marriage.

All the time. I mean, seriously, like we could go through multiple times. But last night we were on a date and we're talking about, okay, are we disclosing our hearts in the way? It wasn't like a tangible sin that we were talking about that's an action we've taken, but it was almost like a sin of omission where are we offering up our full selves to one another? Are we, we've done that well in the past. Are we doing that right now? Are you letting each other in?

Yeah. If you think about it, the image I had just had, David, is oneness is two hearts, sort of like one heart. And when you've got a barrier or you've got a film or something covering your heart, you're not going to become one. Man, you just hit on something huge in terms of, the passivity in me would be, like you said, I can wait a week.

I can wait a day. And really, I'm afraid. It comes back to like the fourth pillar of our man. Am I going to like step into something with courage and lead? No, I'm going to be passive because I'm scared. And we often get locked up. I mean, fear stagnates.

We just, we don't move. And I think a lot of men, and it's probably true for women as well. We just are afraid to be that authentic, to really bring our sin or our weakness to our spouse because we're afraid of what they might do. And we might be afraid that they're going to take over, take control. Even what David is talking about, like just that feeling of, you know, I probably do tend to hold back sometimes, like what's really going on in my heart. And I think that when I'm able to release control, not to David, but like you said, I'm releasing control to the Lord. Then I can trust that God cares about me and whatever I'm feeling and dealing with in my heart. And He's given me David. And if David is rejecting passivity and pursuing me and leading in that way, you know, and accepting the responsibility of caring for my heart, then I can step into that and trust the Lord and let go of my desire to control my emotions and how He might see me. But to say, know what, I'm going to let the wall down and let you in, in this way, even though it might be scary sometimes. I mean, even though we've been married over 20 years, sometimes there are times when I am really careful and closed up about things. And He pursues me and keeps knocking on the door, like, no, I know there's more there, are the times that, you know, I'm able to respond to that, to His leadership in our marriage. It brings the most oneness. Let me ask you guys and speak for the men, what does it feel like when a woman micromanages you?

I almost was going to go there. Or critiques you. You let her go there instead, that was a good topic. That constant critique or don't do it like this, or why are you doing this?

What does that do for your spirit? You know, I think a recent part of our journey where I don't feel micromanaged by Meg in this, but it's amazing how quickly my inner dialogue goes to self-contempt and shame around, okay, a year and a half left with our oldest in the house before he goes to college. Am I doing enough as a father to a son? So remember that. And then we got the seventh grader and, you know, man, are we having the right conversations? Life's so crazy compared to that first one. Well, and let's be honest, there are times when I do certainly become controlling and overstepped, but you're being nice about it. But there are times when I say, we're missing the moment. You know, you've got to do these things. And, you know, I can be trying to control and make things happen.

And you're trying to make something happen. David, let me ask you, when Meg does that, because I know when Ann does that, and I'm thinking both of you are strong women. I know Ann is, and I'm guessing Meg is too. But I often, it's almost like a signal to me, like, you're being passive. The fact that she's jumping in that strong, many times I'm like, oh, look at me. She's doing that because I'm not. Not that she can't.

I want her to be strong. But there are times where I feel micromanaged. I'm like, oh, I'm not stepping up. She's doing this because somebody has to, and I'm not. And I think for those men out there listening and you're going, oh, yeah, that's my wife. I go, for me, I can enter into that. I've got to pay attention to what my response is and be responsible for my response.

My response of self-contempt and how I spiral into shame and how dare she. But there's that no condemnation in Jesus, freedom of security, where we don't have to dive into our shame. But yet there's that conviction of, okay, God, give me a soft heart. She's right about some things here.

Let me not get mad, bitter, angry. And maybe she is actually over-controlling in this moment. Let me not ignore it because maybe her sin's coming out on me.

But let me actually dive in. Spirit, what is the conviction you want me to pay attention to? If I can, as a man, pay attention to that, and that connects us to another part of lead courageously out of the flow of rejecting this passivity, then this is going to write some things in my home. I think often we kind of push it away going, ah, it's all bad now. When it's like, okay, Spirit, what's the part of truth I got to pay attention to?

Well, the L for real women is love God and love others. And I think when I am in the right place of loving the Lord and releasing control back to the R, and trusting what God has for our kids and for David to step in in certain ways, but also loving him when I'm really in a place of being in a healthy place of loving David, then I'm able to come to him and speak life and encourage him to come alongside our kids, and yes, maybe are the one who's about to go to college, in a way that's life-giving and not condemning. But you do that a lot, for the record, and I'm grateful. Thanks.

But there are times when it definitely doesn't come out that way. But I think part of embracing my role is, okay, in this stage of life, he's certainly very busy and has a lot on his plate, so how do I try to come up with creative ways to say, okay, why don't you take him to breakfast this weekend? I'll get the rest of the kids.

I'll get them ready and get everybody else to school, and how can I free you up to make this happen, rather than like, you said you were going to do this and you didn't? Well, you know, as you think, you just mentioned, Meg, when you take the E for men, engages with God, the L for women, loves God and others. Let's talk about that, because I think a lot of couples that are listening are like, how do I bring my spiritual life into my marriage?

I always say when I teach this to the guys, if you don't do the E, the three others don't, you'll never live them. How do you do that when maybe your spouse isn't on the same page spiritually? You know, I'm engaging in God, but they're not, and what's that look like? Because that can create some tension. Yeah, so talk about how that works in your marriage, because one of the things I believe is if a man isn't engaging with God, he can't bring that to his family.

It's an overflow, so you can't lead where you haven't been. You can't take someone if you're not filled up. So for us men, it's more than showing up at church and leading your family there.

That's a good move, but I've got to be connected. I thought of Psalm 5 where David says, I get up in the morning and I spend my morning hours in devotion with you. If a man's doing that, it changes the whole home.

If a woman's doing it, so any comments on that? Can I just first comment on something that's super simple, and then I want to jump right back to where you were, but one of the ways a man can engage God with his family, there's certainly his personal relationship. You're going to say, listen to Family Life Today together. Well, there you go. You're doing an amazing job, those of you listening.

Here you are growing. But I was going to say, create environments where you're connecting spiritually in your marriage. We can remember it's one of those. It's not the only one. There's other amazing environments.

Keep pursuing those options. We can remember it's one of those that's been around for over 40 years and is still thriving. It's been refreshed. Right now, we have a half-price sale going on where you can initiate and create that environment for you and your bride. I tell you, it would be such a gift to say, I've carved time away for us to get together to work on our marriage, just level it up a little bit, and pursue God together.

I mean, I just say this. Dude, husband, if you want to change your marriage, reject passivity, engage with God, accept responsibility, lead courageously, do it right now. Sign up, surprise your wife, say, hey, guess what, in a month or next week or two months, we're going, and it's going to change your life. And that's leadership. I also think of just our personal rhythms going back to where you were. So one, you can initiate environments where you're being intentional with your family and certainly in your marriage. What are your own rhythms? Like, I have been so convicted recently around how much I am going to my phone before scripture in the morning. I'm at a rhythm. And what are the ways I'm going to initiate? God, I know those places, people, chairs, even those things that get me connecting to you.

I'm going to pursue those things. Meg, what's it like for you when you see David really pursuing God? What's that feel like? It's almost just like an invitation to come along with him and pursue the Lord together. I mean, I think when I know that he is getting up and I mean, he usually beats me out of bed in the morning anyway. But when I know he's going down, sitting in that chair and spending time with the Lord, it sets a tone for our whole house for the day. The kids see that when they get up and I see that and I'm making my coffee and trying to get to the chair, the next chair as soon as possible.

When I see that, it's kind of like, yeah, that's how I want to start my day for sure. And I think the other thing that how these two connect is that when I am not only loving God, but knowing that I'm loved by God and living in a place of believing that, then I think it changes how I receive love from David and it changes the way we can experience oneness. Because I think when I am not surrendered to the Holy Spirit and walking with the Lord, even in these rhythms like David's talking about, but also just in my heart all day long or questioning God's love for me or struggling with unbelief about things, that makes me look to David for things that I'm not supposed to get from him.

And that's unfair to put that on him. It's like I need to find my security and it also goes with accept herself. It's all of those things need to come first from Jesus. And that really frees us up to have greater oneness because we can give and receive to one another what we were created to give and receive to each other and not looking for the wrong things, looking for things that really have to come from the Lord. Because it's easy to quickly look sideways, look horizontal to each other for things that really have to come from the Lord first.

And I'll just say one more thing when it comes to pursuing one another. If you're going to be someone who engages with God and a woman who loves God and loves others, I think we all know this, but it's worth saying again that praying together transforms a home. And for whatever reason, the enemy wants to get you out of rhythms or make that awkward for some reason and never want you to go before the throne of grace. We all need grace so much every day. And he wants to do everything he can to make that too busy, too weird, just to go, yeah, simple prayers together. One of the things you can do, you can, the next time you see your spouse, just grab her hand or grab his hand and just start praying, Lord, together today, we have this.

Would you help us? Because we need you. Amen. It can be that simple. And all of a sudden, any awkwardness or weirdness just is erased because you've gone to the throne room together. You don't have to make it this huge ordeal. Just grab your spouse's hand and pray. Break the barriers there that keep you from doing it.

I mean, that's such a great application. And I was thinking, if you are in a marriage where you're thinking, I can't even grab her hand right now. We're not, then just pray.

You don't have to grab her hand. And like you said, David, ask God for help and he'll come. I can remember the first time I was in the backseat of a car going to a fraternity house when I was in college, I was a brand new Christian. And because I was a quarterback football team, they're like, will you come and give your testimony at this fraternity house? And as we're driving there, the driver who's a staff member with crew and on fire starts praying out loud. I'd never heard anybody pray out loud before. And I was like, this is so weird. And I remember thinking, I will never be comfortable enough to do that.

And here we are, obviously, 40 some years later, some of you are thinking, I can't do that with my spouse. Just start. Take a step.

Just start. And David, you're so right. That literally changes the environment, the aroma of a home. Just that simple move to say we're going to pray together is going to change everything. That's oneness spiritually. You guys encourage the spouse whose partner is not walking with God, that has no faith and doesn't want to even participate in that lifestyle.

How would you encourage them? I was just thinking of that when Dave was talking, because that can be a really lonely place to feel like, wow, I keep hearing these encouragements that we need to pray together and seek the Lord together. But begin by taking those feelings, those emotions, loneliness, take that to the Lord and pray for your spouse. And invite some friends to pray with you for your spouse. And find some people who you know will kind of be in the battle with you. Because it is a battle, just continuing to pray.

Pray for your spouse to come to know the Lord, for sure. But even just praying that God would open up conversations to talk about spiritual things. I mean, it's your parents' journey. They were 10 years apart from your mom coming to know Jesus. Ten years later, your dad does.

I know there are many days she goes up. There's no way that'll ever happen. Right. And that's a long time, 10 years.

And for some of you out there, it's been 40 years, 50 years. And I would just say the Lord is sufficient for you. And He will give you the ability to keep loving your spouse with sacrificial love as your longings are real.

And He can meet you and carry you in that. You're listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with David and Meg Robbins on Family Life Today. Coming up, they're going to honor one another by pointing out how they see their spouse living out what it means to be a real man or a real woman. It's pretty great. You'll want to stick around.

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And good news, Weekend to Remember is currently 50% off, but only until this coming Monday. So head to and click on the banner to register today. And in addition to getting away to strengthen your marriage, you can build your marriage year round by getting all of our marriage small group resources that are also on sale right now through January 31st at OK, now your spouse isn't a perfect real man or a perfect real woman, but how encouraging would it be to point out to them where you see God's work in their life? That can be good for any marriage.

Well, here's David Ann Wilson with David and Meg Robbins showing us what that can actually look like. You know, Meg, I'd like to say that when it comes to accepting yourself, you have consistently, you were mysteriously one of the most secure people I ever met when you were in college. And I go, what is this mystery? And as you go through different seasons, it can be challenging where you go, wait, I was so secure once and what about now? And yet you consistently run to Jesus for your security, even when there's questions. And I love that about you.

Thanks. Well, I have just been so encouraged even just recently by the ways, David, that you have been engaging with God and even your openness now sitting at this table to say, you know, oh, I'm choosing to go to my phone first. But I see how you are choosing Jesus before your phone and before other things, even before work.

You know, sometimes you have things that you want to spend time and finish and prepare for, but you know, you know what? I just need to sit and listen to the Lord. And I think the ways that you choose to engage with God and see, OK, I need to depend deeply on Him before anything else, it's just inspiring and invites me into that with you.

And I'm so grateful for the ways that you lead us just by pursuing Jesus on your own. This is fun. Isn't this fun to hear? Yeah, I was just thinking it's inspiring.

It is. I mean, our listeners listening to it. We get to watch you two do this. And now I get to look it in. You've transformed our marriage by releasing control.

I was active outside the home and passive in the home. I mean, we've talked about that and you know that. And you are a strong woman and you would just take over. And I'd sort of almost sit back like I'm not strong enough to even get in here. And you had to because I was being passive. But all I can say is over 42 years of marriage, I've watched you trust God with me, with our marriage and with our boys and now our grandkids.

And literally just it's almost like I can see your hands going, OK, God, you got this. I can trust you. I don't have to be in control. I don't have to take over. You are worthy to be trusted. And I feel like you trust me. That's so nice.

Thanks. And let me just say, I think that's been so much easier for me to do because you have rejected passivity. You talk about transformation, like you step into areas that were probably scary.

And I would critique you before, but you step into areas now I don't even have to think about. I'm like, Dave will take care of that. Dave will take care of that. And that makes me feel secure. And I love that I don't have the weight of carrying the responsibility of feeling like, what do we do if you don't? Because you do it. So thanks for doing that. It gives me incredible security. And I watch you trust Jesus with all of that.

And it's pretty remarkable. Next week on Family Life Today, Dave and Ann Wilson talk with Dave Carter, where he'll tell us how to affair proof our marriage. You won't want to miss that. On behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-20 09:42:33 / 2023-01-20 09:54:16 / 12

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