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The Elephants in the Room: Kevin and Marcia Myers

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2024 5:15 am

The Elephants in the Room: Kevin and Marcia Myers

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 10, 2024 5:15 am

Ever wonder if your habits could be putting a damper on your marriage? Authors Kevin and Marcia Myers believe confronting those big issues can bring a fresh spark to your relationship. Whether it's financial concerns, deciding on having more kids, or other biggies, tackling these 'elephants' can breathe new life into your connection. Here's how.

Show Notes and Resources

Listen tomore about Kevin and Marcia and on Facebook @KevinMyersPK.

And grab Kevin and Marcia Myers's book, The Second Happy: Seven Practices to Make Your Marriage Better Than Your Honeymoon

Want to hear more episodes by Kevin and Marcia Myers?, listen here!

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One of the things I really, really underestimated when we got married was the baggage that you brought in. I was going to say you had a lot of baggage. You didn't hear me. I said you brought in. I know. You had a lot of baggage.

And I did too. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott, and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson.

You can find us at familylifetoday.com. This is Family Life Today. Think about it. If you would put our, you know, our childhoods and our families of origin on paper, a counselor would look at us and say, you're going to have real struggles. And then you put on top of that, that you're 19 and 22, like, what are you thinking?

Yeah, we think we don't need help. But it's like we were carrying, you know, a whole airplane cargo thing down the aisle and then into marriage. And again, I don't think it showed up for us for a few months, if not even a year. And I really thought, I love Jesus so much, all of my baggage has disappeared.

And he's so gracious in that instead of letting it disappear, he brings it back and says, oh, I'd love to shape you. And I'm going to allow some of that baggage to shape you or you can ignore it and it will just wreak havoc on our lives. Yeah, God actually, we found out, actually used all that for good. It was not good. There was a lot of evil in there. But as he redeemed it.

He opened the bags and began to heal. He helped us open them. Yeah. And we've got a couple with us today that wrote a book that really deals with that. Kevin and his wife, Marsha Myers, from Atlanta, Georgia.

Well, suburbs of Atlanta, right? Right, exactly. Twelve Stone Church. Welcome. Four kids. Thank you.

Yeah. Welcome to Family Life. You got kids and grandkids. You've got a big church. You've got a full life. And then on top of that, you write a book called The Second Happy. Right.

Seven Practices to Make Your Marriage Better Than Your Honeymoon. Talk about this, you know, because we've talked about the A zone where we all have hopes and dreams. We get into the B zone, which is the real struggle. And a lot of people go, I love it.

You know, you're such a pastor. Go to the Q zone, which is quit. We don't want to go to the Q zone. We want to get to the C zone.

Again, if you don't know what we're talking about, get the book or listen to the previous broadcast because it's great stuff. But talk about this. What is the second happy? Everybody has that marriage moment when you exchange the I do with such deep romantic love. Yes, you feel.

You guys have said it. No one loves like we love. We, we are forever.

Yes. And somewhere along the line, the majority of us fall out of that love, feel like we've made mistakes and wonder, is there any hope? Do you have to move on? And we applied that to our house. You fall in love with a house, you buy it, it's a fantastic house. Then after a while you see its flaws. And that doesn't just happen with physical houses, it happens with relationships.

You see its flaws and pretty soon all you see is its flaws. And so then you just put the house for sale, sell it and go buy another one that you fall in love with. And we do this with houses and we exchange them. We did this with a few houses ourselves until our last house we'd lived in for 10 years and we were tired of the flaws.

And then we had the, you know, the standard American next thing. What if we renovate? And we started renovating the house that we'd been in for 10 years and we fell back in love with the same house.

We did, we did the kitchen, we did the basement, we did some things in our bathroom. We like, we redid the house and discovered that there is a second happy in the same house. Well, we've also discovered that in marriage.

You can find a second happy and it's more rich. It's a deeper companionship. It's everything you hoped was possible that you lost after the honeymoon, but you don't get there by accident. So what we've decided to do, we hope it's helpful is be honest about our journey and the things that you wouldn't easily see from the stage or being a neighbor that went on at home that we had to work through. And that's why we give the seven practices.

It's really good. As you're talking, I'm thinking that's exactly what we're hoping for the weekend to remember marriage getaway. Like we really hope, Oh, you might have a great marriage, but we can help you to get it better. Or you might be really struggling and you can get to the second happy. It's in some ways a renovation weekend because you sort of look at what you've built and you realize, man, we're struggling. We can do better. And we give you tools and a, yeah, really a tool bag to say, we're going to help you do it.

To renovate the house. Some of you are like, how do I sign up for this? I'm going to tell you right now, and you can get half off if you go to familylifetoday.com right now, sign up for a weekend to remember a marriage getaway anywhere you want.

It can, you can go to a destination, you can go to your own city. There's probably one near you and go for the weekend Friday to Sunday. I'm telling you, you will get a second happy.

I can't guarantee it, but I can almost guarantee it. We've literally seen God do miracles. One of the last ones I spoke at a guy came up and said, rip up my divorce papers. They were getting divorced or going to the lawyer on Monday and God showed up and they started a second happy. We started talking about, you know, what we brought in baggage. And you talk about this in your book. You have a very interesting chapter called Evict the Elephant.

Well, I have to read this, Dave, because I thought it was so interesting. You're saying if a couple really wants their marriage to be all they want it to be, and ultimately, God intends it to be, they need to do what a lot of couples are hesitant to do, they need to learn how to address and evict the elephants in their marriage. Now, I didn't think that's what you were going to say. Evict the elephants? What in the world is that?

What is that? Well, everybody's probably heard the phrase, there's an elephant in the room. And all that means is if we're sitting here together and an elephant walked in and sat down on the couch and nobody reacted, we treated it like that's normal. It would be so bizarre that it would put the whole room in pretense.

We're not admitting the truth. Something odd, something dysfunctional is in the room. Then, of course, the elephant's eventually going to do his business. And that gets left in the room. And if you don't acknowledge the elephant, you don't acknowledge the mess they make either.

And so you end up living in pretense. And pretense, we discovered, really I learned it in the way I grew up because we all bring a little bit of baggage or a lot from our families of origin. We bring many elephants into the world. I say I brought a herd. And it was some time before I could see the elephant, to be honest. I didn't know all the time what was creating the conflict and what had we ignored.

And what baggage did we bring? What do you mean by that pretense? Well, let me give an illustration that leads into our family. I'll do it from family of origin.

Let me start. My parents got married in high school, pregnant, left high school, didn't finish, got married. Dad wasn't highly motivated, so they lived poor. I was number three and they were 20 years old when they had me.

So three kids, 20, poor, uneducated, no high school graduation. They came to faith in Christ three years later. But my dad had all sorts of baggage. So we lived one way at home and one way at church. And we were at the center of the church as a family.

It was a smaller church, 100, 200 people. And my dad is a spiritual leader in the church and living a completely different life at home. Two different lives. And when we went to church, there are times he would say, straighten up, we're at church. Which means you don't bring the truth of what's going on at home to church.

We don't tell the truth, so we live in pretense. And pretense ruined my life. Eventually they divorced and my two older brothers and my dad left.

I'm left with mom and my younger sister. I mean, you can't do that to a 12-year-old boy and not unravel his life. Baggage comes with that. Wounds come with that. Emotional dysfunction. And no family is perfect, so every family has dysfunction. But those are the things that undo the quality of companionship. And you can't get to an experiential oneness unless you travel through pretense. Unless you're honest about the elephants in the room and begin to evict them. Sometimes you don't even know what they are.

So that's what we mean by the framework for the conversation. Marcia, did you have any elephants? Yes, I would say that I did. We laughed because my family was far more consistent. Christian pretty much showed me both at home and at church was the same. But I think partly I maybe got a little self-righteous just because I thought, well, our family's perfect and we're perfect and I can show you how to be perfect.

Or they did it the right way, therefore what I do is the right way as well. So you had a sense of pride. Yeah, I would say.

Wouldn't you say that was probably it more? Hey, and that was a breakthrough for us. Kevin said that pretty quick.

I'm telling you, it was a major breakthrough. To discover that and admit it? Because she wasn't wrong. She wasn't wrong. She grew up that way. But just because you live better, the moment it goes to self-righteous, it's undoing and off-putting and distancing.

Well, kudos for her because she eventually had the courage to see it, own it, and identify it before I ever could. Well, and I think just in relationships, you both come from a different place. When you get married, you're marrying a whole bunch of things.

Some of them are good and some of them aren't so good. But I noticed that people always want their traditions to come into the marriage and not the other person's traditions. So, you know, my family was right and your family was wrong when actually it's more like a lot of times they're just different and we have to decide how to blend them together. I'm laughing because I married the same woman. Yes, just by me. I'm like, are you not going, wow, that is, I mean, I remember you saying, as a little girl, and they have a great family.

Her dad was my high school baseball coach. We didn't grow up with faith, but they were just good people. Yeah, they were really good. And in our city, it wasn't a town of about 40,000, they were known as the family.

Like, you want to be like the barons. I had all kinds of elephants. They were standing up in the room from alcohol to adultery to girlfriends to abuse.

It's all there. And then her family really was a model. But it really became a problem in our marriage.

But I also had sexual abuse in my family. That's the secret. I didn't know that was even an elephant.

There you go. Yeah, I just thought, it's in the other room. It's not in this room. And it was in the room stinking all the time. So what do you do when you start to identify, we've got some elephants. I love your cartoon.

Isn't that amazing? Tell them that. We put, you have the stick figure families in the back of cars and sometimes you have the pets with them. On the window, the sticker. On the window, yeah, the little white sticker on the back for the mom, the dad, the kids. How many kids? Maybe the soccer ball.

So what your sport, how many, you know, whatever your pets got, a little dog, a little cat, whatever. So we put a family of four, a stick figure, dad, mom, two kids, and then we put an elephant. And what we were really saying is this. If you embrace the elephant as a family pet, here's what you have to care about, Dave. You're not going to do anything to evict an elephant until you understand what eventually will be destroyed because of the elephant. If you don't take the life of King David in the Old Testament, who decided at a certain point of success that he wasn't going to go back out to battle, send everybody else, end up in an affair, hide it, welcome to the elephant in the room. Then indirectly, but by his own hand, really murder the husband, marry her, have the, what did he begin to do?

Pretense, pretense, pretense. Then later on when his own sons did the same kind of thing, I won't get into the long story, but Amnon with Tamar and his others in Absalom, all of that, there's pretense and then David covers it up, does nothing about that. David's greatest sorrow was what broke between he and Absalom and it was because a family let the elephants become the family pet. The moment you realize the destruction of elephants in the room, you'll have the courage to evict them. And so wherever you are in your marriage or family, everybody brings some baggage, everybody brings some elephants with them.

And if you don't address those and evict them, it eventually will be the source of great damage. Whatever elephant you're struggling with, I mean, I'm sort of, it could be sin, it could just be generational in your family, but you got to understand what you just shared is going to go down. So I'm thinking of a mom and dad listening right now, just want to remind you what you're struggling with in the dark. And you think nobody will ever find out and they may never find out, but I'm telling you, even as an older dad, now a grandfather, that sin goes into your family, even though it's private. You start to see your sons and daughters, they're struggling with what I struggle with and they don't even know that's my struggle. And I can see it and it's like, then the elephant becomes, nobody's going to talk about it. I'm not going to tell them, I'm not going to let them.

You have to write, not only talk about it, but then to evict it. But you got to start with what's the elephant, right? And when you don't talk about it, Dave, that's when you adopt it. Ooh. See, the moment you decide not to talk about it, you adopted it as the family pet. Yeah.

Even if you put it in the closet, it's still there. Wow. So you've now adopted it, you might as well put it on the back of your car with the rest of your family picture and say, well, we got elephants and we just embrace them. Yeah. And the destruction that comes down the road is horrific. So how did you guys address the elephant?

What did that look like? Oh my. So many, obviously. Right. And I brought the majority of elephants and I eventually was able to own that. I was eventually able to say, all right, we have so much baggage, so many elephants. And we started with one of mine. Here's what we discovered, that when one has the courage to confess there's an elephant, so you can't evict it until you admit it's in the room.

So when you say, what do you do? Okay, well, look around, admit it's in the room. Well, what if there's 20 elephants? Pick one.

Anyone will do. Pick the smallest elephant and say, you know, we have an elephant in the room. The least painful. We can at least deal with the baby.

So confess it. And when you do, begin to work through it. Anyhow, when we did, why don't we illustrate, why don't we talk about the difficulty. We had two children and in the communication process of navigating conflict, we talk about fair fights, and the first section is communication, the second section is compromise, and then the third is counseling. And that's when you can't get through it. And many times you can't get through conflict and get to resolution because you have elephants. So I'm going to put that in a package so people understand that we eventually, we had one thing we couldn't get through.

Right. We had two kids, a boy and a girl. Kevin was like, this is great. I got a boy, I got a girl, I'm done. I, on the other hand, was like, well, I grew up in a really big family.

I love being a mom. I don't think I'm done at two. And so that was the conflict. And for years, really, we went back and forth. We would put it under the table for a while, like it wasn't there. Every once in a while, we'd tuck back in, you know, I still want one.

He'd be like, I still don't want one. And so there was a constant back and forth that way. And we ended up going to friends and processing with friends, and eventually went to a counselor.

The counselor said, you're afraid of having more kids because you're going to fail like your father. And the next word out of my mouth was an expletive that pastors don't use. And we left. Because you were mad. He was mad.

He just cut right down to it. There's an elephant in the room. You literally just got up and walked out. Yeah, we were done. We never went back. We never went back.

Oh, you never went back? But what I realized is I had seen all my father's elephants, but I didn't know how to see my own. So I'm not willing to have a third because I'm not even succeeding with two. And I can't trust God to help us with three, financially, emotionally, or relationally. If we're struggling with two more than she knows, I'm not telling her. And a whole bunch of us have issues that come from the wounds of our past that make decisions in the present that nobody knows are influencing the decisions.

So if you don't acknowledge the elephant, you don't know what's influencing the decision. So I had to begin to say, look, I'm concerned about this. And then her elephant in the room was finance. She came from a financially stable home.

I came from wreckage. And we'd already gone through bankruptcy growing up more than once. And we were poor. We spent subsidized housing, food stamps when I was in high school.

I mean, there is something in me that gets affected by that. And now we're planting a church that's not working. We have two children. She wants another one. What is wrong with you? And I was like, well, I mean, we always had enough. You're thinking we're going to trust Jesus.

That's what I want to say. I worry about it. I mean, we get into trouble every once in a while, but we always worked it out, you know?

I mean, we're not going to starve to death. You know, it's going to be fine. But I had to come to grips. What we had decided, if we were going to go forward, and there's a whole other thing about how we came to that decision, but we finally decided that we would have another one. But we had to make an agreement.

And so the agreement, part of it was that I was going to take over the finances because he didn't want to do it anymore. And I was like, I can do this. This is going to be so easy. This is awesome.

I could not wait to show him how to do a budget. Yeah. Well, I was so wrong. I made such a mess of it. There wasn't enough money.

I thought we would be able to save. But it truly was difficult. He wasn't wrong about that. He had something to be fearful about. He had something to be fearful about, exactly. And so once I figured that out, I was like, oh, I am putting pressure on him.

Yeah. Especially when you know that when you have a third child, you're probably going to get a bigger car. You're going to want a bigger house. You know, I'm going to want all these things and I'm going to just think they should appear. And so we kind of came to the realization that we're going to stay where we are. I'm not going to ask you for a new house or a new car, but I am going to get what I really want, which is another child. That was your compromise.

Yep. And so her work world shifted and she's going to stay home and be with the three and we're going to live on whatever we make and we're not going to put pressure on the church. Because that's what happens a lot. People get mad at the church. Pastors get mad at the church or whatever the case might be. People do it in their own business. They get frustrated.

Somebody feels the pressure. We're making this sound fast, but this took some time to navigate and confess what was affecting the decision. And I had mine. She had hers.

I think hers was finance. Mine was all the emotional risk and, you know, what it took to trust God and provide and navigate that. And we came to the other side by evicting these elephants. Addressing them was the hardest thing ever.

Evicting them was even harder. And yet here's our story, and I know yours is exactly the same. You didn't only have one more child, you had two. So God blessed in an amazing way. And the only way you get to the second happy or you get to what you're hoping it would be at the beginning is with the gospel.

There's no other way. Jesus meets you. He creates environments where the elephants appear and he says, you got to deal with this. And then he gives you the power to deal with it. I actually got to the point where I could experience forgiveness in my life toward the elephants, toward the sin that was generational in my family. And God redeemed it and now uses it to help others like he's using you.

And your book and your process, the things you went through and the things you were able to deal with are now a blessing to others. And I know there's a couple listening say we can't get there. Yeah, you can. You can't without Jesus. But you can if you're willing to surrender. And again, you can't surrender your spouse. You can only surrender you. But if you're willing to say, I will surrender and start the journey to the second happy, he'll get you there.

He really will. And today's the day to start. I have found that neediness in the Christian life is actually a good thing.

Now, I don't know of anyone who would say that they want to be more needy, but this is exactly what God calls us to in scripture because it's in our recognition of our neediness and cry for help where the Lord truly shows up and makes lasting change. So like Dave was saying just now, call out to God for help and wait for him to change you and consequently change all your other relationships, including your marriage. Such great wisdom today. I'm Shelby Abbott and you've been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Kevin and Marsha Myers on Family Life Today. Kevin and Marsha had written a book called The Second Happy. Seven Practices to Make Your Marriage Better Than Your Honeymoon.

That's quite the promise and I know they deliver. This book is going to be available to you by going online to familylifetoday.com and clicking on the Today's Resources link. Or you could get the link in the show notes. Or you can give us a call at 800-358-6329. Again, that number is 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. And feel free to drop us something in the mail if you'd like to.

Our address is Family Life, 100 Lakehart Drive, Orlando, Florida, 32832. Now, of course, as we've been talking about today and over the last three days here, marriage takes work. You can ask anyone. Ask your parents, ask your pastor, any couple you know. Great marriages don't just happen. And at Family Life's Weekend to Remember Marriage Getaway, you and your spouse really get the time to intentionally grow with one another. So you may have already heard that Weekend to Remember is now 50% off through January 22nd. But I wanted to tell you as well that our Weekend to Remember gift cards are also 50% off.

It can sometimes be hard to choose where you want to go, like, right now. So a gift card can allow you to buy now and then register for your location later on. Also, when you've heard about a Weekend to Remember Marriage Getaway, you may have another couple in mind.

And these gift cards really make great gifts to give to those couples. All of that is half off now through January 22nd. So you can head over to WeekendtoRemember.com and grab a gift card right now. Now, coming up tomorrow, you know, a lot of us think that theology or studying theology is kind of boring. But we are worshippers of God, and Kelly Capik's going to be here to help us talk about practical theology in daily life that is not boring. That's coming up tomorrow. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of David 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 donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-10 06:53:19 / 2024-01-10 07:04:27 / 11

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