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Does My Spouse Know Me Anymore? David & Meg Robbins

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 26, 2024 5:15 am

Does My Spouse Know Me Anymore? David & Meg Robbins

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 26, 2024 5:15 am

Brian Goins and Ed Uszynski faced a mammoth challenge: reimagining and improving FamilyLife's classic group resource, Art of Marriage, to resonate with a global audience of current and new generations.

Focusing on God's flawless design and purpose, the all-new Art of Marriage draws on six Hebrew and Greek words for love in the Bible. In this episode Brian and Ed--along with FamilyLife president David Robbins and his wife Meg--offer intensely practical ideas to bring these kinds of love vividly alive in your relationship.

Along with co-creators Brian Goins and Ed Uszynski, the Robbins are contributors to FamilyLife's all-new Art of Marriage group study! To learn more or order your copy, visit artofmarriage.com.

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All right, so we've got an exciting day today.

We do. This is going to be fun. Never have we had six people around our Family Life Today table. And don't turn us off because you're like, oh no, this is going to be chaos. This is going to be good.

This is going to be really good. 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. Welcome to Family Life Today. David and Meg Robbins, the president of Family Life Today, back in the studio.

Welcome back. And then who do we have over here, David? Dave and Meg Robbins and Ed Yuzinski. They work on strategic projects for family life. For any of you who've gone to the new refreshed version of The Weekend to Remember, there was years of labor and love and intentionality and continued improvement that's still happening because these guys care about it so much. They've restored the message that's been around for decades, but for today and a new generation, and they've also done that with the art of marriage, which is family life's farthest reaching resource that we've ever done. It's gone around the world into a dozen languages and more.

It's reached the most amount of people other than any resource we've had. And so Brian and Ed, tell us a little bit more about you guys. It wasn't intimidating enough. It's like, did anybody watch Star Wars and see how their back people turned out? Exactly. So it was an intimidating prospect to begin with and to try to improve upon a classic.

And I think that's one thing we learned real quick. You can't do that. So we had to create something that's in the same universe.

But people will keep using classic, I'm sure, and will still have some great impact. But we hope we created something that is just another way to talk about God's design for marriage in a creative way. How many times did we turn to each other and just say, what are we doing here? You can't do this. You can't make that thing better as far as what the core content was.

What's the word we've been using? We wanted to have something that family life, number one, wouldn't be embarrassed by that they would actually like. That would be a resource that the next generation would go, yeah, I would love to share this with somebody else.

That was really our hope. They would want to share it with their friends. They'd want to share it with their friends and we keep using the word reimagined. So it's the core content that had us, I think, a little flustered. How do you retell this same stuff in a way that's new and fresh and will speak to a younger generation while still be something that people that have loved the previous art of marriage will say, no, you know, we could use this. This is good, too. We can pull stuff from this new one.

What is in this one? The thing that I love about what we did with this one is just to build around six biblical words, three Hebrew, three Greek words that really ask the question, like, if God's an artist, every artist has an intention, every artist has a purpose, every artist has a plan. They want to display something in their art. So if marriage is one of the original creations of God and one of his first works of art, what did he want to display through that? And we found six words, three Hebrew, three Greek that just talk about his love and different facets and how that when a couple exercises those types of love towards one another, people actually get a glimpse of the artist, which is kind of amazing. You get a glimpse of the artist within your relationship, but the world gets to see it.

You might not even realize it's happening, but when you love each other the way God wants us to love each other, it speaks to people that are watching. And I love how this is sort of morphed again. I'm not behind the scenes, but I'd love to take our listeners a little bit behind the scenes, because when you interviewed Ann and I, I think it was early. Because there were no six words at that time. No, we were fishing. After two hours, we're like, do we have anything?

Yeah, I don't know. Well, we got something. We kept recording and talking to people and then we'd meet alone and Brian just kept coming back to that. He kept saying, we need a hanger.

And yeah, it's like these things are not hanging on anything. And there was one day in particular that I remember we met and Brian said, I think I've got it. Let's just sleep on it. We'll come back tomorrow. And he came back the next day and he said, I think I got it. I think here's the six words. And as soon as he said them, I was like, I think that's brilliant, man. I think we can do something with that again. They're not the only six words.

It's not the final word. But man, if we could get our minds and our hearts around these six words, we'd have a lot to talk about. You guys, I remember the day you guys came to me and shared, hey, we think we have a little pivot and ready a framework for this. And I just remember responding, kind of feeling the weight of God's provision and the Holy Spirit just affirming in a very powerful way of, okay, guys, you have walked into this. He wanted you to participate.

His idea. And I mean, you guys have both been connected to family life for dozens of years, as we can remember speakers with your wife. You know, Brian, you've been on staff officially for eight years.

Ed on staff with family life and other parts of crew for 30 total and five years more intimately officially with family life. I just am grateful that as you've gone about this, the way you have pursued the Lord to trust him for something bigger than yourselves really comes out of your passion to steward this message of oneness that you've been connected to for decades with family life and have been pouring into other couples. Who you are have really led to being able to set the table of the conversations that will happen through this resource. And I'm just so really grateful.

Well, and it's been an honor to do it. And I think the thing that we wanted to do was you're still going to talk about the same topics, right? You're still going to deal with conflict. You're still need to talk about intimacy. You're still going to need to talk about all of those things that every married couple needs to work through. But I think when you walk away from this one, you'll realize, oh, it's all connected back to what God's purposes are for marriage. And the one that I don't think it's talked enough about, which is I really believe is David and Meg, this is your heartbeat, is that our marriage really wasn't designed just so that we could be happy.

It was designed for a much bigger purpose than that. Yeah. One of the conclusions that Amy and I have come to apart from the whole art of marriage thing and just doing the Weekend to Remember conferences and looking out at people, listening to people, having them come talk to us is that maybe one of the reasons why we can't get unstuck or we can't get past this place that we're at is because we're spending too much time looking at each other and not enough looking at those that are around us. And there's just something about that dynamic when you take your eyes off each other and you lock arms with each other and start to pray for other people or start to be concerned with other people's concerns. God does that to grow you up. He does it. You start to look at each other differently, right?

Maybe not as harshly. We mentioned yesterday, we went to the Weekend to Remember before we were married. Six months later, we are reporting to our first job with CREW, Athletes in Action staff at the University of Nebraska to lead athletes basically to Christ. And our marriage is, we're in trouble.

Six months. People have heard our story, but we're in trouble. But the first athlete I met, named Rick, defensive back, says to me on the Nebraska football team, he says, hey, so you guys are here to do ministry.

I don't know if you know this, but a lot of us are married. Could you and Ann lead a marriage Bible study? We're thinking, no, no.

The answer is no. What do you say in ministry? Together, you mean? I mean, he didn't know that we're in trouble, but what do you say in ministry? We looked at him and said, oh, of course we'd love to. You know what we did? We grabbed the Weekend to Remember manual that we really hadn't really spent much time in. We taught it. And guess what?

Just what you said, Ed. Our marriage got better. I don't know if any marriages there did. I think they did.

I think in some ways it saved our marriage because we were not focusing anymore on us. We were like, what's God want to do in their lives? Here's a tool.

Here's material. Let's teach it. It saved our marriage. I think so often people feel that they're not qualified to lead a study.

I can't lead that. Do you understand what our marriage is like? It might be bad. And if you say to the people that maybe it's just another couple that comes into your home and you say, guys, we are struggling. We need this. Maybe you do, but maybe we could do this together. I'm telling you that that will help your marriage to do this, to go through it.

Yeah. I think that when you're in a place where you're feeling, whether you're stuck or you're feeling like, oh, we're in the worst place we've been or whatever. And you're feeling like, who am I to do this? I think one of the reasons why stepping out and looking towards others, taking your eyes off yourself is because it does create this shared sense of dependency. Like, okay, I can't do this. I cannot, on my own, I cannot point this person adequately to who Jesus is, you know, but we can link arms together and ask the Lord to do it.

See what God might have for them. And it does create this. Maybe you haven't been able to have a common ground or unity anywhere else in your marriage, but it does create this sense of, okay, this is something we're doing together and we both want the same thing. And as you said, it takes your eyes off of yourself in your marriage. You know what I believe is totally true and I feel it myself often when you get with groups of people is that everyone's normal till you get to know them. And to have a couple that's willing just to take the risk to go, hey, come on over and let's watch this together.

We need this. Like, we are not sufficiently good wise or gifted enough to make this work on our own. Like, we don't have to make it perfect. It's just an invitation. Most people are struggling in some way and want to have conversations, but they just, how do you frame it up?

What would actually prompt it without like diving in? And you can have people over to a meal and dive into each other's stories. But what I love about the resources that family life does and what I'm so excited about the art of marriage, it does just that.

Allows normal people, because everyone's normal till you get to know them, to have some conversation and then have some pretty profound reflection with one another and walk away continuing to have those conversations. One thing that we really try to do with this version and again, not to compare to the other version, but I think that one of the differences, number one, we have a lot of couples. And so we have couples that are speaking, but almost I think every session, the first few minutes are just you guys sharing where you've messed up in that area.

Like just your own personal foibles. We lead with vulnerability. And it's like when you, just what you're talking about, David, it's like when you have a chance to lead with vulnerability, it gives people permission to go.

So these aren't just marriage experts, but they are fellow sojourners in the marriage journey that have fallen down along the way. And there's something about doing that in community. So you guys talked on the show about the need to be connected to other people.

And maybe now as much as any time in American history where isolation is such a problem, I mean, the Surgeon General has called it an epidemic. People are longing to just have some kind of human connection that goes beyond social media where you can talk about real things. You can talk about what's actually happening inside of us and find other people that are experiencing the same thing. And God does something with that, especially amongst his people.

He uses that to stir one another up to love and good deeds and to become something different than what we would be on our own, which is really cool. Yeah. And Meg, you said something in session six that I thought was great of just thinking about the obstacles to my marriage being on mission and just the idea that, yeah, it could be intimidating. I feel like I'm not qualified. Well, we just take that away. It's like you just join in and say, yeah, we're not qualified. Good. Let's all get together and let's talk about our disqualifications and how God can then move us in the right direction.

That'll carry us through the first month, at least. But Meg, you talk a little bit about how, you know, we don't have to make it so difficult. Like impact doesn't have to be so difficult. And one of the things you talk about and you use the illustration of one of your neighbors and just looking out and looking up. And so maybe speak to that, just that it doesn't have to be as hard as it needs to be to make an impact. In an ideal world, I wish that God would use like the places that we really succeeded in our marriage and the big wins.

But what he actually wants to use the most are the places where we're feeling the most broken and oftentimes in the current moment. But I think probably what you're talking about is there are times when I just don't have a lot of margin in my life. And I'm just going through life and getting to the next place and pulling out of my driveway, going fast because I'm late, as usual. Well, you've got four kids that are all going in multiple directions. I mean, making an impact when you're that busy.

Yeah, I mean, and it's not something that we do as well as we want or as often as we want. But, you know, I remember one day I was walking through the neighborhood and, you know, had my headphones in. I was listening to a podcast and it was the family life today. But I saw this woman trying to get her trash can up the driveway. And I just had that moment of like, I could keep my AirPods and keep walking or like I just kind of felt the Lord be like, just ask her if you can help her. So I'm thinking I'm going to save the day and help her take her trash can up. So take my AirPods out and ask her.

And she would not let me help her with her trash can. But it led to like a 30 minute conversation. And I don't always have time to do that. But that day I did and I was so grateful and just kind of reminded me to have my eyes open for where I am right now. It doesn't have to be that I go somewhere and find some people. But who are the people that God has around me every day, you know, that I don't always see because I am so focused. And oftentimes I choose to keep my earphones in and keep walking, you know.

And I mean, I wish I could say that I do that well all the time, but I definitely don't. That inspired one of the most sentimental creative pieces that we created. That's where they came from? I saw it. Yeah, and it's just called Look Up.

Look at that Meg. You inspired that. That story inspired that idea that it's making an impact is easier than you think it is. It's just you got to make yourself available. And that's what I typically don't do. You were available and you asked a question.

Do you need help? Dave, you talked about this, you know, thinking that people, they don't really want to talk about anything. But you talk about being in a gym, you know, and sitting with guys after playing ball or, you know, at a workout facility.

And maybe talk about that, like just having some questions available just to open up the door for somebody to talk if they want to. Yeah, I was taught when I was a college athlete that whenever you compete, it's never about you anymore. That was a big shift for me because my whole life was about me. And even competing was about what I could do and helping our team win. And when I came to Christ, the guy who mentored me, who wasn't an athlete, by the way, and I thought, what's he going to teach me?

And I'm a big, and he just took me to where God, he goes, it's no longer about you. So when you compete, it's to point others to Jesus. So I remember as I finished playing collegiate athletics and playing a pickup basketball game, it's like, this isn't about me. I am a representative. I'm an ambassador of Jesus Christ on this court.

How I talk, how I compete, how I treat others matters. And when I sit down to take off my gym shoes, because you can't wear regular shoes, you got to have the court shoes, right? Dave Wilson gym shoes right now. No, I'm kidding. But it's like, I remember one of the first times I was playing ball in Michigan, this guy sits down beside me. I don't know if I shared this in this thing, but his name is Paul. He's a good friend now.

He's some single dude. And he turns to me as I'm taking off my basketball shoes, putting on regular shoes. He goes, hey, man, so what's different about you? I go, what? He goes, you played basketball different than anybody else. And I've already looked at it and made a joke. I go, my three pointer?

You think it's pretty good? He goes, no, your attitude is different than anybody in this gym. And this is some guy I don't even know. And I turned to him, I go, what's your name? He goes, Paul, I go, if there's anything different about me, I don't want to freak you out, but I'm going to tell you the difference. It's Jesus. He goes, yeah, I'm religious too. I go, I didn't say religious.

I said Jesus. That led to him bringing a door to my house, front door that we needed a door. He worked for Stanley door. Long story short, led him to Christ, putting this door in our house. We ended up re-parenting Paul. I'm going to tear up right now because I was just on the phone with him the other night. He's married with kids now. He lived in his car for a while in downtown Detroit.

He was kicked out of his home as a kid and God brought him in there at a basketball court. And if I hadn't had the perspective that I'm not here just to win basketball games, I'm here. Like Meg just said, I got to look around. Who's around me?

Make a dent where you sent, we said yesterday. And so now you have a tool because you have neighbors. Literally, I know that I mowed my grass the other day and Dean just standing there looking at me. And I thought, that's what you said, Meg. I'm like, am I going to keep mowing this yard? Why is Dean looking at me? He's probably like, you missed the spot. I could tell he sort of wanted to talk and I so didn't want to turn off my mower. I was like, I got an agenda and I'm going to be done. And I'm like, okay, God, here we go. And I was sort of like, Hey, Dean, what's up? You know what he does? He goes, Hey, you ever seen that thing called the chosen?

This is a non-religious neighbor who just brought up. I go, yeah, why? He goes, I'd like to talk about that. Wow. Let's talk about it.

He ended up giving him a Bible. We started this thing. It's just what, here we are. Look up. What I love about how you guys describe that, Amy Sherman coined the phrase of, is your life.

And I would say, is your marriage a doggy head tilt where it makes people, you live in such a way. And I love that. People just look at you and go, really?

Really? With a little head tilt of what is different about you? And it's not a perfection. It's an authenticity. It is a vulnerability and it's an invitation. And I think when that invitation comes or when you get prompted and initiate to help, it's breaking down those thresholds. I lived in Italy and the way Italian homes worked, at least the one we rented and the ones our friends rented, there's that first gate on the road. Then there's the door. And then you walk up and there's another door. And there's those layers of trust. People need ordinary people, not with everything all together, but doing everything they can to love Jesus with an authenticity, to be the doggy head tilt people out there. The next threshold of trust.

And now they're letting me in more and now they're initiating a question about, I need to talk about that. And sometimes it's spontaneous. And those are two great spontaneous examples. And that spontaneity is important of just an ordinary person responding to the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes it's more planned and intentional of, hey, let's take a resource like this and let's have people over for dinner or let's put it on together and let's be intentional a little bit and just see what happens. Take a step of faith. And sometimes the head tilt is created by the way you handle a fight with each other. So even as you're talking, David, it's not perfection. It's not that the head is tilted just because maybe you kept your composure while you played basketball.

That's definitely one way to create it. But it's also we had a bad fight. And this is how I went back and apologized. This is what I had to do to make things right or how we got back into the same bedroom with each other again after that fight. I just told you this earlier, but I just walked in the door.

I haven't seen Ed in a long time. And as soon as I start talking to you, you are so real and honest of the struggles that are going on in your life. It tears down every wall and it creates a head tilt. Like, are you seriously just telling me the hard stuff in your life? And I don't think people expect that, especially from believers. Wait, wait, you're telling me you're struggling, too? That creates a I want to be vulnerable like that.

So I love the head tilt. Yeah, I think one thing we've learned, too, with some of our close friends is that I mean, friends who have become close now is that most people are hurting in some way. And what's happening behind closed doors is not what you see that's necessarily playing out in the front yard or whatever. The quicker that we can take down those walls and show our own gaps and our own struggles, yeah, it just invites other people to say, you feel that? Well, I'm really hurting, too. And it just sets the tone for telling me you're real. And you guys probably don't know this, but I'm an expert on the next generation. Did I tell you that?

I'm kidding. But if I've studied anything about the next generation, and part of it's our own 30 and 20 year old kids, is vulnerability is the language of that generation. They are done with Christians and church people being perfect. When they see a believer say, I struggle.

There's victory in Christ, but I struggle. They lean. Really? Because they're feeling that.

That's what I saw as I watched The Art of Marriage. I'm like, man, everybody in this thing is real. They're going there right away. And that lays the foundation to say, okay, now let's talk out of our shared experience.

Where is their hope? Well, and I think the other thing that I could see people going, so you just play these videos? What do you do? Some people may not have never done a small group before. It really is pretty flexible. It's amazing how many people that we've talked with on this journey that we've been on that love to use a resource like this, whether it's at a church event, where they're putting something on for the whole church, and they do a date weekend or a date night or a date day, and they go through all six sessions.

They're only 25 minutes long. Or they might use it in a small group, or just couple to couple. Like I just said, we're going to invite that couple over, and we're going to go through six weeks.

There's something about that intentionality. But then you're probably thinking, well, then after the video, what do you do? It's like, well, we have these workbooks with great questions that, I mean, Ed, I think that's one of the things that you really helped bring to the table was just making sure that we didn't have just your basic questions. These really help dig underneath the surface a little bit and allow us to go deeper quicker and be vulnerable with each other.

I've just enjoyed how it all came together and to see that people could use us in a lot of different settings. What I've been thinking about is why would I not want to look up and see people? And it's almost like you're asking me to get to a second level of perspective shift. Because when I come into marriage, Dave, you talked about this yesterday, I want to be happy. I want to be in a me marriage.

I want marriage to be about me. That's what we all sort of come in with at some level. And the first shift that needs to be made is I'm actually here to bring something out of you. I'm actually here to make Amy a better person.

I'm to present her before the Lord more complete, which has taken my eyes off myself for the first time. And then as we're doing that, there's this next level of now it's us looking up and seeing everything around us. So I have to grow up.

That's what I just keep thinking. We talk about this, Brian, a bunch in the sessions. It's just how our love needs to grow up. And sometimes we take two steps forward and we go three steps back. But that's really what the process is.

How do we grow up in the love that God wants us to be putting on display through our marriage? And the word comes to my mind, I don't know if you guys would agree, when you think of why wouldn't I reach out is one word. What do you guys think it is? Fear. I am. I'm afraid at times.

Like to reach out to my neighbor, to invite somebody in my home, are you kidding me? One of the great things about this tool is that takes away some fears. Because the first fear is what are we gonna talk about? Well, we got content for you, here you go. But I think we're afraid of relationship, where it's gonna go. And you don't have to have all the answers. That's the other thing that content does.

You don't have to have answers. And growing up is part of, you know what, I need to step into that. It might be a little scary. Step in and just say, God, do something. As we take steps of faith, he will show up. And you may be thinking, why are they so about marriage is on mission? What is this all about? And that is our mission at Family Life.

It's been around for decades. And it's been rooted in what we do, effectively developing godly families who change the world one home at a time. And we wanna help you grow as a godly family, pursuing oneness in authenticity and vulnerability, and really experiencing that calling up and calling out of one another and getting your eyes off yourself to the Lord and to one another. And we love the who in our mission statement. Those who are experiencing that ongoing transformation in Jesus, turning outward and looking up and to their corner of the world and trusting the Lord.

Ordinary people doing the extraordinary thing of trusting God in their corner of the world. I'm Shelby Abbott, and you've been listening to David and Wilson with David and Meg Robbins, along with Brian Goins and Ed Yuzinski on Family Life Today. We're gonna go ahead and talk about how art of marriage can be used to make a dent where you're sent. It features a diverse array of new couples and artists who, over the course of six sessions, unpack six biblical words that describe God's love for us and how each can be displayed through our messy, imperfect marriages.

Yes, even yours, your messy, imperfect marriage. So whether you're a newlywed or you've been married for decades, art of marriage is your path to a stronger, more beautiful masterpiece of God's handiwork. So you can go to the show notes right now or the art of marriage website. It's artofmarriage.com to learn more and grab your leader kit today. We're really excited to share the all-new art of marriage with you and hear your marriage impact stories. Now, coming up next week, Kevin DeYoung is here to talk about the importance of submitting your life to the will of God rather than following your own desires. That's next week. 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 / 2024-02-20 12:41:17 / 2024-02-20 12:53:46 / 12

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